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Umbrella for sun and rain - buy good quality (expensive) or just use a cheap one?

JustJack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF: May/June 2023
VDLP: April/May 2024
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
 
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Well, I have wondered the same! Thus far, I have compromised - I use a medium-priced travel umbrella that collapses quite small and is lightweight. I first tried this on my last camino - using it with one hand and one walking stick (I normally use two). I found that it worked very well for the reasonably light on-and-off rain that I experienced during warm weather (May-June).

It is only the size and weight that deter me from getting one of the reflective hands-free ones that will be good for both sun and rain. I may still do that in the future.
 
I have brought a cheap one in spring, autumn, winter seasons on the camino. My theory being if I left it behind or it got damaged I wouldn't be worried ( at home I have left umbrellas on buses, and in numerous buildings, cafes etc).
I bought a cheapish UV umbrella off amazon for summer usage to see if it actually made a difference- it did! (Cooler than wearing a hat, and if humid my glasses don't steam up as badly in rain) But that cheap uv umbrella is still going after 6 years, so I haven't invested in anything pricier yet (eg ultralight weight). I usual stick it in chest strap of rucksack so it is relatively handsfree.
I see an umbrella as a permanent feature of my rucksack...whether for sun or rain...I think its worth the extra weight to keep carrying it.
 
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I still have the inexpensive umbrella I purchased in a "China store" in Pamplona in 2012 when, as I walked through the city, I noticed how many of the locals were carrying one. I learnt the benefits of good observation in the Boy Scouts.

As is well known Galicians are born clutching one. The rest of us need to make that purchase
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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I prefer to bring a "cheapie" umbrella from home purchased at my local Dollar Store. It has worked well for me as I walk in spring and mostly use it for drizzle/light rain; never needed or used it as a sun hat.
After using it on a few Caminos, in Lisbon I finally destroyed it on a windy rainy day, but there were locals selling them outdoors in April, so I purchased another for about €6...I call it buying on the "installment plan"...it was pretty! 🙂
No regrets.
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I bought a slightly used Euroschirm Telescope hands free umbrella before my first Camino in 2016, and it's still going strong. Ivar has them for sale in the Forum Store.

I tried a lighter weight umbrella from Euroschirm, but it broke in a light wind the first time that I used it for sun protection on the Meseta. And I never could rig it up so that it felt anywhere near as secure and stable as the purpose made hands free model, which is very easy to deploy and has a larger canopy. So, while I would like to save some weight I am quite happy to carry my tried and true umbrella.
 
I have used this Fulton umbrella which folds to a small size and weighs 86 grams which is half the weight of the Gossamer.. In Canada it costs $36 ($27US$) . I have usd it for at least 5 years and it is still working. I do like the clip for hands free that Gossamer sells.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

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I have used this Fulton umbrella which folds to a small size and weighs 86 grams which is half the weight of the Gossamer.. In Canada it costs $36 ($27US$) . I have usd it for at least 5 years and it is still working. I do like the clip for hands free that Gossamer sells.
I like how light this one is, and the fact that shipping is only $8 to Vancouver.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
i just used an elcheapo collapsible umbrella hanging around at home. I used one walking pole, carried the umbrella and put the other walking pole in my backpack. I walked in August both caminos and found it invaluable. I wore my hat at the same time and was completely covered up with long sleeved shirt and pants.
 
i just used an elcheapo collapsible umbrella hanging around at home. I used one walking pole, carried the umbrella and put the other walking pole in my backpack. I walked in August both caminos and found it invaluable. I wore my hat at the same time and was completely covered up with long sleeved shirt and pants.
I guess my next question is whether or not an umbrella needs to be one of those silver UV types in order to protect from the sun. I find it hard to believe that UV rays are pouring through a regular black umbrella, but what do I know. I do know that UV umbrellas are more expensive. Are they really that much different than just a regular old rain umbrella?
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I guess my next question is whether or not an umbrella needs to be one of those silver UV types in order to protect from the sun. I find it hard to believe that UV rays are pouring through a regular black umbrella, but what do I know.
I think that you will get close to the same sun protection without the silver exterior.
 
