Side Window Deflectors: Advantages, Things to Consider, and Top Picks for Your Vehicle

side window deflector

What are Side Window Deflectors?

A car side window deflector, also known as a rain guard or wind deflector, is a curved piece of plastic that is custom-made to fit on the upper part of a vehicle’s passenger windows. The main purpose of these deflectors is to provide shade and to deflect wind, rain, and snow away from the vehicle’s interior while driving with the windows cracked open.

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.

Maximizing Your Driving Comfort: Advantages of Using Car Side Window Deflectors

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 Side Window Deflectors

If you’re thinking about buying side window deflectors, there are a few things you should consider before making your purchase. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:


Not all side window deflectors are created equal, and some cheaper knockoffs may not fit properly. Invest in a brand that you know and trust to ensure proper fitment.


Side window deflectors come in two main profiles. Traditional style deflectors flare out from the window, offering the best coverage against wind and rain. Low-profile designs, on the other hand, hug the glass all the way down and offer a sleeker look.


Side window deflectors can be attached in two ways. In-channel deflectors slide into the window groove and are held in place with tension. The other style uses adhesive to attach to the frame of the door. Both methods work well, but it’s important to consider if you want to use adhesive on your vehicle.


Side window deflectors need to be durable enough to withstand high winds and constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Make sure you choose a high-quality plastic that won’t bend, fade or crack over time.

Tint & Finish

Side window deflectors come in a variety of colors and finishes, from clear to dark black. Consider the climate in your area, personal preference, and your vehicle’s aesthetics when choosing a tint and finish.

Car Wash Safe

Choose a side window deflector that is rated as car wash safe to ensure it can withstand normal car washes without becoming damaged.

By considering these factors, you can choose a set of side window deflectors that will provide the best protection and style for your vehicle.


Best Overall

Goodyear Shatterproof In-Channel Window Deflector

The Goodyear Shatterproof In-Channel Window Deflector is our top pick for the best overall car side window deflector. This durable and high-quality deflector is made by a trusted brand and is available at a reasonable price. It is custom-fitted to your vehicle, ensuring a proper fit, and designed to fit “in-channel,” which means it doesn’t require adhesive. Instead, it slides into the same slot in your door frame that holds the window glass, creating enough tension to keep it securely in place without damaging your vehicle’s finish.

Additionally, these window deflectors come with a light tint that reduces glare on sunny days and provides full coverage from rain, wind, and noise while driving. Goodyear also offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee, ensuring that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.

Premium Pick

weathertech side window deflector

This is the WeatherTech Side Window Deflector, which we consider the best premium deflector. Although it costs about twice as much as other options, it’s worth the extra investment. These are the highest quality side window deflectors on the market, made in Germany with 3mm thick acrylic that is durable and long-lasting. The precision fit allows them to sit in the window groove perfectly, without interfering with the glass when it’s coming up, unlike some other brands.

The front deflectors are held in place with clips and tension and extend down past the mirrors to cover the front of the driver’s window completely, providing maximum protection from rain, wind, and noise. The rear deflectors use 3M automotive-grade adhesive for a secure fit. You can choose between a light or dark tint that can withstand years of extreme temperatures and UV light without fading or cracking.

While it’s more expensive, the WeatherTech Side Window Deflector is worth the price. If you’re looking for the best of the best, these are the side window deflectors to buy.

Budget Pick

AVS In-Channel Side Window Deflector

This is the Auto Ventshade or AVS In-Channel Side Window Deflector, and it’s our top pick for the best budget deflector. These in-channel deflectors offer reliable protection at an affordable price point.

Custom-fitted for your vehicle, these deflectors are made from scratch-resistant, UV-protected acrylic that can withstand the test of time. They are in-channel and held securely in place with 3M automotive-grade adhesive, making them safe to go through any car wash. The tinted design provides a pleasant shade from intense light, enhancing your driving experience.

What’s more, these side window deflectors are made in the USA and backed by a limited lifetime warranty, ensuring your investment is well protected.

One of the best things about working with AVS is their extensive range of side window deflectors. They offer both in-channel and frame designs, tinted and matte options, and standard and low-profile varieties. No matter what look or style you want for your ride, AVS has the right side window deflector for you.

Best For Sunroof / Moonroof

TuningPros Sunroof Moonroof Wind Deflector

Introducing the TuningPros Sunroof Moonroof Wind Deflector, a reliable and affordable option for those in search of a sunroof wind deflector. While different than side window deflectors, sunroof wind deflectors work similarly to redirect wind and noise while driving with an open sunroof.

Unlike side window deflectors, sunroof wind deflectors are not custom-fitted for specific vehicles, but TuningPros makes up for this with their incredibly durable plastic and dark black tint that is guaranteed to resist fading. With a variety of standard sizes available, simply measure the width of your sunroof to find the perfect fit. Plus, the high heat adhesive ensures that the deflector can handle intense heat and strong winds from being placed on top of the car.

TuningPros also offers complete sets for side windows and sunroofs, providing a one-stop-shop for all your wind deflector needs. Trust in TuningPros for a reliable and cost-effective solution for your sunroof wind deflector needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Side Window Deflectors

If you’re considering purchasing side window deflectors, you may have some questions about their purpose, benefits, and potential drawbacks. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about side window deflectors:

What Does A Side Window Deflector Do?

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

Are Side Window Deflectors Worth It?

If you enjoy driving with your windows down, then side window deflectors are definitely worth it. They 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. Neither style is thick enough to cause damage to your windows or interfere with the way they perform.

Are Side Window Deflectors Legal?

Side window deflectors are legal everywhere, as long as they are installed properly and do not interfere with the driver’s ability to see the road. However, it’s always a good idea to check your state’s laws regarding the use of window deflectors as they can occasionally change.

Do Window Deflectors Affect MPG?

Window deflectors can affect your car’s MPG by reducing your need for air conditioning. When you can drive with your windows down, you use less A/C, and since the A/C runs off of power from the engine, reducing its usage can lead to increased MPG over time.