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The Scout: A modern rain barrel for garden watering

June 30, 2009 | 12:29 pm

Hero360top At the Dwell on Design show last weekend, exhibitors offered up some great-looking furniture and accessories but less inspiration when it came to functional objects with the potential to change how we live. Almost lost in the shuffle was the Toronto design studio Hero, which showcased the promising new Hero 365 RC-1 rain collector. It's essentially a modern take on the rain barrel, designed to sit under your roof's down spout and store water in a 45-gallon tank. Turn the brass spigot to fill a watering can or hook up a hose for bigger jobs.

It does look a bit like a hamper with good drainage in this photo, so you'll have to trust me that it looked better in person. The frame is powder-coated steel, and the top panel lifts up to reveal a mesh screen that catches leaves and other debris. The main holding tank is actually a giant heavy-duty bag (phthalate-free, for those with health concerns) that's visible through the cutouts in the steel panels, so you can gauge how full it is. Pricing and photos of other color options are on the jump.


The Hero 365 RC-1 rain collector comes in all white or all brown; the tank can be brown and the legs white, or vice versa.

The price is $550 Canadian, or about $475 U.S. For a coordinating powder-coated watering can, add $35 Canadian, or about $30 U.S.

Hero 365 design director Jenny Lemieux said the studio was at the Dwell show hoping to connect with U.S. retailers. The new product currently is available only through the Canadian website Modern Karibou. The piece ships flat-packed.

Expensive, sure, but you have to admire the effort. And at some point, we'll need to ask: At what cost do residents of dry climates ignore innovations like this?

-- Craig Nakano

Photo credit: Hero