The Best in Umbrella Technology

The Best in Umbrella Technology

Range Govindan
May 24, 2011

From our experience, umbrellas haven't really changed much over the years. It's only recently that tech features have started to seep its way into umbrella designs. Thanks to science and technology, a new crop of expensive umbrellas not only keep you dry, but can offer additional features in foul weather...

1. Blunt Umbrella: Promising the same wind performance as the Senz umbrella, the Blunt umbrellas were the brainchild of New Zealander Greb Brebner. Unlike the Senz umbrella, they retain a more traditional shape, making them easier to life with day in and day out. They cost between $75 and $80. Their tips are also blunt, so they are safer.

2. LED Umbrella: There's nothing more dreary than walking in the rain at night, which is why we think that an LED umbrella is such a good idea. It makes you visible, slightly brightens the mood, and makes things safer. We've found two over at ThinkGeek. One looks like it's from Blade Runner and the other is a replica out of the same movie. They both sell for $24.99.

3. DIY LED Umbrella: If you like the idea of the LED umbrella, but would rather make one yourself, check out what we've got in store for you. This DIY project will make a very bright LED umbrella, that will put store-bought versions to shame.

4. Fanbrellas: If you dislike getting all sweaty in the rain, fanbrellas might be the thing that you need to cool down. Fanbrellas have fans built into their tops, which will allow you to beat the hotter temperatures of thee summer. There's one from Thanko that will cost you around $50 and one from Hammacher Schlemmer which costs $80.

5. Senz Umbrella: When these umbrellas first appeared a few years ago, we had our doubts that they worked well. However, it's been proven that these umbrellas perform well in gales up to 70 mph, although it will be problematic deflecting all of the rain. Still, the Senz asymetrical umbrella looks distinctive and works well although it's weird shape might not work for everyone.

(Images via Wall Street Journal, Flickr Member Shingo Otamoto via Creative Commons license)

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