[Hiking Umbrella Test] Chrome Dome vs Sea to Summit

  I just started using my lightweight Chrome Umbrella and Sea to Summit Umbrella a few seasons ago.  Now I will not go anywhere without one, even in urban environments.  Generally go everywhere in life on foot and it's not secret it rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest; so it just makes sense to carry one.  High winds being the only foe.

Why the Heck Would You Hike with an Umbrella?

  Carrying a hiking umbrella does add more weight to a backpack, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons.  You now pack a lightweight windbreaker, replacing that bulky rain jacket.  Portable shade, provides sun protection and even extra weather protection under your ultralight tarp.  Protecting your camera from the sun or bad weather; while taking a photograph.

  An umbrella saved my butt big time during a very bad weather backpacking trip in the Olympic Mountains. I was able to plan for rain, during the planning period, before walking into the Olympic National Park.  The Olympic Mountain SNOTEL near the area, measured 3.5" in a 24 hour period, before finally turning to heavy snow.  I was able to leave my rain gear in the pack and wore only insulation layers.  Below the my knee, was the only thing that got wet.

  So I decided to test the two most popular options on the market and see which version worked best for use on the trail; well as urban lifestyle needs.

2017 Update: Golite is out of buisness, but you can still purchase the Chrome Dome elsewhere. See info near bottom of page.

Chrome Umbrella
Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella vs Chrome Dome

Lightweight Hiking Umbrella Features and Thoughts

  • Moving Parts: Chrome Dome has less / S2S has more.  Less the better, the general rule of gear.

  • Coverage: Chrome Dome 45"/  S2S 38"

  • Weight: Chrome Dome 8 oz / S2S 8.2 oz

  • Stealth: S2S makes a 'parachute sound' with each step / Chrome Dome is quiet

  • Handle Insulation: Chrome Dome is cozy / S2S has none

  • Storage Length: S2S 9.5" / Chrome Dome 25"

Sea to Summit Umbrella
Sea to Summit Umbrella in the Olympic Mountains

Chrome Dome
Chrome Dome Hiking Umbrella in the rain forest

Chrome Hiking Umbrella is Still on the Market!

Editor's Note on October 29th 2014: Golite filed for bankruptcy and it is believed they will not recover. Consider the euroSCHIRM Swing Liteflex Trekking Umbrella for sale on Amazon {affiliate link}. It is identical and believed to be re-marketed as the Golite Chrome Dome. Additionally, several small brands (that will not be mentioned here) have remarketed the umbrella and did only a name change. It's the exact same umbrella, without flashy branding stickers!

There has been of shortage in the chrome (reflective) color on the internet. Consider other options, they also have several different colors available. I own one in orange and the non-metallic versions are almost an ounce lighter; as well. It's worth the weight savings, if you are not worried about desert heat!

Trekking Umbrella Overall Thoughts

  I will continue to swap between both ultralight umbrellas for the type of trip and size of pack I will be using.  Sometimes it's nice to have a more compact option, especially in an urban environment.  The Chrome Dome will still be my primary long trip backpacking umbrella, over the more compact Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella (shop now) {affiliate link}.

Updated in March 2018 by Barefoot Jake

Disclaimer: Golite provided a Chrome Dome for this review.  Sea to Summit was purchased with my own money; under no obligation for any feedback. Article contains ads in the form of affiliate links.