Best Ultralight Hiking Umbrellas

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This is a gear review about all the Best Ultralight Umbrellas for Backpacking and Thru-Hiking 2024.

You will find that the latest Hiking Umbrellas for Backpacking are not only lightweight and strong but they are very effective for protection against not only rain but the strong sun. In recent years they are becoming more and more popular with thru-hikers who are looking for a dual-purpose umbrella to protect them from the hot sun yet keep them dry in torrential rain. I have used them on hundreds of days of hiking and become a convert to using them in the backcountry. Maybe you will too.

Here is a look at the best backpacking umbrellas on the market in 2024.

How We Tested

The Hiking Umbrellas in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has more than 30 years of experience in Thru-Hiking, Backpacking, and Hiking. He also spent several years managing a hiking retail store and is regarded as an expert in this field. Some of the Umbrellas were purchased by the author and some were supplied by the manufacturer for this review. They have been rigorously tested by the author in all kinds of weather including hot sun, strong wind, and heavy rain while thru-hiking on trails such as the Te Araroa and Appalachian Trail. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to present this honest and unbiased review. Read the Review Policy for further details.

Best Backpacking Umbrella 2024

The best backpacking umbrella for 2024 are:

Best Ultralight Hiking Umbrella

Six Moon Designs Rain Walker Umbrella

Six Moon Designs Rain Walker Umbrella

Weight: 5.5 oz / 155 grams
Canopy Size: 37 inches wide
Overall Length: 25 Inches

> Good quality
> 2 color options
> Best Ultralight Umbrella on the market
> Expensive

I think Six Moon Designs makes the best hiking umbrellas on the market right now. And the best of the best is the Ultralight Six Moon Designs Rain Walker.

The Six Moon Designs Rain Walker is a full-size hiking umbrella, with a width of 37 inches when open, easily able to keep both you and your backpack gear dry for the duration of your hike.

Despite its generous canopy size, it is one of the lightest umbrellas in this review, weighing in at only 5.5 ounces. It has a packed length of 25 inches.

Not only does it shield you from the rain, but it’s also great for providing shade from the sun, too. That way, you can dress for the temperature instead of for the weather.

It’s made with top-quality materials and components, including a 10 Denier Silnylon Canopy, an EVA Foam Trekking Handle, and a carbon fiber frame. This frame not only helps to make the umbrella super lightweight but also durable.

It’s available in two very nice color options, namely green and dark teal.

Overall, this is the best ultralight umbrella for thru-hiking or backpacking.

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Best Lightweight Hiking Umbrella

Six Moon Designs Silver Shadow Carbon Ultralight Hiking Umbrella

Six Moon Designs Silver Shadow Carbon Ultralight Umbrella

Weight: 6.8 oz / 193 grams
Canopy Size: 36 inches
Overall Length: 25 inches

> UPF 50+
> Reflects heat from the sun
> Carbon Fibre in the shaft and frame
> Comfortable grip
> Take care in the wind
> Expensive

This ultralight backpacking umbrella weighs a mere 6.8 ounces, yet still manages to attain a canopy size of 36 inches wide, which is still quite generous.

I used and tested this umbrella for several months on the Appalachian Trail and loved the deluxe ergonomic grip which was super comfy to hold for extended periods. 

And not only is it great in wet weather, but it also has properties that make it invaluable in the sun, too. It has a UPF rating of a very nice 50+ and a canopy that reflects the sunlight, so you’re very much protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and from the sun’s heat at the same time.

It’s made with top-quality materials and components, with carbon fiber making up not only the shaft but also the spreader and the ribs.

Overall, this is the best lightweight umbrella for backpackers who want a sun umbrella. It is a must-have item to add to your Pacific Crest Trail Gear List.

