Stands up to all types of weather, as it's constructed from durable polyester with a heat-trapping thermal shield. Thick material also provides UV protection. Attaches with side security panels and mirror straps for a dependable fit. Universal size fits most.
Mirror straps may not be long enough to fit all large trucks. Doesn't come with instructions; fortunately it's not too difficult to use.
Has a soft bottom layer that protects your car windshield and finish. Three-way attachment system utilizes magnets, straps, and flaps to keep it in place in different types of inclement weather. Material also provides UV protection.
Be careful when putting it on your car - the magnets that secure it have been known to scratch paint. May not fit all large vehicles. Can cause leaks if you don't place the flaps properly.
Comes in a large size that fits most cars and trucks. Material is durable yet lightweight. Stays put in most weather conditions, and has security flaps for added protection.
The built-in magnets that keep it in place can scratch a car's finish. We recommend extra caution when putting it on and taking it off your windshield.
Features side flaps that secure inside vehicle doors and make it easy to put on/take off. Dense material provides excellent protection from UV rays.
Only comes in one size, and that size doesn't provide an accurate fit for some vehicles.
Comes in several sizes and with the option of side window covers. Not too difficult to put on/take off, and also does a good job protecting windshield wipers. Comes with a storage pouch.
Straps have been reported to break after several uses. A few covers arrived missing the mirror covers even though they were ordered. Pricey.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Cold temperatures make it hard to find the motivation to run out the door first thing in the morning. Add scraping your windshield to the list, and it becomes that much harder to make it to the car. Frozen fingers, snow in your face, and reaching every last corner are too much when it’s already freezing outside. The answer: a good windshield cover.
Windshield covers eliminate the need for scraping and give you a full field of view as soon as you hit the road. But some are more effective and easier to use than others, and price differences often reflect the quality of the materials and construction used to make the cover.
Our shopping guide will walk you through the considerations you’ll need to make. If you’re ready to buy, check out our recommended windshield covers.
Windshield size and shape varies by the make and model of the car, and windshield covers come in as many different sizes. Before you buy, measure your windshield so you have a basic idea of the dimensions. The last thing you need is a windshield cover that’s too small, leaving portions of your windshield open to the elements. Manufacturers may make a windshield cover in several different sizes while others are designed for a close, almost custom fit. If you plan to use the cover on more than one car, buy a cover that will fit the largest car on which it may be used.
Installation ease varies by the attachment design of the windshield cover. For example, some covers require that the car doors be open during installation. If you’re driving solo, you’ll have to manage that process on your own, which can take time, especially if it’s windy. Other designs have adjustable straps with buckles and attachment hooks while still others use elastic straps and rearview mirror pockets for installation and fit. You’ll have to decide how much effort you’re willing to put into the installation process as you’ll have to go through it every time you use the cover.
How much coverage do you want? Some windshield covers may only protect the windshield itself while others may also cover the rearview mirrors, the top of the car, side windows, and the rear windshield. An extended coverage area may keep ice and snow off a greater portion of your car, but it usually takes longer to put the cover on.
Be sure to shake out the windshield cover to remove as much snow and ice as possible before putting it in the storage bag.
Ice and snow aren’t the only elements from which a windshield cover can protect your car. Some covers also include UV protective materials (much like a car sun shade) that reflect light and prevent sun damage to the interior of your car, making them a great choice for the summer months as well.
The way in which the cover attaches to the windshield makes a big difference in fit. In turn, the fit can affect how effective the cover is at protecting your windshield from ice and snow. The most common attachment features include:
Tie-down straps with hooks attach to the wheel well or the hubcap to hold the cover in place. Once the cover is positioned correctly on both sides, you can tighten the straps. This kind of attachment system works well with covers that are meant to fit a wide variety of windshield sizes, as tie-down straps offer a greater adjustment range.
Magnets used to hold covers in place are typically housed in a fabric pocket to reduce the chances of scraping the car’s paint. Covers with the magnetic attachment system work best in climates that don’t experience high winds, as wind can cause the magnets to slide. Sliding magnets, even those encased in fabric, can drag dirt and debris across the paint and scratch the car.
Elastic straps fit around rearview mirrors to help secure the windshield cover. They don’t have the adjustability of tie-down straps, but there’s no risk of scratching the paint or damaging any part of the wheel.
A door flap is a portion of the cover material that can be shut in the car door. Although this can be one of the most difficult types of systems to set up, it is also the most secure, as the cover cannot be removed without unlocking the car.
Rearview mirror pocket
Some covers extend to the rearview mirror with a pocket that fits over the mirror itself. The rearview mirror pocket not only protects the mirror but also holds the cover in place.
Rearview mirror pockets allow you to remove the windshield cover and immediately jump in the car and go. If your windshield cover doesn’t come with them, they can be purchased separately.
The convenience of windshield covers compared to the tough work of scraping ice makes them well worth the small price you pay. The most inexpensive models start at around $10 with the most expensive options coming in at just over $30. You can find models that offer UV protection, door flaps, and magnets at both the low and high end of the price range. The same is true for models that have rearview mirror pockets, adjustable straps, elastic straps, or magnets. The more expensive models tend to have thicker and higher-quality fabrics with batting and reinforced seams.
Most windshield covers use a combination of attachment features. For example, door flaps to hold the top of the cover and straps to hold to the bottom.
Check the manufacturer’s size chart. While some aren’t all that helpful, others include the year, make, and model that fit each size.
Before you unroll the windshield cover, be sure to lift the wiper blades and lower them on top of the cover after installation.
For models with a door flap, start the installation by opening both doors and aligning the windshield cover across the entire surface before closing either door. Once you’ve got it adjusted, close both doors and tighten the straps or magnets for full coverage.
For a reasonable price, the OASMU Car Windshield Snow Cover is a well-padded, UV protective windshield cover. It has door flaps for extra security and magnets with elastic straps that go around the rearview mirrors to help hold the cover in place. We were similarly impressed with the SnowOFF Car Windshield Snow Ice Cover. The large door flaps firmly hold this cover in place, making it a great choice for large windshields.
Q. Can the tie-down straps damage the finish on my car?
A. The straps themselves won’t damage your car’s paint job, but the hooks at the ends, if not placed properly, could. Anytime you attach something to your car, there’s a potential for surface damage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for placement of the straps and hooks. If there are no specific guidelines, you might want to consider attaching the straps to the wheel itself rather than the wheel well or hubcap, where it could do damage.
Q. Can magnets damage my paint job even if they’re covered in fabric?
A. Of course, bare magnets placed directly on the hood of your car can do damage but manufacturers place a barrier (fabric) between the magnets and the car. However, dirt and debris on your car can be dragged across the paint by the magnet in a strong wind or if you’re not careful when removing the windshield cover.
Q. Can heavy ice and snow cause the cover to rip?
A. If the cover is made of light material and the ice and snow are heavy enough, it’s possible but not likely. Windshield covers are designed to be lightweight but durable. If you’ve got a particularly tough sheet of ice or thick layer of snow, carefully roll the cover towards the opposite side of your windshield until you’ve completely removed it. Once it’s removed, you can shake out any ice or snow without tearing the material.
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