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Claim check: GustBuster umbrella

How sturdy is the windproof umbrella?

Published: September 2013

The claim. GustBuster is the only  “UN-Flip­pable, UN-Flappable, UN-Leakable umbrella in the World!” boasts its manu­facturer, touting the “exclusive, rain­drop-shaped wind-release vents” that enable the umbrella to withstand winds of more than 55 mph. GustBusters come in various sizes. We paid $34.95 for a foldable Metro with a 43-inch canopy.

The check. We tested the GustBuster against a foldable Totes umbrella. We attached open umbrellas to the outside of a car and drove at ever-faster speeds with the umbrellas in three orientations: into the wind, across the wind, and catching the wind. (To our loved ones: We were in an enclosed area and wore safety belts.) We also checked how easy the GustBuster was to use and whether it kept us dry.

Bottom line. Bring on the breeze. Although the GustBuster is not “UN-Flippable,” it’s strong and works well in a big wind. Catching the wind, the Totes inverted and broke at 15 mph; GustBuster inverted at 30 mph but didn’t break, even at speeds topping 50 mph. Oh—it also shielded us from rain. Our GustBuster cost twice as much as the tested Totes, but it may be worth buying if you tend to collect mangled umbrellas all fall.

Testing the GustBuster.
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the November 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
   

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