Finally, an umbrella that’s as tough as you are. That, at least, is the promise of Cypress Umbrella, which will soon become your best friend in chaotic weather because — get this — it won’t flip inside out. Thanks to an automotive inspired rib suspension system that allows each umbrella rib to pivot and flex individually against its frame to relieve trapped air, the umbrella represents an aerodynamically stable structure whose canopy will not flip inside out. Described as “the world’s first fully telescopic umbrella,” the Cypress Umbrella is launching its Kickstarter just as we start to say, “Winter is coming.”
Developed by Cahay Ho and Kevin Truong, both mechanical engineers, the two men first set out to develop their revolutionary new umbrella upon realizing that the design of these ubiquitous devices has’t really changed in the last 100 years. Sure, umbrellas today may use different materials than those of the past to improve strength and durability and reduce weight, but ultimately, the engineers noted, “… we started realizing why small umbrellas were all constructed the same: every shortcut is taken to reduce to that final size and weight.”
So instead of joining the race to the bottom in terms of size, Ho and Truong instead focused on strength and durability, without the addition of extra weight. “Leveraging the strength of a tubular profile,” the duo explained, “We came up with a new architecture for how the ribs would expand and contract.” This architecture manifested itself as an “independent suspension system to defend against strong winds,” which allows the “Cypress Umbrella to be extremely wind resistant, yet keep the overall weight comparable to its competition.” Whereas the standard umbrella skeleton employs U-shaped channels and hinged linkages,” the Cypress Umbrella uses ribs that are comprised of “tubular sections coupled with precision machined joints and stainless steel pins.” This means that upon opening, Cypress’ telescopic design gives way to a “rigid structure 10 times stronger than its traditional counterpart.”
Also taken into consideration was the canvas of the umbrella, which often rips and tears in the face of strong winds. As such, the creators said, “We designed the canvas to be interchangeable, extending the service life for the rest of the umbrella and allow an infinite array of colors and patterns to suit one umbrella frame.” And finally, rather than asking their consumers to keep track of “that flimsy little umbrella cover,” the Cypress team “integrated the enclosure into the handle resulting into one clean and compact assembly.”
Today, the Cypress Umbrella is unveiled on Kickstarter for $65, and will include one Cypress Umbrella frame and two canvases. At 40 inches in diameter, you’re sure to be protected from even the rainiest and gustiest of storms. The Cypress Classic, which is a bit wide than the Cypress Umbrella at 44 inches but lacks an embedded enclosure, will be slightly less expensive at $49 on Kickstarter, and will also include one Cypress Classic frame and two Classic canvases.
So take your pick, storm chasers. But rest assured that whatever your choice, you’ll be protected from the elements like never before.