h a l f b a k e r y
"More like a cross between an onion, a golf ball, and a roman multi-tiered arched aquaduct."
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Not all my ideas will be about umbrellas but it just occurred to me that a standard umbrella with the same material (but transparent) gathered like blinds around the rim could be quite handy. When it sleets as opposed to showering, press a slider switch in the handle down and the see-through blinds lower
to the level at which you remove pressure to leave you dry in a variable-droplevel tube. When the sleet stops, slide the switch up and the tube returns to its original position around the umbrella rim. When putting the umbrella away, it would be a little bunchier but should still fold up properly.