When it comes to purchasing umbrellas, I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t always selected the sturdiest options. In fact, I’ve mostly taken the road less expensive — particularly since I’m usually shopping for one when I need it most — smack dab in the middle of a downpour.
Any old Walgreens or Target special would do in a pinch. $5.99? “I’ll take it!” I would say enthusiastically, all but thrilled to have cover — any cover — from the torrential rains soaking innocent passers-by.
But that was before I moved to Chicago.
Though it wasn’t exactly named “The Windy City” for its strong gusts, but rather for the boastful politicians “full of hot air” while competing for bids for the 1893 World’s Fair, Chicago’s breezes certainly live up to the moniker.
After the first couple rainstorms, it became quickly apparent that no ordinary umbrella would do for withstanding the town’s notorious winds.
That’s how the Blunt Metro Umbrella ($59, Amazon) made its way into my life.
This reinvented take on the old classic was born when engineer Greig Brebner was living in stormy London. Its genius lies in the “radial transitioning system,” or aerodynamic canopy, which that has been fine-tuned to sit at the best angle in winds up to 55mph.
That means barring an insane gust, my days of fighting with my umbrella to stay right-side out on a blustery day were basically over, as the Blunt umbrella is more or less inversion-resistant. And, should it do the unthinkable and flip inside out — a rare, rare occurrence, in my experience — its reinforced frame made it far, far easier to turn back around.
Courtesy of Blunt
What’s more, these umbrellas, which come with a two-year warranty, feature smooth-edges, eliminating those pesky (and dangerous!) spikes seen on traditional models.
While there are several different sizes available (up to 57.5-inches) the Metro was perfect for me as a big city resident. For all of its superior rain protection, it measures in at a surprisingly compact 40-inches, making it easy to navigate on sidewalks and collapsing easily for storage.
Also right up my alley was its hot pink hue. While many umbrellas are built for function and function alone, this one is surprisingly stylish with seven solid hues to suit your personality.
Though I managed to hang onto this umbrella longer than any other I’ve ever owned, I eventually did leave it behind at a restaurant it would never be recovered from. But the geniuses at Blunt now have a solution for that, too!
When I repurchase — which I most definitely will be — all I’ll need to do is grab the $20 Tile Mate Tracker ($48.17 for a pack of four, Amazon) — a battery-operated Bluetooth device that can be slipped into a special pocket of every Blunt model that will help me locate my lost umbrella. They’ve really thought of everything!
I’m not the only believer either: With 341 Amazon reviews and counting, word is definitely getting out about Blunt’s charms.
“It gets extremely windy where I live, and I’ve typically gone through 2 umbrellas a year,” one customer wrote. “They typically break in the first five uses, but I had gotten used to dealing with a damaged umbrella until it was absolutely dead. However, I’ve had this umbrella through two blizzard-heavy winters, rainy springs and gusty autumns and can confirm that it is the best umbrella for city living.”
Added another: “I had a chance to use it in a real heavy thunderstorm this weekend, with high winds and all the fun stuff, and it was only after it was over, that I realized I had never once thought about my umbrella. I didn’t think about how it was keeping me dry, or how the wind might turn it inside out.”
Sure, it’s a bit pricier than a run-of-the-mill rain cover, but after adding up all of the money I’ve shelled out on throw-away umbrellas past, I personally consider this umbrella a bargain — and a good one!