For somewhere like the PNW, it seems like a good raincoat/parka/whatever is a necessity. I, however, grew up on the Gulf Coast in what is regularly the wettest city in the continguous 48, Mobile, AL. The Gulf Coast gets real rainstorms, not month-long clouds. It makes for tough decisions between raincoats and umbrellas. A raincoat still allows for pants, shoes and socks to get soaked. An umbrella provides some protection for the lower body, but involves a delay when getting into or out of a car. That delay can be very costly in dryness. Of course the solution most preferred is to stay indoors during the typically short-lived storms.
Originally Posted by Badger
In the summer, I tend to prefer shorts--sometimes even a bathing suit--sandals, and a raincoat when I have to walk the dog in the rain. In the winter, it's a much tougher choice. For travel, I have almost always packed a raincoat but not an umbrella for vacation but the opposite for work travel--gotta keep my briefcase and documents dry too! Thanks to this thread, I am going to have to try very hard to avoid getting a Blunt umbrella. Thankfully, I still have several Totes and TravelSmith ones that have held up wonderfully, so I do not have any immediate needs.
I was hoping against hope. Of particular consideration is maintaining the "dryness" of whatever one carries....and the lack of windshield wipers on glasses means walking underwater even though one wears a gortex hood....and wearing my gortex to a fancy schmancy event doesn't cut it.....Monkeylady
Heh, I live in Seattle and I love umbrellas. If it's not windy I carry the loudest umbrella I can find, which is currently:
One of my friends has had good luck with a double-canopy umbrella. I think one of these:
Originally Posted by monkeylady
Windjammer® Vented Auto Open & Close Compact - Umbrellas
I'm probably the only person in Seattle who never wears Gore-Tex. Personally I just wear more/heavier wool if it's raining AND windy out. If it's cold I add a water-repellent down vest with a big hood. I am going to have to shop for a raincoat for Iceland though.
Ms. Ferret, Dear. You are TOO much! I love your style. I'll check out your umbrella recommendation. I also rarely wear gortex because it is so Eddie Bauer (from the old days) or so REI. OK for some things but not for many other events/activities. Have a great trip in Iceland!
Originally Posted by Ms. Ferret
Ms Ferret, your umbrella is gorgeous!
I want one I can use against the sun, for protecting my hands.
As far as a trench coat is concerned, I want one in Dyneema with a matching hat, designed by Tom Bihn, and expertly crafted by the Crew!
Most of the very nice ones are very expensive and the ones I can afford are cheaply made in low wages countries but marked up significantly.
I also grew up in north west France where rain is the norm rather than the exception, I know that the fashionable short trench coats do not cut it against real rain.
Furthermore, as a Plus Size woman, I don't want a sack, I want a designed trench.
A Dyneema trench would be great in early autumn and late spring by itself and late autumn and early spring with a fleece or wool layer.
I always layer in colder months and can do that with no problem with my old cold season vest, but it is too casual for places where dress up is required.
For compact umbrellas, I recommend 2 umbrellas because of their quality, size and functional wind resistance/water-repellency.
1) Knirps X1 - Knirps® - X1
- Manual - 37" canopy
- 6.5" closed (close to if not the smallest umbrella out there)
- 8 ribs (the more ribs, the better for resisting wind - most others have only 6 ribs)
- wind tunnel tested to > 90km/hr - Knirps® X1 - www.knirps-store.de - YouTube
- pill shaped semi hard EVA case with loop giving the umbrella a fashionably clean design
2) Davek Traveller - THE DAVEK TRAVELER - Small for easy portability | Davek Accessories
- Fully Automatic open and close - 40" canopy
- 9" closed (one of the smallest fully automatic umbrellas)
- 7 ribs made of flexible fiberglass to make sure the umbrella does not get damaged if the canopy flips over
- thick steel pole for strength
- 190 thread-count microweave fabric (highest thread-count possible)
- lifetime guarantee + 1/2 price replacement cost if you lose the umbrella
- leather handle and both leather strap and metal clip
- well engineered and known for being solidly designed and lasting forever
Both fit nicely on the outside of the Brain Bag (middle part or one of the side compartments), Smart Alec (side compartments), Ego (one of the side pockets or zippered pockets), Checkpoint Flyer main compartment or Co-Pilot (middle compartment). I even hook it to one of the Annex Clip loops on my vertical Brain Cell if I am going light.
I like the Knirps for its size, 8 rib durability and the sleek case. It really looks nice and neat in the middle outside section of the Brain Bag.
I like the Davek Traveller as it is very well made (steel/fibreglass and 190 thread-count fabric) and very elegant (leather handle, strap and solid metal clip)
Both are easy to operate and do not have any sharp points in the ribs (will not pinch the fabric or your fingers!)
Shedrain Windpro (vented) or Ecoverse lines seem good and get good reviews in Good Housekeeping and Wirecutter as well but none are as small as the above umbrellas (smallest about 12")
Blunt is also a good high end name in umbrellas but the smallest if 14" long.
In summary, for compact umbrellas, I recommend the Knirps X1 if ok with fully manual and the Davek Traveller if you want a fully automatic open and close umbrella.
Now, both are not inexpensive but you get what you pay for and both are very elegant designs that last a lifetime.
If you want more inexpensive but good quality and can live with less compact umbrellas, Shedrain and Blunt are good too from what I read. However, they may not fit as easily in the small pockets of your Tom Bihn bag!
Reviving this old thread...
Does anyone have experience with EuroSCHIRM umbrellas? Campmor carries them and they get good reviews. It's been raining a lot where I am lately and I've been considering paying a premium to get a decent umbrella. My ShedRain has collapsed on one side so it still works but I don't think it will last another windy day (fortunately we don't get many of these).
I like that the EuroSCHIRMs have fiberglass ribs and come in bright colors, but they ain't cheap. Buying an $8 umbrella almost every year adds up, though, and having to throw them away grates against my psyche.
Wow, I'd never thought of getting a posh umbrella up to now. But I'll be taking public transport daily for the first time when I start work in mid-December, with a ~600m walk to the train station. It's really rainy now, so maybe I should get an umbrella that won't die on me. The best one I have is from a career fair and one of the threads is broken :|
What a timely revival of this thread!
If you are looking for an umbrella that works well in strong winds, I highly recommend the GustBuster umbrellas. I have an 8 year old model that is still going strong after time in Belgium and the Northwest. I purchased it after one too many umbrella failures, and I have never had a problem with it. While it is not the lightest, it is reliable.
Whenever The Wirecutter or The Sweet Home has a review, guide, and pick for an item I've never been disappointed. For those who don't know about these sites they're goal is to basically pick the best stuff, inclusive of price, for the most people with some caveats. They do extensive testing of all sorts of things, The Wirecutter focusing on technology, while The Sweet Home focuses on home goods, including umbrellas. Check out their extensive review of Umbrellas in which they recommend the Euroschirm Light Trek as some others have here. They suggest the Davek Solo as a step up, in quality and performance, the Blunt for extreme wind, and the Davek Mini for an ultraportable one. Definitely check them out, see if that helps your decision.
The Wirecutter review was what piqued my interest, especially since these are less expensive than either Davek or Blunt.
I never thought I'd consider a posh umbrella either, but the cheap end of everything is getting so very, well, cheap. I didn't much bother with umbrellas until recently - I used to be able to see well enough without my glasses to just take them off in a rainstorm but no more.