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Most Durable Hiking Umbrella

EuroSCHIRM Swing Liteflex Trekking Umbrella

EuroSchirm Swing Liteflex Trekking Umbrella

Weight: 8 oz / 227 grams
Canopy Size: 38 inches wide
Overall Length: 25 Inches

> Well-built with quality components
> Ultralight
> Great Sun Protection
> Ergonomic firm foam handle
> Not much, if this was lighter it would be the best umbrella in this review
> A bit expensive

This is one of EuroSchirm’s most popular umbrellas. If you are trekking through the mountains of Europe and see someone with a hiking umbrella it is more than likely that it is one of these. They are very popular in Europe.

It has a good, solid construction, and is both well-designed and well-built, made with quality materials and components. 

Similar to many of the full-sized umbrellas in this review there is no locking mechanism to disengage when you want to fold it away.

I like the handle, which is made from firm foam and is comfortable to hold. 

There’s an adjustable strap for it, so you can wear it on your wrist until you need it. Or, if you prefer, you can stow it in its case. The case is made of mesh, however, so isn’t ideal for stowing with things you want to be kept dry. Most hikers will not use the case or supplied shoulder strap.

At 8 ounces, it’s very lightweight for such a durable umbrella.

Overall, this is the best pick for the most durable light weight umbrella.

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Best Travel Umbrella

Snow Peak Ultra-Light Umbrella

Snow Peak Ultra-Light Umbrella

Weight: 4.7 oz / 133 grams
Canopy Size: 33 inches
Overall Length: 8.5 Inches (folded)

> Ultralight
> Compact size
> Great for travel
> Expensive
> Not good in wind
> Not the best choice for hiking

Snow Peak has produced one of the lightest and most compact good quality umbrellas on the market. In fact, it happens to weigh under 5 ounces, which makes it even lighter than my favorite Six Moon Design Rain Walker Umbrella.

It folds to about 8.5 inches when folded, which means that it’s easy to carry around in either your backpack or when traveling. And with the accompanying case, you can safely carry it without the risk of other items getting wet. It also features a strap to carry the umbrella on your wrist if you prefer.

One of the interesting features of this particular umbrella is how, under heavy gusts of wind, it will collapse to prevent unnecessary damage. Not like a regular umbrella which will simply blow inside out and never truly go back into place.

Both the frame of the umbrella and the handle are composed of aluminum and carbon, and it is pleasing to see that the frame and handle are one piece, so you can trust that the handle won’t ever come off. It’s top-quality stuff.

Overall, this is the best travel umbrella on the market due to its ultralight weight and compact size. If I was traveling somewhere which also included some hiking or trekking then this would be the best choice.

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Best Thru-Hiking Umbrella

Zpacks Lotus UL Umbrella

ZPacks Lotus UL Umbrella

Weight: 6.8 oz / 193 grams
Canopy Size: 38 inches
Overall Length: 25 Inches

> Ultralight
> Good Quality
> 38-inch canopy
> Can be used hands-free by using the optional hands-free holster
> Not Much

Zpacks is one of the leaders in ultralight backpacking gear. The Zpacks Lotus UL Umbrella is no exception to its commitment to ultralight gear. You will see this umbrella on all the long-distance hiking trails throughout the world for good reason.

I tested this umbrella in hot semi-desert conditions and loved the way it kept me cool on a hot day. When the sun beats down on you, it can offer you great relief from the heat. This is thanks to its large 38-inch canopy, which is rated to UPF 40. I found it very sturdy in windy conditions and it handled intense downpours and storms without any issue.

As with all things Zpacks it is lightweight, weighing in at a negligible 6.8 ounces. You’ll forget you are carrying it.

If you find yourself on the Zpacks website, why not check out their umbrella holsters which I use when I hike with this umbrella, and there is also an umbrella stuff sack.

Overall, a great ultralight and durable umbrella for thru-hikers who are looking for a UL Sun Umbrella.

Read the full in-depth review: Zpacks Lotus UL Umbrella and Holster Review

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Gossamer Gear Liteflex Chrome Hiking Umbrella

Gossamer Gear Liteflex Umbrella

Weight: 6.6 oz / 187 grams
Canopy Size: 37.5 inches
Overall Length: 25 inches

> Ultralight aluminum frame
> Good Price
> Not much

Gossamer Gear describes this umbrella is described as the world’s lightest-ever full-size trekking umbrella. Close, but not quite.

