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    The 10 Best Electronic Earmuffs 2021

    Sometimes life gets a little loud. While some noise is okay, if you’re frequently in situations that leave your ears ringing, you need the proper protection. You only get one pair of ears, so taking care of them should be a priority. To avoid ailments like tendinitis and hearing loss, getting your hands on a pair of electronic earmuffs is a great idea.
    Electronic earmuffs offer hearing protection for loud noises that can damage your eardrums. While electronic earmuffs are often used for shooting firearms, they can also be used around the house or on noisy jobsites. In fact, some products come with audio capabilities that let you listen to your favorite songs.
    We’ve done the research, and we’re going to take you through the ten best electronic earmuffs.

    Things to Consider When Shopping for Electronic Earmuffs
    While earmuffs seem like simple products, there is a lot of variation between each model. Some products come with advanced features, like active noise amplification, while others offer basic features.
    For this reason, you need to carefully consider what you’re looking to get out of electronic earmuffs. So, we’re going to take you through a few things to look for in electronic earmuffs.
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
    Before considering electronic earmuffs, you need to understand a product’s noise reduction rating (NRR). The NRR rating shows how much noise reduction electronic earmuffs offer. For electronic earmuffs, most products feature NRR levels of around 15-34 dB.
    If you’re using electronic earmuffs in your car or around the house, 15-20dB is all you need. On the other hand, if you’re using firearms, it’s essential to get the best protection possible. If you’re looking to learn more about ear protection, we’ll have more information down below.
    Audio Capabilities
    While electronic earmuffs are designed to protect your ears from noise, some products come with advanced features like auxiliary inputs. These inputs allow you to listen to music through the earmuffs. The sound quality varies but listening to music is a great way to drown out ambient noise. If you’re looking to use electronic earmuffs on a jobsite or around the house, having an auxiliary input is one of the best features to keep an eye on.
    Power Source
    Most electronic earmuffs run on AAA batteries, but some are rechargeable. While batteries aren’t too expensive, the cost adds up over time. For this reason, considering how long batteries will last and how they’re powered is essential.
    Furthermore, we recommend looking for products with auto-shutoff features to prevent the batteries from draining if you’re not using them. The average battery life for electronic earmuffs is about 300 hours for products with batteries and 30 hours for rechargeable products.
    When it comes to electronic earmuffs, there are a few different price ranges. Depending on the quality of technology used in electronic earmuffs, the price will vary. To make the shopping process more comfortable, we’ve grouped each product into one of two categories:
    $: Around $20-$50$$: Around $50 or Above
    Knowing what to look for in electronic earmuffs makes finding the right fit hassle-free. Still, you’ll need to see the ten best electronic earmuffs to make a decision. Read on to discover our picks for the best electronic earmuffs.

    Top 10 Best Electronic Earmuffs 2021
    1. Best Overall Electronic Earmuffs: Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs

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    Why we like it: Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs are our favorite product because they offer the best protection and value. You can reduce harmful sounds while hearing lower decibels without a problem.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $$
    NRR Rating: 82dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs are top-tier electronic earmuffs. While they protect your ears from sounds over 82 decibels, they allow you to hear anything under that range. These earmuffs are well-made. They’re large enough to cover both ears and use padding to make sure you’re comfortable. These earmuffs also come with everything you need right out of the box. Batteries are included, and they last about 350 hours; however, they last longer with the auto-shutoff feature.
    What Sets It Apart
    These earmuffs are unique because of the active noise cancelation feature. While most electronic earmuffs will block out sounds, these earmuffs work up to 82 decibels. Compared to other products, this noise cancelation is superior.
    Things to Consider
    While these earmuffs get the job done, they’re not perfect. Unfortunately, the price for these earmuffs is higher than similar products. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs are a great alternative. While they come up short in decibels, they’re more budget-friendly.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re in the market for the best ear protection, these earmuffs are a great choice. They offer the best protection for the price, which makes them worth every penny. Eighty-two decibels is more than most ear protection, so finding this level of quality without needing to spend hundreds is a blessing.

    Allows you to hear noises under 82 decibels
    It comes with snap-in ear cushions
    Batteries included
    Foldable for storage and travel

    Fairly expensive

    2. Best Premium Electronic Earmuffs: Peltor Sport Tactical 100

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    Why we like it: This is our premium choice because it offers a unique feature that blocks out the wind.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $$
    NRR Rating: 24dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA batteries
    The Peltor Sport Tactical 100 is one of the most well-made pieces of ear protection equipment. This product uses innovative 3M technology to amplify lower sounds, like conversations, while blocking out louder noises like raging engines or firearms.
    These earmuffs feature comfortable padding to keep your ears from feeling compressed, and the headband is adjustable. If you’re looking to use these earmuffs around the house, there is also an audio jack for listening to music.
    What Sets It Apart
    What makes these earmuffs unique is their ability to block out the noise generated by the wind. Even the best electronic earmuffs fail to account for the wind. Most electronic earmuffs use noise amplification technology, which makes gusts of wind unbearable. These earmuffs use similar noise amplification technology but block out the wind, making the experience ten times better.
    Things to Consider
    While these earmuffs are a great choice, they’re not perfect for everyone. Blocking out the wind is useful, but for situations where you need to hear leaves dropping or the wind blowing, this product will leave you feeling frustrated.
    If you like the noise amplification and decibel protection but need a product that lets you hear the wind, the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs are a great alternative. They’re in the same price range, use similar technology, but they’re more sensitive.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re shooting in the woods or racing with the windows down, this product is your best choice. For situations where the wind will drive you crazy, having earmuffs with smart noise amplification technology is essential. These earmuffs allow you to hear your surroundings without gusts of wind popping your ears.

