“Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.” Those words are generally uttered at the first sight of inclement weather. Of course, this refrain is usually followed by the thought, “I wonder if my windshield wipers are still good?” Unfortunately for most of us, procrastination is the name of the game when dealing with wiper-blade maintenance and replacement.
When perusing the wiper-blade market, your options are wide and plentiful. You’ll typically find two basic blade types: the standard blade and a winter variety. The majority of wiper manufacturers supply both winter and standard blades encased in steel or rugged plastic frames. However, it is fairly common to see winter-style wipers also covered in a layer of protective rubber. The rubber outliner is there to help defend against harsh conditions such as snow, ice and direct sun – all of which can speed up deterioration.
Rain-X, a longtime supplier of quality weather-fighting products (think anti-fog and products that repel rain from windshields), offers a line of stout, high-quality wiper blades under the Weatherbeater and Latitude nameplates – available in standard and winter blades, respectively. Weatherbeaters are constructed utilizing a more traditional galvanized-steel frame designed with several flexible pressure points to ensure better windshield conformation. This wiper uses a natural rubber squeegee that’s designed to resist tearing and cracking due to heat, cold and other outdoor elements.
Those who live in areas frequented by snowstorms will probably opt for the Rain-X Latitude, regardless of the season. Starting from the curved, flexible, rubber-sheathed substructure, Rain-X has taken a whole new approach toward wiper technology. Aside from its frame, Rain-X has employed items such as an aerodynamic spoiler for wind noise and lift reduction, and a specially blended graphite coating on the rubber blade to increase its lifespan.
There really isn’t much to tell in the way of installation. Besides making sure the right clip is in place, it’s as simple as removing the old worn blade and inserting the new Rain-X wiper. If severe weather is not in the forecast, the Weatherbeater is more than up to the job and makes an exceptional standard blade choice. However, if you are regularly confronted with an array of rough conditions, the Latitude is one of the best winter-style wiper blades on the market. Thanks to a combination of high-tech materials and superb assembly, the Weatherbeater and Latitude blades provide crystal clear, nearly streak-free visibility.
Prices vary depending on size, which ranges from 16 to 26 inches, but figure on paying somewhere between $9 and $15 for each blade if purchased online or at discount centers.
SOPUS Products, (800) 237-8645, www.rainx.com.