Rain ponchos are used by outdoor enthusiasts, holiday-goers, commuters and anyone who wishes to avoid getting wet when stuck in a downpour. They are more convenient and versatile than an umbrella, as they are lighter and allow easy movement of the arms. The main problem with a standard poncho is folding them back into a compact size after use, especially when they are wet. Because it is difficult to re-fold a poncho neatly, many people use disposable (environmentally-unfriendly) ponchos or fold them untidily into a size that takes up significant storage.
The NUS Division of Industrial Design has designed the Pack-a-Poncho. This is a novel poncho that quickly and easily folds into a compact package, through a drawstring and spring steel mechanism. The folded poncho can then be stored into a sling bag that is part of the one-piece design, to prevent loss of any accessories.
Applications and Advantages
The folding of the Pack-a-Poncho is done swiftly and intuitively in two steps. Firstly, the user pulls the drawstring, to gather the poncho fabric to the steel rim. And secondly, the user twists the steel rim to fold the poncho into a compact form. The steel rim has an added functionality when the poncho is in use, of allowing ventilation and preventing the wet poncho material from sticking to the users’ legs. When the poncho is stored in the water-proof sling bag, it keeps in the excess water, ensuring other items do not get wet.
NUS has applied for a utility patent for this design and is seeking partners or licensors to help bring the Pack-a-Poncho to market.
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