    Recessive microphones block out noise from the wind
    Reduces noise from gunshots but amplifies noise for conversations or commands
    Padded and foldable

    It doesn’t come with batteries

    3. Most Versatile Electronic Earmuffs: Walker’s Game Ear Razer

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    Why we like it: These earmuffs are one of our favorite options because of the versatility they bring to the table. You can use them on the jobsite, at the track, or for shooting.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 28dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    The Walker’s Game Ear Razor is one of the most balanced products on our list. These earmuffs will keep you safe from loud noises while simultaneously amplifying sounds less than 28 decibels. This makes it easy to hear sounds you can’t hear with non-electronic products.
    These earmuffs are also durable and well-made. The headband is adjustable, and the earmuffs are padded to maximize comfort. Plus, they’re strong enough to take a beating on jobsites and feature an audio jack for music.
    What Sets It Apart
    Compared to other products, these earmuffs offer a lot of balance. They block out an average level of noise and handle abuse from jobsites or shooting well. While they’re not perfect, they offer great value for the price. These aren’t budget earmuffs, but they won’t break the bank either. Furthermore, these earmuffs are compact and foldable. You can take them with you on the go and store them easily.
    Things to Consider
    These earmuffs are balanced, but they don’t come with advanced features found in premium earmuffs. For example, the noise amplification system isn’t filtered. This means that sounds like lawnmowers, snowblowers, wind, and loud engines will come through louder than other earmuffs.
    If you’re looking for a more sensitive alternative, the Peltor Sport Tactical 100 is a great alternative. While it offers noise amplification technology, they’re more sensitive to sounds in a low decibel range.
    Who It’s For
    These earmuffs are a great choice if you’re looking to protect your ears in many situations. They’re strong enough to handle the jobsite and use noise amplification technology for things like hunting. If you’re looking for a balanced product at a fair price, these earmuffs are among the best options.

    Portable and foldable
    Comes with auxiliary capabilities
    Padded headband and earmuffs

    Not great in the wind
    Cancels all noise over 28 decibels, which isn’t always ideal for hunting

    4. Best Budget Electronic Earmuffs: Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs

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    Why we like it: This is one of our favorite choices because of the low price tag. While they offer high-quality noise protection, they’re more affordable than most electronic earmuffs.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 22dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    These earmuffs are budget-friendly and perform, as well as higher-priced products. The Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs offer 22dB protection and allow you to hear ambient noises without problems.
    These earmuffs are also flexible and useful for many applications. The headband is adjustable to fit your head size, and you can fold them for storage or portability. Plus, everything you need to use them arrives at your door, even the AAA batteries.
    What Sets It Apart
    These earmuffs are unique because of the price. With Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs, you get premium protection for a bargain. While you’ll miss out on a handful of premium features, like protection from the wind, these are budget-friendly earmuffs that everyone can afford.
    Things to Consider
    These earmuffs are a bargain, but you get what you pay for. While the protection is on-par with other earmuffs, most features come up short. The battery life is below-average because there is no auto-shutoff and the noise amplification isn’t sensitive. Things like the wind will come in louder than usual, which can ruin a hunting trip or your peace and quiet.
    If you’re looking for superior electronic earmuffs, we recommend the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs. You’ll have to spend a little more, but they’re higher in quality.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Awesafe Electronic Shooting Earmuffs are perfect. While this product won’t leave you feeling impressed, you can get the protection you need without spending a fortune.

    Budget-friendly electronic earmuffs
    Noise amplification technology
    Portable and adjustable

    Lackluster decibel protection compared to high-end models
    Not sensitive to wind

    5. Best Decibel Protection: Howard Leight Impact Pro

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    Why we like it: We love the Howard Leight Impact Pro because it’s one of the best choices for premium features and high-quality ear protection.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $$
    NRR Rating: 30dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    The Howard Leight Impact Pro is one of the most well-made products for ear protection. These electronic earmuffs are well-made and come loaded with premium features.
    You’ll find electronic noise amplification for ambient noises up to four times, hazardous noise protection, a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, and padding for your ears. These earmuffs also come with two omnidirectional microphones that give you awareness of everything in your surroundings.
    What Sets It Apart
    These earmuffs are unique because of how intelligent the design is. While most earmuffs come with ambient noise amplification, these earmuffs make adjustments without human intervention. For example, it automatically shuts off amplification when passive noise levels reach 82dB. Furthermore, ambient noise can be amplified up to four times, which is better than most products on the market.
    Things to Consider
    These are great earmuffs, but some shoppers don’t need premium features, especially if you’re not in loud areas often. These earmuffs are ideal for intense shooting situations, but for jobsites or around the house, these earmuffs aren’t necessarily.
    If you like some of the features but don’t need everything, the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs are a great alternative. They’re made by the same manufacturer but more affordable and reasonable for around the house.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re someone who is always surrounded by loud noise, these earmuffs are a great choice. The earmuffs will control what noise gets amplification and when to turn electronic features off.
    Furthermore, if you’re shooting at a place like the range where firearm fire is constant, the earmuffs will automatically turn off amplification settings. This gives you more time to do what you love instead of tweaking settings.

    4x amplification of ambient noise
    Auto-shutoff feature
    High-level noise protection, up to 82dB

    Unreasonable for jobsites or use around the house

    6. Most Stylish Electronic Earmuffs: ACT Fire Shooting Earmuffs

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    Why we like it: We love these earmuffs because they look great and continue to add style into your routine without fading from UV rays.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 23dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA
    The ACT Fire Shooting Earmuffs are a tremendous mid-tier product. While these earmuffs don’t come with many impressive features, they offer above-average performance at a great value.
    The earmuffs are well-made and come with comfortable padding and an adjustable headband for comfort. They protect your ears from shooting, jobsite noise, landscaping, and other loud noises.
    What Sets It Apart
    The ACT Fire Shooting Earmuffs are unique because of the style they bring to the table. They’re made with Japan-imported paint that’s resistant to UV rays and general wear. Even with long-term exposure, the earmuffs hold up well and look stylish for years.
    Everything on these earmuffs is also in a convenient location, and they’re sealed without harmful substances to keep your ears safe from more than noise.
    Things to Consider
    While these earmuffs work well, they’re not the best for listening to music. The sound quality isn’t terrible, but it’s not the greatest. If you’re looking for electronic earmuffs with better sound for music, the Howard Leight Impact Pro is a much better product. The sound comes through crystal clear, and the noise level is excellent.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re looking for earmuffs that look great and perform well, this product is an excellent choice. They’re great for adding some style into your life, especially if you’re trying not to look goofy at the shooting range. Overall, they’re an excellent mid-tier product for shoppers that are looking for a more budget-friendly option with outstanding performance.

