It is, for all intents and purposes, a baby chromedome. The weight is not all that different from the chromedome (47 grams / 1.66 oz lighter) but the overall pack volume, or stored length (for when you are not using it) that it offers is a massive savings!
If you are like me and pack volume is precious, it just makes sense going with this little umbrella over the chromedome.
mine weighs: 178 g (6.29 oz)
folded length: 25cm (8.9 in)
full length: 53cm (20.9 in)
diameter: 98cm (38.6 in)
The video quality did not come out very well but I did not feel like reshooting it all, but the important stuff is covered in the video.
As of the time of this being published I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell. I purchased my sun block umbrella as I do with ~99% of my gear. This article was originally published on my patreon page, if you feel like having early access to my article and sharing a dollar a month to help the cause, please consider becoming a patron!
Earlier this year I set out to find an alternative way of hiking in the hot sunny weather of Southern California. Something that did not involve me getting sunburned or carrying the heavy 8.11 ounce GoLite Umbrella that I and many other long distance hikers have used for years. Granted I turn a rather nice shade of golden brown when I get a nice bit of sun on me, but living under the Redwood forest canopy of Northern California for the better part of two decades has not allowed me to keep that nice suntan that I always had while growing up in the Mojave desert. Recently I have been hiking different sections of the PCT in SoCal, and spending time in Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley, trying to find the best route for my Highest to Lowest trail/hike I am planning.
I was able to find a number of different companies claiming that they provided SPF clothing that was in the 15-30 range, but the real stand-out in the sun clothing world was a product line called “Solumbra” from a company called Sun Precaution. This is a company that designs and makes all of their clothing in Seattle Washington USA.
As most of my longtime readers know, I rarely write reviews on pieces of gear (clothing, shelters, backpacks, whatever) that I have not tested a lot and for a long time. I will typically spend an entire hiking season (or sometimes three or four) before I contemplate writing a review for a piece of gear – this is what makes me stand apart from other authors and gear reviewers in the outdoor community, along with the fact that I traditionally only focus on SUL/XUL hiking. There have only been a few rare exceptions when I have broken that rule of mine, and I think with this clothing from Sun Precaution it is going to be one of those times — the reason being: sometimes a product just proves itself from the very get-go, and this clothing proved itself to me within the first two weeks of me using it. Truthfully, it proved itself within a matter of hours, but I gave it a good three or four days before I allowed myself to whisper to myself “wow, this stuff actually works!”
Ok, I feel kind of funny writing a review about an umbrella… just gotta say.
Over the years I have hiked with very few other hikers, probably less than 25 all put together, but the one constant piece of gear that every single hiker that I have hiked with has, is a good hiking umbrella.
My true love is, and probably always will be, the “GoLite Chrome Dome Trekking Umbrella”. It is one awesome all weather umbrella! It is the leader of the pack and by far the most used umbrella on most of the long distance trails here in the USA. But, it is also a heavy umbrella, at 230 grams (8.11 ounces).
As my readers well know, I spend a whole lot of money in order to save an ounce here and an ounce there as much as I can. So there are times when the necessity of the GoLite Chrome are just not warranted, and thus I am able to go out with a lighter weight umbrella. During the summer and shoulder season I have been fully committed to the GoLLite Chrome, but when I do not need the weight of that umbrella, when it is not hot and sunny outside, it offers me the ability to take the significantly lighter weight Snow Peak Ultra-Lite Umbrella.