Umbrellas have a unique way of inexplicably vanishing, turning themselves inside out with the faintest gusts of wind and playing wallflower, all-too-often forgotten because their value to the human race is understated.
But perhaps that’s because the common umbrella is simply too simple. It doesn’t hold your coffee, it restricts your bodily functions and it’s a constant reminder that you’re not a member of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan; you’re just a guy whipping your $12 umbrella around in the unstable wedge of your elbow while trying to text your buddy, “It’s raining,” and simultaneously soaking the woman next to you at the crosswalk.
Designers have been laboring to upgrade the common umbrella beyond blue-sky prints for as long as umbrellas have been a thing, which has been a long time. And the following retail and concept umbrellas will change the way you anticipate rainy days forever.
1. The Kikkerland Samurai Umbrella
The gentleman’s umbrella meets the warrior’s sword.
2. The Hi-Reflective Umbrella
By day, this is a simple gray umbrella, but by night, it’s a highly visible shield. It’s made of polyester coated in reflective beads so you can stay dry and safe.
3. The Dualbrella
This double umbrella eliminates the jockeying for shelter. Despite having two tops, it only has one handle, so you can hold it for your date or an armful of luggage.
4. The Senz Windproof Umbrella
The Senz Original has been tested to stand up to 70 mph winds without inverting or breaking, and it has a UV protection of 50+, and it looks awesome.
5. The Cup Holder Umbrella
Finally, we have an umbrella that will hold your coffee. Talk about boosting productivity.
6. The Phone-brella
Rain is a cell phone’s arch nemesis. You can’t always avoid using your phone in the rain—texting your buddies, looking up directions, Googling the Urban Dictionary definition of some strange word you heard on the subway. It leads to water damage, and water damage costs you dollars. This umbrella gives you free hands for texting away, but points if you can locate anywhere to actually purchase it.
7. The Forecast Concept Umbrella
A model for embedded technology, this concept Forecast umbrella lets owners make informed but simple decisions about whether or not they should grab their umbrella on the way out in the morning. Why? Because the handle lights up if it’s going to rain!
8. The Bluetooth Concept Umbrella
Imagine standing on the subway beside a man talking into his umbrella handle. That’s the kind of confusion this concept umbrella has instilled in us.