I bought a cheapish, very light folding umbrella and used it once or twice for sun protection and for several days when walking in torrential rain. I tried walking in the rain just in rain pants and jacket without the umbrella one day and believe me, I was drenched! Going by my experience, I'd suggest looking for the cheapest, lightest umbrella you can find. The weight is the biggest consideration, not the price, as you may end up not needing to use it at all.
 
I like using umbrellas. A relatively light weight, inexpensive, compact, off the shelf aluminum Shedrain umbrella still works fine and survived high winds and multiple hikes. I switched to an orange Euroshirm light trek compact umbrella. It is very well made, durable, more expensive, and the color enhances visibility walking in rain in poor light. It’s a couple of ounces heavier. Both give shade. Testimonials I read suggest that the reflective fabrics are more cool and I’d be more thorough checking empirical evidence if was doing a lot of desert walking, like the southern portion of the PCT. I checked out a non collapsible Gossimer reflective version, but didn’t like the weight penalty, or it not collapsing. Go light but be seen.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
I am still struggling with whether or not I should carry an umbrella in the first place. If you leave early, and walk 4 to 5 hours, you will probably miss most of the heat. If you are more of a mid day hiker, I would go for a good, expensive, lightweight, umbrella. Wind is also a factor in the sun and will turn a cheap umbrella inside out.
 
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
$100+ for an umbrella? For that price it should automatically jump out of your pack upon the arrival of the first drop of rain, open itself up and position itself properly in your hand as you had pre-programmed it. :)
 
In 2017 I bought this UV Blocker umbrella for the Meseta, and now I wouldn't travel or walk a camino without it. Price is still about the same as what I paid. Came in handy in the 110 degree heat in Sevilla this past July!! However, I have snake belly white skin :) that is prone to sun poisoning, so this is an obligatory for me.

 
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I carried one on my first Camino and being that it only rained a couple of times, I carried it most of the time. I didnt like giving up one of my poles to carry it, my arm went numb. When I tried the attachment to my backpack it just felt awkward and of course throw a little (or a lot) wind into the mix. Nine Camino’s later and the umbrella has never made the packing list again. This thread shows that obviously some pilgrims take umbrellas, but I rarely see one. Just one of those things that is a personal choice. I say go hiking on hills, rough terrain, rocks, roads and try out the system to determine your preference.
 
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
Actually, I did not bring an umbrella for my five day hike from Sarria to Santiago. However, it was Galicia, and it did rain 3 of the 5 days, sometimes very heavily. I am not sure what an umbrella would have done that my rain jacket didn't do to keep me dry. During the limited sunshine, I used sunscreen and a hat for protection from the sun. Even at home, I usually avoid umbrellas due to finding them inconvenient and fear of leaving them somewhere. Several years ago, I was in London in a light rain and was using my moderately expensive compact umbrella. I was in front of Buckingham Palace and put the umbrella under my arm to take a photo. I walked away about 100 feet or so and realized that I had apparently dropped my umbrella. I returned to the spot I was standing and of course, it was gone.
 
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
I have a backpacking umbrella I paid $35-40 while on the Appalachian Trail. I had it on the Norte in June 2018 but mailed it home and bought a large cheap umbrella in Irún for more coverage. If you think rain will be moderate, go for a smaller, lightweight backpacking umbrella; otherwise for lots of rain, a large, cheap ($10) umbrella will keep your spirits up in prolonged rain. Several people with small umbrellas on the Norte-Primitivo said they wished they had my umbrella.
 
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Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
I think you could do either really. I bought a hiking umbrella myself. It is as light as a feather. That’s why I chose it. I hardly knew it was strapped on my pack but it was sooo good in the sun and rain. There is a YouTube with Jeremiah Gibbs (Camino guide) that reviews umbrellas. It is very helpful.
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
 
I carry the Zpack UV umbrella. Seems to provide cooling shade in the sun and good protection in the rain. Has not inverted in some strong winds. I use TWO of the shoulder strap clips they sell, to reduce bouncing. Very light I usually just hold it with one hand as I prefer just one stick. Buen Camino
 
I bought a cheap one in Porto, that proved to be nigh on indestructible. It served me well through 2000km on camino, it had even more use in Ireland. The metal rivets gave out this year and I had to get a new one.
IMG_1649_2.JPG
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
My favorite Is a Totes umbrella that I travel with all the time. Totes makes fairly sturdy and not terribly expensive umbrellas and the do come with a life time warranty. Once it gives out, I send in a couple of fabric pieces and they send back a new umbrella.
We sell Totes where I live, but they are a bit heavy. I do keep one in my car and they are sturdy, but I still prefer the cheaper ones for the Caminos as they weigh less.
 
