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Lewis N. Clark Travel Review

Simple and ultralight with all the basics you need for rain protection
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Lewis N. Clark Travel Review (Basic yet compact and ultralight.)
Basic yet compact and ultralight.
Credit: Sara Aranda
Price:  $19 List
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Manufacturer:   Lewis N. Clark
By Sara Aranda & Lyra Pierotti  ⋅  Oct 11, 2023
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 12
  • Rain Protection - 30% 5.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8.0
  • Construction Quality - 20% 4.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8.0
  • Versatility - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Lewis N. Clark is an aptly named, true travelers' umbrella and should be on any bargain hunter's list. As lightweight as many trekking models, it is also compact and easy to use. It is sturdy enough to withstand the majority of conditions travelers will encounter while still providing decent rain protection for its compact size and withstanding winds enough to be competitive in our lineup. With lower durability scores than many of the others, this contender is still an excellent purchase for the on-the-go user who always wants to be prepared for rain.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Compact
Automatic
REASONS TO AVOID
Many metal joints
Less durable
Editor's Note: We edited this review on October 11, 2023, to include alternative product comparisons.

Compare to Similar Products

 
lewis n. clark travel
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $19.00 List
$7.99 at Amazon
$26 List$26 List
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$24 List
$24.99 at Amazon
$15.00 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line Portable and inexpensive, this umbrella served our needs well enoughReliable automatic open and close capability with added style notesThe see-through canopy on this fun umbrella is more protective against the rainRoom enough for two but heavy and not the easiest to tote aroundOf average quality and functionality, but with fun style
Rating Categories Lewis N. Clark Travel Balios Double Canopy totes Clear Bubble G4Free Golf Umbrella SY Compact Automatic
Rain Protection (30%)
5.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
8.0
Construction Quality (20%)
4.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Versatility (10%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Lewis N. Clark Travel Balios Double Canopy totes Clear Bubble G4Free Golf Umbrella SY Compact Automatic
Measured Canopy Diameter 39.25 in 40.0 in 33.5 in 52.0 in 38.0 in
Depth of Canopy 6.5 in 9.0 in 16.75 in 12.0 in 6.5 in
Sleeve Included Yes Yes, with zip No Yes, w/ shoulder sling Yes
Measured Weight (including sleeve) 10.0 oz 15.5 oz 16.0 oz 24.6 oz 11.0 oz
Measured Length (collapsed) 11.0 in 14.0 in 35.75 in 39.75 in 11.25 in
Measured Length (deployed) 21.25 in 25.5 in 35.75 in 40.0 in 22.0 in
Handle Design Short, rubberized, non-slip handle, inset button operation Wooden ergonimic grip, inset button operation Acrylic crook handle Long foam handle and plastic trim, inset button operation Short, rubberized, non-slip handle, inset button operation
Canopy Material Polyester, velcro closure 300 thread-count water repellent fabric, snap fastener Thermoplastic polyurethane, snap fastener 210T pongee fabric (polyester) 210T pongee fabric (polyester), velcro closure
Support Structure Zinc alloy and steel, fiberglass Steel and fiberglass Aluminum and carbon fiber Fiberglass and unknown metal Aluminum and fiberglass

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lewis N. Clark is an automatic umbrella that you will be pleased to take with you on your various travels and adventures, whether they are urban, suburban, or even out into the wild.

Performance Comparison


lewis n. clark travel - the overall appeal is for its compact travel friendly size and not...
The overall appeal is for its compact travel friendly size and not particularly for its durability or expansive rain protection.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Rain Protection


The Lewis N. Clark provides average rain protection, similar to other compact models in this review. It is pretty hard for a telescoping umbrella to compete with fixed shaft products for depth and diameter. During our testing, a few raindrops hit us above the elbow and at the upper thigh. The lightweight and slightly more open canopy makes this product catch the wind a bit more quickly. However, this is a cost that is balanced out by the compact size and ultralight weight of only 10 ounces. We measured the diameter to be 39.25 inches and the depth to be 6.5 inches. The canopy is a common octagonal shape.

lewis n. clark travel - the canopy is fairly minimal due to its compact design.
The canopy is fairly minimal due to its compact design.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Ease of Transport


