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The tourists on their way to St Paul’s Cathedral are looking at me oddly, and some even stop to take pictures.I lend it to some passers-by to try for themselves.

We have come to the most blustery part of central London – the notoriously gusty Millennium Bridge – to test the Senz, a Dutch-designed “stealth” umbrella that promises to withstand 65mph winds, can handle the toughest wind tunnel – and even jumping out of an aeroplane. Rather than the regular octagonal shape, it resembles a particularly thick kipper tie, with a wide canopy at the back and a short fringe at the front.But he may have overestimated people's honesty - or even their ability to simply remember to give them back.The GPS-enabled umbrellas are unlocked using a code sent to your mobile phone which allows you to use it for about 50 yuan (6p) per half an hour for as long as you want.This handsome beast of a brolly, with rounded corners, costs £44.For those on a budget, there is Coopers of Stortford – the catalogue company of choice for retired Mondeo Men.She says it is unbreakable because it “acts like a sail”.

Well, that’s what I am concerned about as another gust of wind lurches me closer to the handrails of the notorious “Wobbly Bridge”.

Its lightness, however, has won the umbrella another accolade this week, after already winning a clutch of design awards.

Applied Ergonomics, the favourite bedtime reading of all good mechanical engineers, has calculated that the arm muscles of those using a Senz in a wind tunnel worked a third less than when holding a standard brolly.

I am not sure that is something to shout about if you end up with a soaked pair of trousers.

Designers have toiled over a perfect umbrella with as much zeal and success as Elizabethan alchemists hoping to turn lead into gold. Queen Victoria even had a parasol lined with chainmail to protect her from assassination attempts, an idea copied 160 years later by the French secret service who developed a Kevlar umbrella to shelter Nicolas Sarkozy – though it was thought rotten eggs were a more likely missile than any bullet.

Coming with a case, there are other (non-patterned) designs available too. Blunt Umbrellas Classic Windproof Stick Umbrella Forest Green: £55, Blunt Umbrellas If you’re willing to invest a little more money into your rain protector, then try out Blunt Umbrellas for a sturdy and safe option.