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As full time travellers for over 4 years, we are often asked our opinion on various travel related products. From backpacks to towels and travel pillows we have tried many accessories and enjoy putting these items to the test.
Our travels have taken us throughout Asia, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Americas and India and travel products make our time away easier, especially if it’s a well designed item built to last.
We have tried our share of products that claim to be essential and the best on the market.
It’s fair to say that not all these products in real life situations live up to expectations, so when we were asked to conduct a windproof umbrella review, we didn’t quite know what to expect. I mean it’s just an umbrella so what could be so exciting about an umbrella we wondered.
Effects of long term travel
Full time travel means that some items such as bags, backpacks and especially suitcases come under enormous strain as they are continually thrown into planes, buses, Tuk Tuk’s. Bounced over cobblestone streets and squashed into taxi trunks.
Not only does your travel equipment need to be functional but it must also be durable enough to last over the long term. We have lost count of how many umbrellas we have gone through during our travels.
Sure, they are often seen as cheap disposable items, but the real test comes when you actually rely on one to keep dry and not fall apart or turn inside out at the first sign of wind.
How frustrating is it trying to wrestle with a broken umbrella in pelting rain and blowing a gale? Usually these cheap umbrellas are tossed into the closest bin and you end up wondering if it was worth the effort even bothering with one.
Along came the Hedgehog umbrella
The Canadian firm Hedgehog have produced what is said to be the best windproof umbrella on the market. The design included testing it in a wind tunnel to withstand 70 MPH winds. With claims such as this it certainly sounded promising and we were happy to try it out.
On first impressions it’s easy to see that a lot of thought has gone into the design of this umbrella. For the technical minded it’s constructed of shielded tips, dual carbon fibre ribs, ballistic grade, polycarbonate joints, a rib suspension system, constructed with stainless steel shaft and even has an interchangeable canopy. Just in case you want to change colours.
The handle is sturdy. It has a decent wrist strap and it just feels like a quality product.
Is it the best windproof umbrella?
The Canadian climate can be brutal with strong winds and driving rain so it’s fair to say that an umbrella that can withstand that environment would be welcomed.
Since using the Hedgehog Windproof Umbrella, we have taken it out on windy days and we have to say it’s claims of being wind resistant were true. No inverted umbrella and in the rain it kept us dry with the wide canopy.
Although in fairness we haven’t experienced the extreme conditions yet that it’s designed to withstand. I am sure that when the time comes it will be up to the job as the best umbrella for wind.
The unique design with the rib suspension system means that during heavy winds it will flex without flipping inside out. So, thankfully no more standing in a parking lot waiting for a taxi as we did last year in England with torrential wind and rain, with our umbrella inverted and us saturated. The stares from onlookers knew only too well our frustration.
Construction of the Hedgehog storm proof umbrella
Without a doubt the Hedgehog would have to be the strongest umbrella we have used. With a stainless steel shaft, dual carbon fibre tips and unique WindFlex system coupled with an interchangeable canopy made from water repellent pongee fabric.
The suspension system increases flexibility to the canopy structure while maintaining a constant overall hemispherical shape. This high quality umbrella has undergone rigorous testing which places it far ahead of the cheap disposable umbrellas.
Is it a compact umbrella?
When fully closed the Hedgehog umbrella measures 33 cm (13”) and weighs approximately 426 grams (15 ounces) Although not as compact of some travel umbrellas it’s small and light enough to fit easily in your luggage. The arc diameter when fully opened is approximately 120 cm (47”)
Check our this official video outlining the design of the Hedgehog Umbrella.
Price of the umbrella
As with all quality products you normally get what you pay for. Over the years we have purchased many cheap umbrellas and a couple that were not so cheap. The higher cost good quality umbrellas have lasted much longer due to the quality construction. For a product that so many regard as a cheap accessory, it’s not until you have to rely on the item that you fully appreciate it’s higher cost.
This umbrella although not the cheapest on the market, is going to last a long time, so factoring in its cost compared to having to constantly replace the cheap alternatives, it’s easier to justify the price.
Would we recommend the Hedgehog windproof umbrella?
The answer is yes. If you’re looking for a strong windproof umbrella that engineered to last, then the Hedgehog is hard to beat. We will be including it in our must have travel items along with our other products that we have come to rely on during our travels.
You can also find more information at the official Hedgehog website.
Disclaimer: We were kindly provided with a hedgehog umbrella to sample. However as usual, all opinions are our own.
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