Totes, long a stalwart of small, sturdy, no-frills umbrellas, has reversed itself — or rather its umbrella. Literally. With the press of a button, the company's new InBrella Reverse Close Umbrella collapses upward (inside out) instead of downward.
The inside-out engineering is so that your soaking wet umbrella closes with the wet trapped on the inside instead of dripping on and around you — as with traditional umbrellas. When you set the InBrella down, you decide the best place to flip it over to release its drips. (The "closed" umbrella will stand up on its own, handle side up.)
To open, push up on the center cylinder, and the dry side of the expansive 47-inch diameter canopy will spread out over you, with the exposed outer side ready for the elements.
The InBrella has a double-layer canopy and comes in a clear fully transparent model as well as four styles with a solid-color outer canopy and a cheerful clouds, flower garden, zodiac, or multicolor raindrops under-canopy print. A ring of cut-outs in the under canopy dispels condensation, and a Velcro-closure strap secures the umbrella nice and tight for transport.
At 31 inches long, the InBrella doesn't offer the easy stash petiteness of Totes' traditional telescoping models. But you won't get the drippy mess either, and the rubber-coated curved handle provides a great grip; I found myself unconsciously using the inverted umbrella as an impromptu walking stick.
Totes InBrella Reverse Close Umbrella is $25 at totes.com.