The 10 Best Windshield Covers
Your Windshield Cover In Winter
At this moment, the rest of your morning doesn’t seem so daunting.
It’s hard waking up on a cold winter’s morning. Your body heat has created a pleasant little cocoon of warmth that shatters the moment you move the covers too much. You make your way stiffly through your morning routine, warming up a bit in the shower, but freezing over again as soon as you have to get out. You can hear the frigid wind rattling the windows. Drafts sneak in from everywhere. It’s earlier than usual, because you knew it was going to snow, and that in order to get to work you’d have to do a bunch of extra chores just to get out of the house.
You bundle up: layers, thermals, thick socks, heavy coat, gloves, scarf, and hat. You grab your snow shovel and throw open the front door. On the first day of winter it was magical. A blanket of white brightly reflecting the distant sun. Now, the white’s gone grey, and everything just looks filthy and difficult.
You shovel a path to your car, knock enough snow off the driver’s side door to get it open and warm it up. You grab the windshield scraper out of the backseat. Then, you remember. You did something smart since the last snowstorm. You invested in a windshield cover. This time, when all that snow came tumbling down, it landed not on your car’s front glass, but on a durable layer of rip-stop fabric, probably nylon or polyester, definitely waterproof. You remember what the instructions said to do at this point, and you do it, carefully removing the cover just as they said you should. And, suddenly, your windshield is clear. No ice build up, no ten inches of snow, no work to be done.
At this moment, the rest of your morning doesn’t seem so daunting. You’re proud of yourself for the investment you made, and that pride carries you all the way through the rather dangerous drive to work. In the past, that drive has been seen through a barely clean windshield that you scraped just enough to get out of the driveway on time. Today, you can see the road as clearly as you would on a sunny spring morning. Heck, you can almost feel spring coming just around the corner. Winter’s not so bad after all. Not if you’ve got the right tools, anyway.
Your Windshield Cover In Summer
It’s terrifying how hot cars can get when left in the sun in summertime. Even with the windows cracked and a palpable breeze making its way through, that temperature seems to rise without end. It’s a significant hazard for anyone getting into the car, and an even bigger danger for any person or pet left inside for too long. But why does your car get so hot so fast, and what can you do about it?
As the innards of your car absorb heat radiation in the visible spectrum from the sun, they begin to emit higher levels of heat radiation along the infrared spectrum.
Well, as the sun beats down on your vehicle, its heat mostly enters your car through the glass of the windshield (and, if it’s tilted at the proper angle, the back window). That heat energy lives mostly in the visible spectrum, at least until is strikes something on the inside of your car, like a dashboard, carpet or seat.
It’s important to remember at this point that everything emits some amount of heat radiation, but most of that radiation exists on the infrared spectrum, so we can’t see it with the naked eye the way we can see visible light rays. As the innards of your car absorb heat radiation in the visible spectrum from the sun, they begin to emit higher levels of heat radiation along the infrared spectrum. Two things happen next that drastically speed up the rate and intensity of the heating process.
First, the glass windows and windshield prevent that infrared heat from escaping. Second, the trace water vapor and CO2 in your vehicle absorb the ambient infrared energy, superheating the air inside the car. If this all sounds a little familiar, that’s because the same technique of using glass to trap heat radiation has been used by greenhouses for centuries.
When you employ a windshield cover in the hot months, you effectively block out the majority of the sunlight that would otherwise have made its way into the car. If there’s no sunlight to heat the seats and other internal components, then there’s no infrared radiation to superheat the air either, and the inside of your vehicle will stay much safer, and much more comfortable.
Why Bother With A Dedicated Windshield Cover
You may be wondering why you can’t just grab a tarp and a couple of bungee cords and save yourself the trouble of investing in a dedicated windshield cover in the first place, and you wouldn’t be totally foolish for thinking that. At their core, these devices are little more than durable, waterproof covers that can prevent sunlight from passing through the glass of your windshield or snow and ice from accumulating on the outside of it.
A dedicated windshield cover attaches much more gently, without utilizing anything that could harm your car.
But there is some folly in employing such a crude facsimile of a device on your car. That’s because the windshield covers on our list are purpose built, meaning that they’ve been created to do this specific job. As a result, they stand to do a better job protecting your vehicle from the elements, as well as from themselves.
Let’s say you went with the tarp approach. Well, tarps are usually basic rectangles, which means that there’s going to be some overhang that’s susceptible to the wind. At best, this will allow a little light snow or ice to accumulate, but at worst, it could cause the tarp to fly off, negating its positive effects immediately. A good windshield cover provides an exceptional fit, ensuring that it will sit tight against the glass no matter the conditions.
Tarps also have grommets around their borders that you would use to attach those bungee cords. The problem here is that both of those are metal elements that can scratch your paint or damage the windshield itself. A dedicated windshield cover attaches much more gently, without utilizing anything that could harm your car.