The Key Differences Between Vinyl and Clear Bra
Car enthusiasts across the globe use car bras to preserve the condition of their vehicles. They were once only used for luxury cars such as the Porsche 356, but the car bra industry has since grown into an open market. Now, no matter what car you drive, there’s a car bra option to protect it from any damage the road could throw at it. Still, the process of buying an effective car bra for your vehicle isn’t as simple as having one custom-fitted. Whether you drive a luxury vehicle or you’re looking to pamper your truck or SUV, learn about the differences between vinyl and clear bra to make the right choice for you and your car.
Vinyl Car Bras
Constructed of durable, UV-resistant vinyl, these car bras are custom-fit to cover select sections of your vehicle and to protect these hot spots from damage. Beneath the outer layer of vinyl, these products contain a layer of soft cloth that keeps the car’s paint shined to a perfect finish. Though the exact materials that this cloth is made from can vary depending on the product, knit and flannel fabrics are typically used. These materials are known for their plush and soft textures, preventing scratches from forming while acting as extra cushion to protect the paint from debris impact.
These car bras are custom-molded to the crevasses of your specific vehicle, but they only come in a few basic styles and shapes for you to consider. Three of these commonly available shapes are:
Full Front-End Bras
This shape is typically the most common, as the front of the vehicle is the most susceptible to damage. It’s popular with owners of family or recreational vehicles, such as trucks, SUVs, vans, and minivans, as these cars see more road time. The full front-end models are often installed in separate pieces to allow you to open your hood without needing to remove the car bra.
Like a full front-end car bra, sport bras provide protection to the most attacked area of your vehicle. However, they’re a bit smaller—only covering the leading edge of the hood rather than the entire front end. This shape still protects the vehicle’s front without changing the original design or coloring of the car.
T-style bras are also meant to protect the leading edge of the car’s hood, though they can also extend further up the hood. This extra protection on the hood is often better suited for models with more space on the hood—such as trucks and large vans. Since these types of vehicles have more vulnerable paint due to the raised-hood design, this bra can cover any additional areas that are exposed to road debris.
After deciding what shape you want, you can also choose your overall style to fit with your cosmetic and regional needs. Custom-colored vinyl car bras can be made to complement the existing color scheme of your paint. Car owners who want to give their vehicle a unique color scheme while protecting their original paint often seek out this option. Additionally, you can also purchase all-weather car bras, which are more weather-resistant than standard car bras. These can be useful in regions that get a lot of damp or rainy weather.
Clear Car Bras
One of the most identifiable differences between vinyl and clear bra is that clear bra is a polyurethane film rather than a fabric. This transparent, protective layer can be applied across the entire body of your car, offering complete protection while keeping the premium look of the vehicle. Also known as paint protection film, clear bra is used most often on luxury vehicles to preserve their value and keep them looking new. However, this product isn’t exclusive to luxury cars.
Clear bra can also be custom-cut to fit any type and model of vehicle, making an airtight seal to protect your paint no matter what kind of car you have. Because of this seal, your car’s exterior won’t be exposed to the rain or snow, thereby preventing rust from forming and eating away at the paint. As such, you won’t have to worry about maintaining the clear bra, other than occasionally waxing it to bring back its original shine.
Furthermore, clear bra can be applied with a unique finish that enhances the flawless paint underneath. One of these finishes, gloss, is used to give a car a brand-new and shiny appearance, which can raise the car’s overall value and desirability. Matte is another finish that can increase your car’s visual appeal. Though it doesn’t change the paint’s original color, the matte finish makes the color appear more tactile and solid.
Pros and Cons
Each product has specific uses and specialized scenarios in which it’s more beneficial. However, each also has its own set of drawbacks you should consider as you make a purchase decision. Remember that the best choice depends on what you’re looking for in a car bra and how much maintenance you’re willing to do to keep it in good condition.
Vinyl, for instance, is durable and can provide your vehicle with customizable looks, but it’s not as useful for people who don’t want to change their car’s entire color scheme. These car bras also only cover select sections, leaving the rest of your paint exposed to the elements. This can result in further unexpected damage to the vehicle. Furthermore, since water can creep into the openings under the fabric, vinyl car bras must be removed and properly dried to prevent the formation of rust. Additionally, vinyl is significantly thinner than clear bra, making the protective layer prone to tearing and breaking under stress.
Clear bra, on the other hand, has weaknesses related to customizability. Though you can choose between different finishes and coverages, you can’t alter the color of the film to create different designs. So, this choice is often best for people looking to preserve rather than customize. However, since clear bra is made to accommodate the unique models of luxury vehicles, many auto enthusiasts love that they can properly showcase their vehicle’s original condition.
For extra protection from the debris the Colorado mountains can throw your way, clear bra is the best option for you. Whether you’re driving in luxury or content with the wholesome style of a family car, Denver Auto Shield can supply you with protection tailored to protect your car from every angle. Our team of professionals has been trained to work with leading brands of clear bra, including XPEL, in the Denver area—they would love a chance to preserve your beloved vehicle.