Nubrella - the hands-free space helmet-like umbrella
By Ben Coxworth
February 15, 2010
There are, admittedly, several problems with traditional umbrellas. For one, the area of maximum coverage, the middle, is occupied by the pole. For two, they have a way of catching the wind and sometimes even popping. For three, those little metal tips of the ribs could poke someone in the eye. For four, they’re not great at protecting you from rain that’s slanting in on an angle. And for five, if you’re really stretching the definition of the word “problem”, one of your hands is always occupied with holding the handle. These issues are all squared addressed by the Nubrella, an umbrella that you wear like a big ol’ space helmet. It’s a good thing that it allows both your hands to be free, as you’ll need them to wave to all the gawking onlookers.
The Nubrella was invented by Alan Kaufman, a successful New York cell phone dealer. His invention has shoulder straps that keep it off the top of your head, and a strap that attaches in front, to keep it from blowing off or tipping back (Apparently, it’s been tested in winds up to 50 miles per hour). Like a regular umbrella, it folds up when not in use. Unlike a regular umbrella, your head gets the prime real estate right in the middle, and the covering comes down to keep your shoulders completely dry. Because it’s open on the bottom, you can still reach in to scratch your nose or use your phone, but cigarette-smoking would not be the best of ideas.
Of course, a few questions arise when looking at this thing.
Wouldn’t wearing it in the rain be kind of like trying to drive a car without windshield wipers? In a recent TV interview, Kaufman said that the polyurethane is treated to keep water-beading to a minimum. But wouldn’t it get humid and/or fogged up on the inside? Hmm, you gotta wonder. But the big question, of course, is: won’t some people laugh at me? You could pretty much assume the answer to that would be YES. But hey, perhaps they’ll be conventional-umbrella-using people who are laughing at you out of envy.
The basic version of the Nubrella sells for $US29.99 within the US, and for $49.99 in other countries.