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Blunt umbrella in street
Research report
6 September 2018

First Look: Blunt umbrella

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

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.

18sep bluntumbrellas productmedium

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.

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