    Japan-imported paint job that’s resistant to UV rays
    Excellent placement for volume controls
    Full seal on your ears without harmful substances

    Below-average sound quality

    7. Most Customizable Electronic Earmuffs: Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Adjustable Earmuffs

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    Why we like it: We love these earmuffs because you can customize the settings. Instead of having a fixed NRR setting, you can change between 21-25dB
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 21-25dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    The Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Adjustable Earmuffs give you everything you need right out of the box. While these earmuffs run on AAA batteries, the package comes with a set of two, so you don’t need to make an additional purchase to get them up and running.
    The earmuffs are well-made and feature comfortable padding an adjustable headband. There is also an audio jack and settings for active noise amplification.
    What Sets It Apart
    These earmuffs are unique because you have a range for noise cancelation. Instead of being limited to one setting, you get a few options between 21-25dB. This is an excellent feature because you can customize your experience and the ambient noise the earmuffs let in.
    Things to Consider
    While these earmuffs perform as advertised, they’re not perfect. The cost is low, sure, but the maximum decibel protection rating is less than premium products. For example, the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs has protection up to 32dB. If you’re looking for ear protection from firearms, earmuffs with a better decibel rating are a better alternative.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re working on a jobsite, these earmuffs are a great choice. Because there is a decibel range, you can customize the noises you hear and keep out. This is handy for working with power tools or doing things like landscaping.

    Multiple settings for decibel control
    Batteries are included
    Ambient noise control
    Convenient button layout

    Not the best NRR rating, compared to other earmuffs

    8. Best Electronic Earmuffs for Music Lovers: Gloryfire Electronic Shooting Earmuff

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    Why we like it: We love these earmuffs because they’re excellent for listening to music. This is because they feature high-quality microchips.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 25dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    The Gloryfire Electronic Shooting Earmuff is designed in the United States and adheres to NRR guidelines. They cancel out noises up to 82 decibels and maintain a solid NRR rating of 25dB, which is on par with more expensive products.
    These earmuffs are also well-made. They feature comfortable padding that’s not too tight. Furthermore, these earmuffs offer sound amplification of six times for ambient noise.
    What Sets It Apart
    Unlike most earmuffs, this product is made with premium microchips that stream music well. The music is not delayed, and the sound quality is on-par with many mid-tier headphone products. Additionally, the six times noise amplification is two times more than most ear protection products around.
    Things to Consider
    While these earmuffs work well, they’re not the best for comfort; although the padded earmuffs keep your ears safe and cozy, the headband is not adjustable. This means that it’s not a one-size-fits-all product. If you’re looking for earmuffs with an adjustable headband, the Caldwell E-Max Low Profile Adjustable Earmuffs are a great alternative.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re looking for earmuffs that can play music like headphones, this product is a great choice. While the noise cancelation isn’t the best, you’ll be able to drown out the noise around the house and do your work in peace. Furthermore, these earmuffs can work for hunting and firearms.

    High-end microchip for excellent music quality
    Six times ambient noise amplification
    Comfortable padding that’s not too tight

    Lacks an adjustable headband

    9. Best for Use in US and Europe: ZOHAN Electronic Shooting Ear Protection

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    Why we like it: These earmuffs made our list because they’re certified for United States and European NRR standards.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 22dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: AAA Batteries
    ZOHAN Electronic Shooting Ear Protection is well-rounded and balanced for at home or on the jobsite. The earmuffs are comfortable, with insertable padding, and the headband is adjustable to fit multiple sizes. These earmuffs can also be folded for compact storage and portability. They’re certified for safety in the United States and European Union and feature rubberized coating for additional protection.
    What Sets It Apart
    Compared to other electronic earmuffs, this product is one of the safest options. While most products are certified in the United States, these earmuffs are accredited in the EU and US. When earmuffs can maintain top-level safety on multiple continents, it’s a good sign.
    Things to Consider
    These are high-quality earmuffs, but the decibel protection is lackluster compared to most products. While 22dB is adequate protection for low caliber weapons and jobsites, it’s not enough for indoor shooting ranges or loud weapons like rifles.
    If you need more ear protection, the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs are a great alternative. They share many features, but the decibel rating is higher by about eight decibels. These earmuffs also don’t come with an auto-shutoff feature for battery preservation.
    Who It’s For
    If you’re looking for a product that’s recognized worldwide for safety, these earmuffs are a great choice. You’ll be pressed to find war protection that’s certified on more than one continent.

    Long battery life
    Adjustable headband
    NRR-certified in the United States and European Union

    Low decibel rating
    Batteries are not included

    10. Best Rechargeable Electronic Earmuffs: Mpow Electronic Shooting Ear Protection

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    Why we like it: We love these earmuffs because of the recharge 500mah battery it comes with. You’ll never have to worry about running out to find batteries.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Price: $
    NRR Rating: 22dB
    Auxiliary: Yes
    Power Source: Rechargeable
    Mpow Electronic Shooting Ear Protection is a well-made and straightforward product. All of the controls are in comfortable locations, and the earmuffs don’t require many tweaks when you’re in the fields.
    This is because these earmuffs come with ambient noise amplification and an auto-shutoff feature that turns the earmuffs off if you don’t touch them. These features are great because they keep your hands off the product and focused on what you’re doing.
    What Sets It Apart
    These earmuffs are unique because of the rechargeable battery it comes with. The 500mAh battery gives you plenty of juice for over a full day of service. Furthermore, you never have to worry about heading to the store for more batteries. While batteries aren’t expensive, the cost increases over time, so it’s nice to see a product that saves you money in the long term.
    Things to Consider
    While the rechargeable battery is something we love to see on electronic earmuffs, it doesn’t give you a lot of battery life. It only lasts for 30 hours, which is much less than products that rely on traditional AA or AAA batteries.
    If you’re looking for a product in a similar price range that runs on AAA batteries, the ACT Fire Shooting Earmuffs are a great alternative.
    Who It’s For
    If you need a simple pair of earmuffs, this product is a great choice. You won’t have to worry about finding batteries, and the battery life is decent. For the price, these earmuffs offer above-average performance and come with everything you need right out of the box.

