Some of our customers might have noticed that umbrellas have been in the news the past week, in particular the Rainshader windproof umbrella that we looked at in a previous blog post last year.
Rainshader in the News - an interesting new design
The Rainshader Umbrella
The Rainshader umbrella is a crash helmet-shaped umbrella (see image above) has been designed to put an end to poking passers-by with brolly spokes. A problem that many of us have encountered! The Rainshader sits low over the userís head and covers the shoulders and upper body. Its spokes point down, not out, and it gives the holder an unobstructed view without lifting the brolly upwards.
Stephen Collier created The Rainshader - which was designed to protect people from the elements while they watch sporting events. The Rainshader's canopy protects users from the wind and rain without obstructing their view.
When we first encountered the Rainshader, we weren't too sure about the design and whether it would catch on. Some of our customers felt it looked a bit too much like a large helmet and that they would be too self-conscious wearing it. Nevertheless, it is well designed and certainly prevents the every-day problem of protruding spokes and it has been designed to be windproof too.
Indeed, we can see its effectiveness in high winds with this windtunnel test. In the video, we see the Rainshader being tested up to a windspeed of gale force seven - around 40mph - and the umbrella doesn't once blow inside out.
Chris Brown from Warwick University talks about the Rainshader
Windspeed tests on the Rainshader Umbrella
Blunt Umbrellas - sleek design & windproof too
Nevertheless, Rainshader are not the only company who have redesigned the umbrella with high winds and eye-poking in mind! Blunt Umbrellas was formed in 1999, by a tall (1.9 metre) yet frustrated New Zealand designer, Greig Brebner, who kept being poked in the eye by the umbrellas of passers-by. By redesigning the umbrella to remove the tip he realised that the new modern wave design gave the canopy extra strength!
Developing the new design further, they used the latest umbrella technology to create the most windproof umbrella possible using double struts with telescopic floating ribs. This redirects, transfers and distributes tension right to the edge, where it is needed most. Creating an unflappable, aerodynamic weather canopy proven on winds up to force 12 (117km/h) way beyond the capability of any conventional umbrella.
The Blunt Umbrella is designed and built to withstand the toughest conditions and be a pleasure to use year after year. This means less waste, better value for money, and less swearing in the street every time it rains.
So all-in-all, if you are looking for a novel design with practical benefits, the reimagined umbrella Rainshader certainly does the job, but it is not the only one, as we see with the sleek umbrella designs by Blunt Umbrellas. We do not yet stock the Rainshader at Brolliesgalore, but if we did would it be a design you would like to buy? If so, why? And conversely, if not, why? It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Blunt Umbrella Windspeed Test by Blunt Umbrellas