The umbrella isn’t exactly the pinnacle of product design, and thankfully not everyone is happy to let it continue to coast on its mediocrity. For those times when you don’t have a free hand to hold one, or when the weather is so blustery you’re still getting soaked, Thanko’s got a solution with an umbrella that transforms into a wearable poncho.
Why not just grab a raincoat on your way out the door instead? They can be notoriously hot and uncomfortable, and if it’s only supposed to rain later in the day while you’re on your way home, it’s much easier to stuff a folded umbrella into a bag as a just-in-case measure. They’re mostly fine when all you’re dealing with is a light drizzle, but as the severity of the weather increases, the effectiveness of an umbrella rapidly decreases. Keeping one in hand during heavy winds is a struggle, and their design means that if you’re wearing a backpack in a storm, it’s going to get soaked.
Thanko’s Two-way Umbrella seems like a welcome upgrade, assuming you prioritise keeping dry over style and aesthetics. Most of the time it can be used as a normal pop-open umbrella, but when the weather gets worse, the canopy features a second layer that can be expanded to create a wearable rain poncho the ends up effectively covering the entire top half of the user’s body.
The intrepid product testers at SoraNews24 tried the Two-way Umbrella in person and while they found it very easy to deploy if caught in a sudden downpour, they weren’t entirely sold on the look it creates, with the expanded canopy hanging in front of the wearer like an armoured breastplate. At $US27 ($35) it’s also not as dirt cheap as the drug store umbrellas you buy in a panic after forgetting your last drug store umbrella at home. Maybe it’s worth waiting for version two that hopefully introduces an entire expandable rain suit for head-to-toe protection and embarrassment.