The Best Side Window Deflectors Reviewed [2022]

side window deflector

What are Side Window Deflectors?

Side window deflectors are curved pieces of plastic, made specifically for your vehicle, that attach to the upper part of your car’s passenger windows. They serve many purposes, from shading the sun to deflecting wind, rain, and snow, allowing you to enjoy riding with the windows down even in bad weather. 

However, these deflectors can vary in how well they are built and how they adhere to your vehicle, so picking one that will last is important!

If you need side window deflectors because you are frequently off-road, then you may also enjoy our article on the best LED light bars.

Advantages of Using a Side Window Deflector


They Provide Shade

Side window deflectors can be used to block the sun’s intense light from blinding the driver. Since these shades are tinted, they make the perfect semi-transparent shade for any light coming in through the top of your windows.

Rain Guard

A good window deflector will allow you to crack your windows in the rain, redirecting the water away from your open window and keeping you dry.

Wind Guard

Many people buy these specifically because they allow you to crack your windows, even on the highway, without getting that sudden blast of air and noise in your face. These side window deflectors redirect the air away from your open window, allowing you to drive comfortably with your windows down at any speed.

Easier To Remove Fog From Your Windows

Fog is created when there is a difference between the humidity and temperature inside and outside your car. Since these side window deflectors make a great wind guard, they allow you to continue driving comfortably while cracking your window. This allows outside air into the car, rebalancing your vehicle and quickly eliminating any fog on your glass.

Easier to Smoke in the Vehicle

These deflectors are the ideal accessory for any smoker. This shade allows you to crack your windows and smoke no matter the weather. Rain, Snow, Wind, or Noise, you can roll your window down and remain comfortable while still enjoying a smoke.

Better MPG

Using side window deflectors to drive with your windows cracked could save you gas in the long run. It may not be a huge difference, but being able to drive with your windows cracked will inevitably reduce your A/C usage. Since your A/C works off of power produced from your engine, the less you use it, the more gas you will save.

Things to Consider Before Buying


Brand

These side window deflectors are custom parts that need to be sized perfectly to fit your specific vehicle. That means that a company has to invest a lot of time and effort into manufacturing these deflectors. Unfortunately for some, that means that the cheaper knockoffs out there just won’t fit right. Go with a brand you know and you shouldn’t have a problem with fitment.

Profile

They usually come in two different profiles. One is the traditional style that flares out from the window a bit. These offer the best coverage against wind and rain as they have a bit of an overhang. 

The second style is a low-profile design. These don’t flare at all and will hug the glass all the way down. They don’t offer as much protection but provide a different aesthetic that some people prefer.

Fitment

How do these side window deflectors stay on the car? They can be attached in two different ways. Some deflectors are built with a clip that slides into the window groove for the glass and holds the deflector in place with tension. These side windows deflectors are often referred to as “In-Channel.” The other style uses an adhesive to attach the deflector to the frame of your door right above the glass. Both of these methods will hold your side window deflectors in place without a problem. You just have to decide if you don’t mind using an adhesive on your vehicle. I personally would prefer not to if I didn’t have to.

Durability

These side window deflectors are designed to hang onto the side of your car while you’re barreling down the highway so durability is a must. You want to make sure that they are made of thick high-quality plastic so that they don’t bend under the stress of the high winds. You also want high-quality plastic because these hang off of your door catching the sun all day. Constant intense heat and UV light will quickly fade and degrade an inferior plastic. Extreme cold can do the same thing and will eventually cause cracks in deflectors using inferior materials.

Tint & Finish

These side window deflectors come in a wide range of colors from clear to dark black. You also sometimes have the option of a non-transparent matte finish. Based on how sunny your climate is I usually suggest a shaded deflector but personal taste and concern for your vehicle’s aesthetics will determine what deflector you choose.

Car Wash Safe

You probably need to get a side window deflector that is rated as strong enough to withstand a normal car wash. These deflectors will mention it if they are safe to do so since that is an important safety feature to look out for it.

OUR FAVORITE SIDE WINDOW DEFLECTORS!


Best Overall

Goodyear Shatterproof In-Channel Window Deflector

This is the Goodyear Shatterproof In-Channel Window Deflector and our pick for best overall. 

It is made by a well-known brand and constructed using durable, high-quality, and shatterproof polycarbonate. Yet, it still manages to be offered at a reasonable price. 