    Recharge 500mAh battery
    Great value
    Stylish design
    Convenient controls

    Only 30 hours of battery life
    Poor audio quality

    Everything You Need to Know About Electronic Earmuffs
    [Image: alt text: man wearing protective earmuffs]
    Electronic earmuffs aren’t the first thing on many people’s minds. Unless you’re going to the shooting range or hunting, electronic earmuffs don’t offer much value. Instead, many people shop for the best pair of headphones. While headphones are great, they don’t provide the same protection level from loud noises or even serve the same purpose.
    For these reasons, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about electronic earmuffs. You’ve seen the best products, but now it’s time to see how they can be applied in your life.
    Why You Need Electronic Earmuffs
    Electronic earmuffs can be the difference between good hearing and a hearing disability. Your ear is filled with small organs, which are susceptible to damage if noise levels reach over 140 decibels. The organ of Corti and basilar membrane are the organs responsible for hearing and use little hairs within your ear to transmit sound to your brain.
    The problem is that loud noises will damage these hairs, literally tearing them in half, which leads to hearing loss. The more you lose, the worse your hearing will be because scar tissue begins to cover these organs.
    For this reason, you need to make sure your ears are safe from sounds that reach 140 decibels. Some examples include chainsaws, firearms, lawn equipment, hunting weapons, and more.
    How Much Protection Is Necessary?
    When it comes to ear protection, finding adequate protection is essential. Having earmuffs is excellent, but if the NRR rating is too low, you’re not getting the protection you need. So, we’re going to help you understand how noise protection works and how much you need.
    While you can use many forms of ear protection, we recommend shopping for products that have an NRR rating between 15dB and 30dB. 15dB will protect you from low noises like lawnmowers, loud cars, jobsite noise, and more. On the other hand, 30dB products are designed for firearm protection during hunting and at the range.
    Situations That Require Ear Protection
    Knowing that your ears need protection from loud noises is a great place to start. Still, learning to apply ear protection in your life is the next step. To help you determine the level of ear protection you need, we’re going to take you through a few situations where electronic earmuffs come in handy.
    Shooting at Ranges
    When you’re at the shooting range, you want the best noise protection money can buy. Whether you’re indoor or outdoor, the shooting range is one of the loudest places you can be. With many different caliber firearms, noise levels can reach well over 140 decibels. Unfortunately, for your ears, this level of noise leads to long-term damage.
    If you’re interested in ear protection for the shooting range, the Howard Leight Impact Pro is the best option. These earmuffs carry the best NRR rating and shield your ears from consistent levels of dangerous noise. Plus, they come with some excellent quality of life features like comfortable padding and an adjustable headband.
    Whether hunting is a hobby or a way of life for you, it’s a delicate activity that requires precision and skill. For these reasons, making sure you have the right ear protection is crucial. With hunting, you need electronic earmuffs that won’t hinder your performance or senses. Unfortunately, there aren’t many products that can filter out loud noise and give you the ability to evaluate ambient noise in your surroundings.
    Still, there is one product that checks all of the boxes. The Peltor Sport Tactical 100 is that product. While it shared many features with essential electronic earmuffs, the noise amplification technology is superior. This is because the earmuffs can filter out noise generated by wind, which allows your ears to focus on more pertinent noises like shuffling leaves.
    Jobsites can be noisy places. If you work in construction or landscaping, this is something you’ve likely noticed. While jobsite noise isn’t as bad as shooting guns, you still need to protect your ears. Many workers turn to headphones or earbuds, but these products don’t offer NRR-rated protection. The good news is that finding electronic earmuffs for jobsites is straightforward.
    On jobsites, you want a product like the ZOHAN Electronic Shooting Ear Protection. This ear protection is budget-friendly, comes with ambient noise amplification, and the battery life is well over 300 hours. With these earmuffs, you don’t get premium features, but you get premium comfort, durability, and longevity.
    Around the House
    Even if you’re not dealing with loud noises during your hobbies or work, electronic earmuffs can be useful. Many people turn to electronic earmuffs for peace and quiet around the house. In fact, with more people working from home than ever before, creating a quiet space in your home has never been more critical. Luckily, you don’t need the most expensive or feature-rich electronic earmuffs for around the house use.
    One of the best options for the house is the Mpow Electronic Shooting Ear Protection. While it’s designed for shooting, we’ve found that this pair is perfect for home use because of the rechargeable battery. Instead of scrambling for AAA batteries, you can leave it on the charger, and the battery lasts for more than 24 hours.
    [Image: alt text: shooting earmuffs and safety glasses]
    What’s the Difference Between Noise Canceling Earmuffs and Headphones?
    Shopping for earmuffs is tricky because you’ll come across many headphones with noise cancelation technology. While headphones can protect your ears from low sounds, they’re not designed like electronic earmuffs. This is because headphones are designed for listening to music or playing games. While they offer mild protection, they’re not strong enough for things like jobsites or shooting. Plus, headphones don’t carry NRR ratings like electronic earmuffs.
    What’s the Difference Between Electronic Earmuffs and Regular Earmuffs?
    One question many shoppers have is the difference between regular earmuffs and electronic earmuffs. This is because electronic earmuffs are more expensive than standard earmuffs. While the price is higher, spending the extra money is worth it because electronic earmuffs offer better performance. Electronic earmuffs come with active noise amplification for ambient noise, audio capabilities, and more.
    What’s the Best Pair of Electronic Earmuffs?
    Shopping for electronic earmuffs is more about finding the right fit for your personal needs, but some options are more balanced than others. For example, the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuff offer the best value. These earmuffs come with audio capabilities, boast an exception NRR rating, and the batteries last for over 300 hours.
    Final Words
    Earmuffs aren’t a product that people think about often. While this is the case, being proactive about ear protection is essential for your long-term health. Hearing aids aren’t the same as hearing through your ears, so preserving the lifespan of your eardrums is necessary.
    It’s hard to find the right pair of electronic earmuffs, but this list is designed to help you narrow down your options and present the best products. The good news is that electronic earmuffs are inexpensive products. Even the best options can be budget-friendly, so feel free to try a few pairs before settling on one that you like! More

