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Published on November 1st, 2012 | by Greg


Blunt: A Bet­ter Um­brel­la

Um­brel­las seem like an old tech­nol­o­gy in need of im­prove­ment. Af­ter all, aside from some im­prove­ments in trans­par­ent plas­tic, and col­lapsi­ble mod­els that are more portable and lightweight, the ba­sics haven’t seemed to change much. They still tend to fall apart in a stiff wind, be a bit of a pain to take down, and of­fer plen­ty of ob­sta­cles for the peo­ple around you. Es­pe­cial­ly when you’re walk­ing in crowd­ed streets, like we do in Man­hat­tan- there is al­ways a fris­son of dan­ger in the rain as you wor­ry about get­ting poked in the eye by a passer­by’s rain pro­tec­tion gear.

As we slow­ly un­bury our­selves from the largest storm sys­tem to ev­er hit the Unit­ed States, it’s prob­a­bly a good time to men­tion that there is at least one re­cent it­er­a­tion that im­proves the age-old prod­uct. We’ve been “Sin­gin’ in the Rain’ with the Blunt Orig­i­nal Um­brel­la. And though we didn’t haz­ard the winds of Hur­ri­cane Sandy on the worst days, we did take this um­brel­la out in re­cent days and weeks, and found it to be the best, most sol­id, and least dan­ger­ous of um­brel­las that we have tried. There is still a fair­ly point­ed tip, so don’t wor­ry about not be­ing able to de­fend your­self on the city streets.

It seems ob­vi­ous at first glance- small cov­ers on each spine of­fer a pret­ty sol­id bit of sub­stance be­tween the spiky spokes, turn­ing them from point­ed­ly sharp to nice­ly… well, blunt. More or less oth­er­wise “just a re­al­ly good um­brel­la” (as one writ­er put it), we did feel more com­fort­able bump­ing in­to peo­ple and things with this mod­el. Sleek, ours was the ba­sic black, but oth­er col­ors are avail­able, as are ex­tra-large ver­sions, and even col­lapsi­ble portable ver­sions that are brand new. The han­dle was a bit slip­pery, com­fort­able but not quite as er­gonom­ic as some, and it did take a bit of ef­fort to pop up and take down. But we loved the strong com­po­nents that went in­to man­u­fac­tur­ing this one, which felt burly and able to take some se­ri­ous beat­ing from the el­e­ments. And the pack­ag­ing was classy, a love­ly card­board tube and a great lo­go that feels both tra­di­tion­al and ul­tra-mod­ern. Avail­able now, for $80, it’s an um­brel­la de­signed and built to last.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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