Eagle Creek Rain Away Travel Review
Cons: Not durable, cannot withstand winds
Bottom line: This is a very light umbrella that cannot withstand everyday use.
Depth of Canopy (inches): 7 in
Weight, measured, including sleeve (ounces): 7 oz
Manufacturer: Eagle Creek
The Eagle Creek Rain Away Travel is small and lightweight. It is easy to toss in any bag for a day out seeing the sights in a new town. This umbrella will give you the comfort of knowing you'll have a rainproof canopy if an unexpected afternoon thunderstorm rolls into town. However, if that thunderstorm brings a lot of wind with it, you'll be in a tough spot. This umbrella is so light that it can't withstand winds and easily breaks if a strong gust catches you off guard. While we appreciated how small and light this model is, if you are looking for a sturdy, everyday umbrella, this is not a top pick. For emergency use only, this might still be one to check out.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Rain Umbrellas of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Rain Away Travel from Eagle Creek offers a compact, lightweight package. Unfortunately, we experienced durability issues.
The Eagle Creek Rain Away Travel umbrella is very travel-friendly. It's compactness and light weight has to come at a cost—and it does. This umbrella will help in a rainy pinch, but it does not offer the most coverage, so it is best considered an emergency-use-only umbrella.
It is excellent for mellow urban outings where you don't want to carry a bulky or style-crimping rain jacket, but you have a bag with you so you can stash this ultralight umbrella and forget about it—until the sky cracks open.
To first assess rain protection, we measured the depth and diameter of the canopy. It is 36 inches across, and 7 inches deep. The best umbrellas in this category had a depth of 10-11 inches and a diameter fro, 38-42 inches. Our favorites were the Swing Trek and the Helinox for straight shaft umbrellas. For a compact model that is still competitive in this metric, check out the Repel Easy Touch.
In our Rain Test, we walked through a classic Pacific Northwest downpour and recorded where on our clothing we spotted raindrops. This umbrella allowed raindrops to pelt us as high as our upper thigh and upper arm: not impressive.
Ease of Transport
Top marks! This umbrella crushed the competition for ease of transport due to its compact size and extreme lightweight. This was not enough to make up for its weak rain protection or its durability issues, however…
For another idea on ease of transport, check out the shoulder sling on the Swing Trek. Otherwise, we thought the Repel Easy Touch and the Lewis N Clark umbrellas were quite competitive in this category while providing a strong performance in the other metrics as well.
The Eagle Creek feels, well, flimsy. Sorry to say it. When we first popped it open, the fabric did not stretch out and make a taut canopy, which raised a durability yellow flag—sailors know that flapping fabric spells trouble.
We inspected further: The Eagle Creek only has fiberglass tip segments, the rest is metal, which bends—and if it bends bad enough, it'll snap (more on this in a moment). The umbrella only has six ribs: more durable models sometimes feature 8 or even nine ribs. (Check out the Helinox and the Swing Trek for some impressive durability.)
So, we had a grim hypothesis about the durability of this umbrella. It was finally time to test. We drove out to deserted rural roads, rolled down the window, and popped the umbrella open—first, into the wind, then allowing the canopy to catch the wind.
In the Wind Test, the Eagle Creek crumpled at a comparatively low 15mph. We stopped the vehicle, tipped the canopy up slightly, and as we rolled gently forward, it flipped inside-out at 5mph—before we could hit the accelerator. We righted the canopy again and increased the speed. At 25mph, we severely bent one of the stretchers—so bad that the umbrella was rendered unusable. This was the worst performance we had seen in these tests.
A sample size of one is never enough, so we contacted Eagle Creek for a warranty. They were very friendly and very fast. When we got the new umbrella, we set out for a repeat Wind Test. In the second, we snapped two stretchers at 25mph.
Ease of Use
This metric does not provide much of an upside to the Durability downside. The Eagle Creek excels at being small and light, suffers in durability and rain protection, and also in this category: it was not very easy to use, especially when compared to others in this review. It is fully manual with a small handle that doesn't offer a secure grip.
When you collapse the umbrella, it is so small that it is challenging to get all of the folds of the canopy to bunch together into the tiny sleeve. This bunched up fabric also makes a lot of nooks and crannies that hold water, and we found that we often tracked more drips inside with this umbrella than with others.
For an easy umbrella, check out the Repel Easy Touch with its fantastic auto open/close feature and sturdy handle, or the two winners, the Helinox and the Swing Trek, which are easy to use even though they are fully manual. We also loved the powerful deploy button on the totes umbrella.
The Eagle Creek gained some ground in the Style metric. It is small, discrete, and easy to stash in a bag. If your style is all about simplicity, this will be a good fit. If you like umbrellas that make a statement, you might dig the totes wooden crook handle. Or if you just like a little color on your rainy day, check out the Helinox umbrella.
The Eagle Creek umbrella is great for emergency use while traveling. It is probably best considered a one-time-use umbrella if you're hiking or if there is any wind. As such, we recommend it as a great urban use umbrella in cities other than notoriously windy Chicago. It is a great alternative to a rain jacket for formal outings where you don't want the bulk or the style penalty of a rain jacket.
Since this umbrella failed our Durability tests twice, we have a hard time saying it's a good value.
The Eagle Creek is a great light umbrella if you never plan on using it. If you're traveling in an area where you don't have wind and you don't expect rain, but the consequence of getting your nice clothes wet is pretty severe, this might be a great choice for you.
— Lyra Pierotti
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