Aftermarket UTV windshields are as diverse as they are functional. They can keep you warm, create a refreshing breeze, or prevent dust and other airborne debris from entering your cab. If you’ve done any research at all, you’re likely well aware of the seemingly endless options available for aftermarket Polaris Ranger windshields.
So which one should you choose? Will a half windshield work best, or is a vented windshield better? Is a rear window worth it, and what does it even do? By the end of this guide, we will answer these questions and many others. It is our aim to educate you, so you feel confident to choose with the best information at your disposal. So let’s begin and investigate the most common types of Polaris Ranger windshields.
Polaris Ranger Aftermarket Windshields… Which One To Choose?
When choosing a windshield, fitment is imperative. The last thing you want is to find a windshield you like, order it, and when it finally arrives, find out that it doesn’t fit your specific Polaris Ranger model. Other factors are also important, and will likely vary depending on where you live and what you use your UTV for.
Polaris Ranger Full Windshield
A full windshield is a great option for dusty and cold areas. Having complete coverage to block cold air is a lovely feature in the winter time. And if you have an aftermarket heater installed, it will help to trap some of the heat generated.
Full windshields are also good for blocking dust. Even if you don’t have doors or a rear windshield, a full windshield will provide added protection to keep dust particles out of your lungs and away from your face.
Polaris Ranger Half Windshield
A big drawback of full windshields is that they can fog up or become covered in mud and rain. When this happens, your vision will be impaired and driving will become more hazardous. Windshield wipers are available, but some riders just prefer to install a half windshield on their Polaris Ranger.
Half windshields do block some wind and dust, but a lot still manages to get through. A primary reason people choose half windshields is that they want some protection, but don’t want to sacrifice that wind-in-the-face feeling that distinguishes riding in a UTV from simply driving a car.
Polaris Ranger Vented Windshield
A perfect compromise between full and half windshields is the vented windshield. You can open the vents if you’re too hot and want some fresh air but can close them if it starts to rain or gets too cold.
Full windshields are also known to create a suction effect that can bring dust into the cab. Vents help to prevent this phenomenon, allowing air to flow and thwarting the suction created when driving.
Polaris Ranger Flip-Out, Tip-Out, and Fold-Down Windshields
Flip-up, Flip-down, and tip-out windshields are very similar in function but differ substantially in design. They all act as full windshields when in the locked down position, but use different mechanisms and hinge-points to allow the windshield to detach and pivot.
These are versatile options for all-weather riders. You can have them down in the morning when it’s cold, then open them up to increase visibility when romping through the mud.
Some riders express discontent with flip-down windshields because, unless they have a strapping mechanism, they tend to rattle and bounce around when in the down position. Furthermore, the hinges are typically placed within eyeshot, which can obstruct your view when driving and cause glare.
Polaris Ranger Rear Windshield
Like the front windshield, the rear windshield needs to have good visibility and be strong enough to take some impact.
Rear windshields are also good for preventing dust from entering the cab if you have a full front windshield without vents. Some are solid panes of polycarbonate, while others are soft and can be rolled up when not in use.
Windshields are by no means essential. And while they do provide a lot of benefits, some riders still prefer to go windowless to be closer to nature and have that limitless feel.
If you do feel like a windshield will benefit you, consider your options. Weigh the pros and cons, and don’t be too rash with your decision. Make sure the windshield you choose will fit your machine and don’t get lazy during the install, as the best windshield in the world can’t effectively do its job if it is not installed correctly.