First Look: Blunt umbrella

We try out the Blunt umbrella, designed for strong winds.

Blunt umbrella in street

When we looked at Blunt umbrellas in 2012, we were impressed with their appearance, but not so much with their durability. Since then, we’ve had a steady shower of queries about these umbrellas.

With Blunt refining its technology and manufacturing, we put two of its latest models through their paces. Luckily, Consumer NZ is in the perfect place to trial them: wet and windy Wellington.

I tried out the Lite and Metro umbrellas. Both have the Blunt’s trademark rounded tips. Opening them was easy – the Metro has a quick-release button; the Lite doesn’t but only needed a little effort. Both umbrellas were big enough to shelter me from the rain.

Starting at about $100, Blunts are significantly pricier than your average umbrella. But I reckon they’re worth the price as their unique design and sturdy construction mean they’re likely to last longer than a cheaper brolly. The key to all Blunt umbrellas’ strength is how they distribute tension. Their rounded tips pass tension to the very edge of the umbrella, which makes the entire structure stronger. The ribs and struts inside are also designed to push as much tension as possible out to these tips.

The Lite is a full-length umbrella that’s thin and easy to hold. However, it was a little too long for me to comfortably carry. In comparison, I found the compact folding Metro, which comes with a storage sleeve, easier to carry and it fits into a backpack or large handbag.

Both umbrellas have a pouch in one of the tips where you can place a tracking gadget. However, this pocket would be too small for some trackers (especially GPS ones, which tend to be bulkier).

The Blunts turned inside out without any apparent damage.
The Blunts turned inside out without any apparent damage.

Both Blunts held up well in blustery conditions. Though they eventually flipped inside out in strong winds, they turned back through without any apparent damage. However, there was a downside to this. Instead of the umbrellas giving in and immediately flipping, the wind’s pull on the umbrella could be so strong I felt I was about to take flight like Mary Poppins.

I’d happily use either Blunt umbrella. They’re stylish, durable and both kept me fairly dry in blustery, wet conditions. The Lite was thin and neatly fit beside the seat in my car, ready for those sudden downpours. However, if I had to choose an everyday umbrella, I’d lean towards the Metro as it’s easier to carry.

We’ll continue using the umbrellas over the next few months and update this review.

Essential specs

Price: Metro $99, Lite $120
Length (extended): Metro 36.5cm; Lite 77cm
Diameter collapsed: Metro (in sleeve) 7cm; Lite 4.5cm
Diameter extended: Metro 95cm; Lite 105cm
Weight: Metro 350g; Lite 360g

The Blunt umbrellas were loaned to the writer by Blunt.

First Looks

First Looks

30aug promoimage default

First Looks

Cars, phones, infomercial products and anything else that takes our fancy — First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Check out our latest.

Take a look

Member comments

Get access to comment

Hrvoje M.
17 Sep 2018
XL broke when opening in the wind

Blunts are great in the wind once opened but have a design flaw that makes the tip easy to snap off if it's caught in a gust of wind while opening. I couldn't believe when it happened -- XL was broken in a split second.

Anny D.
17 Sep 2018
bought with Flybuy points

Bought the metro one with Flybuy points which was a good use for the points that I casually accumulate. Haven't tested it as yet in high wind, but trust it will be fine. Is a bit too big for my handbag/backpack unfortunately. I had hoped it was as small as other compact little umbrellas.

Darryn G.
17 Sep 2018
Great for Wellington!

I have have my Blunt XL for maybe 8-years. I have never had an issue with it despite it having to withstand some 120km/hr winds that we get occasionally in Wellington. Best investment in an umbrella I ever made. We were given another last year, so now my wife has her own Blunt. I keep mine in it's original tube container in the car.

Stephan S.
17 Sep 2018
Top after sale customer service

Had my trusty Blunt XL for many years and the handle wouldn't snap into the open position anymore. I took it to their shop in Newmarket and even though it was 4-5 years old and I had no receipt they repaired it for FREE. They even offered to courier it out to me for free after the repair was carried out. In the end they even replaced some other smaller parts that were showing some wear and it was ready for pick up in just a few days.
Now that's how to back your product and create loyal customers. Worth every dollar.

Ray M.
15 Sep 2018
Customer Service Good Too

I have 3 Blunts and much to my surprise one of the Metros broke when opening. Then a strange thing happened. Blunt offered to fix it. Can't remember the last time a supplier repaired something rather than just replacing it or claiming the life had 'expired'.
Wasn't a good look when it broke, especially as we were overseas, but when repaired it was obvious there was a fault in the part rather than a design issue and the customer service on the repair restored my faith.