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Umbrellas on Backpacks

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  • tubirrb
    Toby Kraft s review of the Birdiepal bumbershoot was right on. I ve rigged umbrellas onto a variety of packs for years. Bottom line - it won t work well on
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 28, 2002
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      Toby Kraft's review of the Birdiepal bumbershoot was right on. I've
      rigged umbrellas onto a variety of packs for years. Bottom line - it
      won't work well on shoulder straps irregardless of manufacturer.
      THERE IS A WAY TO DO IT AND MAKE IT WORK WELL. If I had a Birdiepal,
      I'd load it into my system for a trial.

      I just got back from the Mojave desert section of the PCT north of
      Mojave CA. Believe me, you NEED sun protection in such places. My
      wife had stitched a large velcro patch BETWEEN the shoulder straps on
      my Mountainsmith Auspex pack running down the pack itself. This pack
      has a recessed channel for ventilation running vertically between the
      shoulder straps. She also created a removeable velcroed handle holder
      that attaches to that velcro strip so I can adjust the height of the
      umbrella that now sticks straight up behind my head, centered and
      anchored over my head. This is a totally hands-free mounting. I can
      use both of my treking poles, dial my cell phone, do my nails, etc as
      I walk. There are three velcroed support straps involved as well; one
      is an integral part of the handle holder unit, one is directly
      attached to the top of the packbag itself and the 3rd to the floating
      top pocket of the pack. That's 4 points of attachment, but the system
      will work with as few as 2 (the further apart the better).

      It takes some adjusting of shoulder straps to keep the handle from
      digging into my spine while walking, but since I can move the
      mounting up or down over an 8 inch range, this is not difficult.

      I've used a commercial umbrella with steel frame (14 oz) as well as
      the GoLite umbrella with its plastic frame (9 oz). Both mount and
      carry well, but the GoLite cover was stripped off my pack twice by
      desert winds and the plastic frame broke with the first gust. I'm
      going back to steel.

      Caveat - a long thin handle is FAR superior to a fat one. I've never
      seen the Birdiepal in real life, but the reviews all tend to be
      negative regarding the short, fat handle. Short will work OK in this
      mounting system, but I suspect that fat will be painful against your
      back. Better to graind or cut it down first.

      I've also had a similar rig on my REI internal frame pack that DOES
      NOT have the ventilation channel and it works just as well without
      digging into my spine. I just can't pull my shoulder straps so tight
      that the packbag lies against my back. The pack's a little less stable
      this way, but the air circulation provided needed cooling during my
      thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail last summer. Made a HUGE difference
      in my body temperature climbing those hills, and cut my water
      comsumption by at least 40%. My partners laughed at first, but by the
      time we topped dicks Peak, they were making me offers (Hahahahaha)


      Wandering Bob Bankhead
    • Andrew Priest
      Hi Bob Thanks for sharing this. I notice that your setup appears to only allow for the umbrella to stick straight up. My experience is that rain only
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 28, 2002
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        Hi Bob

        Thanks for sharing this. I notice that your setup appears to only allow for
        the umbrella to stick straight up. My experience is that rain only
        occasionally comes down straight and more likely it is coming it at an
        angle. The umbrella straight up more often ineffective than effective. I
        would think the same applies as sun protection.

        Therefore does you setup allow you to angle (tilt) the umbrella to suit
        varying weather conditions?

        Regards
        Andrew

        At 04:27 AM 29/06/2002, you wrote:
        > She also created a removeable velcroed handle holder
        >that attaches to that velcro strip so I can adjust the height of the
        >umbrella that now sticks straight up behind my head, centered and
        >anchored over my head.

        --
        Aushiker - Hiking in Western Australia - http://aushiker.cjb.net



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • tubirrb
        Therefore does you setup allow you to angle (tilt) the umbrella to suit varying weather conditions? Regards Andrew ================================ Andrew: Yes
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 29, 2002
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          Therefore does you setup allow you to angle (tilt) the umbrella to
          suit varying weather conditions?

          Regards
          Andrew
          ================================

          Andrew:

          Yes it does. While deliberately designed for fully vertical
          orientation (primary function = sun shield), it can be tilted front
          or back by loosening or tightening the shoulder straps on my pack.

          Side to side is trickier; you could sew three separate velcro loops
          horizontally onto the highest point on the pack to accomplish this.
          I've just never had any need to do so since even this won't keep me
          dry during a strong rain, and I've found that the greater the angle,
          the greater the danger that a sudden wind gust will damage or detroy
          the canopy. That's what peeled my GoLite umbrella like a grape last
          week and broke the plastic spokes where they attach to the shaft.


          The primary function of the set-up is protection from direct sun and
          rain with added cooling coming from my bare head which now no longer
          needs my hat or hood (sun or rain). I still get sun and rain from the
          sides and front, just a lot less than I did without it.

          In the case of strong, wind-blown rain, I dismount the umbrella, hold
          it in front of my chest so I can just see over the top, and walk into
          the teeth of the storm with my body core shielded. For newbies, this
          method is used ONLY to get you to the first half-way decent site
          where you can erect your shelter and get inside. Don't play games
          with Mother Nature - she has a nasty habit of winning (often
          painfully for you).

          Bob
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