Many thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. I still haven't decided what to do, but I'm feeling much more informed now.

One option that has some appeal from a weight perspective, is not packing one, and picking one up along the way if and when I need one. But for that to work I would need an opportunity to buy one at short notice. Are cheap umbrellas a common item you can find everywhere, including small towns? Not necessarily in tiny villages, but if there's a supermarket in a town can I assume I can also buy a cheap umbrella in that town?
 
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I only found them being sold from outdoor vendors on a particularly rainy day in Lisbon. I'd not seen them sold that way before, although the China shops in the bigger towns/cities on Camino routes should carry them.
 
They are available in the large towns but not in most towns. They really aren’t that common on the Camino.
 
Weight over price/quality for me every time .. I was once gifted a wonderful umbrella but it was so heavy I just couldn't imagine using it ... but, top tip, buy one with a long handle .. those little ones, it becomes such a pain (literally) holding your arm up high all the time, whereas with a long one your arm is much lower and you can even rest it against a shoulder as you walk too ....
 
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Weight over price/quality for me every time .. I was once gifted a wonderful umbrella but it was so heavy I just couldn't imagine using it ... but, top tip, buy one with a long handle .. those little ones, it becomes such a pain (literally) holding your arm up high all the time, whereas with a long one your arm is much lower and you can even rest it against a shoulder as you walk too ....
Hi David! 🙂 I always appreciate your input.
 
Thanks again! Very helpful to know that umbrellas are ubiquitous on the camino like they are here in Vancouver or in London. I will factor that into my planning.
 
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the pilgrim . . .
On my first visit to SdC in 2001 I wondered why everybody was carrying an umbrella and then the heavens opened up . . . Bought a super one in a back street for about 1000ptas and it's still going strong.
I now carry a Dutch silvered Senz folding umbrella which, they reckon, will stand up to 100kph winds (who would . . . ?) Wouldn't go on a serious hike without it nowadays.
What I would like is one of these Fox umbrellas but only because of the pencil holder 😉
 
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The rain in Spain falls mainly on the pilgrim . . .
On my first visit to SdC in 2001 I wondered why everybody was carrying an umbrella and then the heavens opened up . . . Bought a super one in a back street for about 1000ptas and it's still going strong.
I now carry a Dutch silvered Senz folding umbrella which, they reckon, will stand up to 100kph winds (who would . . . ?) Wouldn't go on a serious hike without it nowadays.
What I would like is one of these Fox umbrellas but only because of the pencil holder 😉
interesting, on my 9 Camino’s I’ve seen less than a dozen umbrellas on the trail. I know this thread has attracted a lot of umbrella proponents and as we all have our personal preferences I think that’s great, but I certainly wouldn’t lead people to think that “everyone” has an umbrella on the trail
 
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@trecile, I know you often walk in summer. Is your umbrella predominately used in the heat, or have you used it for mist and rain as well?
The biggest benefit is in the heat - I actually felt a little guilty this year to be walking in the "shade" while those that I was walking with had the sun beating down on them. But I like using it for rain too because I don't like wearing a hood. It's not a substitute for a rain coat or poncho, but it's just nice to have my head uncovered.
 
I found that a baseball cap and easily folded and hooded rain poncho were sufficient for me in the rain. Soaking pants and shoes were fine by me. The baseball kit was all I used in the sun, with sun block.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
I have never seen anyone with an umbrella on the Camino. That said I have very fair skin, and I am thinking to carry one for sun purposes next time. I had skin cancer removed from my nose, and now am more prone to it returning, so I need to be careful.
But I walk with two sticks so I will buy a decent one with the pack attachment, as I figure the cost per day wont be too bad.
If only using for rain, I wouldnt bother with the hassle.
I guess the cost depends on how much and how often you need it.
 
