We’ve Been Doing the Umbrella All Wrong, and Someone Finally Fixed It

There are few things more helpful than a really good umbrella. I had one for about six or seven years. It was wide and sturdy, opened and closed without getting snagged or stuck. But despite how much I appreciated it, it was still prone to the same issues all umbrellas have: They're difficult to open and close in tight spaces, they don't survive windy days, and you have to find a water-friendly place to shake off and dry them.

Well, some of these may be problems of the past. Inside-out umbrellas are hitting the market in big ways now, likely thanks in no small part to the KAZbrella. Originally a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, the British-designed product looks like an umbrella after a windy day when it's not open. It opens downward over your head to avoid hitting anyone in the face, especially on a crowded street. The design basically traps any water along the folds of until you have to, well, shake it off and let it dry someplace. At least you're not dripping water everywhere now.

The KAZbrella retails for £45 ($60) plus shipping from England, but there are already a number of cheaper options out there. Rainlax, for instance, has a similarly designed and water-trapping umbrella that sells for a little over $20 on Amazon. The Rainlax umbrellas also sport cool designs on the inside/outside of the umbrella, making them pretty stylish as well. The only potential downside, per a review from Racked, is that the Rainlax umbrellas are pretty large, almost tent-like.

Then again, umbrellas are supposed to keep you dry, and inverted umbrellas seem like they're designed from tip to to handle to do just that.