They are custom-fitted to your vehicle, so you know that they’ll fit properly, and they were designed to fit “in-channel,” meaning that they don’t use any adhesive. Instead, they slide into the same slot in your door frame that holds the window glass. This small gap creates enough tension to keep the window deflectors snuggly in place and keeps you from having the glue anything to your vehicle.

They also come with a light tint to help reduce glare on sunny days. They extend all the way down to the bottom of the front windshield giving the driver full coverage against rain, wind, and noise while driving. 

This product also comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Premium Pick

weathertech side window deflector

This is the WeatherTech Side Window Deflector and our pick for the best premium deflector. I will start out by saying that this is our premium product because it costs about twice as much as either of the other two products. Having said that, these are by far the best side window deflectors on the market. 

They are made in Germany with 3mm thick acrylic, so they are high-quality and durable. They have a precision fit that allows them to sit in the window groove better than any other brand tested. This precision means that they never interfere with the glass when it is coming up, a problem that some other brands face. 

The front deflectors are held in place with clips and tension, and, unlike most other side window deflectors, they extend down past the mirrors to completely cover the front of the driver’s window. This is important because it allows the deflectors to keep out even more rain, wind, and noise. The rear window deflectors are held in place with 3M automotive-grade adhesive for a secure fit. 

They come in either a light or dark tint and can handle years of extreme temperatures and UV light without fading or cracking.

If you can afford it, these are the side window deflectors that you’re going to want to buy.

Budget Pick

AVS In-Channel Side Window Deflector

This is the Auto Ventshade or AVS In-Channel Side Window Deflector, and our pick for the best budget deflector. These in-channel deflectors are sturdy and come at an amazingly affordable price. 

They are custom-fitted for your vehicle and made from scratch-resistant and UV-protected acrylic. They are in-channel but are also held in place with 3M automotive-grade adhesive. This double strength hold means that both front and rear deflectors are rated as safe to go through any car wash. 

These deflectors are also tinted to provide some shade from intense light.

These side window deflectors are made in the USA and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. 

One of the perks of working with AVS is their extensive range of side window deflectors. They have both in-channel and frame designs. They have tinted and matte options and standard and low-profile varieties. Whatever look or style you want for your ride, they have what you need.

Best For Sunroof / Moonroof

TuningPros Sunroof Moonroof Wind Deflector

This is the TuningPros Sunroof Moonroof Wind Deflector. Sunroof or moonroof wind deflectors are a little bit different than side window deflectors. They work the same way, but most companies don’t make them custom for your vehicle. That is because they are attached to the top of the car out of sight, and as long as they are long enough to cover the whole sunroof, they work flawlessly. These wind deflectors can be a couple of inches too large, and they still work the same.

Because of this, most companies have decided to make 3 or 4 standard lengths. All you do is measure the width and make sure that you get something as close as possible without being smaller. This also means that sunroof wind deflectors will cost a lot less because these companies only have to mass-produce from a few different molds instead of making custom sizes for individual cars.

Now for TuningPros, these guys make an incredibly durable plastic with a dark black tint that is guaranteed fade resistant. They also have a high heat adhesive that makes sure the deflector can handle the intense heat and strong wind that comes from being placed on top of the car. We’ve had great success with their products and would highly recommend them to anyone. They also create complete sets for side windows and sunroofs if that is something you’re interested in.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Does A Side Window Deflector Do?

A side window deflector is a curved piece of plastic that covers the upper part of your window, creating a small overhang. This overhang directs wind, rain, and snow away from your window allowing you to enjoy riding with your windows down even in adverse weather conditions.

Are Side Window Deflectors Worth It?

If you love driving with your windows down, then side window deflectors are worth it. They will enhance your ride in good weather conditions by providing a quieter ride, and they protect you in adverse weather conditions by channeling rain and snow away from your windows.

Do Window Deflectors Damage Windows?

Adhesive side window deflectors attach to the frame of the car above your windows. While in-channel deflectors slide into the same space that your window does, they are extremely thin, so neither style will ever damage your window or interfere with the way it performs.

Side windows deflectors are legal everywhere, when installed properly, they will never interfere with the driver’s ability to see the road. But to be safe, we always suggest checking your state’s laws as they do occasionally change.

Do Window Deflectors Affect MPG?

Windows Deflectors can affect MPG by affecting A/C usage. The more often you can drive with your windows down, the less you will use your A/C, and since the A/C runs off of power from the engine, you can reduce gas usage and increase MPG over time.