GustBuster Metro Review
Cons: Bulky and heavy for a compact model
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!
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.
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.
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, 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 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. The carrying bag is strung together with an 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 pricey for what you get. Its overall performance makes it tougher for us to recommend at this price point.
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