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Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Trekking Review

A very compact and lightweight design with a more technical, outdoorsy style
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Trekking
Photo: Sea to Summit
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Price:  $45 List
Pros:  Ultralight, easy to use, travel friendly
Cons:  Average rain protection, average durability
Manufacturer:   Sea to Summit
By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2021
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Rain Protection - 30% 5
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8
  • Durability - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Trekking umbrella is designed to be more versatile in outdoor scenarios, such as camping or hiking, due to its lightweight construction. It's one of the most compact models in our current lineup and is fairly easy to use. The manual operation is straightforward, albeit a little inconsistent in its fluidity. The overall feel is also a bit delicate, but it proved reasonably durable during our high wind test. From trail to coffee shop, the rain protection from this lightweight umbrella is sufficient enough for our standards.

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Pros Ultralight, easy to use, travel friendlyLightweight, durable, easy to useStrong, excellent rain coverage, stylishClassy, durable, versatileCompact, wind vent, adequate rain protection
Cons Average rain protection, average durabilityFixed shaft length makes it a bit longer, not as stylishLarge, unwieldy in high windsOn the heavy side, larger for a compact modelA touch heavier than other compact models, plain style
Bottom Line A very compact and lightweight design with a more technical, outdoorsy styleA lightweight, quality choice with notable rain protection and ease of useThis is a fun, well-made umbrella that provides classic rain protection and nostalgiaClassy style and reliable rain protection with all the perks of a compact, automatic umbrellaCompact, easy to use, and affordable, this umbrella gets the job done without costing more than it should
Rating Categories Ultra-Sil Trekking Swing Trek Liteflex totes Auto Open Wooden Balios Double Canopy AmazonBasics Automa...
Rain Protection (30%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Transport (25%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
Durability (20%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Style (10%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Specs Ultra-Sil Trekking Swing Trek Liteflex totes Auto Open Wooden Balios Double Canopy AmazonBasics Automa...
Measured Canopy Diameter 39 in 37.5 in 42 in 40 in 38 in
Depth of Canopy 7.5 in 9.75 in 10.25 in 9 in 8 in
Sleeve Included? Yes Yes, w/ shoulder sling No Yes, with zip Yes
Measured Weight, Including Sleeve 9.5 oz 10.0 oz (w/case); 8.0 oz (w/o case) 18.5 oz 15.5 oz 14.0 oz
Measured Length (collapsed) 10.25 in 25.25 in 36.5 in 14 in 11.5 in
Measured Length (deployed) 23.9 in 25.38 in 36.75 in 25.5 in 21.5 in
Handle Design Short plastic handle High-density EVA hardfoam Wooden crook handle, button operation Wooden ergonimic grip, inset button operation Short, Comfort-Grip handle, inset button operation
Canopy Material 30D siliconized CORDURA nylon, velcro closure Teflon-coated polyester, velcro closure Polyester, velcro closure 300 Thread count water repellent fabric, snap fastener Polyester, velcro closure
Support Structure Aircraft grade aluminum and brass rivets High-density fiberglass Wood and aluminum Steel and fiberglass Steel

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ultra-Sil Trekking is made with a very technical canopy material, 30D siliconized Cordura nylon, according to Sea to Summit. This type of nylon is reminiscent of technical apparel, tents, and sleeping bags. The skeletal structure is made with "aircraft grade" aluminum and brass rivets, aiding in its durability against the wind. Overall, this model only received average scores for rain protection and style, with its ease of use and transport being its strongest attributes.

Performance Comparison


A great companion for outdoor pursuits, its best attributes are how...
A great companion for outdoor pursuits, its best attributes are how light and compact it is.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Rain Protection


We measured the canopy diameter at 39 inches, which isn't the most expansive but not the least either. The depth of the canopy measured to about 7.5 inches, which is average for compact models. The combination of diameter and depth provided adequate rain protection for our casual needs but is not as encompassing as many of the more traditional models. During our high wind test, the canopy performed better than expected for how delicate it feels overall.

We encountered a bit of snow during this test, which actually helped...
We encountered a bit of snow during this test, which actually helped us see what parts of our upper body were still exposed.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Ease of Transport


This metric is where this product truly shines. We measured the packed length to be 10.25 inches, which is quite a feat for how relatively large the canopy is. We also measured the weight to be 9.5 ounces, which is definitely in the ultralight category for umbrellas. The sleeve it comes with helps slim its width down for even greater packing ability.

All packed up, this model doesn't even look like an umbrella, it's...
All packed up, this model doesn't even look like an umbrella, it's so slim and small.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Durability


Being so lightweight, we were initially afraid that the Ultra-Sil would break easily. The canopy isn't particularly taut when deployed, and we often had to help it along to snap it into its final position. During our high wind test, the canopy inverted easily at only 12 mph, and when directed head-on into the wind, things started to collapse at around 40 mph — standard for most compact models. We were overall impressed with its performance and are glad to find that it's not as delicate as first perceived. One note to make, however, is that the sleeve began to come apart at a seam from simply pulling it on. The sleeve is quite tight, and therefore we couldn't really pull gently, so this was a bit of a disappointment to see. Over the long haul, we hope that this doesn't extend to the sewing credibility of the canopy itself.

From us pulling the sleeve on, the stitching isn't as strong as we...
From us pulling the sleeve on, the stitching isn't as strong as we hoped. We didn't notice this on the canopy itself, however.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Ease of Use


Another metric where the Ultra-Sil shines. The manual operation is intuitive and doesn't require a ton of muscle like the automatic models often do. Our gripes mostly have to do with the handle itself, which is quite short and therefore not the easiest to grip. It's also made of plastic, which becomes slippery when wearing gloves. Maintaining control of the canopy is only decent because of how lightweight everything is; otherwise, the handle wouldn't be of much help. As a trekking model, this can certainly be attached to a backpack shoulder strap for hands-free operation. It does tend to get stuck in the storage sleeve, however. When wanting to take it out and use it, we often accidentally extended the first telescope segment on the shaft before we were able to get it out of the bag. A minor annoyance, but frequent.

Manually operated, the design is straightforward, although the...
Manually operated, the design is straightforward, although the handle is on the small side.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Style


If you're really into the more technical trekking style, then this is for you. If you're not, then we think style points are rather low. This model does come in black as well, which is more traditional-looking.

The nylon isn't as stylish as the other polyester models in our...
The nylon isn't as stylish as the other polyester models in our opinion.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Value


As the trend goes, the more technical the product, the more expensive it tends to be. Utilizing such lightweight materials does come at a cost, but if you want a lightweight and still highly functional umbrella for camping and hiking, then we think this is well worth the investment.

Conclusion


An innovative achievement, the Ultra-Sil Trekking is a great companion for those seeking a lightweight and easy-to-pack option. Durable and protective enough for the average rain scenario, there are, nonetheless, better-performing models out there — they just aren't as light or compact.

Not the most expansive protection, but still quite large for how...
Not the most expansive protection, but still quite large for how compact the product is.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Sara Aranda