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Lewis N. Clark Umbrella Review

This umbrella is an outstanding deal; simple, light, and it will outlast all similar inexpensive drug store models.
Lewis N. Clark Umbrella
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Price:  $18 List | $15.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, compact, durable, collapsible
Cons:  More metal joints make it slightly less durable than more expensive models with fiberglass
Manufacturer:   Lewis N. Clark
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2017
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 12
  • Rain Protection - 30% 5
  • Ease of Transport - 30% 9
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Style - 5% 5

Our Verdict

The Lewis N Clark is an aptly named, true travelers' umbrella. It competes fiercely for our Best Buy Award and should be on any bargain-hunter's shortlist. It is as lightweight as many trekking models, and just as compact and easy to use. It is durable enough to withstand the majority of conditions travelers will encounter, while providing decent rain protection for its compact size, and withstanding winds enough to be competitive. This contender is an excellent purchase that will last a long time, and still affordable enough you won't be heartbroken if you lose it or the dog eats it (a dog-durability test was not factored into our metrics).


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $15.99 at Amazon$43.47 at Amazon$22.99 at Amazon$22.95 at Amazon$17.99 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, compact, durable, collapsibleLightweight, durable, easy to use, simpleClassy, durable, versatileEasy to use, good quality for price, sturdyCompact, wind vent, adequate rain protection
Cons More metal joints make it slightly less durable than more expensive models with fiberglassFixed shaft length makes it a bit longerHeavier, bigger for a compact umbrellaHeavier than some compact umbrellasA touch heavier than other compact models, plain style
Bottom Line This umbrella is an outstanding deal; simple, light, and it will outlast all similar inexpensive drug store models.This is an excellent umbrella that will serve well in many situations for a long time.This model is very well made, offering excellent durability and a classy look.This is an excellent compact umbrella, sturdy for everyday use and small enough to keep with you.Compact, easy to use, and affordable, this umbrella gets the job done without costing more than it should.
Rating Categories Lewis N. Clark Umbrella Swing Trek LiteFlex Balios Double Canopy Repel Windproof Travel AmazonBasics Automatic Travel
Rain Protection (30%)
10
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5
10
0
8
10
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7
10
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6
10
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7
Ease Of Transport (30%)
10
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9
10
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7
10
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6
10
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8
10
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8
Durability (20%)
10
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7
10
0
9
10
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8
10
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6
10
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6
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
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7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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9
10
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7
Style (5%)
10
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5
10
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8
10
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9
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7
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6
Specs Lewis N. Clark... Swing Trek LiteFlex Balios Double Canopy Repel Windproof... AmazonBasics...
Canopy Diameter (inches) 39.25 in 38 in (not 44.9") 40 in 38 in 38 in
Depth of Canopy (inches) 7 in 10 in 9 in 7.5 in 8 in
Weight, measured, including sleeve (ounces) 10.2 oz 10.2 oz (w/case); 8.2 oz (w/o case) 15.6 oz 13.4 oz 14.1 oz
Weight (reported ounces) 10 oz 7.3 oz
Sleeve included? Yes Yes, w/ shoulder sling Yes Yes Yes
Length collapsed, measured (inches) 11 in 24.75 in 14 in 11.75 in 11.5 in
Length when deployed, measured (inches) 21.75 in 24.75 in 25.5 in 22.5 in 21.5 in
Handle Design Rubberized non-slip handle High-density EVA hardfoam Straight Wooden, steel shaft Ergonomic rubberized handle Soft, Comfort-Grip Handle
Canopy Material Polyester Polyester w/ teflon coating 300 Thread count water repellent fabric Teflon-coated Polyester
Support Structure Durable metal and steel High-density fiberglass ribs 8 steel & fiberglass stretchers & ribs 9 resin reinforced fiberglass ribs Steel
Warranty 1 year 2 years One year warranty Lifetime One-Year Limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lewis N Clark is an umbrella that you will be stoked to take with you on your myriad travels and adventures, urban, suburban, and even out in the wild.

Performance Comparison


Lewis N Clark canopy.
Lewis N Clark canopy.

Rain Protection


The Lewis N Clark provides decent 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. In our OGL Rain Test, a few raindrops hit us above the elbow and at the upper thigh.

Lewis N Clark umbrella had one of the best canopies for rain protection among compact models in this review.
Lewis N Clark umbrella had one of the best canopies for rain protection among compact models in this review.

The lightweight and slightly more open canopy (when compared to the fixed shaft umbrellas) does make this product catch the wind a bit more quickly. However, that is a cost that is balanced out by the compact size and ultralight weight of only 10 ounces.

Ease of Transport


The Lewis N Clark is a top-scoring compact umbrella in this metric. It is as lightweight as the trekking models, even at an affordable price point.

