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by Donna M. Airoldi | July 12, 2011

Umbrellas are great for keeping dry, but they can be cumbersome and frustrating to use when carrying other items at the same time. Not anymore.

Leave it to Hammacher Schlemmer to improve upon the product in just the right way. The innovative company recently introduced its Backpack Umbrella, which is worn on the back to keep the hands free. The umbrella is stored in a backpack, and when needed, can be attached to a built-in support rod, providing mobile, hands-free shelter.

“The Backpack Umbrella helps pedestrians stay dry while leaving their hands free to carry groceries or luggage,” says Fred Berns, Hammacher Schlemmer’s general manager.

The diameter of the polyester canopy is 39-¼ inches, and the backpack’s two shoulder straps and waist strap provide stability to help keep the umbrella pole upright while on the go. Once collapsed, the umbrella slips back into the zippered backpack for storage.

The Backpack Umbrella, item number 81203, comes in black and sells for $39.95. It weighs one pound. When closed, dimensions are 36 inches long by 2-¼ inches wide. For more information visit www.hammacher.com.