This is one of those ‘duh!’ products that make you wonder why you never thought to ask how come umbrellas come in crackly plastic or easily soaked cloth sheathes instead of plastic canisters. Vinrella, a brand new company started by an enterprising mother and daughter from Texas, has done the most practical thing in the world- put a cover on an umbrella that protects your belongings from getting soaked. I got a query asking if I’d be interested in working with the product, and this was a no brainer yes. I was raised by a Guyanese mother with Victorian English values. She was death on leaving the house without tissues, mints, and an umbrella in your purse or bookbag. A lady must be prepared! However, I am always getting stuck with a wet umbrella, shoving it in a plastic bag and then forgetting about it. Then I end up with a mildew-y rusty umbrella that is no longer cute. The Vinrella water bottle umbrella seemed like an answer to my prayers.
I picked red, since it is my unbreakable habit to buy only red umbrellas. I like the idea of pulling out a bright, bold color on a grey and drizzly day. The Vinrella bumbershoot was the perfect red, with a pattern that matches the plastic water bottle style canister that it comes in. You fold up the umbrella and it fits quite neatly into the canister. The handle screws on securely, so you could actually clip this to your bag, along with your keys. I popped it into my bag when I went out to do my street vending for the day (which is going quite nicely, thank you!).
Popped it right into my Life is good stowaway canvas tote. Where it fit like any other umbrella or water bottle. So far so good… but what’s gonna happen when it actually rains? I’ll tell you…
I literally got caught outside in the rain after an event. I had just started home and there was a massive crack of thunder and the heavens opened. Yes! I pulled my Vinrella umbrella out of my bag, unscrewed the canister, and unsheathed my umbrella. I went out and while others were scurrying, I was sheltered under a decent sized cover, in stunningly defiant red with flowing peacock feather graphic.
I got to my destination, closed the umbrella with the plastic button which is so much easier to find and operate than the usual metal blade thingy. I got it closed, and swirled the wet umbrella back together and put it in the canister. DONE. That’s it- I was done. My stuff was dry and I just opened the umbrella at ome and let it air dry overnight, then back in it’s canister.
Drawbacks? If you’re making multiple trips make sure to pour the collected water out of the canister, and I worry a little about whether or not the plastic bottle will break and how will I replace it if it does.
The Vinrella umbrella (you can get it in water bottle or wine bottle holders) retails for $20 and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Check them out here. They’ve already been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, Family Circle and on the Today show with good reason- this is a cool idea, and saves your purse, cosmetics, extra gym shoes, etc from getting soaked even though you made it through the rain.