MYOG: Hiking Umbrella Holder

We started carrying an umbrella when hiking with Toothless. With him in the front carrier, the umbrella helps keep the rain and sun off of him and minimizes how often we need to change his outfits to keep him comfortable. It is also is really useful at camp – in particular while eating.

There are a lot of resources online about how to strap an umbrella to a pack. This is how we have done ours.

Z-Packs Arc Haul

I used a single water bladder hose clip and a (yellow) cable and toggle.

The umbrella leans a little back, but can move a bit side to side. I don’t mind this but would prefer it were fixed a little more securely.

Granite Gear

For Natasha’s pack I had nowhere to put the water bladder clip so I used an old elastic headband and added plastic snaps to hold the umbrella. A (red) cable and toggle was looped further down to hold the umbrella handle.

This design doesn’t work very well. The loop and toggle comes loose too easily – likely the fault of this particular toggle. And the elastic band tends to work it’s way lower, which makes the umbrella loose and lean forward.

For a couple days on the SCT Natasha just held the umbrella in her hand. Hiking up Tin Hat, the trail was steep and the umbrella leaned forward and blocked her vision. With a crying baby, no visibility in front of you while climbing a poorly grades trail and carrying about 51 lbs of food, baby and gear, this is a terrible experience.

Gregory

Like the Arc Haul, I used a water hose clip on Natasha’s Gregory pack. The pack already has a clip so I added a second one in the alternate direction. The two clips keeps the umbrella from moving side to side.

Below the clips are a cable with toggle to hold the handle.

We haven’t hiked with this set up yet, but when testing in the apartment it’s much better than the system we have on the Granite Gear pack and the Arc Haul.

Final Comments

The umbrella clips work great but are difficult to find on their own. I can find other styles, mostly magnetic ones but those are less than ideal. We have these clips from buying water bladders but I could not find this style online as a standalone part. I could find them as part of an umbrella kit, but I had a hard time justifying the price.

Two clips seem to work best. They seem to keep the umbrella secure and the cable and toggle keeps it in place vertically. This is not particularly UL but it’s a robust attachment.

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