Most helpful positive review
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A Tent On A Stick
on December 19, 2008
The last rainy day I used this--just a couple of days ago--no less than four people commented as follows during my commute home from the Wall Street area of Manhattan to home in Queens:
"Now that's what I call an umbrella!"
"Where did you get that? I want one."
"You could fit a whole family under that thing."
and so on.
Anyone who owns a Gustbuster will hear similar comments, particularly if they get the huge one that I refer to as "a tent on a stick." When I first showed up at work with it closed up, leaning against my desk, colleagues would come buy, pick it up to admire it, and even open it saying things like, "Do you go parasailing with this thing?" and "Whaddaya say we go try base jumping off the top of the building with it?"
Besides being extremely comfortable in otherwise uncomfortable conditions for one, my wife and I walk hand in hand comfortably under it rather than knocking into each other as we huddle underneath something smaller or walk wide apart while using separate umbrellas.
I feel it's actually easier to carry than smaller umbrellas, partly because it is not excessively heavy even given its large size.
We bought another, smaller Gustbuster umbrella for my wife, and she not only likes it for herself but has given the same as gifts to a couple of close friends--and she's a real Japanese fashionista (while I am the typical American bear).
As for durability, I've had mine for well over a year now, used it heavily, and it's still just like new except for some scratches on the wooden handle. For comparison, I have a Windefyer from Sharper Image that's nicely proportioned but heavy, started rusting fairly quickly, and weighs enough that I'm confident it could double as a billy club when folded into its compact size. Gustbuster proves that you don't have to be carrying a pound or more of steel to make an umbrella durable and strong.
Fashion-wise, this umbrella goes as well with a suit and tie as it does with jeans and a t-shirt. Most of the time when I've seen Wall Street businesspeople with huge umbrellas, they were carrying golf umbrellas--which really look rather odd when you're otherwise dressed for business.
I don't know if they make these by hand, but it certainly looks like that kind of attention to craftspersonship was given in putting it together (like those umbrellas they make in London) but with more durable materials for the shaft and ribs.
BOTTOM LINE: If ever I manage to break or destroy this umbrella--the wind certainly would not be the culprit--I'll go out and buy the exact same one.