It’s several ounces lighter than the EuroSCHIRM Swing Liteflex Trekking Umbrella but not quite as light as the Six Moon Designs Rain Walker which is more than 1 ounce lighter.

The reason it’s so light is down to its lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame, combined with the handle, which is composed of comfortable to hold high-density foam. I wonder how light this umbrella would be if they used carbon fiber instead of aluminum.

The canopy is just under 38 inches which is the standard size for most umbrellas in this review.

It performs equally well in rain or sun, and when used to keep off the sun. They claim it can lower the feel of the sun’s heat by up to 15 degrees. Having used hiking umbrellas in the hot sun I can confirm that all the umbrellas in this review will lower the temperature including this one. Overall, I like the bright silver material that reflects the sun.

That’s thanks to the 100% polyester fabric, and its special coating. It repels both water and dirt and has an impressive UPF rating of 50+.

Opening the umbrella is easy. There’s no fiddly hardware mechanism to get to grips with, and to open it, all you have to do is simply push up, and voilà.

Overall, this is a great lightweight hiking umbrella well suited to the ultralight thru-hiker.

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Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Trekking Umbrella

Sea to Summit Ultrasil Trekking Umbrella

Weight: 8.2 oz / 232 grams
Canopy Size: 38 inches
Overall Length: 9.5 inches (Folded)

> Lightweight
> Very compact when folded down
> Good Size canopy
> Not good in wind, even light wind.
> Not cheap

The canopy is quite large for a compact umbrella, coming in at 38 inches wide, perfectly able to keep both you and your hiking gear completely dry for the duration of your hike.

I used this umbrella when thru-hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand which is 3000km long. I found this umbrella performed poorly in wind and despite the lightweight and compact size, I prefer all the options from Six Moon Designs ahead of this umbrella.

Despite the large canopy, it’s very lightweight to carry around, coming in at just 8.2 ounces. When folded down, it is only 9.5 inches in length which is much more compact than most of the other umbrellas. When I used it I loved how small it packed down and how easy it was to store in the backpack side pockets.

It’s made with the highest quality materials and components, including an aircraft-grade aluminum shaft, a rubberized handle, and special patented solid brass rivets.

It comes complete with a handy zippered mesh tote bag which could easily fit into your backpack or your purse if you want to carry it away. Or if you would be concerned about getting your belongings wet, you can instead clip the mesh tote bag onto shoulder straps or to a belt.

Overall, the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Umbrella makes a much better travel umbrella than a backpacking umbrella. It is also very good for light day hikes when it is not too windy.

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Montbell Sun Block Umbrella

Montbell Sunblock Umbrella

Weight: 7.1 oz / 201 grams
Canopy Size: 38.6 inches
Overall Length: 9.8 inches (folded)

> Protects you from 99.7% of harmful UV rays
> Top Quality
> Small folded size
> Ultralight
> Only One color
> Not much

The sun block umbrella is the perfect companion for your long hike in the sun. With a UPF rating of 50+, it will protect you from 99.7% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

And should you hit a little rain, it will protect you from that as well, thanks to the super thick canopy, made of 75 Denier polyester, with its water repellent polyurethane silver coating.

It gives you plenty of coverage for both you and your gear since the canopy measures 38.6 inches when fully open. 

It’s also very lightweight at the same time, weighing just 7.1 ounces.

Overall, this is one of the best umbrellas for the desert and is very popular with ultralight hikers wanting to have protection from the sun and rain.

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Helinox Umbrella One

Helinox Umbrella One

Weight: 7 oz / 198 grams
Canopy Size: 38 inches
Overall Length: 25 inches

> Large Canopy Size
> Choice of colors
> Lightweight
> 5 year warranty
> Expensive

Helinox makes some of the best lightweight backpacking chairs but not many people consider the Helinox Umbrella One. This is a large umbrella, offering full coverage for both you and your hiking gear. It has a water repellent canopy to keep off the rain, but at the same time is also able to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, thanks to the canopy’s UPF 25 sun protection.

