on October 16, 2012
I must say that there are a lot of people slamming the GustBuster line of umbrellas and I have to wonder if some of the reviews are fake. I have owned three of these umbrellas and never had one break. I purchased this new Doorman model for Portland to use when dressed sharp in a suit. As you can see from dimensions, it's large. But it's not "clown large" and I think most people won't notice that it's oddly over-sized. There are only two things I'd say about the umbrella for people who are picky: (1) in order to have the GustBuster design where the canopy can stand strong winds, there has to be really two layers for the umbrella and they overlap. This isn't a problem, but it makes the umbrella thicker overall and so slightly heavier and more bulky. (2) The wood on the handle could be nicer. It looks like it will chip over time and it does not have a thick or strong lacquer. Still, I think it's a nice touch that it has wood at all. Very classy.
After throwing away my last umbrella (a beautiful but cheap over-sized rainbow-colored model) because of design failure or fatigue, I have to say this model is a great replacement. The size is perfect for any professional and it looks very sharp. See my pictures for design details.
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.
on November 1, 2008
As with most Gustbuster umbrellas the Doorman 68" is well-made and functions as designed. The finish on the handle was not as strong as one would expect. It scratched easily and lost color.
on December 27, 2012
It's been over a year since I bought this umbrella and it's still holding up great. Where I live, rain is often accompanied by strong winds, which means that small umbrellas are just glorified hats - the rain will soak you from the chest down. But regular large umbrellas get flipped over and torn by strong winds. Not this one, though - I've walked through some very strong winds and it hasn't even budged, it's really solid. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is to hold on tight to it - it's so big that when the wind pulls it up, it pulls it so strongly that it can rip the umbrella out of your hand. The anti-wind flaps help, but it still takes some strength to hold on to it.
The only issue that I've noticed is that the velcro strips that keep it wrapped tightly when not being used wore out after about a year, but I bought new ones and got my wife to sew them on to replace the originals, it only cost a few bucks. Everything else about this umbrella is awesome.
This thing is huge and awesome. Being 5'7", this umbrella is a bit big for me, but boy have I loved it.
This umbrella easily covers 3 people from the rain, and has been great on countless occasions.
Over 2 years later and it's still in the same condition as I got it, without any leaks or tears. I couldn't recommend this umbrella enough!
After one year at a festival being stuck under a short tree with my girlfriend and I crowded under her clear mushroom umbrella trying to stay dry in a rain torrent, I spent some time online and in stores shopping for an umbrella.
My umbrella needed to be able to comfortably fit two people under it, be black, have a strong shaft and handle, and have wind pockets so it doesn't blow me away. It's hard to find good quality, full sized umbrellas in stores anymore, but when I found this one on Amazon it was perfect.
• With a shaft that's either the hardest fiberglass I've ever felt, or a very solid aluminum, I've never felt like this umbrella will break or fold from wind or use.
• The crafted, curved wood handle has an authentic, sturdy feel to it and makes it easy to hold on to.
• After two years of regular use, I've yet to see any tearing in the fabric or fading.
• You can tell this umbrella was well designed in every detail from the wind pocket to the elastic to aid in closing, to the ease of opening it back up.
• 46" long, 68" wide: This umbrella is huge! I was looking for a two person umbrella, but this could fit four. I'm 5'7" and this umbrella comes up above my hip from top to bottom when I walk with it.
Overall, it's a huge, durable, amazingly built umbrella that's always my go to to stay 100% dry.
on July 15, 2005
My wife is a school teacher and escorts pre-schoolers from the school bus to the school door each day. This umbrella lasted exactly TWO rainy days before the clasp near the top of the umbrella that holds it in the open position collapsed into the umbrella stick, making the umbrella useless. It no longer stays in the open position. Lesson learned? ..... Go to some golf shop and buy a nice umbrella from them, I guess.
on September 29, 2014
I have had this umbrella for over a year. It's huge, it leaves your entire body dry (except your feet). In emergencies, one can jump out of an airplane with it, or just for nanny related jobs.