I bought a lovely blue Senz in Burgos - umbrella store not far from the cathedral - on my first camino and then took a silver coated compact Senz on my next. Used it most days either for sun or rain. In the sun it's cooler than a hat, lets the air around my head and shades my shoulders. In the rain it's easy and quick to put up and down for light showers, and cooler around your upper body if using for prolonged periods as I usually didn't bother with a rain jacket. Another advantage is keeping the raindrops off my glasses! Looking forward to trying out the euroshirm I bought from Ivar's store for our Portuguese from Lisbon next May😊☂️
 
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I walked with an umbrella on the Norte this June and July, and can't imagine how I'd have managed without it. My kids had one each too, it gave me peace of mind that they were protected from the heat and UV when it was most needed. I felt odd to say the least, especially as I have a sun allergy (discovered that after day 1 of walking in short sleeves and a skirt), so was also wearing long sleeves and pants every day regardless of the temperature. Mine is the Six Moon Designs carbon 'Silver Shadow', it weighs hardly anything (184g) and was relatively easy to rig up to my pack to be hands free. I used it for rain protection also, taking only a water resistant jacket (Patagonia Houdini - warm but weighs almost nothing) and I was always dry. I think the silver also reflects heat, and it can get warm under there, and sometimes it restricted a much needed breeze.

IMG20220618082707.jpgIMG20220618082715.jpg
 
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
NO UMBRELLA. Just a waste of money - at least for hiking. Buy a hat and long sleeves for sun protection. Bring SPF sunscreen and water. A rain jacket that fits over your backpack is good but some prefer a regular rain jacket or a poncho. Ponchos are good if there isn't too much wind and is a better option when it rains on hot days. Rain pants are useful if there is a downpour and it is going to be cold and windy. Wear quick-dry clothing and bring shoes that dry quickly and extra socks. Buen Camino.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
The first time I used my euroschirm was walking over the summit of the Pyrenees (Baztan route) in a downpour. Was quite happy to have it. Used it again outside of Logrono in the heat. I was happy to have it.
Walking out of Lisbon 2-3 weeks ago was using it for sun protection and was happy to have the shade (big time) but definitely felt the guilt @trecile mentioned. I’m was walking along the river in a breeze and a gust picked it up and turned it inside out. I’m still able to use it but it’s less stable and doesn’t close as smoothly now. I was surprised because the gust wasn’t that strong. I doubt I bought the top of the line, but for the price I definitely expected more. After I wear this one out, if I carry another it will be very inexpensive.
 
Very helpful to know that umbrellas are ubiquitous on the camino like they are here in Vancouver or in London.
Not really. Umbrellas are very much the exception rather than the rule on the Camino, although they are probably becoming a little more common.

Santiago (and Galicia in general) has rain like Vancouver, so locals often carry umbrellas.
 
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
I'm in Azqueta, about 8k past Estella. Pulled mine out to use on a hot sunny day before Pamplona, and it lasted all of 30 minutes, crumbling beyond repair in the wind. It was not an expensive one, but I haven't found a replacement I felt would hold up to the winds. And I'm not prepared to take my chances with a $100+ umbrella.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Cheap travel umbrella. It is not part of my primary gear and IMO not suited as Camino primary rain protection; ok for sun but I mostly walk Apr/May or Oct/Nov.

For rain: an Altus coat/poncho attached like a pack cover for quick on/off. A Seattle Sombrero to hold the Altus off my face. For windy rain, add a rubber exercise band as a belt below the pack. For windy/cold/rain: add old Golite rain pants modified by splitting legs to put on over boots and attaching hook to hold to shoelaces like a gaiter (keeps socks shoes drier).

For lite rain, in-town no-pack walking; the umbrella. For heavy rain in town, use the Altus (no fashion award given here).

For sun, layers are: lots of spf, a lite weight, ill fitting long sleeve shirt. The Seattle Sombrero and a travel umbrella anchored in my sternum strap and metal ribs resting on the hat. That way I can still use a pair of hiking poles.

Over the years I have had wind gusts destroy two travel umbrellas (about 6eu at a China store) so not useful in wind. It is a bit hot under the black umbrella ‘hat’ but better than direct sun and cheaper than silver Mylar. If I were to do a summer Madrid, or VdlP, I’d probably buy a good trekking umbrella.

