When it comes to UTVs, there are a lot of decisions you need to make sure that you end up with a vehicle that you love. One of these big decisions concerns the nature of the windshield. If you are wondering what the perfect windshield is for you, but don’t know where to start, we are here to help. Below is an expert guide on all things windshield to help you choose the ideal one for your vehicle.
Types of SxS UTV windshields
The windshield you choose should depend mostly on the type of driving you enjoy, the trails you like to hit, and, to a certain extent, on whether you want to show off your vehicle or not. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of UTV windshields.
This is the most popular type of windshield among UTV owners. The full windshield covers the entire front of the vehicle and provides protection against rain, snow, dust, bugs, and flying debris. Full windshields come in different styles, including full glass, laminated glass, and polycarbonate. Some models offer optional LED lights. A few manufacturers even offer anti-glare versions. Full windshields are best suited for daily use because they don't allow much airflow.
Half windshields are less common but still very popular. They offer similar benefits as full windshields but without covering the driver’s side window. Half windshields often feature a tinted glass insert, allowing drivers to see outside, while keeping glare away. Most half windshields are designed to fit over existing windows, rather than built into the body of the vehicle.
Tip out/flip up windshield
Tip out/flip up windshields are becoming increasingly popular. They open like a traditional door, offering easy access to the interior of the vehicle. They are typically used by riders who spend lots of time inside the vehicle, such as those involved in construction work. Many of these windshields come with integrated LED lighting.
Rear windshields are generally installed behind the seats and are great for protecting passengers from wind and weather. Rear windshields are commonly found on ATVs, buggies, and dirt bikes. Like full windshields, some rear windshields feature LED lighting.
Complete cab enclosure
Complete cab enclosures are designed to completely hide the exterior of the vehicle. This provides maximum visibility, and protection from the elements. Complete cab enclosures are ideal for long trips, where the rider wants to enjoy the view without worrying about getting wet, dirty, or cold. Although complete cab enclosures protect occupants from the elements, they can limit airflow.
Types of UTV windshield materials
Windshields are one of those things that you don't think about much, until something goes wrong. When you're driving down the road, you might glance up every once-in-a-while to make sure that there are no vehicles hurtling towards you at full speed. But do you ever stop and look at your windshield?
If you do, and have dedicated time towards researching the various options that are out there, you’ve probably noticed some pretty big differences between the three most common types of windshields found on off-road vehicles: polycarbonate, acrylic, and glass.
Polycarbonate windshields are usually found on sport utility vehicles (SUVs), pickups, and trucks. They're made out of plastic and come in a variety of colors. Due to their ability to resist scratches and cracks, polycarbonate windshields are considered strong. However, they do not let in a lot of light.
Acrylic windshields are often found on luxury SUVs and pickup trucks. Acrylic is stronger than polycarbonate and lets in more light. It's also scratch-resistant but does tend to crack easily. Some manufacturers use special coatings on acrylic windshields to help prevent cracking.
Glass windshields are usually found in luxury cars and high-end SUVs. While they are the strongest type of windshield, they are also heavy and prone to shattering. You can also apply tinting films to glass, which makes it a popular option.
What's the best choice for your UTV windshield?
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a windshield for your UTV. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Glass vs polycarbonate UTV windshield
Glass and polycarbonate are the two windshield options which most people have difficulty choosing between. Both styles of windshield have their pros and cons. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. To help you choose between these two popular windshield choices, we have collated their strengths and weaknesses below:
- Polycarbonates are a few times stronger than glass, but less impact resistant.
- Glass is safer in a crash because it breaks away from the frame.
- Polycarbonate may scratch easier than glass.
- Both materials can be easily repaired.
- Polycarbonate is the cheaper, more affordable option.
- Polycarbonate can crack on a rough trail.
- Polycarbonate might need protective coating.
- Polycarbonate is resistant to tinting options.
Shop for UTV accessories
Whether you're into aggressive driving or just a casual rider, one thing that's vital when you own an ATV is having it fitted properly. In order to do that, you'll probably need to modify it to suit your riding style. For example, if you want your vehicle to handle better off-road, then you might want to consider buying lift kits. These can make your vehicle much easier to control and maneuver.
At Perfex Industries, we sell a wide range of UTV and quad accessories to help you personalize your ATV or UTV. Our products cover everything from foot pegs to lift kits, to skid plates and wheel spacers. With over 10 years in the business, we are dedicated to providing you with the best accessories in terms of quality. We work alongside riders like yourself to ensure that our products are user-friendly and just what you need.