Useful Presents Hall of Fame
Blunt XS Metro Collapsible Umbrella

Blunt XS Metro Collapsible Umbrella

Date: 28 April 2016
Category: Hall of Fame

   

Blunt XS Metro Collapsible umbrella is a windproof modern classic. It won't blow inside out and has a two year guarantee to prove it. And it folds down to fit into a bag - to be there when it rains

The XS Metro also opens one handed automatically, with the push of a button. Whoever has two free hands to to open an umbrella anyway ?

 

Collapsible umbrellas wouldn't exist without a woman. The world's first folding umbrella patent was issued to Australian woman Slawa Duldig - who sold the rights in order to flee Hitler's Germany, and live an artist's life in Melbourne. (The original can still be inspected at the preserved Duldig Studios in Melbourne's Malvern East)

 

Subsequently, it's been women's preference for a smaller more portable umbrellas that caused the little collapsibles to enter mass production. Historically male-managed umbrella companies favoured stick umbrellas because they thought them more proper.

Women cared not, and bought cheapie disposable Chinese foldables anyway - because they were so darned handy. Even if they didn't last.

Folding umbrellas rose to be 80% of the worldwide umbrella market without anyone making a good one, until the Blunt Umbrella Company.

New Zealand engineer Greig Brebner started Blunt umbrellas. He's 6'3" and was sick of being poked in the eye by umbrellas whilst working in London. That was in 1999. It's taken this long for successful mass production.

He's now based in his native Auckland. Mr Brebner named his company Blunt because of their blunt edges - which are bereft of sharp pointy bits that snap and poke people's eyes. There's a different strut structure, and telescopic ribs which distribute wind force evenly along the edge of the canopy.

Blunt began with stick umbrellas, culminating in 2013 with the wonderful XS Metro Collapsible. At the end of each bendy strut there are little springs rather than the usual vulnerable threads.

It all leads to a lack of stress points, and offers safe shelter in winds up to 80 km/hr. As the Wall Street Journal said (2/4/2011) : "structurally the Blunt umbrella is somewhere between a suspension bridge and a NASA space probe."

This umbrella is a constant joy to use. It opens automatically without the normal little annoying metal locking clip. There's an ergonomic plastic collar which glides easily and positively to close. It feels good.

Mr Brebner sees his Blunt umbrellas as more than just a thing to stop people getting wet. He see his products as " a pro-environment statement against junky umbrellas that break and get thrown away - an umbrella for a long term relationship".

If he had his way there'd an end to the tossing of two or three busted umbrellas every winter. All power to Blunt, we say.

If you'd like to look at them some more click here