Towards the end, if the weather forecast shows no further need for umbrella, it goes to trash or an albergue free box.
 
Hi Jack, Frank here across the Straight from you. I used this ultralight backpacking umbrella from Gossamer Gear and used it on the pacific crest trail this year. Not too expensive, really light, easy to carry or rig to the shoulder strap of your pack. https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/accessories/products/liteflex-hiking-chrome-umbrella
Same one I’ve been using for 25 days. Serious life saver in the Sun and worked well in rain too obviously. High winds not so much - which is a problem with any umbrella.
 
I used a trekking umbrella from Helios in Australia on the Via de la Plata in spring. It rained quite a lot! I never put my rain jacket on - no sweaty shirts! I walked in shorts, so didn’t get wet pants. My only worry was a thunderstorm, with lightening, near Canaveral. Wondered just how much of a conductor the shaft was…
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Researching umbrellas, both for rain and sun, and am a bit shocked at the prices. Some of them cost as much as my backpack or jacket!

So the question is, do I buy an expensive umbrella ($100++), or do I pick up a cheap one along the way ($10).

Pros and cons to both I realize, so I guess I'm just wondering if an umbrella is one of those pieces of equipment that is worth paying a lot for, like a good pair of shoes.

If, however, a cheap throwaway umbrella does 80% of the job, then perhaps that's the way to go.

It's not just the cost, it's also the weight. If cheap umbrellas are easily available along the CF then I'll buy one when and as I need one, and will give it away a few days later if I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I'll be walking the CF in May/June next year, so rain and intense sun are both strong possibilities. I'll have a decent rain jacket, and will have good sun shirts and hats. I will be using a single walking stick, so will have one hand available to carry an umbrella (I know some brands can be used hands-free, which is nice, but not a necessity for me).

What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?
Just grab a cheap one. Expensive or cheap they will still blow out in heavy wind. If it breaks just get another one day from a Chinese store. I had an ultra expensive Kirps folding one once. Diabolically difficult both to put up and Jake down Eventually it was stolen. But experience from a friend. He bought an expensive umbrella from an upmarket store. The receipt carried a guarantee “ satisfaction guaranteed or your money back” or something similar. Around six years later he took it out to use and the fabric at the top split away from the stalk. He was phlegmatic about it given it’s age but then thought back. In all the time he had it, it had only been used, say, half a dozen times. Then he remembered he had stuck the receipt in his wallet. It was still there. He went back to the store, met a lovely old lady attendant and asked about their practice of honouring their guarantee. “Yes” she said, your choice of a replacement or money back. He produced the receipt and an argument ensued due to its age. She actually swore at him so he asked to see the manager. The manager came, looked at the receipt, said it’s unusual but we do honour the guarantee and gave him a new umbrella.

De Colores

Bogong
 
In 2017 I bought this UV Blocker umbrella for the Meseta, and now I wouldn't travel or walk a camino without it. Price is still about the same as what I paid. Came in handy in the 110 degree heat in Sevilla this past July!! However, I have snake belly white skin :) that is prone to sun poisoning, so this is an obligatory for me.

I bought the $AUS100 Euroschirm silver because I am starting in Sevilla and everything I read indicated that this will really help with the heat. Additional bonus is that I can stick with my semi rain proof incredibly light weight jacket and use the umbrella in the rain. I figure the weight factor balances out between the two.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I splurged on an expensive light-weight hands-free Euroschirm my first camino, and it was excellent for the heat. It eventually died, and I replaced it ... and the quality of the second one was abysmal. It broke the first time I used it. I replaced it, and the replacement broke after a few uses. Next time I'll find a cheap one.
 
I still have the inexpensive umbrella I purchased in a "China store" in Pamplona in 2012
I've seen that term - china store - a few times now. I assumed this was a store that sold china, but now I'm thinking that's not it at all. And I thought it was a bit odd that a store that sold china would also sell umbrellas, but I thought that might just be a Spanish quirk.

