The Metro busted wind gusts like no other in this review. The vented design is both stylish and highly functional, allowing easy operation in impressively high winds. the company clearly focused on its performance in this niche of umbrella designs; however, it fell short in most of the other categories, being a little bigger, heavier, and with questionable long term durability with thin threading, and minimal style points for its unfinished seams.
GustBuster Metro Review
Cons: Bulky and heavy for a compact model
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The GustBuster umbrella was a fun surprise in high winds: it really held up, as advertised, and was much easier to manage in the wind than any other product in this review.
The GustBuster was not a top scoring contender in our OGL Rain Test. Raindrops peppered us as high as our bicep and upper thigh. The canopy diameter measured on the lower end of the products in this review at 36". The company reports that the GustBuster has a 43" canopy, but there is a lot of variability in how companies report their measurements, so we measured every umbrella the same way, and this one came up relatively small. It did have a deeper canopy at 10", but this did not improve rain protection. Additionally, the depth combined with a smaller diameter made it noticeably hard to see, forcing us to raise and lower it often to see in front of us--which increased rain on tester!
For an umbrella that optimizes coverage while making it very easy to see, check out the impressive canopy design of the Sea to Summit Cordura Trekking umbrella. This did not score high enough to win any awards, but it provided impressive coverage with one of the shallowest canopy depths, providing great visibility. Any wind, however, and the angle of the raindrops become problematic with these shallower canopies.
Ease of Transport
The GustBuster is very heavy for the lower rain coverage it provided in our OGL Rain Test, and longer than most of the compact, telescoping models in this review. The dual canopy design also can be cumbersome and has two velcro closure straps to fix before you can stow it, rather than one, which is standard.
We did like that the sleeve has a shoulder sling, this was appropriate given its slightly bigger size because it may not fit in all hand or shoulder bags. The Swing Trek LiteFlex also comes with a handy sleeve with a shoulder sling, a carrying option we really liked. But another option for ease of transport is to go with a compact model, like the Lewis N Clark Umbrella.
When we first saw the GustBuster, it raised a number of durability red flags: we saw a lot of loose threads and unfinished fabric edges, and many of the attachment points of the ribs to the canopy are fixed with a few thin pieces of thread.
The handle and shaft joints wobble when deployed. This product does not feel nearly as tight and smooth as the award winners. A great example of a seemingly ordinary tent with tight and smooth moving parts is the simpler, and more affordable, Lewis N Clark.
Where this umbrella really shines, however, is in the wind. In our OGL Wind Test, it withstood winds over 40mph and it never flipped inside out! And it took until 25mph to invert! We could have driven faster, but it started to get hard to hang on. The GustBuster took the wind in stride and barely seemed to struggle. In this way, it really lives up to the name. This company took the wind performance niche market seriously and crushes the competition.
Ease of Use
This was one of the heavier products in this review at over one pound. It was closer in weight to the larger umbrellas, such as the totes Auto Open Wooden, which provided much better coverage. This basically negated a lot of the benefits of having compact, collapsible products due to the issues with durability that comes with adding more joints to make it more compact.
The canopy design noticeably inhibited visibility due to its smaller diameter relative to the canopy depth, and that dual, overlapping design, while excellent for the wind, required an additional velcro closure strap when putting it away. The GustBuster deploys strong and fast, but it is stiff and difficult to collapse, and this must be done manually. The Lewis N Clark both deploys and collapses with the push of the same button, a feature we loved for ease of use, especially in crowds.
The GustBuster doesn't look as well made as the higher scoring umbrellas in this review. It scuffs easily and got much dirtier than the rest of the contenders in this review. Another cute model is the Blunt Metro. But if you need something that doesn't grab so much attention, check out the Lewis N Clark Umbrella. The carrying bag is strung together with accessory cord, a cinching closure tab, and a metal clamp to hold a knot in place. Any handy outdoorsperson could string together something like this in about 5 minutes from materials in their gear closet. Additionally, there are a number of frayed fabric edges that look sloppy. When deployed, however, the wind vents do make large raindrop shaped dots in the canopy which are fun to see when the umbrella is illuminated on the opposite side, and this was one of the products that earned us a compliment around town. Just don't look too close…
The GustBuster is for people who need an umbrella to withstand frequent, strong winds. It's a true "one trick wonder," but if that's what you need, it is truly remarkable.
The GustBuster is pricey for what you get. It is up there in price with our Editors' Choice winner, the Swing Trek LiteFlex Hiking, and double the price of the Lewis N Clark and the totes Auto Open Wooden.
The GustBuster Metro is cute when illuminated in a way such that you can see the raindrop-shaped wind vents. And those wind vents work, as advertised! Beyond that, however, we were not inclined to recommend this umbrella to the general user.
— Lyra Pierotti