This is where this model truly shines. It is as lightweight as the more technical trekking models but at an affordable price point. Impressively, despite the all-metal structure, the Lewis N. Clark weighs just 10 ounces. This makes it easy to throw into a bag, backpack, or purse. The sleeve it comes with also has a leash to aid in its carrying.

lewis n. clark travel - made to be traveled with easily, we enjoy how small this umbrella...
Made to be traveled with easily, we enjoy how small this umbrella packs down.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Construction Quality


The Lewis suffers in this metric. It does have decently sturdy metal ribs, a 3-fold chrome-plated steel shaft, and lightweight and flexible fiberglass tips. The fiberglass bends back into place much better than metal, so having fiberglass for the whole frame of the umbrella is best, but the tips (the third and outermost leg of the collapsible models) are the most important.

lewis n. clark travel - a closer look at the skeletal structure, pre high wind test.
A closer look at the skeletal structure, pre high wind test.
Credit: Sara Aranda

This model handled winds up to 40 mph in our high wind test, which is certainly impressive. It inverted easily, however, around 15 mph. The umbrella was harder to close after withstanding the 40 mph winds, and the joints on the ribs were noticeably bent afterward. We could still open and close everything okay, but sadly things were left a little askew.

lewis n. clark travel - post high wind test: the ribs have become bent from 40 mph wind.
Post high wind test: the ribs have become bent from 40 mph wind.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Ease of Use


This product is definitely easy to deploy and collapse due to the dual-function button (many buttons deploy but do not collapse). You still have to collapse the shaft manually, but we love that we could “remotely” collapse the canopy, especially in crowds. This allows you to make a graceful dismount from a busy city street without having to wrangle the canopy through a crowd, grab the runner, and collapse the canopy by hand. The rubberized handle feels nice in hand and provides a solid grip when wet.

An interesting and related side note: when collapsing the canopy, if we then decide to redeploy manually (without collapsing the telescoping shaft and hitting the button again), the canopy would not lock into place. Additionally, if we wanted to deploy the canopy manually, the shaft would not extend and the canopy would, again, not lock into place. This makes the product heavily reliant on the button for use. We are grateful it seems to be smooth and durable enough but concerned about the longevity of such automatic features.

Since this umbrella is ultralight, the mechanisms are much easier to utilize and wield than other compact models in our review. Still, we do feel that the canopy is a bit slow to deploy and hesitates a bit as it clicks into the open position.

lewis n. clark travel - the automatic feature is one of the best on this lightweight umbrella.
The automatic feature is one of the best on this lightweight umbrella.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Versatility


While not a notable fashion accessory, the Lewis N. Clark does come in a variety of colors, which is always fun. The design is relatively tidy, which improves style points, but the shiny silver metal detracts from its aesthetic appeal, in our opinion. However, even though it's not the most stylish, it is compact, so you can easily hide it in a backpack, briefcase, purse, messenger bag, or shoulder bag. Plus, the fact that it is so lightweight and portable, you're more likely to want to take it with you everywhere. The one mode of versatility where this model doesn't earn high points is the fact that the color of the canopy is so bright (for the one we tested). In the sun, you are more likely to be squinting than finding respite.

lewis n. clark travel - the version we tested is super bright, which can either be fun or...
The version we tested is super bright, which can either be fun or just too much color.
Credit: Sara Aranda

Should You Buy the Lewis N. Clark?


This is a very popular travel model, and our tests confirm that it is a solid choice for various rainy escapades. Its price is more than fair for its performance, so we readily recommend it for those seeking ultralight and compact. Overall, it is simple and compact. It looks like a fairly standard, store-bought umbrella, but it performs well in regards to ease of transport and ease of use. The construction quality is just plain average, and versatility is hit or miss, but it's a great deal for its size and weight ratio. And with the low price, there is no wonder as to why this is exceedingly popular among travelers.

What Other Umbrellas Should You Consider?


A very similar compact model to look into is the SY Compact Automatic. But if you want something with higher construction quality scores, then check out the Repel Windproof Travel or Balios Double Canopy.

Sara Aranda & Lyra Pierotti