It did break on me, after about 10 months, the metal part that keeps the umbrella closed stopped working. I was still able to use the velcro for the same effect.
WARNING: do not use in rainstorms if you hate people. They will come to you, be near you, look at you(horrible, I know), and make movement near impossible.
I need a new one. I left it out overnight and it was stolen :(
If any of you guys out there want to get me a new one, PLEASE DO.
on October 18, 2011
I have been using this umbrella for years now. I still do not understand why everyone does'nt have one. I work in the Loop downtown Chicago and whenever it rains I see umbrellas in the garbage cans all torn up and people fighting with the wind. I smile and keep walking. Has not let me down yet.
on January 21, 2013
It is a large umbrella, which is why I bought it despite some of the marginal reviews. I've had it for about 4 months. In that time, the wood handle has split, come unglued, and falls off the shaft. If I were to hold the umbrella simply by the handle, a good updraft would see my umbrella floating away with a wood handle in my hand. Secondly, the velcro tabs on the closure straps have ripped away from the straps and I need to sew them back on. Thirdly, the plastic tip is very soft and I expect it to wear out before the umbrella. Lastly, the umbrella has a tendency to not stay closed, unless you use the velcro straps, hence the velcro failure is a real pain. I would not buy it or any product from GustBuster, nor would I recommend it to anyone. There have to be better quality umbrellas out there.
on November 21, 2015
Finally, a simple umbrella that will actually keep you from getting wet!
The overall build quality looks to be medium duty- not light duty and not heavy duty.
The nylon material it is made of is often more durable than the common polyester used in other umbrellas. Nylon tends to have less chemical smell than polyester and I appreciate that the smell this one came with seems to have disappeared after one overnight airing out.
The retraction mechanism is fiberglass, which is a strong material and makes the umbrella lightweight for its size. But it is a long stick, about 4 feet long. While the ribs are not heavy duty rugged, they do not seem light duty or cheap, either.
I appreciate that this umbrella retracts and expands manually. It clicks firmly into place. One less thing to break. And with an umbrella this large, an automatic expansion would throw you off balance. Opening this umbrella is a smooth, straightforward process.
This umbrella has a deep arc that makes it even more likely to protect your body from the rain. Some umbrellas have large, but rather shallow arcs that lets rain blow in easily from the side. This arc is deep enough that it will help when rain is blowing in at a side angle.
Another nice feature is the the tear drop vents to a double layer of canvas. This breaks the impact of wind resistance *very* nicely. The canvas overlay of the tear drops is snug to withstand leaks, at least for light-to-moderate wind gusts. I have not yet experienced it with gusts higher than about 20mph.
While I don't care much how an umbrella looks (it's there to keep you dry, not make you look good as you are getting soaked), this one looks professional, and not flamboyant.
As for durability, I'm anticipating this will last for 5 years of very occasional use. The lifetime warranty is reassuring. Be sure and mail in your warranty registration so it is active. Also, remember to write your name as identification on the umbrella so when you leave it somewhere you might get it back.
I got this at an "open box" discount and am quite satisfied with both the price and same-as-new quality from the Amazon warehouse. While it's expensive for an umbrella, $40, it's worth it to have one umbrella that will actually keep you, all of you, down to your shoes, completely dry in the rain.
Know what you are getting- a manual close umbrella that is long, but not very heavy. It will not store compactly, it needs to stand-up in a closet or lay wet across the backseat legroom in a car. So it's not practical for a work commute with lots of logistics. It is the size umbrella hotel doormen use. It will easily keep two people completely dry and looks to handle light-to-moderate winds with no difficulty.
UPDATE AFTER 6 MONTHS:
I like this umbrella very much as an occasional back-up to other smaller umbrellas. For situations that do not include tight spaces, it works great when you need to be 100% dry, or wish to walk with two people.
It vents small wind gusts nicely. But I have still not had occasion to test this in higher wind gusts (i.e. more than 20mph) but it appears to be able to withstand, easily, gusts of double that.
The simplicity of operation is great. I really like the solid feeling when the click locks the canopy into place.