So what is a "china store" in Spain? My next assumption is that it's a store operated by someone from china? Excuse my ignorance, but coming from Vancouver where half of the businesses are owned and operated by chinese I've never heard the term "china store" before.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I walked with an umbrella on the Norte this June and July, and can't imagine how I'd have managed without it. My kids had one each too, it gave me peace of mind that they were protected from the heat and UV when it was most needed. I felt odd to say the least, especially as I have a sun allergy (discovered that after day 1 of walking in short sleeves and a skirt), so was also wearing long sleeves and pants every day regardless of the temperature. Mine is the Six Moon Designs carbon 'Silver Shadow', it weighs hardly anything (184g) and was relatively easy to rig up to my pack to be hands free. I used it for rain protection also, taking only a water resistant jacket (Patagonia Houdini - warm but weighs almost nothing) and I was always dry. I think the silver also reflects heat, and it can get warm under there, and sometimes it restricted a much needed breeze.

View attachment 133102View attachment 133103
I second the Six Moons Design umbrella - I bought as I was looking for ultra light and it made the cut. It is $40 USD. I had so many people comment along the camino (in rain and sun) that they wished they had my umbrella. Buen Camino!

 
I've seen that term - china store - a few times now. I assumed this was a store that sold china, but now I'm thinking that's not it at all. And I thought it was a bit odd that a store that sold china would also sell umbrellas, but I thought that might just be a Spanish quirk.

So what is a "china store" in Spain? My next assumption is that it's a store operated by someone from china? Excuse my ignorance, but coming from Vancouver where half of the businesses are owned and operated by chinese I've never heard the term "china store" before.
Thanks for the question. I am probably a bit off topic but .....
Coming from Australia I also had never heard the term 'china store'. I quickly figured it was a dollar store and I had a low level ripple of discomfort abouthe term 'china store' - as these shops can be run by anyone from anywhere - not just Chinese - and the goods can also come from anywhere.
Can we move to the term 'dollar store' and move away from race related generalisations please? Many thanks.
@C clearly
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
What say you all? Do you feel an umbrella is one of those things that is worth spending a lot of money on, or do you go with a cheap one? (assuming you actually carry an umbrella, which I realize many don't do). And secondly, are cheap brollies available at shops along the route?

Back in 2014 I bought the one from Euroschirm with a silver coating for CF. Since then it has served well for myself and my daughter on many hiking trips.


I think an umbrella is a fine alternative to waterproof coat, except when in dense bushes or mountain scrambling.
 
interesting, on my 9 Camino’s I’ve seen less than a dozen umbrellas on the trail. I know this thread has attracted a lot of umbrella proponents and as we all have our personal preferences I think that’s great, but I certainly wouldn’t lead people to think that “everyone” has an umbrella on the trail
"Everyone" as in ordinary inhabitants of SdC walking around the city, not Pilgrims on the Camino - sorry that wasn't clearer!
 
Can we move to the term 'dollar store' and move away from race related generalisations please?
Sure, but asking for a "tienda dolár" would be rather confusing in Spain. The question asked was what is a "china" store in Spain. The term is commonly and respectfully used, and is included in the name of many of the stores.

It is slightly harder to agree on the best translation, since we all use different terms in our different English-speaking regions, but I think we have communicated the concept to the OP.
 

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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I prefer the more expensive ultralight weight sun umbrella's designed for thru hikers. Not only are they very lightweight, the also have great UV protection and hold up better in the wind. Gossamer Gear and Z-Packs each have one and they also sell straps to attach to your backpack straps. Price $40-45 USD. I use them for a mixture of sun and rain - and on hot sunny days - they keep you quite a bit cooler. Other umbrellas tend to break in wind and don't have the same kind of UV protection. And any weight you save - is a bonus.
 
Leaving for Spain in a week and gave umbrellas some thought and came to the decision to buy a cheap one on the Camino if it seemed useful. In previous European visits umbrellas were easy to obtain.
 
Leaving for Spain in a week and gave umbrellas some thought and came to the decision to buy a cheap one on the Camino if it seemed useful. In previous European visits umbrellas were easy to obtain.
Sounds like you decided already to just pick something up cheap in Spain (I had one for Six euros that lasted most of the trip, although it was really warped by the time I decided to throw it out!).

