I’m standing out in the pouring rain to prove a point. ShedRain’s powered umbrella can help me stay dry faster than a traditional umbrella.
Called e-Motion, it takes the concept of a motorized, automatic umbrella — one that opens and closes with the press of a button — a step further. It also extends and retracts its stem.
With the rain pelting me like a fusillade of insults at a Don Rickles (RIP) performance, I remove the umbrella from its zipper case, wishing that part was automated, too, and press the up-arrow button on the handle. The e-Motion umbrella simultaneously springs open and extends. Suddenly, I’m sheltered from the rain.
The umbrella, which weighs roughly a pound (a bit heavy for a compact umbrella), feels sturdy in my hand and its fabric is black and substantial. I’m momentarily dry and happy. Then it’s time to test how well and fast it closes. I do this while still out in the rain.
I press and hold the down button on the handle and the e-Motion umbrella just as quickly retracts. The umbrella is once again as small as it was before I opened it, except that the strap used to bind it up is just dangling there. I realize that, even with an automatic umbrella, you still have to touch it to wrap the thing up. Of course, I’ve never seen an umbrella that could handle that part of the operation.
Still, I’m impressed with the speed and utility of this gadget. It charges through a proprietary charging port — the adapter is included — and will, according to the company, be good for 150 open and close operations (that means 75 rain showers, give or take) per charge.
At $99, ShedRain’s e-Motion would be the most expensive umbrella I’ve ever owned. On the other hand, the $10 umbrellas I’ve bought off street vendors usually last through a few storms, at best. e-Motion looks like it could have a good long life, save me a lot of fuss, and make me look cool in the process.
Now, can I please get out of the rain?
ShedRain e-Motion Umbrella
It’s automatic • Fast • Well built • Good battery
The Bottom Line
I want this automatic umbrella.