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RS Umbrella is it worth it?

Has anyone purchased & used the umbrella sold on the Rick Steves website? Is it as durable as stated in the description? It's not as compact as I would like to see but if it is durable then it would be worth it. I am a carry on only traveler so lean & mean is my game. Any 1st hand experience with it would be appreciated. I was recently in Scotland & Ireland with a flimsy umbrella that was deposited into the trash as the end of the trip. Thank You for your tips

Posted by
868 posts

I didn't find it anything special. I did a search last year for 'best umbrella' and ended up getting both the Rebel & RainMate from Amazon and like both of them a lot. Check them out on the reviews on Amazon.

Posted by
7833 posts

“Lean and mean”is a good raincoat with a hood. Unless, you absolutely can’t picture yourself without an umbrella, I’d skip it entirely.

Posted by
11503 posts

Carol I absolutely always travel with an umbrella - the hats - and if it’s warm who wants to wear a coat ? Also umbrella is good for shade .

Just did 5 weeks in Europe ( London pristine Paris and greek islands ) mid May to mid June and packed a light rain/ windbreaker and a light fleece , never wore them once , but did you my umbrella more than a few times lol

Posted by
10516 posts

good raincoat with a hood.

Good in cool weather, but if its mid 70's + in a downpour an umbrella is a good thing to have. And when its 90 plus and you're in shadeless Pompeii or a Greek ruin, having your own bit of portable shade cannot be had with a hooded raincoat.

Each has its uses.

Not have any firsthand experience with the RS umbrella

Posted by
2445 posts

I bought the RS umbrella and have taken it on 3 or 4 trips. Very durable and not that lightweight, as you pointed out. It’s fairly compact and fits in a pocket in my crossbody bag.

I used it in London, Dublin and Amsterdam when it rained for 5 - 10 minutes when I was not wearing a rain jacket on that particular day.

Posted by
7636 posts

A little rain water ain't suppose or gonna hurt you on one trip. Don't over think it. if it ain't one thing it is another excuse to buy something.

Posted by
6113 posts

Here in the UK, I haven’t carried an umbrella with me for several years. I take a lightweight waterproof jacket if it looks like rain.

Posted by
577 posts

It surprises me that he is selling an umbrella since he even suggested in one of his shows that you buy one over there so you don't have to carry it in the airplane.

Posted by
522 posts

I agree with Nestor.
Buy it there for 5 Euros if you need one and then throw it away before you get on the plane if it’s toast.

Posted by
5258 posts

For me, an umbrella is just one more thing to carry, not so much while its stowed away, but I find it hard to carry an umbrella and follow a map or my phone for navigation. I do agree than raincoats are uncomfortable in warm weather. I may bring an umbrella for our upcoming trip to Italy, but more to use for shade. One tip I can offer for a raincoat is that I often wear a visor or baseball cap under the hood to offer a little more protection for my face and glasses. It also helps to keep the hood from flopping around so much.

Posted by
1662 posts

Probably someone already mentioned this - at the first drop of rain, the umbrella vendors come out and you can buy one for a couple of Euro.

Or, if you want to bring one from home, they do sell mini tote travel umbrellas at Walmart and JCPenney and places like that.

Another option is to purchase a rain hat.

Posted by
5828 posts

Umbrella ok for female (gentle) rain, light drizzle no wind and walking in an civilized environment.

Waterproof rain jacket with hood essential for male (violent) rain, intense with strong wind and walking out in the bush. And if really in the bush (hills, moors etc) waterproof rain pants and waterproof boots.

Rain jacket for warm conditions. "Breathable" membrane and well designed vents.

In traditional Navajo belief, a thunderstorm with torrential rain is
considered a male rain. A gentle, slow-moving rain, accompanied
perhaps by low clouds and mist, is a female rain. In general, male
rains are associated with the violent seasonal summer storms known as
the monsoons, whereas female rains are associated with the stirring of
the seasons when spring rains bring the high desert to life....

Posted by
15 posts

Thank You all for your feedback & helpful suggestions I appreciate it. Sounds like I'll be skipping the purchase.

Posted by
6471 posts

I pack very light, but I always pack my lightweight Columbia raincoat. Last year when I stayed in Arezzo, it poured the first evening. I had my raincoat (there were no umbrellas being sold at night), and I wanted to walk to a restaurant my B&B recommended and walk downhill for gelato afterwards.

Posted by
12154 posts

I have packed umbrellas on trips where I expect lots of rain. Otherwise, I'll pack a waterproof rainshell and buy an umbrella on the road if the need arises.

If you must pack an umbrella, make sure it's a portable folding umbrella. Not only is it easier to pack but you won't have any issues taking it into a museum.

Posted by
1192 posts

An actual review of the RS umbrella:
I've purchased two of the RS umbrellas from his website, one for me and later one for my daughter. I like mine. Pros: studier than most smaller compact umbrellas, ie, the expanded handle holds firm and doesn't wiggle, and the fabric so far hasn't inverted in high winds. the tines seem strong, and hold tight when expanded. Also: It is quite compact, and packs small both in my suitcase and in my day purse. Cons: a bit heavier by maybe an oz. or two than some others. So far, it's gone with me on 5 trips to Italy, and used on every one. Still in great shape. Not particularly large canopy, but enough to keep me mostly dry. Guess it goes with the "compact" territory. I would definitely purchase it again. I wear glasses so really like to use an umbrella, rather than a rain shell. My daughter also likes hers a lot, too, and has taken it with her to London and Portugal.

Posted by
1316 posts

Personally I don't like to monkey with umbrellas and most rain jacket Make me unbearably sweaty. In Texas a recent thunderstorm made s good excuse to duck inside for s fancy coffee. In Italy however it was pouring on a day we were leaving one town and walking to train station with pre purchased tickets, was glad I had a hooded poncho that also covered my back pack

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks to jmauldinuu & judyb who have actually purchased & used the RS umbrella. I really appreciate you sharing your 1st hand experiences with the product. That is exactly what I was hoping for. There is something to be said for a quality product. And for all the other comments thank you for the advice & recommendations on other umbrellas & rain suits. I appreciate everyone's time. So now I left with with decision to buy or not to buy HaHa. Thank You

Posted by
383 posts

If you plan on going during another European heat wave, an umbrella could come in handy to protect from the sun.

Posted by
32109 posts

I've travelled with a RS Umbrella for years and it's always worked well. I've found it to be easy to travel with. So far I've never had to deposit it in the bin at the end of the trip.

Posted by
1071 posts

I use the mini umbrella by Davek, it's not cheap but it has a lifetime guarantee and so far over the last 2 years it was worked when ever I need it.

Posted by
1221 posts

Waterproof rain jacket with hood essential for male (violent) rain, intense with strong wind and walking out in the bush.

I live in Florida, home of a summer monsoon season where it can be 85F during a storm with a two inch an hour rainfall rate. I have a thin Goretex-coated raincoat that folds up very tiny in my bag and was originally designed with runners in mind. It does breathe as advertised, is waterproof as advertised, and while not cheap (I think the clearance price I paid was about $90) it is awesomely ideal for the climate I live in.

Posted by
3972 posts

What Agnes said. I travel with a lightweight compact umbrella that is double canopied in order to be as windproof as possible. The RS umbrella doesn't look like that at all; the description doesn't even mention the word "wind" let alone describe wind durability.