But a couple days ago I saw this on the New York Times wirecutter website. Their travel umbrella recommendation which they claim really resists wind. $27 in the US, So fairly inexpensive. And they seem to test these things a lot. I’ve bought other things that they recommend and they were always really good.

 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Sounds like you decided already to just pick something up cheap in Spain (I had one for Six euros that lasted most of the trip, although it was really warped by the time I decided to throw it out!).

But a couple days ago I saw this on the New York Times wirecutter website. Their travel umbrella recommendation which they claim really resists wind. $27 in the US, So fairly inexpensive. And they seem to test these things a lot. I’ve bought other things that they recommend and they were always really good.


Their top three are all very short .... if you haven't done it you wouldn't believe how painful it can become, holding one up for hours and hours - for me it has to be a long handled one - good review page though.
 
Sounds like you decided already to just pick something up cheap in Spain (I had one for Six euros that lasted most of the trip, although it was really warped by the time I decided to throw it out!).

But a couple days ago I saw this on the New York Times wirecutter website. Their travel umbrella recommendation which they claim really resists wind. $27 in the US, So fairly inexpensive. And they seem to test these things a lot. I’ve bought other things that they recommend and they were always really good.

The umbrella ended up in the "I might use it category" so it didn't make my packing cut. My goal is to only carry things I absolutely need. I have other things for sun and rain that have other uses.
 
I think that bazaar or corner shop are better terms. They really aren't what I would consider dollar or euro stores.
They used to be called 100ptas and then 1€ stores - in the UK they tend to go by brand names such as "Poundland".
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I use a Euroschirm and love it. I would never leave it at home.
Unless I walked a Winter Camino
I wish I had it on my first Camino. I fried at times! (May CF)

I only really use it for sun protection as I burn easily.
I rarely if ever use it for rain as I have good rain jacket and pants.

A cheap umbrella would probably work OK, but without the UV reflective surface might not be quite as effective? Still worthwhile though I reckon.

My Umbrella would rank in my top 5 most important items. :rolleyes:
  1. Footwear
  2. Pack
  3. Umbrella
  4. Rain Jacket
  5. Rain Pants


 
I noticed in decathlon in SdC yesterday that they had UV umbrellas for sale. Three sizes, the small was light and would fit into a handbag (not that i carry a handbag on camino!), a medium size that was much heavier, about 20 cms in length and larger ones. They were priced between 9 and 20 euro i think. Possibly worth checking out.

I have never used an umbrella on camino and don't think i would for rain - but one to give sun relief would be great i think, especially for caminos with longer stages and little natural shade.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I am still struggling with whether or not I should carry an umbrella in the first place. If you leave early, and walk 4 to 5 hours, you will probably miss most of the heat. If you are more of a mid day hiker, I would go for a good, expensive, lightweight, umbrella. Wind is also a factor in the sun and will turn a cheap umbrella inside out.
I walked the Frances this time of the year 2018. I carried a Euroschirm Telescope hands-free reflective umbrella and it was a lifesaver. We would start out often in the dark and by 10 it would be getting hot. My reflective umbrella was strong, wide and sturdy. I used it mostly for sun protection and the reflective surface kept it much cooler below. I could even take off my hat and let my head cool down. My husband would walk in my shade! I also used it as wind protection on very windy days and as a wind break when sitting down for lunch. If you don't want to get a reflective one, look for a light colour as black really warms up as it absorbs the sun. This isn't an issue with the rain! I did a much shorter walk with a cheaper, very light one, using the hands-free connectors but I wasn't happy with it at all. The Euroschirm has earned its place with me on my next Camino (Podiensis) in April/May 2023.
 
Thanks for the question. I am probably a bit off topic but .....
Coming from Australia I also had never heard the term 'china store'. I quickly figured it was a dollar store and I had a low level ripple of discomfort abouthe term 'china store' - as these shops can be run by anyone from anywhere - not just Chinese - and the goods can also come from anywhere.
Can we move to the term 'dollar store' and move away from race related generalisations please? Many thanks.
@C clearly
WE could, and I'd second that plan, but it's probably also useful to know that that's what they're called in Spain. If you are asking around for one or someone refers to one in Spanish in answer to a question about where you might be able to buy an umbrella, might as well be familiar with the term.
 

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