UTV Windshield Buying Guide 2022
To protect yourself from wind, insects, sun rays, flying debris and precipitation, you might want to install a windshield on your UTV. The higher your usual speed and the more time you spend off-road, the more urgently you need this item. In the article below, you’ll find a guide to the most in-demand and reliable windshield models.
Classification of Windshields
All the windshields available on the market belong to one of the following categories: full, half, flip-up/tip-out, rear or complete cab enclosures. When selecting an opportune item for your vehicle, you should rely on your taste preferences, budget and riding style.
Full Side by Side
Such a model will completely cover the front of your cab, thoroughly protecting you from all the nuisances mentioned in the first paragraph — but only in case they move in the oncoming direction. Dust and mud will still be able to reach you from the rear and sides unless you opt for a full-cab coverage. You should avoid full side by side models if you are planning to ride off-road in the dirt frequently: once a mud splash hits your windshield, it will hamper your vision until you stop to wipe it off. But for colder climates, this will be an indispensable solution because a full windshield blocks the chilling airflow and thus keeps you warm. Mind that some models feature strategic openings or adjustable vents to optimize the airflow.
Half Side by Side
Such models don’t block the airflow completely but still protect riders from the wind-tunnel effect and flying debris. Judging by the name, you might think that their design is equal to that of full windshields but the size is twice as small. In actuality, their shape is more sophisticated to efficiently deflect wind and dust. Those with molded lips at their tops are particularly good at this task. Another crucial merit of half windshields consists in the fact that you can almost effortlessly remove them when you feel like.
This type is recommended for muddy trails and other terrains where your windshield will hardly remain clean. Also, half side by side options look very stylish on photos and in real life and allow you to enjoy fresh air in good weather.
Tip Out or Flip Up
You may use the term “flip-down” as well. These are an intermediate variant between the half and full side by side options. You can easily modify them according to your needs in a particular situation: either fold down the windshield for the sake of unobstructed vision or resort to the maximum protection.
The main difference between diverse modifications of flip-up windshields lies in the method of fitting. Before purchasing one, make sure that you will be able to mount and dismantle it without professional help.
Open vehicles and those equipped with full windshields share a common problem: dust gets sucked into their cockpits. Besides, dirt and gravel from under the rear tires often fling inside the cabin. To remain clean and comfortable, you might want to install a rear panel that will come in especially handy on muddy, dusty and rocky trails.
Such models offer the highest level of protection. They are equipped with a roof, doors, rear and front windshields. You can use them all year round, in any climatic conditions. If you aim to economize, opt for fully enclosed windshields made of plastic-paneled or meshed fabric that have a decent protection level but at the same time don’t block the airflow.
Which Material to Select
UTV windshields are normally produced from glass, acryl or “poly”, which stands for polycarbonate. Each of these options has its advantages and peculiarities. To impartially compare them, you should take into account the following parameters:
- Clarity. This indicator lets you understand how much visible light the windshield lets through.
- Strength. The criteria reflect how resistant the windshield is to breakages or cracks.
- Scratch-resistance. Some people confuse this parameter with strength, but in fact, it is more related to hardness. For UTV windshields, scratches are much more than an aesthetic nuisance.
Dappled sunshine might hamper your vision so that you fail to timely notice an obstacle.
The material the windshield is made from is one of the main factors that affect its price.
This is the hardest option and therefore, the most scratch-resistant. Even though such a windshield would be the costliest, its price is justified by its significant service life. Over the years, the glass will remain perfectly clear. The only risk it might be prone to crack but to minimize this outcome you can opt for laminated or tempered safety glass.
This material is medium-strong and medium-hard but can boast of top clarity. It is more scratch-resistant if compared to glass and less — if compared to “poly”. A meaningful argument in favor of this material is its competitive price. Another competitive edge of acryl is that it allows you to polish out minor scratches so that they entirely disappear.
Polycarbonate windshields are noticeably superior in strength than the other two materials. The light will be less visible than with acryl but the vision will be clearer than with glass. If you are ready to pay a bit extra, opt for the coated poly. It is outstandingly hard, robust and scratch-resistant plus provides excellent UV protection. Its uncoated counterpart, on the contrary, is highly prone to scratches and very average in terms of hardness but offers a more competitive price.
Purchasing a durable windshield that provides impeccable visibility will be a smart investment in your UTV. It will allow you to see the road clearly and timely avoid approaching obstacles, as well as protect you from debris, branches, wind and precipitation. Hundreds of options are available on sale, catering to all tastes and budgets. You will easily select the one that meets your needs best and guarantees the maximum comfort of your rides. To make your trips even more enjoyable, consider buying a capacious UTV cargo box and a reliable set of tools to always carry with you at XtremeStore.