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    The 10 Best Come Along Winches 2021

    There’s a saying that owning quality tools pays dividends in the long term, and with winches, it’s especially true. Especially in more hazardous applications, such as lifting and pulling heavy weights, it’s incredibly important to have the correct tool for the job.
    Come along winches are used to drag, tow, haul, or lift a heavy weight with hand power. They’re hooked to a sturdy anchor point while a system of gears and levers creates. Most winches incorporate gears and a lever to make the weight easier to load or lift, as well as some type of release to allow the cord to go back out. No matter the application, object, or the difficulty of the job, a come along winch can get it done.

    Factors to Consider in a Come Along Winch
    Whether you are expanding your tool arsenal, replacing a broken winch, or buying the tool for a specific use, it’s important to pick a high-quality winch with the features you’re looking for. For some, that’s a high weight limit, for others, it is a strong warranty and good attention to safety. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure you consider the following factors when shopping.
    Weight Limit
    The single most important consideration in a come along winch is its weight limit. At or below its limit, a winch is incredibly unlikely to fail, but once you begin to go over that limit, you can run into serious trouble, especially as a cord under tension can store a lot of energy that can be released rapidly. Do some serious thinking as to how much weight you need, as higher limits require more money and weigh a lot more.
    Handle Length
    Handle length isn’t just important to make sure you’ve got a decently-sized, well-made product, it’s important for leverage as well. When you hoist a winch, a longer handle will provide more leverage and make hoisting, hauling, or pulling easier.
    Powered Winches
    Some winches don’t use hand leverage to power their pulling action, instead using a small electric motor to apply pulling force. While they’re powered, meaning they don’t typically require much force, the type of electric motor employed is relatively weak, yielding quite low weight limits. They’re an option to be considered if you’re frequently winching midweight (half-ton and under) objects.
    Winch Weight
    It’s important to think about the weight of the winch itself when shopping around, as most often winches are used on the go and thus must be transported. Something you want to fit in your backpack will have a smaller weight limit than something you leave in the toolbox of your truck, for example.
    Safety Features
    As with any tool, safety comes first. Along with a high weight limit, you can look for a come along winch with a quick release, braided wire, rubber-coated fittings, or other safety-sensitive touches that can help you stay safe during regular use or in the unlikely event of a product failure.
    Considering the following features, let’s take a look at some of our favorite come along winches on the market. Pick the right one, and you’ll end up with a reliable tool that can get you out of jams and tough spots for years to come.

    Top 10 Best Come Along Winches 2021
    1. Best Overall Come Along Winch: Tekton 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This phenomenal four-ton winch combines a four-ton weight limit with two layers of gears to easily take care of bigger loads without much effort.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 2-ton/ 4-ton
    Winch Weight: 13 lbs
    This 4-ton dual-gear winch tops our list for one reason: its double gear power puller. So if the biggest distinguishing factor is thanks to its unique mechanics (a dual-gear winch), what is the purpose of a single gear puller, then? A single gear-puller is a geared system to turn leverage from a handle to rotational energy with gears.
    Thus, a dual-gear puller distributes the load across two separate gear units, meaning it’s twice as easy to lift the same load. It’s no problem to lift multiple ton loads with just one hand, with locking pawls that prevent the load from rolling backward.
    The steel cable that drives the winch is ¼-inch aircraft-grade, with a corrosion-resistant coating that can hold up to 4-tons in the heavy-duty version and 2-tons in the lightweight model. A 21-inch handle provides ample leverage, but the flat handle with a nonslip grip isn’t too comfortable to use. This is a pretty minor flaw in an excellent unit, but those who want a more luxurious experience can upgrade to the Warn Handheld Portable Drill Winch.
    Thankfully, as all parts are made of galvanized steel, it will hold up incredibly well. Both hooks are galvanized with self-closing safety latches that add a bit of security to the whole system.
    Safety Features
    The most prominent safety feature for this pulley is one of its biggest selling points in the first place: the dual pulley system. Not only does the double pulley system make dragging or loading easier, it also provides a backup carrying method if one of the pulleys fails. You’ll have to replace it in case of a failure, but it will hold the load in a pinch. A four-ton cable and a solid metal construction only add to the confidence we have in the product.

    Double gear puller is reliable and easy to use
    Powerful 21-inch handle for leverage
    Uses a construction of galvanized steel
    Self-closing safety latches automatically for additional security

    Flat handle with nonslip grip isn’t comfortable to use

    2. Best Budget Come Along Winch: Maasdam Pow’R Pull 2 Ton

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    Why we like it: This lightweight US-made winch is meant for lighter loads, made with advanced engineering and impressive build quality.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 2 tons
    Winch Weight: 8.75 lbs
    This solid two-ton winch is similar to a different product made by the same manufacturer as the Maasdam Pow’r Pull Web Strap Pull’r. Instead of that winch’s web strapping, however, this winch uses heavy-duty aircraft cable to yield a higher weight limit, hauling up to two tons compared to the webbed versions one-ton limit. It’s still not as impressive as 4-ton winches such as TR Industrial Portable 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller, however.
    The tool is USA-made, in fact, all winches from Maasdam are manufactured stateside. But the company’s reputation doesn’t just come from the location of their manufacturing facilities: the interior gear components are electro-plated, the steel hooks at both ends are drop forged, and the cable itself is aircraft-quality. Best of all, the company offers a full lifetime warranty in case of any defect or product failure.
    Safety Features
    The safety feature that gives us the most trust in this winch is the material and fabrication process itself: the winch body is nearly entirely made of galvanized steel. It’s still primarily held together with rivets and screws, but the whole body of this winch is a single piece of metal, meaning there’s no single piece besides the fasteners that represents a weak point. This gives it phenomenal durability at a low weight: it comes in at well under 8.75 pounds.

