Make Your Own Pull-Cord Backpack Umbrella with This Guide

Never carry an umbrella by hand ever again with this ingenious build.
Christopher McFadden

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If you are fed up with lugging around an umbrella when the weather takes a turn for the worse, then this gadget should be right up your street. Using some basic tools, and a little lateral thinking, you too can make your own backpack-mounted auto-umbrella deployment gizmo. 

Follow this guide to find out how. 

diy umbrella backpack complete
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build. 

Step 1: Plan out the gubbins

The first step is to open up your backpack and take some pieces of paper. Cut them down to size to match the inside shape and area of the backpack to help you design the actual mechanism for deploying the umbrella. 

With that done, take the paper template, transfer it to a sheet of wood, and cut it out as needed. Sand down and clean up the cut wooden sheet as needed. 

Next, sketch out the designs for the main umbrella deploying arm, transfer to other pieces of wood, and cut it out as before. Sand and clean up as needed too. 

diy umbrella backpack pieces
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

 Drill and core holes through the pieces as required.

Step 2: Make the main umbrella deploying mechanism

Next, either download the 3D parts needed from the creator of this piece or have a go at designing your own. Either way, print the 3D parts required for the build as needed. 

Clean up the 3D parts once printed and remove any struts and other parts that are not a necessary part of the part. 

diy backpack umbrella 3d parts
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

The main parts include, but are not limited to, the main grip for the umbrella. 

With that done, machine the various metal parts needed using your lathe. Watch the video for more detailed instructions on this section. 

With that done, take your pillow bearings and machined metal rod, and assemble them at the top of the wooden base for the umbrella mechanism. 

diy umbrella backpack arm
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

Step 3: Begin the assembly

With all the main parts complete, we can now begin to assemble the piece. First, attach the main umbrella holder to the deploying arm. 

With that done, take the 3D parts, some springs, and a small cylinder piston and assemble the main umbrella deploying mechanism to the wooden backplate as shown below. 

diy umbrella backpack mechanism
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

Secure and fix the mechanism to the backplate using suitably sized nuts and bolts as needed. Test the mechanism by installing it temporarily in our backpack and pulling the main arm upwards. 

The mechanism should move relatively freely bringing the umbrella arm over your right shoulder. If not, adjust as needed. 

With that done, machine a mounting bracket for the other end of the piston, and install as needed to the backplate of the device. 

diy umbrella backpack mounting bracket
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

With that done, either use a length of string, or weave your own, feed it through the backplate of the device, and tie one end to the pull arm of the umbrella lifting mechanism. 

Next, apply a layer of glue to the umbrella mounting bracket, and secure the umbrella into place as needed. Leave the glue to fully cure. 

diy umbrella backpack glue
Source: The Practical Engineer/YouTube

With that done, insert the entire assembly into the backpack, and secure the backplate to the backpack using nuts and bolts. Where needed, cut holes in the backpack to allow the lifting arm and pull cord to be exposed through the bag. 

With that done, rig up a trigger mechanism to deploy the umbrella's canopy as it raises on its mounting arm. How you do this will depend entirely on the design of your umbrella, so will likely take a bit of trial and error. 

With that done, your pull cord deployable umbrella backpack is now complete. Now all you need to do is wait for a rainy day and show off your hard work!

Well done you. 

If you enjoyed this fun little project, you may enjoy making another DIY gadget? How about, for example, making an overengineered toilet paper dispenser? 

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