This Brilliant Umbrella Redesign Keeps More Than Just Your Head Dry

Illustration for article titled This Brilliant Umbrella Redesign Keeps More Than Just Your Head Dry

The slightest gust on a rainy day can make the umbrella you're carrying completely useless. Besides flipping inside out, it doesn't protect you from rain being blown in from the side. So Lin Min-Wei and Liu Li-Hsiang came up with the Rain Shield, a radical re-thinking of the umbrella that seemingly solves those problems.

Think of it as a lightweight version of the shields used by riot police connected to an umbrella, but instead of battling unruly protestors, it's designed to keep you dry. It still covers your head like a traditional umbrella, but adds a vertical panel to protect you from the wind and blowing rain.


It can still be easily collapsed too, but into a compact flat disc that seems a little easier to stash and carry in a bag. And the rounded design of the canopy means there's no sharp points that could accidentally poke someone walking by. So here's to hoping that winning a Red Dot design award will attract some attention so the rain shield can go into production soon—like before Hurricane Sandy hits the East Coast next week. [Red Dot Design Awards via Fast Co.Design]

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I've long believed that umbrellas are the everyday tool most in need of a serious redesign. For example, there has to be some way to engineer them so that they don't get dragged this way and that, or turn inside out, in high winds.

This one is clever, especially if you live in a place where the rain is often torrential or monsoon-like in nature. But I don't even want to imagine what it's like in high winds.