A side-by-side view of the products in this review  complete with a standard yardstick for reference. Compact umbrellas are on the left. From top left  reading like a book: Lewis N Clark  EEZ-Y  Sea to Summit  Blunt  Senz  and Gustbuster; fixed shaft on the right: Helinox  Swing Trek  Glamore  totes
A side-by-side view of the products in this review, complete with a standard yardstick for reference. Compact umbrellas are on the left. From top left, reading like a book: Lewis N Clark, EEZ-Y, Sea to Summit, Blunt, Senz, and Gustbuster; fixed shaft on the right: Helinox, Swing Trek, Glamore, totes

Impressively, despite the durable structure, the Lewis N Clark weighs just 10 ounces. This makes it small, light, and easy to throw into your bag and, pull out in a sudden downpour.

Lewis N Clark umbrella: lightweight AND compact.
Lewis N Clark umbrella: lightweight AND compact.

Durability


The Lewis N Clark is impressively durable despite all of its moving parts. It has sturdy metal ribs, a 3-fold chrome-plated steel shaft, and lightweight and flexible fiberglass tips. This was a feature common to the more durable-but-affordable umbrellas in this review: 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. The frame of the Lewis N Clark is rust- and corrosion-resistant, and the sleeve is mold resistant.

Lewis N Clark umbrella was impressively durable with its metal ribs. Fiberglass was the most durable in our tests.
Lewis N Clark umbrella was impressively durable with its metal ribs. Fiberglass was the most durable in our tests.

In our OGL Wind Test, the Lewis N Clark could handle winds up to 40 mph, which was very impressive. It inverted easily around 15 mph. Importantly, the umbrella was harder to close after withstanding the 40 mph winds, and the joints on the ribs were tweaky. After opening and closing a few times, the hinges sorted themselves out and it performed normally again. If you're looking for the best durability, check out the simpler, straight shaft umbrella.

The Lewis N Clark has a unique button that opens and closes the canopy. This feature functions well; it is tight and smooth. However, with heavy use, this adds more breaking risk than a simple auto open feature, and certainly much more risk to long term durability than a straight shaft, manual umbrella. Tension on the button for the auto close feature leads us to question whether that can grind down and become unusable--but realistically this seems to be durable enough to otherwise outlast the umbrella.

An interesting and related side note: when closing the button to collapse 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 that button for use. We were grateful it seemed smooth and durable, but concerned for the longevity of those features.

As with most umbrellas, there are reports of breakages, but mostly, it seems, practically out-of-the-box. This indicates that failures may be due to manufacturing defects and less due to design flaws or wear and tear. Going beyond the excellent performance in our several months of testing, we hear rumors of this product lasting for years compared to a mere handful of months for bargain drug store models. The Lewis N Clark is an otherwise "ordinary" umbrella that outlasts and outperforms drug store cheapos, and threatens to dethrone the much more expensive trekking rain shelters if not for a few simple features like the 2/3 metal canopy frame.

Ease of Use


The Lewis N Clark is an excellent, versatile umbrella. It was easy to deploy and collapse due to that awesome dual-function button (many buttons deploy but do not collapse). You still have to collapse the shaft manually, but we loved that we could "remotely" collapse the canopy, especially in crowds. This allowed us to make a graceful dismount from a busy city street, without having to wrangle the canopy through a busy crowd to grab the runner and collapse the canopy by hand. The rubberized handle feels nice in hand and provides a solid grip when wet.

Lewis N Clark umbrella has a solid handle with grippy texture and a button that both opens AND closes the canopy. Super convenient.
Lewis N Clark umbrella has a solid handle with grippy texture and a button that both opens AND closes the canopy. Super convenient.

We did feel that the canopy is a bit slow to deploy, and hesitates a bit as it clicks into the open position, but it was always smooth and remained unchanged from the beginning to the end of our testing period.

The tips are small and metal  a hazard for eyeballs in crowded areas!
The tips are small and metal, a hazard for eyeballs in crowded areas!

Style


The Lewis N Clark is not a fashionable accessory, but it does come in a variety of colors, and the quality manufacturing is recognizable, especially in the way it holds up and doesn't get bent easily. It is neat, tidy, well-made and durable, which improves style points: no one likes the look of a half-broken, lopsided umbrella.


But if that's not stylish enough for you, it is also compact, so you can hide it in your backpack, briefcase, purse, messenger bag, shoulder bag, etc. The Lewis N Clark is a standard compact design that will fly under the radar: it isn't too flashy - unless you buy a bright color.

Value


The Lewis N Clark claims to be one of the "#1 selling travel umbrellas online." Our research supports this claim as a very popular travel model, and our tests confirm that it is an excellent choice for your various rainy escapades. It's price is more than fair for its performance, and we would readily recommend this model to our friends.

Lewis N Clark umbrella.
Lewis N Clark umbrella.

Conclusion


The Lewis N Clark is simple, light, and compact. It looks like a fairly standard, store-bought umbrella, but it holds up and performs far better. It is well-made and easy to use, with no-frills, and it that provides some of the best rain protection for its compact size and low weight. And priced low, there is no wonder this is exceedingly popular among travelers.


Lyra Pierotti