    Aircraft cable yields a higher weight limit
    American manufactured with high-quality parts
    Lightweight winch weighs in at under 8.75 pounds
    Galvanized steel improves both strength and weight
    Full lifetime manufacturer defect warranty

    Weight limit is half that of other winches

    3. Best Premium Come Along Winch: Warn Handheld Portable Drill Winch

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This quick, versatile winch is great if you want something motor-powered but don’t want to pay the price of a dedicated electric winch.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 750 lbs
    Winch Weight: 13 lbs
    This lightweight powered winch is a great middle-ground option for anyone looking for a lightweight yet motor-powered winch. Unlike more powerful electric winches, it’s wireless, using a handheld drill (not included) to pull weight instead of relying on plug-in shore power. Unfortunately, that means you’ll need a powered drill on hand, another cost added to the already more-expensive-than-average winch.
    So what’s the bad, then? Weight limit, especially considering the winch’s high price. In fact, this 750-pound version is about double the price of its smaller sibling, the 500-pound-limit Warn 910500. It’s a lot of money for a winch that only hauls an eighth of the weight of competitor products, although admittedly, as a motor-powered drill winch, it’s in a different class. Either way, you’re paying quite a bit to lift just 750 pounds when you can get four-ton winches for under $50.
    Safety Features
    There are a couple of unique safety features that come with this winch and its robust price tag, all of which are rare on hand-powered winches. Firstly and most importantly, it’s got a load limiter that makes the winch nearly impossible to overwork. Pulling something overweight? The load limiter detects it and engages a ratchet, meaning you can’t pull something that’s too heavy, and thus won’t be able to drop or damage it. A free-spool clutch wraps the winch’s 30-feet of wire reliably and without overlapping, preventing it from wearing out over time.

    Good middle-ground option for a lightweight yet powered winch
    Doesn’t require shore power
    Load limiter makes it impossible to overload the winch
    Free-spool clutch wraps the wire reliably and safely

    Expensive price tag and low weight limit
    Requires the additional purchase of a drill

    4. Easiest Come Along Winch to Use: TR Industrial Portable 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This technologically advanced, well-designed winch is powerfully engineered to be both user-friendly and get the job done every time.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 4 tons
    Winch Weight: 12 lbs
    With sturdy finishes and impressive build quality, this 4-ton puller is incredibly impressive for its price: it’s evident that no corners were cut building and designing the product. That goes for everything from the internal mechanics to the user features: the dual-gear system inspires confidence with slick, smooth ratcheting action and the hardware is all galvanized and slickly polished.
    It comes in an incredibly sturdy plastic box storage case with a strong, flexible handle, making it perfect for storage in your vehicle, truck cab, or garage. This doesn’t just make it easy to transport, but also protects it from the elements. Our only problem with the winch is its short pulling distance: the device reaches maximum extension at a little over four feet, so it’s more fit for connecting heavy trailers to trucks than work at a construction site, for example.
    Safety Features
    While this device claims a fantastic maximum working weight of 4 tons, the truth is a little more nuanced. While the claimed maximum capacity is, indeed, a true 8,000 pounds (the manufacturer’s rated capacity), the working weight limit is just around half of that at 2 tons. That’s fine for most applications, but it feels a little deceptive: from the owner’s manual to real life, you lose 4,000 pounds of carrying capacity.

    Sturdy finishes and strong build quality
    Impressive design and engineering for a low price
    Includes carrying case for storage and protection

    Working weight limit is half of the manufacturer’s rated capacity
    Maximum extension only reaches about four feet

    5. Best Electric Come Along Winch: Warn PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch

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    Why we like it: This electric winch isn’t designed around raw lifting power, but it can be used all day long without wearing out, unlike someone using a hand-powered winch.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: .5 tons
    Winch Weight: 15 lbs
    This Chinese-made winch is one of the heaviest on our list at 15 pounds, but it’s not like the weight is there for no reason: most of the weight, in fact, comes from the electric motor it employs, which completely eliminates the need for a handle, or any human input after hooking up the anchor points, for that matter. That lack of a handle, however, means that you’ll always need shore power when using this winch.
    If for any reason you need to pull an object along at quick speed, this winch works incredibly well, with a quick line speed of 13.8 feet per minute pulling quicker than most hand-powered winches, although admittedly not at any meaningfully quick space. But if you’re using a winch all day, it will definitely save you some time.
    Safety Features
    While this winch does have a largely plastic construction, it’s still durable and maintains a lower-than-average but still more than usable half-ton weight limit. The weak point isn’t the construction, or even the cable for that matter, but the motor itself, which will break if you even attempt pulling a heavier weight. Both hooking anchor points have automatic catches to make sure they stay in place.

    Can be a huge time saver if you’re working on a day-long project
    13.8 feet per minute line speed is much faster than hand-powered winches
    Design eliminates the need for a handle
    Anchor points have automatic catches for safety

    Motor can fail when pushed to the limit
    Needs to be plugged in to be used

    6. Most Versatile Come Along Winch: Maasdam Pow’r Pull Web Strap Pull’r

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: Using fabric webbing instead of steel cable on one side of this winch makes it more versatile, but lowers its maximum weight limit.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 1 Ton
    Winch Weight: 8.33 lbs
    This winch from company Maasdam uses a slightly different format than other come along winches, with one side holding the weight with steel wire and the other side using fabric webbing. This means that you can extend the winch’s working range on the anchor side by feeding out the steel cable, simultaneously using the fabric strap for stability on the tow side.
    The weight capacity, unfortunately, is capped out at one ton, as steel cabling conventionally used with winches has a higher weight capacity than web straps. That brings a weight limit penalty, but actually opens up some possibilities for anchor points. While it’s dangerous to hook a steel wire to itself, you can hook a web strap to itself, and it’s more flexible as well, especially useful when you need to use a tree or other fragile/irregular object as an anchor point.
    If you need to haul over a ton, the Wyeth 3 Ton Ratchet Puller offers similar versatility with a higher weight limit, albeit with a higher price to match.
    Safety Features
    The strongest safety feature with this winch doesn’t protect the user at all, instead protecting the delicate nature of whatever you’re hauling. Webbing or fabric straps don’t need an anchor point, nor are they likely to wear away paint or any coating/seal of the object you’re hauling. If you’re towing something with cosmetic value, use web straps instead of a steel cable. It still relies on all of the safety features of other comparable winches.

