I live in Seattle, where umbrellas are the tells of tourists, so the birdiepal by euroSCHIRM umbrellas had some convincing to do. At the end of my two and a half month trial period, I am shocked to say that I am completely sold. I tested three different umbrellas in everything from unworldly drenching urban commutes to long slogs in steady rains, and they held up.

Birdiepal

Each of the three umbrellas have three features I love:

  1. A non-pinch opening mechanism. Instead of pushing the locking mechanism through a hole that can snag your skin, the locking mechanism on these umbrellas is a neat twist-and-push contraption. It’s super easy to use and can be done with gloves.
  2. A super comfy foam handle with a compass at the tip. During hours of use, my hands easily and comfortably gripped the handle.
  3. A foldable sleeve for storage. You can sling the carrying sleeve over your shoulder or pack it up after a shower without worrying about getting wet.

The Strong: birdiepal Outdoor Umbrella

BirdiepaleuroSCHIRM claims their Outdoor umbrella is “the strongest trekking umbrella of the world – nearly unbreakable.” I can’t comment on whether or not it takes a world title, but I can say that the five dollar Chinatown umbrellas I grew up with in NYC don’t have anything on the birdiepal – and, in fact, no umbrella I’ve come across is anything like the Outdoor.

Made of high-density fiberglass, the frame got my attention because it has the absolute minimum metal parts necessary – something that is extremely attractive when backpacking in lightening storms. The ridiculously strong frame is furthered by a polyamide fabric that is double-stitched at segments and completed with safety tips at the ends. I crashed through thorn bushes, bounced off trees and pulled it through thick brush. This umbrella withstood tough use handily. With string reinforcement on the joints of the spines, I doubt this umbrella could flip inside out.

The only drawback: it is heavy, clocking in at 13.3 ounces.

The Light: Swing liteflex

BirdiepalThis umbrella, considered, rather vaguely, “the world’s lightest trekking umbrella of its kind,” is a great combination of durability and lightness. It offers the same fiberglass ribs, with an even lighter fiberglass stick that makes it flexible and damage resistant. After the same kind of use as the Outdoor, through branches and thorns, I was very surprised that the lightweight polyester fabric resisted tearing. It is coated with Teflon, which made the beading properties incredible. I was amazed to watch the water run right off, no matter how long it was in the rain or how dirty it got.

The drawback: with lighter options on the market, if ultralight is your thing, then you’ll probably want to sacrifice some durability and go elsewhere.

The Handsfree: telescope handsfree

BirdiepalI was most dubious about the telescope handsfree trekking umbrella. I imagined the silliness of umbrella hats multiplied. Of course, because I am often wrong, I found myself most surprised by this completely awesome umbrella. To use the telescoping handsfree all you need to do is attach two velcro loops with the umbrella clip to either strap of your backpack, swivel to open and then swivel to close the two telescoping parts to get it at the right height and slip the wrist loop through your hip belt to secure. In less than two minutes you are ready to go hands free.

Before I tried the umbrella, I thought that it must bounce annoyingly against your shoulder or bonk you on the head regularly. I was amazed that the telescope handsfree stayed where it was suppose to with no problem and hardly moved as I walked. It was easily adjustable, and I even used it as a with-hands umbrella without problem.

Birdiepal

birdiepal by euoSCHIRM

Varies by Product
8.9

Weight

7.5/10

Durability

9.9/10

Comfort

9.0/10

Packability

8.5/10

Waterproofness

9.8/10

Pros

  • Incredible DWR
  • Comfortable grip
  • No-pinch lock
  • Insanely durable

Cons

  • Heavy for weight-conscious hikers
  • Longer than I'd like
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