Three ways to stay dry in the rain without a traditional umbrella

Clip-on umbrellas that leave your hands free and a breathable poncho that doesn’t leave your lower half exposed and upper half covered in perspiration offer alternatives for those who wish to be active in the rain

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 December, 2015, 7:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 December, 2015, 3:49pm

A little rain shouldn’t ruin your day, but the existing options for protection – rain jackets and umbrellas – aren’t always right for the job. A rain jacket leaves your bottom half exposed and your eyes unshielded; an umbrella leaves you with only one free hand.

Unless you’re just running through puddles and don’t care much where the rain falls, here are three rain proofing alternatives to the traditional umbrella, with the added benefit of sun protection.

Hands-free umbrella

Nubrella is the world’s first hands-free and wind resistant umbrella.

Worn as a light backpack, it sits across the tops of the shoulders and provides protection from the rain or sun. It’s got an aerodynamic canopy design that lets wind over and through, so it won’t get caught up.

It looks odd and bulky, yes, but it offers more protection against rain and sun than a rain jacket. Anyone who works outdoors – photographers and athletes come to mind – would definitely see the value in the Nubrella (so too would a parent watching sport from rainy sidelines).

And because the UV fabric provides sun protection, the Nubrella is the perfect solution for Hongkongers who hike with an umbrella. Strap on the Nubrella and hike all day with free hands. It comes with a backpack add-on, which snaps on and off to double as your daily backpack.

Stormproof umbrella

The Senz is the world’s first stormproof umbrella. Unlike round umbrellas that bend inside-out in high winds, the asymmetrical design of the senz denies Mother Nature the satisfaction: leaving umbrellas looking like a skeleton.

The Senz can withstand wind speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour – that covers most gusts under a Typhoon Signal No. 3 in Hong Kong – and offers UV protection too.

If you’re a cyclist, try the Senz cycling holder . It’s a safer alternative to wearing a hood: it means two hands on the handlebars and a perfect view of the road.

Raincape: The Cleverhood

Hongkongers have long known the value of a good poncho in the rain, with 7-Elevens offering a plastic version for just a few dollars. The Cleverhood elevates the poncho wearing experience. With a wide peak and coverage to the mid-calf, it’s another great hands-free solution for outdoor activities.

The cape design means greater protection for your bottom half; it also fits over backpacks. Made of a breathable membrane, it leaves you warm and dry after use and not covered in perspiration. Two slits for the arms, which automatically seal with concealed magnets, allow you to pop your hands out as needed and keep you dry in the meantime. A waterproof zipped pocket on the left breast completes the package.

For the commuter cyclist, thumb loops and a helmet-sized hood make for a functional fit (without the blind spots). Cleverhood’s Electric Houndstooth jacket has reflective threads integrated into the fabric which make them light up like a Christmas tree in headlights – offering added safety if cycling at night.