The utility terrain vehicle (UTV) is built to do more work, and because of its ruggedness, it can ply almost any road network, especially where bigger trucks can’t access. UTVs are mostly found on farms, at worksites or construction sites or factories. Because of the versatility and usefulness of a UTV, finding the best UTV windshield is paramount, especially for total protection from weather and other elements while working.
A windshield is an important accessory on your UTV, especially because it offers protection against the road, weather and work elements you may be exposed to. Sometimes, this can be gravel, rocks or sand raised while driving; other times, it could be bent or broken tree branches, rain, sunshine and UV rays.
A windshield offers this much protection without obstructing the driver’s view because all windshields have view access through the transparent material they are made of.
Importance of windshield for utv owners/drivers
The windshield offers three primary importance for UTV owners or drivers. They are:
Protection: All vehicles, including the UTV, have the windshield for this major purpose, as a shield or protection against the wind and other weather elements, against debris, dirt or dust, and against objects or particles lifted while driving or thrown from any point.
When these factors get direct access to the driver without any shield whatsoever, it causes a distraction that may eventually lead to a bigger accident, so the essence of a windshield is to protect against these elements, thus preventing an accident.
Viewing access: All windshields are transparent and allow the driver to see the road he’s driving through. Without a windshield, it may be difficult for the driver to focus on the road, especially when the ray of light from the sun is too bright to ensure focus or when it is rainy or windy.
Having the windshield blocks the rays from penetrating the driver’s guide directly without obstructing the road view by allowing you to see through the windshield.
Support: A windshield provides extra support for the UTV frame, which gives the vehicle more stability and rigidity while driving.
Different types of utv windshields
In the early times when the windshield was first introduced, acrylic plastic materials like butyrate and cellulose nitrate were used as the basic materials for windshields. Still, these materials degrade easily when exposed to different weather elements, which eventually affects the screen’s clarity and transparency.
But innovations led to the discovery of the three major materials popularly used for windshield production today. Based on the materials used, UTV windshields vary in structure, strength and durability. The three major types of UTV windshield you can find in the market today; the glass windshield, the acrylic windshield and the Polycarbonate windshield.
This is the best material for the production of the UTV windshield. Polycarbonate is thermoplastic and transparent. Its ability to transmit light is near as that of glass,’ but polycarbonate is the king of other plastic types when it comes to impact resistance, which is why its use in windshields production is a great innovation.
Not only that, polycarbs have very good flexibility and can be conveniently formed at room temperature without breaking. A major advantage of polycarbonate is that it can be reused or recycled easily with or without heat applied to the material. The polycarbonate windshield is the strongest when compared with the others.
It has over three times the abrasion resistance capacity of an acrylic windshield and a much higher impact resistance. Polycarbonate windshields provide good visual clarity and hardly transmit visible lights. Polycarbonate windshields are built for resilience and able to weather all kinds of storms without wearing out.
All polycarbonate windshields are durable; they are built to last, which is why they are the most popular in the windshield market today. Though expensive, worth every penny
Glass is a transparent material and can easily transmit light. But among the three windshield materials, it is the least sustainable and weakest. A glass windshield is not durable and cannot withstand the ruggedness of UTVs, especially on rough roads with crooks and bumps.
Glass material is easily prone to damage and has no impact resistance whatsoever. If a hit occurs, a glass windshield will shatter, leaving no part to salvage, which is why glass windshields are not commonly used on UTVs.
An acrylic windshield is stronger than glass and cellulose. It provides clarity and enough protection while driving your UTV. However, the downside of an acrylic windshield is that when it breaks, it shatters into sharp and dangerous pieces that pose a danger to the driver or anyone around.
The acrylic windshield may be considered first because it is very affordable and shines more than the polycarbonate. If your UTV does not have to go through bumpy and rough roads, an acrylic windshield might work perfectly for you. One other good thing about acrylic is that it is scratch-resistant.
Differences in each material difference and advantages
In today’s market, acrylic and polycarbonate windshields are more common, and it seems the glass is fast becoming outdated, although some manufacturers still roll out glass windshields. When comparing the acrylic and polycarbonate materials for a windshield, here are a few differences and advantages each has over the other.
An acrylic windshield is the least expensive of the three types. It gleams better than a polycarbonate windshield, which could be a point of attraction for most buyers. But the acrylic windshield is not well suited for riding on rough terrains where there’s much tendency of lifted or thrown objects.
