Sun umbrellas

Interested to know if anyone else is using a sun umbrella while hiking? Started using one last year sometime on a hike that hit 40c with little shade, something that is now scarily seeming the norm. A little fiddly to find your rhythm with it around wind and attaching it to a pack strap, but is now something I would be reluctant to ditch. Very hot Groot Winterhoek hike last weekend, and the ability to stop for a rest, have a drink or just sit by the pools and not get baked has been worth all the fiddle. Has amazed me how much cooler I feel even while wearing a hat/long sleeves etc.

Everyone I hike with has quickly picked one up. Much to the amusement of other hikers we bump into. But watching people sweat to death, I’m okay with the snide comments :rofl:

I’ve been lucky to play with some good sun umbrellas from overseas which have been solid, but friends who have bought local have struggled to find anything, and what people have picked up have not survived well. Has anyone found anything good to recommend or have any experience/advice here? People keep asking and it is tough to recommend an expensive import.

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Hi @Jaxz
So over the years I’ve used them on and off. Hiking lower berg and areas where you get hot days with thunder showers in summer. So I rate them as cool kit to have. A good strong brollie can double as a semi walking staff too. No need to discuss issues with wind, the major obvious con.

So look at golf umbrellas. Often carbon fibre, good for lightening safety. I think Decathlon has some with a UPF of 40 or 50…here, I found the bookmark. I’ve checked them out, seem sturdy enough…

I have found with heavy use brollies with a foam grip disintegrate, a good repair option is that tape-stuff one uses on tennis racket handles


Thanks Carl, should have thought to look at Decathlon! Their micro one could be a good option, the bigger ones seem like they could be a little heavy to use for long?

The taped handles is a good idea, might also be lighter and more comfy. I’m also playing with Nikiwax’s solar coating spray for them, as the ones I have are pretty light polyester that I assume are probably not meant to get as much harsh sun as I’m putting them through.

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I have used the NatureHike Foldable Umbrella (I can no longer find it on their website unfortunately) as a sun and rain umbrella on hikes, and have enjoyed it. It has a wooden handle which has lasted well. Its collapsible nature makes it a bit prone to collapsing in heavy wind, but in those conditions I just don’t use it.

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Naturehike seems to have a thing for using wood and leather sometimes. I instinctually assumed this would end up causing problems or just be a bit cheap feeling, so it’s nice to hear that it actually works out.

An umbrella on a hike makes very good sense, especially if you hike in the hotter months in some of the Cape mountains where there is little shade. It gives nice shade in our hot African sun (and can also be very useful when you get that rainy day). The compact foldable ones are more practical and lighter, provided you find a good quality one. Using these in windy, rainy conditions are not so good, as most of you will know…

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Thanks Derek, do you have any suggestions for finding quality umbrellas?