When staying dry is more important than the way you look.

Now that the rainy season is upon us, people everywhere are seeking out the perfect wet weather items to keep them dry throughout constant days of incessant rain.

For those finding it hard to decide between whether to choose an umbrella or poncho this year, Japanese gadget company Thanko is here to tell us we don’t have to choose between the two anymore, because they’ve created the new Folding Umbrella Sometimes Poncho.

▼ The Folding Umbrella Sometimes Poncho (left) is only slightly bigger than a regular compact folding umbrella (right).

Like the name suggests, this new product is essentially a folding umbrella that can also magically transform into a poncho. How exactly does it do that? Well, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma brought it into the office to school us all in the latest wet weather innovation.

▼ When opened, it looks like an ordinary umbrella.

▼ Nothing unusual here.

However, when the rain’s really bucketing down and you want more protection than a regular umbrella, it’s time to transform the covering by removing the six caps on the pointed tips…

▼ …and peeling off the covering on the surface of the umbrella.

Then you have an extra piece of material that hangs off the umbrella, providing extra protection that comes in handy for covering the back of your clothes or a backpack.

While it might not be ideal for windy days, when the material might blow about and splatter everyone around you, it is a fantastic solution for regular rainy days when you need that extra protection.

However, the umbrella really reveals its true magic when the the shaft is shortened…

▼ And you place your head in the hood from the inside of the umbrella.

Ta daaa! The umbrella is now a poncho! 

According to Thanko, the product is easy for anyone to assemble, and Masanuki would definitely attest to that, as it took him only a matter of seconds to transform the product.

As for looks, though, Masanuki wasn’t sure if he had the guts to wear such weird-looking attire on the street. The poncho doesn’t attempt to hide the umbrella shape at all, making Masanuki look as if he were part-man part-umbrella.

Still, he’d seen models rocking crazier-looking haute couture clothing on international runways, so he decided to channel his inner supermodel and introduce the world to his bold cutting-edge fashion.

▼ The hottest new fashion trend for rainy season 2021.

▼ Our fearless reporter stepped outside into the rain and put his umbrella on.

Then he set out to use the streets of Shinjuku as his runway. Look at that strut! Such presence! What are you wearing, dahhhhling?

While these were questions he imagined he’d be asked by admiring passersby, to the contrary, all he received were quizzical looks and a few disparaging side-eyes.  It looks like the streets of Shinjuku just aren’t ready for such forward-thinking fashion.

As he walked around, he noticed the rain hitting his face harder than usual, which made him wonder if he should actually be holding another umbrella to shield his eyes. That type of umbrella-on-umbrella action could only be pulled off by the world’s most elite supermodels, however, and Masanuki felt more like Batman in the rain than Blue Steel on the runway.

Still, if you want to put your mental strength to the test, and keep your clothes super protected from the rain, the Folding Umbrella Sometimes Poncho could help you out in a pinch. Priced at 2,980 yen (US$27.17), the new product can be purchased online, where people wanting slightly more conventional rainy season gear can also pick up an umbrella hat or an umbrella that turns into a chair.

Related: Sanko Online Shop “Folding Umbrella Sometimes Poncho
Photos © SoraNews24
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