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Portable shade - what's not to like

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Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
I recently purchased a "Swing handsfree trekkin umbrella" from Ivar. I thought I'd share my review:
Great piece of equipment.

I can walk in the shade whenever I want and without a hat, even in blazing sun.

Works great for minor showers, especially when combined with my rain leggings. No stuffy rain jacket or poncho needed.

For more serious rain, I leave the top of my poncho wide open, with the brolly sticking out, which makes for excellent ventilation.

Great for keeping the driving rain and sleet out of your face.
As of late, we've been having slightly .. humid :( .. weater, so I've had plenty of opportunity to test my new toy. It's a great addition to my rain gear, but the ability to walk in the shade :cool:, even during the siesta, is the real boon. The silvery outer covering works great.

Yes, yes, it's a luxury item. Get over it :p
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Thanks for the review. I'm seriously considering an umbrella on my next walk. How does this one do in wind?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Like was asked of the Pacer Pole fan club, is there anyone who has tried and not liked the hands free umbrellas? I am curious about them, but still skeptical. How much do they weigh, and they do they really stay in position?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Thanks for the review. I'm seriously considering an umbrella on my next walk. How does this one do in wind?
Mine does great in the wind. It did turn inside out a few times, but I was able to quickly put it right.
Like was asked of the Pacer Pole fan club, is there anyone who has tried and not liked the hands free umbrellas? I am curious about them, but still skeptical. How much do they weigh, and they do they really stay in position?
My umbrella was the single heaviest item I brought at 14 ounces, but for the amount of comfort it provided me, it was worth carrying. It attaches to the back pack at two points, so it really does stay where you want it.
However, it's not too useful when walking up steep hills, because it limits your vision. So it's best for long flat stretches, ie, the Meseta. I left it in my suitcase in Santiago when I walked to Muxia and Finisterre, and didn't really miss it. I don't know if I'll take it when I walk el Norte - hopefully next year. ;)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Like was asked of the Pacer Pole fan club, is there anyone who has tried and not liked the hands free umbrellas? I am curious about them, but still skeptical. How much do they weigh, and they do they really stay in position?
They weigh a lot, as much as my poncho ...about 300g +
Yes, the umbrella does stay in position, you may have to adjust it if the path is winding around to keep up with the sun.. It means switching it from the left side to the right side or vice-versa. Doesn't take much effort. But it stays and it is no hassle. Really.
It HOLDS in the wind. This I wasn't sure of, but it did.

There is one drawback....What happens in a thunderstorm? :confused:
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
However, it's not too useful when walking up steep hills, because it limits your vision.
Ha, maybe I am shorter than you.... If you extend it to the maximum, it was ok for me, I could see where I was going :D Actually when it was really steep, I was thankful my vision was somewhat impaired (I just looked at the ground - and only the ground - purposefully!) :D
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handsfree umbrella by Euroschrim.

Love it under the scorching VDLP sun, love it when it rains on the Primitivo. In my book, it is not anymore of a luxury item that an Altus, in fact, on VDLP it can really help you not get into a dire situation.

And I use it without the clips sold to secure it to the backback, I simply pass the shaft between myself and the backpack straps.

If you wear glasses, this will make a world of difference in the rain. And allows you to wear your Altus semi-open, covering your backpack and most of the legs, whole still having good ventillation on the upper body.

Plus, if you get lost and they send the helicopter to find you, you will be found in an instant! ;)
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
It takes at least one trip in the rain to get used to the aspects of the brolly, just like it took a few attempts to learn how to handle the poncho, while wearing a backpack.

I'm "weight concious", so on my first trial walk, I was "rational":rolleyes: and only brought one of the clips for the straps. Yes, I can easily move the clip to the other strap, but on a twisting road, wearing a rain coat/poncho, that's not very convenient. So two clips it is.

I'm 180 cm and when I had the brolly at a diagonal across the chest, I kept bumping the stays with my head, until I learned how to put the handle end on top of my waist belt. Easy, when you know how. It also helps to extend the pole fully and, just like on my Pacerpoles, twist the parts so they lock ;)

Another mistake on my first walk, was not attaching the cover for the brolly to my pack. When the rain started, I was fumbling with the newness, while keeping a leash on my eager dog :confused:. Luckily I took the same route back, because returning home, I found the cover floating in a pool of water at the wayside :eek:. I'm considering adding two small loops to my backpack, for attaching the cover right where I want it. Not being a stranger to needle and thread, is quite handy :D

When the rain started, I just put up the brolly, and it worked fine. Then the road turned, and I started getting wet trouser legs, so I put on my rain leggings. It wasn't until the skies really fell open, that I needed the poncho, and even then, I was walking with the poncho open at the chest, and just enjoying my walk.

