If you’re not using trekking poles, an umbrella is a wonderful asset out on the trail, but there’s actually some controversy in the backpacking community about their use.
Some hikers find umbrellas to be too awkward to manage in narrow forests, or too heavy to justify their weight, but there are some fantastic umbrellas on the market that are quite compact and lightweight enough to be used in many situations, and in our opinion, should be carried by every backpacker.
For example, in the hot scorching heat and sunlight of desert climates, a small lightweight umbrella has the utility of decreasing your water consumption requirements a great deal by reducing your overall perspiration, plus they also have the added benefit of protecting your skin from oxidizing ultraviolet light which can cause cancer and sunburn from direct sunlight exposure.
In addition, in the cold and freezing winter climates, an umbrella can keep snow from accumulating on your hat and hood and will keep you more dry and warm than if you were without one, so a simple umbrella has a lot of utility in any weather.
With that being said, in this article, we’ll detail the most lightweight and ultraviolet light protective umbrellas on the market today for sun and rain protection, and we’ll give a detailed description of their best uses.
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Top 5 Best UV Umbrellas for Sun and Rain Protection for Hiking and Backpacking
- 5. Aspoorts Compact UPF 50+ Sun and Rain 44” Umbrella
- Weight: (0.73lbs, 332g)
- Cons: Moderate to high weight, and may break under moderate to high wind speed conditions.
- Pros: High UV protection fabric umbrella, moderate fold down size, interesting star pattern design.
- 4. EEZ-Y Compact Double Canopy 42” Umbrella
- Weight: (0.95lbs, 431g)
- Cons: Second heaviest umbrella on the list, and can break only from high wind speed conditions.
- Pros: Double canopy system allows for maximum ventilation, made from synthetic cloth which dries very quickly, and made from high quality durable materials.
- 3. Lejorain Lightweight White 42” Umbrella
- Weight: (0.56lbs, 255g) (Very lightweight and compact!)
- Cons: Can break from moderate to high wind speed conditions.
- Pros: Lightest umbrella on the list without sacrificing functionality for sun or rain protection. Very small fold down size, and made from synthetic cloth which dries very quickly.
- 2. Umenice UPF 50+ UV Protection 42” Umbrella
- Weight: (0.80lbs, 363g)
- Cons: Moderate to high weight, and can break under moderate to high wind speed conditions.
- Pros: High UV protection chrome umbrella, moderate fold down size, sturdy rubber grip, comes with convenient carrying sleeve.
- 1. UV-Blocker Sun Blocking 44” Umbrella
- Weight: (1.12lbs, 510g)
- Cons: Heaviest umbrella on the list, but also the most durable, and will only break from very high wind speed conditions.
- Pros: Made from durable materials and best for desert hiking with incredible UV ray protection, and a double-layer venting chrome canopy.
The question that is most commonly asked is what kind of umbrella is best for sun and rain protection? Most people want a universal umbrella because who wants to own two or three different types of umbrellas for different purposes? The desert sun’s smoldering heat, or a torrential downpour of rain, which kind of umbrella would you want in either situation?
In desert conditions, an ultraviolet (UV) resistant umbrella will save you a significant amount of water by reducing how much you sweat, and in rainy conditions staying dry will keep your core temperature from dropping lower than normal which may lead to hypothermia.
The best uv sun umbrellas on the market today are often coated in a silver chrome to reflect light and stop light penetration. For rain protection though, the best option tends to be a cloth umbrella due to its quick drying time, and often smaller size and weight. So, other than the canopy materials, what makes a great umbrella?
What makes a great umbrella is its ability to invert from low to moderate winds without taking any damage, and to stop sunlight or rain without using too heavy of materials in its construction.
However, umbrellas using heavy materials will often have multiple layers of fabric, a double canopy, multiple chrome coatings, and reinforcements to the main pole and ribs for stability which protect it from inversion.
With that being said, Paragon Trails presents our top picks for the highest quality UV Hiking and Backpacking Umbrellas for Sun and Rain Protection on the market today.
A thick vinyl fabric, fiberglass ribs, and an aluminum scaffolding comprise this lightweight umbrella by ASpoorts. While this umbrella doesn’t have a reflective exterior, it’s still designed to hold off the sun’s rays and resist damage from inverting just as well.
Folding down to just 10.2 inches (~26cm), and weighing less than a pound (0.45kg), this umbrella will fit into your pack really easily without weighing you down very much at all.
One significant advantage of this umbrella is that it comes with a full refund, or replacement warranty, for six months and is designed in such a way that it can purposely invert without damaging. This means that high winds won’t break it upon inversion, but you should still be cautious.
What we love about this umbrella is its quality design, and ability to invert intentionally, plus it’s really affordable. While it doesn’t have that shiny chrome exterior to reflect light, and that is a drawback, it is still rated as an SPF 50 sun blocker, and has a thick enough fabric to keep the sun’s harmful UV rays from penetrating.
Not to mention, the constellation pattern on the interior of the umbrella is pretty interesting and hard to not fall in love with while you’re twirling it in circles making the stars spin.
The EEZY Umbrella is one of the heaviest on the list, but still only weighs a little over a pound. The EEZY Compact Travel Umbrella has a double canopy design with an interior coated in silver chrome to filter out UV light. Like the previous umbrella, this one is rated UPF 50, so it blocks out 98% of the sun’s UV rays.
What’s unique about the design of this umbrella is that due to its double-layer canopy design wind is allowed to pass through the umbrella to protect itself from inverting and breaking. The umbrella also sports a fiberglass rib system, and a metal shaft to make it durable against gusts of wind.
