The EuroSchirm Light Trek was designed to be a hiking umbrella and after our review period, we would agree that this product is at home on the trails. It is very lightweight and, along with the Kolumbo Travel Umbrella, packs up in the smallest size, just 11 inches long. All this, yet it still has one of the largest canopies. Put this in your pack, and you'll barely notice it's there. However, this umbrella didn't impress us in every category. It inverted readily when competing with medium to strong wind. Furthermore, its manual open/close function wasn't as easy to use as its automatic counterparts. Read on to see how this model scored in each category.If you are looking for a compact umbrella with better rain protection and ease of use, check out our Editors' Choice, the REI Travel Umbrella.
EuroSchirm Light Trek Review
Cons: Inverts easily, manually operated
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Euroschirm Light Trek, listed at $49, is a manually operated umbrella specifically designed for trekking. It was the lightest product in this review by almost three ounces, yet still has an impressive canopy diameter of 38.5 inches. It is the most portable model we tested, but the trade-off is that it is susceptible to inverting in strong windy conditions. If you really need the lightest and smallest umbrella to keep you dry while hiking, this is a good option. If not, we suggest looking elsewhere.
For its size, this umbrella expands to show off the fourth largest canopy diameter in this review (38.5 inches). In vertical rain, this is enough to keep you and your bag dry, although shortening your stride might be necessary. Its seven inch canopy depth will help a little when the rain comes in at an angle, but it's definitely not as deep as bubble umbrellas like the Fulton Birdcage and the totes Clear Bubble.
This product lost points in rain protection mainly because it inverts quite easily when the wind picks up. If this happens to you, you'll find yourself exposed to the rain while fighting to manually correct it. If you live in an area where rain is often accompanied by strong winds, consider our Top Pick for Compact Wind Resistance, the GustBuster Metro.
Ease of Transport
This is the category where the EuroSchirm shined brightest. Weighing only 10.4 ounces and measuring just 11 inches in its sleeve, it is the most portable umbrella in this review. Its sleeve also comes with a carabiner if you prefer to carry it on the outside of your bag. Or, you can slide your belt through the nylon carrying strap on the outside of the sleeve so when the rain falls, you can quickly shoot from the hip.
In hand, the EuroSchirm didn't fill us with confidence in its strength and durability. Its lightweight aluminum shaft makes it feel somewhat flimsy, especially compared to sturdier shafts of hardened steel. Furthermore, the multitude of moving parts in the hinges under the canopy creates several sources of potential failure. However, its performance contradicted our expectations. Throughout the review period, we didn't experience any breaks or bends in this model. It even performed very well in our extreme wind test. We pushed it to prove itself against 50 mph winds, which it did without collapsing, bending, or breaking. All components escaped the test completely damage-free. This product is also backed by a standard two-year replacement guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship, although you must pay shipping.
Ease of Use
Compared to products with automatic open/close features, this manual umbrella isn't as easy to use. To open this umbrella, you need to push the canopy up the telescoping shaft, and pull it back down to collapse and close it. This isn't hard to do, but it is slower and more difficult to operate than its automatic competitors when stepping in and out of vehicles. The EuroSchirm comes with a mesh sleeve, which is wide enough to easily slide the collapsed umbrella inside. Additionally, the small foam knob handle fit easily in the hands of our reviewers, but felt a bit on the small side.
The EuroSchirm subscribes to the classic octagonal umbrella style. While its shape isn't a real source of inspiration, this model has the second largest selection of colors and patterns of any product in this review.
As indicated by its name, the EuroSchirm is best used on hiking trips when you might need protection from rain or sun. Due to its excellent portability, you'll have what you need, but it won't weigh you down. And although we found it somewhat gimmicky, there is a surprisingly accurate compass on the handle, in case you lose your way in the wilderness.
At $49, this is the most expensive product we tested, along with the Blunt Metro. We think it is only valuable when space and weight are critical issues, such as on multi-day backpacking adventures.
The EuroSchirm Light Trek scored well amongst our field of contenders overall. It is lightweight and packs small, which means that it's super portable, all while boasting an impressively large canopy. However, due to its weak wind resistance, we wouldn't recommend continually using this product in heavy storms with strong winds. Yet, if you find yourself often wishing you had an overhead canopy while on the trails, this is a good option for you.
— Ross Robinson