Chapter 43: The Advantages of an Ultralight Umbrella
Some backpackers like to use an umbrella for rain instead of trapping moist air inside their rain gear.
Umbrellas aren’t universally loved, but many who use them swear by them. No matter how much money you spend, the perfect rain gear hasn’t been invented. In most any rainy condition you will be wet inside your rain gear from your own perspiration. In many rainy conditions where the rain isn’t blowing sideways, you might like the increased comfort and ventilation an umbrella provides. An umbrella relieves you of dripping hoods and hats, too.
Since the lower part of your body will still be exposed, especially if there is wind, you’ll need to make sure you’re staying warm enough.
Because you’ll have to pack rain gear anyway for the worst weather on multi-day hikes, the umbrella will be added weight. The Montbell Ultralight Trekking Umbrella weighs only 5.5 ounces, so the increased weight isn’t too much.
In sunny conditions, some hikers like to use an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun.
Some of the negatives of an umbrella are wind, overhanging brush, and difficulty figuring a way to use hiking poles.
To see if you like an umbrella on rainy days, consider taking an inexpensive umbrella on a rainy day hike.