Lewis N. Clark Umbrella Review
Cons: Many metal joints, less durable
Manufacturer: Lewis N. Clark
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|Pros||Lightweight, compact, automatic||Lightweight, durable, easy to use||Strong, excellent rain coverage, stylish||Classy, durable, versatile||Affordable, stylish, ample rain protection|
|Cons||Many metal joints, less durable||Fixed shaft length makes it a bit longer, not as stylish||Large, unwieldy in high winds||On the heavy side, larger for a compact model||Heavy, not as easy to transport|
|Bottom Line||Simple and ultralight with all the basics you need for rain protection||A lightweight, quality choice with notable rain protection and ease of use||This is a fun, well-made umbrella that provides classic rain protection and nostalgia||Classy style and reliable rain protection with all the perks of a compact, automatic umbrella||Fun style with a more encompassing bubble canopy for greater rain protection|
|Rating Categories||Lewis N. Clark Umbr...||EuroSCHIRM Swing Tr...||totes Auto Open Wooden||Balios Double Canopy||totes Clear Bubble|
|Rain Protection (30%)|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Lewis N. Clark Umbr...||EuroSCHIRM Swing Tr...||totes Auto Open Wooden||Balios Double Canopy||totes Clear Bubble|
|Measured Canopy Diameter||39.25"||37.5"||42"||40"||33.5"|
|Depth of Canopy||6.5"||9.75"||10.25"||9"||16.75"|
|Sleeve Included?||Yes||Yes, w/ shoulder sling||No||Yes, with zip||No|
|Measured Weight (including sleeve)||10.0 oz||10.0 oz (w/case); 8.0 oz (w/o case)||18.5 oz||15.5 oz||16.0 oz|
|Measured Length (collapsed)||11"||25.25"||36.5"||14"||35.75"|
|Measured Length (deployed)||21.25"||25.38"||36.75"||25.5"||35.75"|
|Handle Design||Short, rubberized, non-slip handle, inset button operation||High-density EVA hardfoam||Wooden crook handle, button operation||Wooden ergonimic grip, inset button operation||Plastic crook handle|
|Canopy Material||Polyester, velcro closure||Teflon-coated polyester, velcro closure||Polyester, velcro closure||300 Thread count water repellent fabric, snap fastener||Thermoplastic polyurethane, snap fastener|
|Support Structure||Zinc alloy and steel||High-density fiberglass||Wood and aluminum||Steel and fiberglass||Unknown metal and carbonfiber|
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.
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.
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.
The Lewis suffers in this metric. It has 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.
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.
An interesting and related side note: when collapsing the canopy, if we then decided 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 for the longevity of such automatic features.
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.
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.
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 your backpack, briefcase, purse, messenger bag, or shoulder bag.
This is a very popular travel model, and our tests confirm that it is an excellent 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.
The Lewis N. Clark 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 durability is just plain average, and the style is a bit hit or miss, but it's a great deal for its size and weight ratio. And with the low price, there is no wonder this is exceedingly popular among travelers.
— Sara Aranda & Lyra Pierotti
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