This is because an acrylic windshield has less impact resistance and less safe when damaged. Although it is about eight times stronger than its glass counterpart, the acrylic and glass windshield share a similar quality of being too glaring, making vision difficult, especially on bright sunny days.
However, two advantages of an acrylic windshield over polycarbonate are that it is more scratch-resistant and less expensive.
The polycarbonate windshield is naturally transparent and less glaring, which provides more clarity of vision when riding on bright days. It may require an extra-hard coating to be more scratch-resistant, making it more expensive than it already is. But the polycarbonate windshield is stronger (about 200 times more than acrylic), more durable than acrylic, can withstand more impacts and very lightweight.
The different windshield styles
This type covers the whole open view side of the UTV and offers full protection for the driver against all kinds of elements.
The half windshield covers only half of the front view side and is usually fixed at the lower part of the front to ensure adequate airflow. It does the job of a windshield efficiently on regular days but does not guarantee full protection.
This serves a dual purpose of being a full windshield or half when you want it to be. It is the best windshield style as it offers maximum versatility and allows you to enjoy a bit of both major windshield styles. The screen is flipped up when you want a full shield and down for a half shield. To ease the stress of going down the vehicle to fix, the system can be auto-controlled.
This is a style that lets you keep a full windshield open when you want free no-shield view access on your UTV. The windshield is held up by gas-powered braces and can be in the up position for as long as you want it opened.
They are designed with vents attached to the windshield to allow free air circulation through the shield and prevent fogging in extremely cold weather.
Best UTV windshield brand to consider
Many UTV windshields are being rolled out every year or season for consumers but from different manufacturers. Of all these brands, there are several that have proven to be reliable, durable and tough enough to withstand whatever the road throws at you, but we have made just 5 top picks from the long list. Below are some of these popular brands
While most Siezmik windshields are made from polycarbonate material, some types are made from optical-grade acrylic. Siezmik windshields are available in all various styles and are very easy to install on your UTV.
The USA manufactured Moose brand sells premium quality and thick polycarbonate windshields mounted to the vehicle frame and held firmly by four stainless steel straps with a rubber coating to prevent rust.
You can also get your preferred windshield style from Moose as they have their windshields available in all styles.
Whatever your choice is, a Moose windshield will fit most Honda, Kawasaki, Can-Am, Polaris, Kymco, Arctic Cat or CF Moto trucks or UTV.
The Kolpin windshield can be half, full or flip-style made of highly durable polycarbonate material. Most of the shields are scratch resistant and attached to the UTV with four rubber clamps.
Kolpin windshields can conveniently fit the Arctic cat prowler, John Deere XUV, Yamaha rhino or Viking, Kawasaki mule, Honda big red, the Ranger or Polaris.
EMP (Extreme metal products)
EMP windshields are designed from hard-coated polycarbonate for extra strength and durability of use. However, a little on the high side in price, this brand promises superior strength and easy to fix windshields compared to other brands or acrylic counterparts.
The installation requires no tool, and the windshields are available in all styles. The windshields can fit most Polaris UTVs, Yamaha, Honda pioneers XP1K or different models of the RZR. An EMP shield price can be from $190 to $400, depending on your chosen style.
The most common Quadboss windshields are either folding or half style designed from solid and optically clear polycarbonate. The windscreen can be easily mounted on truck frames and held in place rubber coated stainless steel fastenings.
The windshield fits conveniently on most Can-Am, Kymco, Honda, Kawasaki, or Polaris trucks.
Frequently asked questions
What is the thickness of a UTV windshield?
A UTV windshield’s thickness is about .177 inch for polycarbonate shields and around .222in for Acrylic shields.
What material is a UTV windshield made of?
UTV windshields are made from either polycarbonate, which is more popular in the market; acrylic or glass.
Which UTV windshield is the most durable?
The polycarbonate windshield will come top of the list, but with proper maintenance and the appropriate usage, an acrylic windshield can last long.
Is a polycarbonate windshield scratch-resistant?
A polycarbonate windshield is not always scratch resistant unless it is hard coated to enhance its scratch resistance. The acrylic windshield has more scratch resistance.
Can I install a UTV windshield myself?
Most UTV windshields are easy to install without any tool required. They are usually attached to the vehicle with clamps or rubber screws.
Now that you have almost all the necessary information to guide your purchase of the best UTV windshield, you can make your choice and begin to enjoy your UTV rides with more assurance of safety and protection.