Hey! Hands off that umbrella!

In today’s busy life, having to use an umbrella can be a real drag. With one hand reserved for your smartphone and the other often tied up with a shopping or work bag, there’s little real estate with opposable thumbs to accommodate an umbrella on rainy days.

It’s an age-old problem and many attempts to solve it have been made. Some have been overambitious, like the drone-powered flying parasol, while others simply had no chance of catching on, like the poncho-powered wearable umbrella.

But the other day, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma saw a video from overseas that was both simple and elegant in design. In the video, someone was riding a motorbike while their umbrella was fixed to their back with wire coat hangers. The especially cool thing about it was that the hooks of the hangers could also be used to hold bags!

That was all Masanuki needed to see, so he immediately gathered his umbrella, two wire hangers, and some tape.

It’s all incredibly easy. First, just tape the two hangers to the shaft of the umbrella so that the flat bottom ends are parallel to it.

The only potentially tricky part is that you have to remember to keep the hooks of the hangers pointing upward so that they can be used to hold things.

It just so happened to be a rainy day too, so Masanuki headed out to the country roads to try it out. Unfortunately, in Japan riding a bicycle or motorcycle with an umbrella is prohibited by law, so we can’t endorse such behavior in this article, but there’s no law against walking or running with one!

First, Masanuki bent out the hangers into a shape that conformed comfortably and securely to his torso.

He then simply slipped his arms through each one.

Next, he put his shopping bags onto each hook, positioned near his shoulders.

And that was it.

If he had one complaint, it was that the umbrella sat a little too low over his head, but since he had the foresight to choose a transparent one, it wasn’t such a big deal. Also, in another ingenious design feature that wasn’t in the original video, Masanuki made sure his umbrella handle was sticking straight out the back so that it too could be used as a hook for bags.

It was a little similar to a rig that his colleague P.K. Sanjun had made a few years ago to help him play Pokémon GO in the rain.

However, Masanuki’s design wasn’t nearly as conspicuous and remarkably more lightweight.

Masanuki also realized that had he chosen hangers that matched the color of his clothing, then they would hardly even be noticeable. It would be exactly as if he had an umbrella sprouting out of his back.

It was also light and sturdy enough for him to jog in.

That being said, an umbrella strapped to your back leaves you at the mercy of the wind conditions at the time. This could either help or hinder you, depending on the direction you’re running.

In conclusion, the biggest advantage of the coat hanger umbrella is that it’s cheap and easy to make. On the other hand, the biggest drawback is that you can’t close it or navigate crowded places as you would with a conventional handheld umbrella.

Whether that’s a fair trade-off will largely depend on the individual and situation, but at least we can say that it does work, and surprisingly well at that.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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