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Building a better umbrella

May 1st, 2019 / By: / Swatches

Built to last, the Hedgehog Carbon features a rib suspension system that adjusts to wind conditions. Photos: Hedgehog Products.

Umbrellas come in different shapes and sizes, but often the chief problem is that they don’t hold up to wind. Consider estimates that more than one billion umbrellas are broken every year: That’s enough polyester waste to cover New York City. Enter Hedgehog Carbon, an umbrella that is wind-tested to 70 miles per hour.

The Hedgehog is the brainchild of Cahay Ho and Kevin Truong, two automotive engineers from rainy Vancouver, British Columbia, who were tired of replacing broken umbrellas one after the other. They took the principles and design philosophy used to build cars and applied them to building a better umbrella.

Ho and Truong started by reinventing the frame. It begins with a stainless steel shaft, but instead of a traditional rib structure frame, they used dual carbon fiber members fused by ballistic grade polycarbonate joints for a super-strong strength-to-weight ratio structure. 

Wind resistance is achieved through their patented umbrella rib suspension system, which enables each rib within the Hedgehog Carbon’s architecture to pivot independently, adjusting to intense winds. The increased flexibility to the canopy structure maintains a constant overall shape and prevents the umbrella from flipping inside out. 

The interchangeable canopy can be swapped out for a different color or pattern in less than three minutes. A 19-point connection system secures it to the frame. 

The Hedgehog Carbon weighs just 15 ounces. When not in use, it folds down to 13 inches for easy storage. For more information, visit www.hedgehogumbrella.com.

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