How to Choose a UTV Windshield
Your UTV needs a windshield. It will shield you from wind, rain, snow, debris, and insects, and it will enhance the look of your vehicle. Now that that’s straight, the next question is how to choose UTV windshields. This post will help you with that.
UTV Windshield Style
The half windshield provides the necessary cover to block wind, debris, and insects without sacrificing the open feeling of riding sans windshield. As the name suggests, they are shorter than your typical windshield, but they are designed with a special lip at the top to divert wind and other things you don’t want over your head.
If you want an unobstructed view and to not totally lose the sense of air rushing past you, but you do want some protection, the half windshield is probably for you. Those who live in warm or temperate climates will be more likely to desire this type of windshield so they can enjoy that fresh, warm air.
A full windshield provides complete coverage. It is considered a classic UTV front windshield. This type is needed to protect you against all the trail has to throw at you. If you intend to enclose your cab and run an air conditioner or heater, you’ll need a full windshield to create a closed environment.
If you want maximum protection or plan to enclose your cab, this is the best UTV windshield for you. People living in hot or cold climates will particularly want this windshield. Some full windshields are easily removable, so you don’t have to live with it all year long.
Sometimes full windshields make a rattling noise. Installing a rear windshield as well will cut out the noise.
Flip windshields give you the best of both worlds. You can have a full windshield one day or season and an open windshield the next.
There are two different kinds. One has three positions: full, vented, and open. This allows you to have a full windshield, a half windshield, or no windshield, depending on the day’s preference. The other has two options: full and open. It’s basically whether you want a windshield that day or not. This type folds down to the hood when open.
People who live in erratic climates will particularly love a UTV flip up windshield, but just about anyone will appreciate it. They’re more expensive, so that could be a downside if it doesn’t fit into your budget.
SxS windshields are made from polycarbonate, acrylic, or glass.
Glass is the hardest material and more difficult to scratch, so you’ll have a nicer looking windshield for a longer period of time. If you also want your glass windshield to be tough to break, you’ll need to get a tempered glass windshield. The downsides to glass windshields are that they are heavy and pricey.
Acrylic is the least expensive option, it is pretty tough, and it is the lightest weight windshield material. It can be scratched, and it can react to various chemicals.
Polycarbonate is strong enough that it is used in riot gear. It’s also lightweight, more resistant to chemicals than acrylic, and it can be molded to fit the shape of various UTV models. Straight polycarbonate is the most susceptible material to scratches, but if you get a hard coated polycarbonate windshield, it will be as hard as glass.
How to choose UTV windshield material
You could go with acrylic if you’re on a tight budget and/or sticking to easy trails where hazards are fewer and less dangerous. But you never know what mother nature or life will bring you in the form of accidents, and you may be shelling out more money on a replacement windshield if it gets scratched up.
Coated polycarbonate is the best all around choice for most riders. It’s not as expensive or heavy as glass, and it’s the toughest material. If you can at all afford it, you should choose coated polycarbonate.
Tempered glass windshields are an excellent choice for those who have the money to spend on them and don’t mind the weight.
While having as clear a windshield as you can get to enjoy the natural view ahead of you is usually ideal, tints can also provide UV protection and cut down on glare. You can choose between light or dark options to determine how much you want to be able to see your tint.
Model-specific or Universal UTV Windshield
There are both model-specific and universal windshields available. You may be able to find the windshield you want in a cheaper price as a universal option, but a model-specific windshield will give you the best look and riding experience.