No more wet backs and soggy backpacks with this umbrella!

Philosopher and poet Vanilla Ice once said, “if there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it”, but his solutions seemed to be related to DJs revolving hooks. While that certainly may help in some situations, rainy season in Japan is just around the corner, and Vanilla Ice’s fresh rhymes will do very little to help keep us dry.

But while Vanilla Ice isn’t very forthcoming with solutions, Japanese gadget company Thanko have always got our backs when it comes to genius inventions we never knew we needed. Tired of doing the washing up? Check out Thanko’s plate scrubbing robot. No hands free for smart phone gaming on a packed train? Thanko have that covered too. Want to experience zero gravity from the comfort of your own home? Thanks, Thanko!

And now, as the rainy season in Japan is fast approaching, Thanko have turned their attention to another problem we never knew we needed solving — finding the perfect umbrella.

This isn’t Thanko’s first foray into the world of umbrella inventions — they’ve already brought out a hands-free umbrella hat and a versatile umbrella that turns into a chair. This time, though, they’re focusing on a problem many people face at this time of year; not only keeping their bodies dry, but their backpacks, too.

▼ On the left, a normal umbrella, a drenched backpack and a (probably) unhappy man. On the right, Thanko’s ‘Backpack Guard Umbrella,’ a bone dry backpack, and an (assumedly) happy guy.

The ‘Backpack Guard Umbrella‘ is a dome shaped umbrella designed specifically to keep your backpack and its contents dry on a rainy day. The diameter of the umbrella is 100 centimeters (39 inches), allowing it to fully guard backpacks, even on windy days where the rain might be a bit more unpredictable. When folded up, the umbrella is much longer than normal umbrellas at 88cm (35 inches). The length and diameter mean the Backpack Guard is big enough to cover two people, so you can take a lovely rainy day stroll with a friend, like in this picture below.

And even though the Backpack Guard Umbrella completely covers the upper half of your body, the transparent plastic used at the front of the umbrella means you can still see clearly. The side of the umbrella is a black fabric, obscuring your face from any passers-by.

The Backpack Guard Umbrella costs 3,190 yen (US$29), which some netizens have balked at, considering normal umbrellas can be found at convenience stores around the country for around 500 yen (US$4.50). But what price can you put on a dry back?

“I keep my backpack dry by never leaving the house.”
“As someone who uses backpacks a lot, I really want this!”

“My umbrellas never cover my backpack and my textbooks always end up soaked.”
“On a busy street, I can see this getting in the way and annoying other people.”
“If you use it on a really windy day, you’d end up being blown away.”
“I feel like this was already sold a long time ago. I guess it didn’t sell well then, so I wonder if it’ll be successful this time?”

With rainy season just around the corner, this umbrella might be the perfect solution to keeping our upper half nice and dry. And as rainy season ends and summer brings with it hot, humid days, Thanko have the perfect umbrella for that, too.

Source: Thanko via Jin
Images: Thanko
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