Montbell Travel Umbrella Review
The Montbell Travel Umbrella is lightweight, relatively durable, and will protect you from most weather you’ll encounter while exploring the world.
- Lightweight materials don’t compromise durability
- Small footprint and weight are key for one bag adventures
- Water-repellant case keeps moisture out of your bag
- Materials will eventually soak through
- Very small handle
- Only one person fits under the canopy
3 oz (85 g)
When closed | Opened diameter: 34.6 in (88 cm) | Extended shaft length: 19.7 in (50 cm)
9.1 in x 1.75 in x 1.75 in (23.1 x 4.4 x 4.4 cm)
Ballistic Nylon, Aluminum, Iron
We’ve all been there. You’re walking through the park, down a crowded street, or through the market. You feel one, no, two, no, three raindrops. You look up to the sky. “But the forecast didn’t call for rain…” you mutter beneath your breath. Regardless of what the weatherperson said this morning, it’s raining, and you don’t have an umbrella or a rain jacket. Now you’re about to get soaked!
A travel umbrella is an excellent way to stay dry at home and while traveling worldwide. The Montbell Travel Umbrella is one of the lightest models on the market, and we’re amped to run it through its paces with you. Let’s dive in!
The umbrella canopy is a 7D ballistic airlight nylon with a water-repellent finish. It is extraordinarily lightweight and does a reasonably good job of keeping you dry. After extended periods of exposure to rain, it may start to drip slightly. However, this is manageable and only true in particular circumstances.
The umbrella comes with a small case that has a snap closure. It feels like the same 7D material used for the canopy, which means it has some added water resistance. That is key because you can put a wet umbrella inside after coming out of the rain, and it will protect the gear inside your pack from water. After a while, it’ll get damp, but it’s a great help in certain situations. The closure snaps between a small loop on the umbrella, so you don’t have to worry about losing the case, either.
The upper shaft of the umbrella is iron, and the lower is aluminum. Iron is heavier than aluminum but stronger, so it’s used where it matters more—near the canopy. The aluminum shaft is still durable, and we haven’t had any issues bending or breaking. The umbrella weighs just 3 ounces, which is incredibly light for one this size.
As we mentioned earlier, there’s a small loop on the end of the umbrella. You can hang it up to dry or attach it inside or on the exterior of your pack. It’s a small inclusion that makes it that much easier to use, and you appreciate this umbrella that much more.
The handle for this umbrella is tiny—which can make it hard to hang onto, especially if you have large hands. However, we haven’t found it to be uncomfortable. You may need to switch hands occasionally; however, it’s pretty easy to hold onto.
There’s a hook-and-loop fastener on a piece of fabric that ties down the umbrella’s canopy. It’s small but mighty and doesn’t get in the way when you aren’t using it.
It’s party time once you’ve unsecured the hook-and-loop fastener. The arms fold down to save space, so you need to put them in the correct position to open the umbrella. You don’t need to pop them all open with your hand; once they’re open more than 45 degrees, the interior mechanism does the rest of the work for you.
Most of the internal t mechanisms at work here are made from plastic. It feels durable, but it is plastic, not metal.
Once you’ve got the umbrella open, you’re ready to go. To close it up, you must pop the arms in half again so it folds up small enough to fit back into the case. It takes some getting used to; however, once you’ve done it a few times, it’s quick and easy.
This umbrella works better than we thought it might. We worried that it would blow inside out easily in the wind, but that hasn’t happened in testing. In extreme weather, this isn’t the umbrella for you. However, it does extraordinarily well for most uses, especially considering its meager weight.
When it’s open, the diameter of the Montbell Travel Umbrella is 34.6 inches (88 cm). That’s enough for roughly one person, or maybe two-half persons, if you want to share. Typically, this is an umbrella for just one individual.
When fully extended, the shaft of the umbrella measures 19.7 in (50 cm). This isn’t very long, so you must move your arm a fair amount to get the coverage you might want. However, it has to be short to pack up so small, so we think it’s a fair trade-off.
When folded, it measures 9.1 in (23 cm) long, which is incredibly small. Considering it weighs just 3 ounces, it’s an overall tiny package. When you first grab onto it, it doesn’t feel like there could possibly be an umbrella inside. A churro, maybe, but an umbrella? Get out of here!
Because of this petite size, you can fit this thing almost anywhere. It’ll slide into your daypack or travel backpack without issue and can even fit into a medium or large sling. It slips like a glove inside a water bottle pocket…or should we say, it fits like a travel water bottle. Its length might keep it out of some slings or your pocket, but you can keep it in your back pocket if you wear jeans without fuss. Just don’t sit down!
Depending on what you already own or how you like to dress and travel, this umbrella is good competition for a rain jacket. If you don’t like how a coat makes you feel, or you get warm easily, this umbrella is a good bet. Or, if you’re trying to keep your pack size and weight down and don’t own a packable rain jacket, you can go with this umbrella so you don’t have to buy another travel jacket. Leave your bulky one at home and bring this!
Another model we dig here at Pack Hacker is the Davek Mini Umbrella. This one is on our Vacation Packing List, so you know it’s a good time. Both of these umbrellas perform great, so this section will investigate their size differences. Let’s get into the comparison!
The Dave Mini is just 7 inches when folded compared to the Montbell’s 9.1; however, the latter is significantly smaller in diameter. When it comes to surface area, they’re pretty similar in size. Depending on where you want to stow it, this might change which model you want to go with. The Davek Mini will fit into a smaller sling; the Montbell will not.
The Davek Mini comes in at 8 ounces, which is significantly more than the Montbell’s 3 ounces. However, they’re both so light that you probably won’t notice a difference when it’s stowed inside your sling or pack.
The Montbell is crafted from aluminum and iron, whereas the Davek Mini is made of fiberglass. This probably accounts for the Davek Mini’s higher weight and adds some durability. That said, both models have held up well in the wind and rain in testing.
Considering how well both of these umbrellas perform, it comes down to size and form factor. You can’t go wrong with either!
- Extraordinarily lightweight and small
- We’re curious how well the iron and aluminum will hold up in heavy rainfall and wind
- Nylon feels durable enough—we’re amped to test this thing
- Materials are lightweight but durable enough to handle travel
- No issues with aluminum, iron, or plastic parts
- Small enough to fit into most packs and some slings