When it comes to the folded down size of the umbrella, it compacts down to 11 inches, so it will fit into a bag pretty easily, but it’s still on the larger side when compared to the next listing, the Lejorain mini umbrella.
What we love about this umbrella though is its double canopy design which allows wind through but not water for inversion resistance, its multitude of color options, its extra ribs which protect it from wind damage, and the ability of its fabric to keep sunlight from getting through is exceptional.
Another wonderful feature of this umbrella, and of all fabric umbrellas in fact, is their ability to dry quickly due to the synthetic fabric’s moisture wicking. In conclusion, after a very harsh rain you can hang your umbrella from your pack and it will be dry in no time.
The lightest option on the list, and weighing in at a little over a half-pound (0.25kg), the Lejorain is the most compact umbrella on the list and can fold down to only 7.5 inches (19cm) and fit into almost any pack.
The umbrella, similar to the previous umbrella by EEZY, and Asports, is made with a thread fabric which keeps the sun’s rays at bay with a UPF 50 rating which will allow just two percent of UV rays to penetrate its canopy.
When it comes to the construction of the umbrella it’s built with aluminum alloy ribs, with a small section made of fiberglass which allows the umbrella to be inverted without causing the ribs to break.
Under very high wind conditions there’s a chance that this umbrella could break, similar to all umbrellas, since it’s not designed to withstand harsh gusts. However, under normal conditions, with just low to moderate wind, this umbrella will do very well and hold together absolutely no problem.
Also, it should be noted that this umbrella does have a thirty-day return policy, so in the event of damage, you can return it for a full refund.
What we love most about this umbrella is its light weight materials and extreme compact folding size. Since it’s so light and compact there’s really no reason to decide to not bring it out on the trail.
A half-pound of weight, a 42-inch canopy, and a 98% UV blocking fabric, means that this should be in every hiker’s pack. Plus, at just twenty dollars it’s not a big investment to add to your gear set.
Second on the list is a UV umbrella produced by Umenice. This umbrella comes in three colors: black, green, and pink, and has a double coated silver canopy which reflects the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The Umenice contains an aluminum and fiberglass frame to help protect it from wind damage, and compacts down to 11.6 inches (~30cm) allowing it to be fit into many packs pretty well, while only weighing just shy of one pound (0.45kg).
What we really like about this umbrella is its dual coating which blocks nearly 97% of the sun’s harmful UV and UVB rays, and this umbrella has a great price and is the least expensive on the list.
Under low to moderate wind conditions, this umbrella holds up very well with a low chance of inverting, and even if the umbrella does invert it’s durable enough to not be damaged.
The loop on this umbrella makes it extra handy and the sleeve allows for compact and easy transportation. With a rubber grip and a button activated spring system, this umbrella is just as easy to operate as it is to store away in your pack.
What we love about this umbrella is the fact that it’s lightweight, made of high quality materials, reflects ultralight violet very efficiently, and is very compact with a sleek protective carrying case.
If you’re looking for a great umbrella with a shiny chrome reflective exterior to protect you from the sun, this is a great budget option for hiking.
The best umbrella on the market today for protecting you from the sun and rain also happens to be a rather heavy umbrella. Its weight of more than one pound is made up for by the fact that it folds to 15 inches and has some of the highest quality materials available in an umbrella.
The weight and size are worth it since this umbrella by UV-Blocker has a UPF rating of 55. What this means is that the umbrella lets in less than two percent of UV rays through its silvery chrome double canopy.
This is the highest UPF rating on the market and provides absolutely exceptional protection from the sun and is unparalleled in every way except weight.
This high quality umbrella, like other umbrellas that actually care about their design, have a vented mesh double canopy that allows for maximum ventilation and prevents the umbrella from being damaged if it’s inverted from moderate to high winds.
What we love about this umbrella for hiking is its sun protecting ability which reduces the temperature under the umbrella by about fifteen degrees.
With the double canopy system, hot air’s vented out which keeps the area under the umbrella nice and cool. If you’re looking for a top of the line umbrella for a very reasonable price, then this one by UV-Blocker is unparalleled.
An umbrella is a tool that a lot of hikers forget to add to their arsenal of equipment, or may believe that it is too heavy, but having one makes life a lot easier and it’s a versatile tool for sun protection as well as keeping dry.
If you’re hiking out in dry desert conditions, you absolutely need a UV blocking umbrella with either a very high thread count, or a silver chrome canopy.
Having a canopy that’s double-layered is also a great benefit in a hiking umbrella because it vents out hot air that can become trapped, and also allows some air to flow through which protects it from inverting and becoming damaged in high winds.
The best umbrella for desert hiking is the last one made by UV-Blocker since it has such a high UPF to protect against UV rays at less than two percent penetration. However, the first umbrella produced by Umenice is a great alternative that’s more lightweight and compact which may be better depending on pack room.
The best umbrellas for more temperate climate conditions, where your main concern is rain and not the sun, a cloth umbrella such as the ones by Aspoorts, Lejorain, or EEZY, would be the optimal choice due to their quick drying time.
No matter your choice we hope that we’ve helped you in your hiking journey, and we also hope that you have enjoyed this content.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about how we can improve we would love to hear it. Please leave a comment below, we’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Also, check out our other article on the Top 5 Best Vacuum Bottles and Thermos Flasks for Hiking and Backpacking. We think you’ll be surprised on how advanced the bottle technology has become.
If you’re looking for tips for hiking and backpacking then you can find loads of wonderful information down below which catalogs 10 Trail Safety Tips and Tricks for Backpacking and the Dangers of Hiking Alone.
As always though, thank you so much for being here, we hope that you have a wonderful day, and as always Happy Paragon Trails!