    Web strap can be hooked to itself when hauling
    Can hook this winch to more delicate objects thanks to web strap
    Doesn’t scratch paint or cause friction
    Has the same safety features as comparable winches

    Weight capacity tops out at one ton
    Web strap is more susceptible to wear than metal wire

    7. Safest Come Along Winch: Wyeth 3 Ton Ratchet Puller

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This three-ton winch doesn’t use metal cable, instead opting for a synthetic that’s both safer and easier to use than alternatives.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 3 tons
    Winch Weight: 24 lbs
    This incredibly sturdy three-ton puller provides confidence with a thick metal construction and a wide, braided wire, enough to pull up to three tons without so much as a squeak. This comes at odds with the fact that it’s heavier than other winches at almost 24 pounds. Most of that weight is thanks to its cast construction and the large amount of rope available.
    That’s one of the things we like most about this winch: its long, 35-foot cable length. Some come along winches have annoyingly short cables, yielding a winch that’s only useful when the object you’re pulling is nearby. 35 feet of rope gives you a lot of slack to play with, and you can stretch that cable across gaps, or use it to reach an object that’s offroad while keeping your machinery on concrete to get more traction. A large amount of cable does add to the device’s weight, unfortunately.
    Safety Features
    There’s one major difference between this puller and other options: the type of cable used. Instead of metal braided aircraft cables that store energy and can snap out violently when they fail, this winch uses a 12-strand Dyneema SK-75 fiber that’s more like a rope than a metal cable. If this rope fails (it almost certainly won’t, as it’s got a 7-ton weight limit), it breaks in a predictable way. Instead of whipping out as with metal cables, it fails perpendicular to the weight, meaning it doesn’t present a risk of hurting the winch operator. This alone justifies its high price for many users. But if you’re never lifting anything near 3 tons, it’s overkill, and a cheaper option from our list will suffice.

    12-strand Dyneema SK-75 Fiber is incredibly safe to use
    35 feet of rope gives you a lot of room to play with
    Cast construction is durable and has no weak points.
    Synthetic rope itself has a mind-blowing seven-ton weight limit

    Rope and metal construction add up to a 25-pound weight
    High price compared to winches with similar weight limits

    8. Big Red Torin Come-Along Double Gear Hand Cable Puller

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This come along winch isn’t just inexpensive, but it comes with an impressive weight limit and a high-quality mechanical action.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 2 ton / 4 ton
    Winch Weight: 7 lbs
    Cheap, strong, and high weight limits are all strong selling points for this winch, which has a completely solid steel body and long-lasting performance. The ratchet system uses a double gear system to hold weight, ideal for easy hauling as well as providing security. The winch anchors use galvanized hooks, which should inspire a great deal of confidence.
    It’s got two options available as far as weight goes regarding manufacturer rated capacity, although we find the lightweight, two-ton winch to be more expensive than other options with a similar weight capacity. Both of the versions use the same body, while the smaller two-ton version uses different hardware and a different gear hand cable puller. Both count on metal aircraft wire for pulling: if you’re looking for a safer, synthetic option, consider the pricier Wyeth 3 Ton Ratchet Puller.
    Safety Features
    The best defense is a good offense, so a four-ton weight limit is not only impressive, but comes in at a minimal weight penalty when running around with the winch. The ratchet releases one notch at a time, which is a bit slow, but perfect for small adjustments when you need to position a heavy object. Both of these features keep you and others nearby safe.

    Cheap and strong with a high four-ton weight limit
    Ratchet system uses dual gears to distribute the load
    Winch anchors come with galvanized hooks
    Notches are perfect for minor adjustments

    Version with two-ton limit is expensive for its capacity
    Uses aircraft wire which can be dangerous

    9. Best High-Capacity Come Along Winch: Neiko Power Cable Puller

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This winch is easy and secure to use with zinc-coated gears that prevent corrosion, a long handle for leverage, and a secondary hook to stabilize loads.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 5 tons
    Winch Weight: 13 lbs
    This inexpensive winch has an incredibly impressive five-ton weight limit that makes it incredibly useful in case of emergencies, incredibly considering its lightweight construction. Unlike compact car winches like the four foot TR Industrial Portable 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller, which are better for automotive use, this winch’s 12-foot length is more useful in a wide variety of scenarios, but with less specificity.
    Pulling all that weight, though, will require a fair bit of leverage, which comes via an extra-long handle coated in PVC. The double gear system helps make pulling heavy weights easy, and it will stay operating smoothly for years, even in rough conditions thanks to a zinc coating that prevents oxidation. A third latching hook can help distribute the weight to a secondary anchor point, stabilizing the load even further.
    There’s one issue, though: the five-ton weight is a measurement under ideal scenarios, and in most real-world applications, the usable weight limit will be around 2.5 tons.
    Safety Features
    This winch has a host of safety features, some of which protect the user and some of which prevent catastrophic failure. Heavy-duty steel construction adds durability, while the ratcheting system has tight tooth spacing to prevent long drops. The long handle doesn’t just provide more leverage, but also more control from the user. The less the user needs to strain to lift the load, the more they can focus on the safety factors behind lifting the load itself.

