This New Zealand umbrella manufacturer is redefining personal weather protection.
MONEY WELL SPENT | Although Vancouver is a rainy place, I almost never carry an umbrella— and if I do, it’s usually a cheapie. I go cheap because every umbrella I’ve owned has been either wrecked and ruined in a storm or lost in 60 seconds. Considering my history, I surprised myself recently by switching from $10 disposables to a $60 Blunt umbrella. If the Blunt lives up to its promise, it’ll be one of the last brollies I buy.
Right As Rain
Until the introduction of compact collapsible models in the late 1980s, umbrella design had changed little since the first steel-ribbed rain stoppers rolled out in England in the 1880s. Clever as the collapsibles are, they too have failed to address the umbrella’s two most irksome attributes: the fact that it can flip inside out in a good wind and poke out a neighbour’s eye.
The Blunt umbrella, invented by two New Zealand design engineers, addresses the wind issue with a system of double struts, floating ribs and blunt tips that open like mini umbrellas into six specially designed pockets located along the unit’s outer edges. These structural features make the Blunt a force against blustery weather (CLICK HERE to see it withstand 62 mile per hour winds), while the blunt tips themselves, which give the product its name and distinctive look, also address safety.
Right now, the only thing the Blunt doesn’t address is loss, though the company plans to introduce a “carry it anywhere” sleeve with shoulder strap (shown above) later this fall, which should help. For me, the Blunt’s higher than average price helps to keep its whereabouts on my mind. —Annabel Lee
Photos: courtesy Blunt