Posted by: David Stewart | November 22, 2011

Ode to an umbrella

When you are running in the rain, you don’t need an umbrella, you will be getting wet anyway.

For other times spent in the Pacific Northwest, you might want to keep your clothing somewhat dry.

Maybe you’re like me, and got caught last weekend in downtown Seattle in an incipient downpour. I had a 20 minute walk ahead of me, had no reasonable hat or raincoat and did not wish to get soaked.

\My favorite umbrella

Today in Portland, we’re getting some serious rain – serious rain – which means there are sheets and buckets of rain coming down. So it seems apt to tell you that I am really in love with the emergency umbrella I purchased last weekend in Macy’s in downtown Seattle.

It’s a Totes auto open / auto close.

  • When it’s closed, it measures about 9 inches (22 cm).
  • It is quite reasonable to stuff it in my laptop bag so I have it in case of emergency
  • One button and the stem telescopes out to full height and the canopy deploys.
  • Push the button again and the canopy collapses.
  • To finish the closing operation, pull the segments of the stem together to reload the system.

Always a couple of tradeoffs:

  • There are big warnings printed on this baby to make sure you don’t put somebody’s eye out when you open it.
  • It takes a little strength to close the stem and re-cock the system. There is a lot of potential energy tied up in that spring. You really need two hands to close it properly, which may be hard to perform when you step into a building with your other hand occupied.
  • When you have been in a downpour and want to hit the button to close your brollie, make sure you knock the rainwater off before you close it. The shock of collapsing the canopy will create a little rainstorm for you unless you dispose of the water first.

Highly recommended!

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