Beating the heat while spending the summer outside isn’t always an easy task. Many outdoor spaces don’t offer dedicated shelter from the sun, and when they do, accessibility for wheelchair users is never a guarantee. Don’t’ sweat it, though – there’s a great way to bring the shade with you wherever go – umbrella hats!
Umbrella hats are often considered a cheap, wacky novelty item, but they can be super functional for wheelchair users and other members of the Adaptive Community. They offer quick and convenient shade, or cover from the rain, hands free!
Like a lot products people without Adaptive needs or a disability find amusing, umbrella hats are rooted in pure functionality (and fantastic form depending on who you ask). They date back to the 1880’s and were originally fitted with a mosquito net to be used as protection against the sun, rain and insects while working outside. In the 1970’s, American baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock promoted and sold a version called the “Brockabrella,” making the headwear pretty popular in St. Louis at the time.
Today, the umbrella hat has advanced considerably and remain particularly useful to wheelchair users who need the use of both hands, especially in extreme weather. This product, like most adaptable creations, is just as useful for able bodied folks, like gardeners or summer-time cyclers.
LUHAHALU, an innovative umbrella company, takes a modern approach to the umbrella hat. They offer a 40” canopy, protecting not only the head, but the entire body of a wheelchair user. The LUHAHALU umbrella hat also features a folding frame which makes the umbrella compact for travel and storage!