What type of windshield will best fit your riding needs? You have so many different options to choose from. Here are some things to consider when choosing a UTV windshield.
FULL VS. HALF
One of the most debated features we see when trying to choose a windshield is whether to get a full sized or half sized option. So, which is right for you? This depends in part on the type of riding you like to do.
Full Windshields –
If you ride in rainy, snowy or cold conditions a lot of the time, a full windshield keeps you warmer and dryer. They are also great when it comes to protecting yourself from flying rocks or debris. And some riders just don’t like to get a face full of wind. This type of windshield can eliminate most of that. Full windshields do have some drawbacks, however. Sometimes they can create a suction effect in your cab. This causes dust to enter the cab through the rear. It doesn’t impact every vehicle in the same way and you can counter this with a rear windshield. Full windshields can also be tricky to keep clean if you ride in muddy conditions.
Half Windshields –
Half windshields still give you plenty of airflow, just not as much as if you were going completely without a windshield. These are great for dry and hot conditions when a breeze is welcome. Most half windshields direct the airflow up and over your head, so you get a lot less in your face. They don’t keep the rain and snow out, however. And you’ll want to make sure it isn’t too tall. Having the top of the windshield right in your line of sight is annoying.
Folding Windshields –
Folding windshields are often more expensive than a traditional full windshield. But they can give you some of the best features of both worlds. There are tons of options available and they vary in versatility. Based on your riding conditions, you can choose if you want a full windshield, or if you want to open it up and let some air flow through. Clearly Tough offers a great folding windshield that is truly like having two windshields in one.
Rear Windshields –
Rear windshields help keep debris out of your cab. They also help keep dust out when used with a full front windshield. A rear windshield will greatly reduce the amount of air-flow that enters the cab. It will keep you much warmer in cold conditions.
Although they have lots of different names, there are only three types of materials used in UTV windshields: glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate.
Glass is a common option for UTV windshields. It is strong, but not nearly as strong as either acrylic or polycarbonate. If a rock or branch hits it just right, it will crack or break. It is also costly. Glass windshields tend to be the most expensive option. It shines when it comes to scratch resistance. Glass windshield don’t scratch very easily.
Acrylic windshields are about 10x stronger than glass. They are one of the least expensive options as well. The downside to these is that they are prone to scratching. They scratch much more easily than glass, or hard coated polycarbonate. However, they don’t scratch as easily as uncoated polycarbonate. You probably won’t scratch an acrylic windshield just by washing it, and that can happen with uncoated poly.
Polycarbonate is strong. It is by far the strongest of the three options, being 250x stronger than glass. It comes in a couple options. You can either get a hard-coated scratch-resistant version or a non-coated version. Non-coated polycarbonate scratches more easily than any other material. Hard-coated polycarbonate is nearly as scratch resistant as glass. It is the most common material used for UTV windshields, and in our opinion, it is the best option. Clearly Tough only uses hard-coated polycarbonate for our windshields.
Windshield costs can vary quite a bit depending on the material and style you choose. Typically speaking, half windshields are less expensive than full windshields. Folding windshields are usually the most expensive style. Acrylic and non-coated polycarbonate are the least expensive materials, but both are prone to scratching. Hard coated polycarbonate and glass are more expensive but will likely last a lot longer. Neither will scratch very easily and will look good for a long time.
THE BEAUTY OF CLEARLY TOUGH WINDSHIELDS
Why choose when you can have it all? Our full folding windshields can be adjusted so quickly and easily you won’t need to make the choice. You can adjust a Clearly Tough windshield in a matter of minutes. If your riding conditions change, you can quickly and easily adapt your windshield to fit your new needs. The Velcro straps are strong, stable and, best of all, flexible. You can have a full windshield, half windshield or take it completely off. And you can make all these adjustments mid-ride. The flexibility of our design makes it easy and will give you on more time the trail. You’ll spend more time exploring and having fun and less time fussing with your windshield. And that is the beauty of Clearly Tough.