I could both blow and suck thru the new design front breather however it was with some difficulty.
The breather filter material has what are called hydrophobic and oleophobic properties. That means it keeps oil in and water out but allows air pressure to equalize, (air permeable). Also the transfer of dust, salt and road debris is inhibited.
In other words, the new design breather you installed was probably OK, it was just that you expected at least in one direction, the air flow to be almost free flow and it is not. The pressure buildup is gradual as is the release due to cooling so free flow is not required.
Below is a link to some to some files I have on the new design front breather.