It’s made with top-quality materials & components, including a lightweight DAC alloy shaft. This shaft has been designed not just to keep the overall weight of the umbrella down, but also to give the umbrella great strength, which can become particularly handy when you are met with high winds. The overall weight is 7 ounces which is great for an ultralight umbrella for the backcountry.

And you don’t have to worry about sticky buttons that jam, it simply slides open. It’s available in 3 great color options, namely black, red, or coyote tan.

Overall, this is yet another great lightweight umbrella for backpacking with one of the best warranties of 5 years.

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Hiking umbrella in the rain on a hiking trail
The author testing one of the Six Moon Designs Umbrellas on the Appalachian Trail

Backpacking Umbrella Comparison Table

BrandWeightCanopy WidthHandle Length
Six Moon Designs Rain Walker5.5 oz37 inches25 inches
Six Moon Designs Silver Shadow Carbon6.8 oz36 inches25 inches
Euroschirm Swing Liteflex8 oz38 inches25 inches
Snowpeak Ultralight4.7 oz33 inches8.5 inches (folded)
ZPacks Lotus UL6.8 oz38 inches25 inches
Gossamer Gear Liteflex6.6 oz37.5 inches25 inches
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil8.2 oz38 inches9.5 inches (folded)
Montbell Sunblock7.1 oz38.6 inches9.8 inches (folded)
Helinox Umbrella One7 oz38 inches25 inches
Source: Manufacturers

Made of Quality Materials

Your umbrella must be durable and able to withstand months of abuse on a long-distance thru-hike or weekend backpacking trip. To stand up to the elements, it needs to have a sturdy frame and highly water-repellent fabric.

Most high-quality umbrellas use either high-quality carbon or aluminum in the frame of the umbrella. The shade and protection are provided by UV-resistant material that is durable enough to withstand a bit of abuse when bumping into trees and shrubs when hiking.

Testing an ultralight hiking umbrella in hot weather
Testing the Zpacks Lotus Umbrella in the hot sun

Comes with a Strap and Case

Luckily, most umbrellas these days come with a handy strap that you can either wear on your wrist or tie to your backpack straps. Or if you want to keep it in your backpack, it should also come with a case, so that when you put it away it won’t get other items in your backpack wet. I don’t find a case all that important but a strap to keep the canopy closed when hiking is required.

Even better than straps or cases is fitting the hiking umbrella to your backpack to enable hands-free hiking.

Backpacking Umbrella in the rain
No Need for a rain jacket in light rain

Value for Money

A cheap umbrella is not necessarily good value for money. Cheap umbrellas are not good quality and are not built to last like the best brands are. In this review of hiking umbrellas, all the best ultralight umbrellas for backpacking are quite expensive. The quality is very much reflected in the price.

Unfortunately, the prices of the umbrellas shown here are liable to change, so please ensure that you check the prices as you go along. 

Lightweight Hiking Umbrella being used hands free while backpacking
Hiking Hands free with a backpacking umbrella

Rain Jackets and Hiking Umbrellas

All the best hiking umbrellas in this review work very well in combination with the best ultralight rain jackets and the best ultralight rain pants for backpacking.


Here are the Best Hiking Umbrellas for 2024:

Another one of the Best Backpacking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Hiking Umbrellas Worth it?

Hiking Umbrellas are lightweight and do a great job of keeping you dry when hiking or backpacking. They are also good at shading the hiker from the extreme heat of the sun in places like the tropics and deserts.

Can I use an Umbrella for Sun Protection?

When hiking or backpacking in the hot sun an umbrella can be used for sun protection. The best sun protection umbrellas have a reflective silver layer that reflects a lot of the sun’s rays.

Are Hiking Umbrellas lightweight?

Most hiking umbrellas are super lightweight weighing less than 7 ounces. They also also quite strong and pack up into a compact size to be strapped to your backpack when not in use.

Best Hiking Umbrella for Backpacking
Best Hiking Umbrella
Best Ultralight umbrella Pin

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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