I did notice that, walking under the brolly, I had no idea if rain was hitting my pack, or not. No big deal for me, as I pack my things in dry bags, but worth keeping in mind for others. Be a shame to get the tube with your Compostela soaked.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
The weight, at about 13 oz, may give one pause ... until you realize you're probably carrying three times that much in groceries for lunch. Very comfortable in open, sunny conditions. Less handy in the woods; I wouldn't bother with setting it up unless there were going to be several hours with no shade.

For other users: how, exactly, did you rig the handle end? By slipping the pack's waist-belt through the cord loop? Or some other way?
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
how, exactly, did you rig the handle end?
I put the loop around the waist belt as normal, but rest the end of handle on the top of the belt. That little hack provides the extra few cm needed, and works surprisingly well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I didn't bother with the cover - left it at home. I bought my umbrella used, and didn't have complete instructions. It took me a while to figure out that I should attach it to my hip belt by putting the belt through the loop, then cinching it down with the cord lock.
Here I am on the Meseta
umbrella pic.jpg
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(CF 2009, 2013) (?-2020)
I'm targeting starting in Leon (only have 3 weeks) next October. I've walked previously in May, but never in the fall. Do users think the hands free umbrella would have benefit in October, and from Leon only (no meseta) ?
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
think the hands free umbrella would have benefit in October
Nah, it may keep the rain of your head, and that would be such a shame :p

Benefit, yes. Necessity, no. I'd prioritize other things, but if, after getting all your other gear, you have funds left over ...

It is only because I already have upgraded (almost) all of my Camino gear, that I now, in a moment of weakness, have bought the brolly I've been drooling over for years. Now that I have my portable shade, it may finally be time to do the Via Plata ;)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
CB64EB34-10AA-4550-B7FE-9FF8F9ED2663.jpeg Camaiore in Tuscany, Via Francigena
Can someone post pictures of themselves using it so we can see how it would work in real life?
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Interesting thread. Been wondering about a hands free umbrella but hesitating because of the weight. I walk with an 100% UV umbrella in a side pocket of my backpack but it is hand held. I love it and it has served me well on 2 caminos in rain (without wind) and hot sunshine. I’m not wedded to my walking poles and only use them in really bad weather, bad terrain or at the end of the day when I am really tired so I usually have a hand that can hold an umbrella. I do get over holding an umbrella for long periods of time but as a general rule the alternative means its better to keep holding it.:)
Note: I have osteoporosis in my spine so weight is an issue for me. If it wasn’t I would definitely get a hands free umbrella. :)
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
I walk with an 100% UV umbrella
With a bit of imagination, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with something to make your current umbrella hands-free. Some string with a cord-lock in one end and a bit of Velcro in the other end might do the trick. If the pole is too short, then a piece of bamboo, plus some more Velcro, a lashing, or perhaps some duct tape could easily fix that.
 

Colleen.S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2004
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014
VDLP Spring 2017
I used a hands-free umbrella on the VdlP this June and was very grateful to have it in the heat. It also served very well in the teeling rain on the last few days into Santiago. Definitely worth the extra weight imo! Love my Pacerpoles too.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I didn't bother with the cover - left it at home. I bought my umbrella used, and didn't have complete instructions. It took me a while to figure out that I should attach it to my hip belt by putting the belt through the loop, then cinching it down with the cord lock.
Here I am on the Meseta
View attachment 36657
Look Ma! No hands!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?

bgjourneys

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
I recently purchased a "Swing handsfree trekkin umbrella" from Ivar. I thought I'd share my review:


As of late, we've been having slightly .. humid :( .. weater, so I've had plenty of opportunity to test my new toy. It's a great addition to my rain gear, but the ability to walk in the shade :cool:, even during the siesta, is the real boon. The silvery outer covering works great.

Yes, yes, it's a luxury item. Get over it :p
Thanks for the review. Question for you (and those who use this umbrella): Does it fit in your pack, and we’re you able to bring it as carry-on?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Thanks for the review. Question for you (and those who use this umbrella): Does it fit in your pack, and we’re you able to bring it as carry-on?
I have the telescoping model (I think that Ivar sells the non telescoping version), and I can fit it in my backpack, though I usually keep it in a side pocket.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
Question for you (and those who use this umbrella): Does it fit in your pack
It fits. Collapsed, it's about 50 cm long.

Umbrellas are usually allowed as carry-on, but policies may vary from airport to airport. Sometimes some of the security personnel evidently feel that they have to justify their jobs, and get a little overzealous. Or simply have a bad day, and take it out on passengers. I always try to smile at the poor blokes - must be an unthankful job.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
The one I bought from Ivar, is the collapsing model.
Good to know, because Ivar has conflicting information.
In the listing he has the information for the non-collapsing version, such as this picture
umbrella.png

But then he has the video for the Telescoping (collapsible) model.
I'll send him an email to let him know of the conflicting information.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Good to know, because Ivar has conflicting information.
In the listing he has the information for the non-collapsing version, such as this picture
View attachment 36705
I chose the non-collapsible model - it's a bit lighter. I keep it in a side pocket but then I check-in my bag....
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Last edited:

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