Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independ...
Funnell: the ultimate wet weather gear12 July 2014, by Beatrice Clarke
Anyone who has ever lived in the Netherlands knows the feeling of arriving at your destination looking (and feeling) like a drowned rat after cycling through an unexpected downpour.
A young startup company called Restless Travellers is working to overcome such undignified ordeals by developing an all-in-one backpack and rain jacket.
How it works
The so-called Funnell waterproof system combines two usually separate items, a backpack and rain jacket, into a single entity. With the slogan Eject | Wear the concept behind Funnell is that you can instantly put on the jacket without having to remove the backpack or interrupt your bike ride, hike or walk to work.
At the onset of rain the wearer pulls two cords from the shoulder straps which release the built-in jacket from a top pocket, similar to deploying a parachute. The wearer then simply slips their arms into the sleeves, pulls the jacket down over the backpack and zips up the zip. The jacket is designed to cover the backpack, ensuring bag and contents also remain dry.
Well-designed, with a computer case, several compartments and adjustable straps, upon first glance Funnell could be passed off as a regular backpack.
The jacket has heat-sealed waterproof seams, and can be detached when it needs to be washed, or if the wearer chooses to replace it with a warmer of different coloured model, depending on the season.
Always prepared for rain
The appeal of Funnell lies in the fact that you will always have a rain jacket on hand, regardless of whether you consulted Buienradar or not.
Not to mention that it is accessible within a couple of seconds, without having to do complicated backpack-removal contortions.
After wearing, the jacket, whether wet or dry, can be placed back in its designated waterproof compartment, without the risk of it soaking any other backpack items.
For people in motion
Funnell was created by self-confessed travel fanatic Stefano Mangini, because he was tired of being caught unprepared by the rain when cycling. The inventor soon realised that Funnell could be worn by people in many other situations including while travelling, in everyday city life, in the wild, and while doing sport.
Restless Travellers is in the process of crowd funding to launch this product. They have until the end of August to reach their target amount to produce the collection.
So if you can see yourself pulling on your raincoat as you coast hands-free along a bike path then maybe this is the investment for you!