Hands-on Gear Review

Blunt XS Metro Review

Blunt XS Metro
Price:  $61 List | $56.63 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable, stylish, good manufacturing
Cons:  Poor rain coverage
Bottom line:  The Blunt is a charming umbrella made of durable materials, but the shape reduces its rain protection.
Editors' Rating:   
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Canopy Diameter (inches):  37 in (31" inside scoops)
Depth of Canopy (inches):  7 in
Weight, measured, including sleeve (ounces):  13.76 oz
Manufacturer:   Blunt

Our Verdict

The Blunt XS Metro is a stylish and durable umbrella that excelled in our wind tests but fell far behind in rain protection due to its incut, scalloped canopy shape. It was also a bit longer than most compact styles, and similarly, a couple ounces too heavy to regain a competitive edge in the Ease of Transport category. For such high-quality manufacturing, we were disappointed that it just didn't provide adequate rain protection--which is, for obvious reasons, our first and most important metric in this review.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Lyra Pierotti

Last Updated:
Sunday
May 28, 2017

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The Blunt XS Metro is a fun umbrella that will delight users until the rain takes a slight angle and you start to get wet.

Performance Comparison


The XS Metro umbrella  a rather long compact umbrella.
The XS Metro umbrella, a rather long compact umbrella.

Rain Protection


The Blunt design is unique, and their focus on high-quality materials and durability is admirable, but an umbrella's main job is to keep water off the user. The Blunt was among the worst in this review at that very important task.

The XS Metro is cute but sacrifices rain protection for style points.
The XS Metro is cute but sacrifices rain protection for style points.

In our OGL Rain Test, the Blunt allowed raindrops to hit at our upper thigh and even as high as our shoulders. This was the worst performance in the review. The scalloped edges are cute, and they do seem to help reduce the effects of high winds, but it is pretty darn rare that we use an umbrella in 50mph winds, partially because it is difficult to even stand up in winds that strong, so we would rather see better rain protection for the majority of days when winds are lower.

The XS Metro umbrella's canopy reduces rain protection.
The XS Metro umbrella's canopy reduces rain protection.

For the best manufacturing, durability, and much better rain protection, check out our award winners, the Swing Trek LiteFlex Hiking and the Helinox Trekking.

Ease of Transport


The Blunt is slightly longer than the most compact models in this review, but also slightly shorter than GustBuster which was too long for a collapsible umbrella. It is small enough to fit in your shoulder bag, but it is also effectively small when open, a frustrating tradeoff.

The large button is easy to find--sometimes too easy and the canopy deploys before intended.
The large button is easy to find--sometimes too easy and the canopy deploys before intended.

The Blunt also was not impressively light for the size. The Sea to Summit Cordura Trekking, for example, has the same canopy dimensions (except it is round, providing better coverage than the scalloped edges of the Blunt), but it is lighter and more compact.

A side-by-side view of the products in this review  complete with a standard yard stick for reference. Compact umbrellas are on the left. From top left  reading like a book: Lewis N Clark  EEZ-Y  Sea to Summit  Blunt  Senz  and Gustbuster; fixed shaft on the right: Helinox  Swing Trek  Glamore  totes
A side-by-side view of the products in this review, complete with a standard yard stick for reference. Compact umbrellas are on the left. From top left, reading like a book: Lewis N Clark, EEZ-Y, Sea to Summit, Blunt, Senz, and Gustbuster; fixed shaft on the right: Helinox, Swing Trek, Glamore, totes

Durability


The Blunt did quite well in our OGL Wind Test. It stood its ground up to 40mph, inverted at 20mph, and reverted easily and smoothly. The scalloped edges seemed to release some of the wind pressure. The Blunt has a nice, large deploy button, and the moving parts are smooth and sturdy. The shaft wobbles a bit, but overall the joints and hinges and moving parts all seem to fit tightly together.

The XS Metro umbrella is made of durable and high quality materials.
The XS Metro umbrella is made of durable and high quality materials.

The company claims to have tested the Blunt Classic up to 72 mph or Force 11 winds. That's awesome, but we're not sure how important that is. Most of our reviewers would prefer to be inside when the wind is blowing 72 mph, rain or shine.

Great materials make the Metro XS durable.
Great materials make the Metro XS durable.

In general, the Blunt is very durable, with excellent manufacturing and good quality control. It seems to focus on a niche of the durability market that may not be important to most users. Fortunately, the design is cute, so they certainly have some buyers for that reason.

Ease of Use


The company reports that all Blunt umbrellas feature their tips, which form an integral part of the Radial Tensioning System (RTS). This "system" ensures that the effort used in opening is distributed throughout the entire canopy surface. In our testing, we found that the canopy deployed nice and taut, even and smooth as one would expect from their marketing.

The ribs insert into pockets inside the canopy, which eliminates pokey tips on the outside of the umbrella. This was our favorite feature on this product. Even if this umbrella makes you wetter than your standard drug store cheapo, know at least that you are being kinder to those around you by eliminating the possibility of poking someone in the eye!

When grabbing this umbrella for a quick escape from the car, among other various rainy dashes, we found that the trigger would fire too easily, before we intended to open it, due to the large button size. This was both frustrating and embarrassing when we hadn't yet opened the car door and the canopy exploded open. We particularly liked the runner design. It nests neatly next to the handle, and it is very soft and smooth overall. Overall, we were partial to fixed shaft length umbrellas for their simplicity and ease of use. The Swing Trek LiteFlex and Helinox Trekking umbrellas are great, easy to use options. And of course, our other award winner, the Lewis N Clark Umbrella for its compact size and smooth operation.

Style


The Blunt was one of the products in this review that got the most style comments. It is super cute and unique, slightly resembling a flower. But if cute isn't your cup of tea, check out the classic design of the totes Auto Open Wooden or the more discrete compact models like the Lewis N Clark Umbrella.

Best Applications


This is a great product for the unique style of the scalloped edges. It does well in wind as well, however, it loses significant points in the rain coverage metric, so we didn't think the wind performance was enough to make it a top pick.

Value


With a normal retail price over $50, this umbrella is only worth it if you absolutely love the look of it. It is pretty pricey, we think, for the minimal rain protection it provided in our field tests.

Conclusion


The XS Metro umbrella.
The XS Metro umbrella.

The Blunt Metro XS is a darn cute umbrella that is made of high-quality materials and stands up well in high winds. However, the scalloped shape reduces the overall rain protection, and for an accessory whose primary task is to keep the water off the user, we thought the performance of the Blunt was much lower than the others in this review.

Lyra Pierotti

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Most recent review: May 28, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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