Five Facts You Must Know When Shopping for Car Covers!

By David Bynon

When looking for the right car cover for their vehicle, car owners will see two words that seem to be the same thing, but they are very different. I'm talking about "outdoor" versus "waterproof". Outdoor speaks specifically to the ability to be used outside in light weather conditions. Waterproof is different because it has a specific claim of resisting high moisture levels.

This article explains the difference between the many different types of fabrics used to make car covers. With more than twenty different fabric names in common use, it is not only difficult to remember what is what, it is also challenging to determine what is best for your particular situation.

We'll use the top two factories in the USA, Coverking and Covercraft, and point out the major differences between waterproof fabrics and those that are merely for outdoor use. Other factories offer some decent materials, but these are the top names in the business. For ease of evaluation, you'll discover that both companies use a 1-5 star rating system to evaluate the capability of each material for a particular condition.

An outdoor cover material is appropriate for fair weather conditions and light precipitation but it won't protect against heavy weather. There are differences in outdoor fabrics, too. For instance, the Coverking Triguard fabric is a three layer system that works great outside when used occasionally. It's perfect for vehicles that are garaged most of the time that you want to cover when parked in public parking lots or at work. It will also protect outside if the car is sheltered by a carport. Basically, it can't handle full exposure to the sun for long periods.

By contrast, the Silverguard material is a UV tolerant material that's perfect for everyday on the street or in the driveway, because the fabric can withstand constant exposure to the sun. This makes it ideal for use in warm, sunny climates, but again, not for long periods of exposure to precipitation. The Sunbrella fabric offers similar qualities.

Covercraft's Block-It fabric is a step up from Silverguard and Sunbrella in its ability to handle wet weather. It's a 4-layer polypropylene construction that's capable of handling all weather conditions, but it's not 100% waterproof. The trade-off is the level of breath-ability it provides. It's a great solution for anyone that needs both indoor and outdoor protection. Plus, the 4-layers of thickness allow it to absorb parking lot abuse so you don't get door dings, nicks and scratches.

When you talk about needing 100% waterproofing, you have to look for a cover that claims all-weather protection. What this basically means is that it can withstand extended periods of rain fall, drizzle, fog, salt air, snow and ice. The material most commonly associated with these qualities is Noah.

Kimberly-Clark developed and manufactures the Noah material for Covercraft. It was the first naturally waterproof fabric, meaning it does not require water repellant chemicals to do its job. One of most amazing qualities of the fabric is its weight per square yard, just a scant 4.45 ounces. It's light and easy to handle, even when it has been sitting out in rain. Noah is a true all-weather material with excellent breathe-ability and UV light inhibiting qualities.

Competing head-to-head with Noah is Stormproof. It's a microfiber technology system that uses microscopic, synthetic yarns. Unlike many of the cheaper products on the market, Stormproof is uncoated and untreated. Where the treated fabrics will begin to fail after just one or two seasons, the microfiber material will continue to resist water and other exterior conditions naturally for years. What's more, it's one of the softest car covers around.

Before you make your final selection, be sure to check off all of the boxes. There's a big difference between outdoor and waterproof. Make sure you get the right material for your climate and use conditions.

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