50 Words or Less
With German engineering and high quality materials, Birdiepal offers stylish umbrellas for outstanding protection from rain or the sun’s UV rays.
I wasn’t familiar with the Birdiepal brand, but soon discovered the Eberhard Gobel family has been making umbrellas since 1919. Turns out their Euroschirm brand has a strong reputation around the globe in the hiking community and in a natural extension into another outdoor pursuit, Birdiepal was established.
Another thing I learned is there aren’t very many companies that actually manufacture umbrellas. Most of the golf umbrellas you see with well known company names on them are just branded licensees. None of that really matters when it’s raining, but if you’re reading this review you like truth nuggets.
One other note – I included pictures of a Swing Liteflex trekking umbrella to introduce you to the rest of the Euroschirm family and to illustrate relative size. This is the multi-colored, 40″ umbrella with fabulous sling carry case. Great for keeping your hands free when it’s not raining.
Birdiepal umbrellas come in simple colors to emphasize their classic style. The protective case is robust and complements the umbrella. The contemporary handle design adds to the air of sophistication.
The quality of the Birdiepal umbrella is top shelf. No cheap materials here. All the golf umbrellas I’ve owned previously have come with a lightweight fabric sheath that inevitably gets lost or rendered useless after removing the umbrella the first time. Birdiepal offers a true case – heavy duty fabric, simple to use, and worthy of keeping. The hinges under the canopy look like they should be part of a Porsche engine.
Design & Performance
A quick glance at the outside might make you think the umbrellas are the same, just different colors. Not exactly. For starters the silver of the Birdiepal Lightflex is the result of a silver-metallic fabric treatment that provides a UPF rating of 50. UPF is similar to the SPF sunscreen rating you know, and a UPF 50 equates to blocking 98% of the UV rays. Silver umbrellas are becoming very common on golf courses here in sunny Florida. It is noticeably shady under the umbrella compared to standard untreated fabrics which in theory makes it cooler. I found, however, that you need to keep the canopy well above your head or it feels like an oven underneath. The fiberglass shaft and fabric are extra light weight and the unit comes in at 1.03 lbs.
It’s underneath the canopy that the differences are more obvious for the Birdiepal Windflex. If you look closely at the pictures you’ll notice an extra set of hinged frame work. These crossbeams allow the canopy to pop back into position in extreme winds. How extreme? Force 6 winds [25-30 mph] tested in the Porsche wind tunnel. This stout unit only weighs 1.33 lbs.
For both umbrellas the opening and closing mechanism operates flawlessly. A firm ‘click’ confirms the unit is locked open and shut. Clearly the nicest umbrella mechanism I’ve ever used. Although you might think the tip would be useful for fending off aggressive cart attendants, it’s really great at securing the umbrella to your bag and to stick in the ground between shots. My only complaint on the umbrellas is the handle. It looks awesome, but I find it a bit uncomfortable. Having shown the umbrella to a few other golfers who had the same initial reaction, we concluded the diameter is a bit too small and the taper awkward. Like most new things though, it didn’t take long to get used to the handle shape.
I’m not accustomed to wanting it to rain, but the two week dry spell after receiving the Birdiepal umbrellas was making me anxious. Not that I had any doubt that a well crafted umbrella would stand up to the rain, but all of us at Plugged In Golf take pride in putting products through real world testing. And to no surprise, they performed great. I’ve yet to be in a strong enough wind to try and defeat the Birdiepal Windflex and frankly, I hope to not have the need. As a strong advocate for skin protection, the Birdiepal Lightflex with UV protection is perfect for escaping the continuous rays of the sun. The Birdiepal Windflex offers contemporary style and quality construction for a rainy 18 or walk down a city street.
New to the collection, the Birdiepal Automatic springs to full canopy with the push of a button. With a great fitting handle and precise, reliable opening mechanism, the Automatic is an excellent compliment to the Birdipal lineup of quality, well crafted umbrellas.