Ask LH: How Can I Stay Dry Without An Umbrella?

Hi Lifehacker, I recently started working in an office building quite close to where I live. It’s a half hour walk through some lovely suburban streets, across a freeway overpass and into an industrial area. This is the first time in my life I haven’t been driving or public transporting to work and I enjoy it. However, the recent inclement weather, while a boon to struggling farmers, is causing me problems.

I have tried an umbrella, but as I’m quite tall, everything below my knees gets wet. I’ve tried a raincoat, but I end up with the same result. I can’t quite bring myself to get a full length coat, in case I’m mistaken for a horror movie villain. What is the most efficient and practical way to keep completely dry when you walk in the rain? Thanks, Crying In The Rain

[credit provider=”Shutterstock” url=””]

Dear CITR,

The simplest solution is to run. This might sound criminally obvious, but there are plenty of people who claim they stay drier when walking due to less of their body being exposed to the raindrops. In fact, Mythbusters once put this theory to the test and actually gave walking the thumbs up.

However, science has since disproved this theory, as the below MinutePhysics video demonstrates:

The “total wetness = (wetness per second X time spent in rain) + (wetness per meter X meters travelled)” formula is also supported by MIT professor Walter Lewin. As Lewin explains, the angle of your body has an effect as well because of the direction of the rain. Apparently, leaning forward while running can improve your chances of staying dry. (Just be sure to look where you’re going!)

If you’d prefer not to run, another possible solution is to invest in some water-repelling apparel from Threadsmiths. This is a Melbourne-based clothing company that recently patented a hydrophobic nano-tech application that causes water to bead up and roll off fabric. The result is that your clothes remain completely dry even in a torrential downpour. The technology can even ward off sticky liquids such as Coke:

Unfortunately, Threadsmiths currently only sells T-shirts, but there are plans afoot to expand the range to include other clothing items. With any luck, you’ll soon be able to deck yourself out in an entire water-proof ensemble. In the meantime, we’re afraid you’re stuck with the brolly — here’s an etiquette guide to make life a bit simpler.

Do readers have any additional rain avoidance tips? If so, let CITR know in the comments section below.


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


10 responses to “Ask LH: How Can I Stay Dry Without An Umbrella?”