Simple solutions include parking in a garage, having a doorman hold it.
April 3, 2009 2:06 AM   Subscribe

Please teach me how to get into a car, in the rain, with an umbrella, without soaking myself.

I can't seem to manage to get both myself and the umbrella into the car without all the water running down the umbrella onto my arm as I'm closing it, which nullifies the whole point of having an umbrella. Unless I close the umbrella before I get in the car, which means I still get rained on. This is more of a problem with larger umbrellas but still an issue even with the compact/tiny models.

Is there some magic trick? Other people don't seem to have this problem, according to Google and informal observation.

Detailed step-by-step solutions preferred, because obviously if I haven't worked this out by now I need a lot of help.
posted by subbes to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have a small umbrella that automatically closes when you press the button! So I just get in the car, hold the umbrella out, and press the button to close. Maybe you should get one of those. It's Swissgear. Got it at Target.
posted by Theloupgarou at 2:13 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

There is no way to avoid getting wet, holding a wet umbrella while you're getting into a vehicle - unless

1 - you pre-wrap the umbrella in a plastic bag
2 - you enter the car first, unfold umbrella, keeping it away from you - as in putting it in the back seat or next to you. A drip or two will fall/brush up against you.
posted by watercarrier at 2:14 AM on April 3, 2009

Best answer: Oh and have the umbrella pointing DOWN and AWAY from you outside while you're already in the car.
posted by watercarrier at 2:15 AM on April 3, 2009

Tip the umbrella forwards and then upside-down, to shake off the water, before entering your car. You will get just a little wet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:16 AM on April 3, 2009

Best answer: 1. Open the door.
2. Hold the umbrella above the door (and car roof) while you sit down. You will end up in the car with the brolly outside, over the roof, still offering protection.
3. Partially close the door and move/rotate the umbrella down so the shaft is horizontal, and the "canopy" is next to the door.
4. Give the umbrella a shake, fold it (furl it; optional), bring it into the car.

Same process in reverse for leaving the car in heavy rain. For light rain, just grit your teeth and move fast.
posted by BrokenEnglish at 2:36 AM on April 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

Best answer: What BrokenEnglish said, except you might not want to partially close the door, or make sure your umbrella is already "inside" the car door when you do. You don't want to get the umbrella caught on the door as you're folding it back down.

This is easier with smaller umbrellas, obviously.

... The trick is to simply close the umbrella while holding the shaft horizontal or pointed down, actually (with your arm already inside the car as you're doing so). It sounds like you might be closing it while it's vertical, which inevitably results in water running down your arm.
posted by Xany at 3:51 AM on April 3, 2009

Best answer: Automatic closing umbrella. Get in car, door open wide, leaning away from the rain. Hold umbrella horizontally and press button.

Or... the "matrix" method. Hold umbrella with two hands, one at base, and one at neck with finger on the release mechanism. Right foot in the car (assuming you are living in the USA) and car door wide open. Disengage the lock mechanism, hold the sliding piece up with one hand, turn rump towards car interior. Take a deep breath. In a smooth movement, sit on your car seat, whilst sliding a hand down your umbrella closing the canopy (?) and swinging the umbrella itself downward.. If you timing is right your head will be under the cars roof right as the canopy shrinks to a size that can no longer cover your head. Roll up left sleeve and pull the car door shut (I used to rest the wet umbrella on the drivers side floor... until it rolled near the pedals... now I sheath it between the drivers seat and the wall of the car.
posted by syntheticfaith at 4:59 AM on April 3, 2009

Use a second umbrella (kept in the car) to protect you from the rain whilst you collapse and shake out the first umbrella.
posted by JtJ at 5:10 AM on April 3, 2009

Rather than tip the umbrella, try spinning it to remove the water.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:12 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

What you need is an autobrella. It's a great invention and can be fitted easily to any car. It's a little bracket which clips onto the top of the car door and which will hold the umbrella

Walk over to the car (umbrella up)
Put the umbrella handle into the autobrella (you can get an attachment for various handle types).
Get into the car. The umbrella is still covering the opening between the door and the car.
Now the clever bit; just close the door! You dont get wet; you're undercover the whole time, and the autobrella holds the umbrella securely in place, ready for when you get to your destination, get out and pick up the umbrella again!

posted by BadMiker at 5:42 AM on April 3, 2009

Get a DeLorean?

nthing the autoumbrella, but it helps a lot if you get one of those wind resistant ones, so you don't get a whip of water surprise in a sudden gust.
posted by spec80 at 6:58 AM on April 3, 2009

Best answer: 1. Open car door.
2. Transfer umbrella to left hand (or right, if you drive on the left side).
3. Hold umbrella above the car door and sit down.
4. Sitting, with both hands on the umbrella, extend your arms as far possible without getting wet. Lean back into your car to get more extended coverage. Close umbrella.
5. Shove closed umbrella either under your legs, horizontal with the endge of the seat and so your legs safely extend over it to the pedals. Or shove it in the crack between the door and the seat so it makes its way to the back seat.
6. Close door, start engine, drive away.
7. Crack beer.
posted by nitsuj at 7:13 AM on April 3, 2009

Response by poster: Oh my gosh I'm a dunce. Point it down and away. A grasp of simple physics should have helped.

I wouldn't have exposed my fail, but severe storms and flooding rains have been whipping through the area and I don't like coming to work looking like a wet tee-shirt competitor or survivor of a full-immersion baptism gone terribly awry.
posted by subbes at 7:51 AM on April 3, 2009

Response by poster: I had occasion to test this yesterday during another severe storm warning/flood warning period, and the pointing was just what I needed to do. Perfect. Thank you!
posted by subbes at 6:00 PM on April 14, 2009

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