    User doesn’t have to strain to lift the load
    Zinc coated gears prevent corrosion
    Long handle with PVC coating provides leverage
    Good for a wide variety of uses

    Better for broad applications than specific ones
    Load limit in real-world scenarios is about half of the quoted weight

    10. Best Simple Come Along Winch: ABN Heavy-Duty Hand Puller with Cable Rope

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This reliable and simple hand puller is simple and highly capable, perfect for amateur workshops.
    Editor’s Rating:

    At a Glance
    Weight Limit: 4 ton
    Winch Weight: 11 lbs
    This simple come along winch isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s an absolute workhorse with a four-ton weight limit. Its total steel construction, low price, and simplicity make it great for an amateur’s workshop, although commercial shops might look for something with a higher weight limit like the Neiko Power Cable Puller.
    With the good comes the bad, although the bad is certainly manageable. It won’t fail on you all at once, but the body is largely held together by rivets that will begin to bend over time. The winch body isn’t solid, so it’s more susceptible to bending, and thus fatiguing over time. The gears are made of a galvanized steel, but the plates themselves are thin, so the ratchet might give you some trouble after extensive use. It won’t fail catastrophically, but it’s not as long-lasting as other models.
    Safety Features
    With a simple and useful safety manual, a well-built mechanism, and all-steel construction, it’s evident that safety was a significant design factor when producing this ABN Heavy-Duty hand puller. Beyond the normal, though, there’s nothing really unique from a safety perspective. It uses conventional aircraft cable, the same galvanized hooks as other models, and spring safety latches to make sure the hooks hang tight onto their anchor points.

    Phenomenal for amateur workshops
    Constructed completely of steel
    Winch fatigues over time but won’t fail catastrophically
    Gears are made of galvanized steel

    Commercial users might want to look for something a bit more reliable
    Held together by rivets that can fatigue over time
    Ratchet can wear out over time due to thin gear plates

    Guide to Buying the Best Come Along Winch for 2020
    Buying a come-along winch is incredibly useful, but you’ve got to put some attention in to make sure you purchase the right product. Make sure to buy a winch that works for your needs, with larger weight limits being more expensive but simultaneously more capable. Keep in mind the fact that you can always use a large winch for a light object, but you can’t use a lightweight winch for a heavy object.
    A Safety Note on Working Weight
    While winches typically only advertise their maximum weight, it’s not the only number that matters when using this type of tool. The maximum weight of a winch is neither static nor ‘set it and forget it.’ There are really two numbers to focus on when using a come along winch: manufacturer’s rated capacity and working load limit (also known as working weight).
    Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity
    This weight is the number you see on your winches packaging as well as the weight that we quote in our product description. This weight is a maximum weight measured under lab scenarios with accurate equipment in highly controlled scenarios. Because it’s so precise, this measurement doesn’t take in to account real-world factors such as wind, fatigue, or poorly balanced weights. Think of this number as a hard limit that you should never exceed.
    Working Weight Limit
    Working weight limit is the number you’ll use in the real world when you have any doubts on the consistency of your work conditions. This is a weight limit where you can be incredibly certain that your winch will not fail, even in unique circumstances that present higher risks. It’s typically about half the Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity (MRC) and can be found in your winch’s user manual.
    Come Along Winch Applications
    While most come along winch buyers have a particular application in mind, come along winches are quite a bit more versatile than you could expect, useful in automotive applications, lawn and garden work, construction, and more.
    Have you ever heard that phrase about an unstoppable force and an immovable object? Well, a come along winch is the closest you can get to an unstoppable force for around fifty bucks. Come along winches can be used for the following:
    Loading a Trailer: Use a come along to drag or roll heavy objects up an inclined trailer ramp.
    Attaching a Trailer: A come along winch can pull a heavy wheeled trailer directly in line with a hitch when hooked up properly.
    Landscaping: If you can get an attachment point set up, a come along winch can pull out stumps, drag rocks, or move other heavy objects. Consider a webbed come along winch like the Maasdam Pow’r Pull Web Strap Pull’r if you’re mainly hauling objects without an anchor point.
    Framing: Relatively flexible steel wiring becomes rigid under tension, making it perfect for applying leverage on objects. Use your come along to lift up framing from flat to perpendicular with the ground.
    Pulling Out Dents: If you don’t have the budget for professional dent remover, purchase an inexpensive suction cup with an anchor point, then tug on the dent with a come along. Be careful, and understand it might not come out perfectly, but it can be an inexpensive way to fix a significant problem. If you’re doing this, we’d recommend something without a metal cable, like the Wyeth 3 Ton Ratchet Puller.
    Getting the Most Out of Your Come Along Winch
    Come along winches are a remarkably versatile tool, but oftentimes they’re thought of as a relatively singular solution to hauling problems. It’s true, to some extent: a come-along winch can only drag heavy objects in a single direction. But if you’re clever with your setup, the fact that they only work perpendicularly isn’t a disadvantage, but an advantage.
    How Do I Use a Come Along Winch?
    Hauling big, heavy objects can be stressful, but with a sturdy winch, it’s a lot easier. Follow your manufacturing directions regarding safety, then follow these constructions. It’s like learning any skill: with each attempt, you’ll get a lot better.
    Plan Out Your Approach
    Make sure you plan things out before positioning yourself, your object, and your anchor. Consider the friction of the surface, the angle, and any obstacles. Make sure you’re maximizing the friction of your anchor point (you can do this with wheel blocks or even by applying the handbrake) and minimizing the friction against the obstacle you’re hauling (putting it on wheels, for example). Finally, plan out where the object you’re holding is going to end its journey.
    Hook Up Your Winch
    After you’ve got your approach thought out, hook your anchor and object together. This should be a straight line if at all possible, with each side hooking up to an anchors
    Clear the Area
    Clearing the area is an important step that sometimes gets skipped. Clear the area of obstacles that might interfere in your tow path, but also clear the area of people who don’t need to be there.
    Use Your Ratchet
    Once everything is hooked up and clear, you can start. Take it slow! There’s no reason to rush it, and going quickly applies unneeded pressure on your equipment. With each turn of the rachet, your object will get slightly closer. If you hit a snag, make sure the object’s path is clear, then go back to hauling.
    Unhook Your Winch
    Once your object has arrived at its final point, make sure it’s stably resting and won’t move from that point. When you’re sure it’s properly situated, you can unhook your winch after releasing the tension on the wire. When in doubt, assume that the heavy object is not securely situated. Heavy objects are dangerous, and when they’re uphill, even more so.
    Come Along Winch Maintenance
    As tools with moving, fatiguing parts, and gears that wear out, it’s important to think a little bit about how to keep your winch in great operating condition and keeping it well lubricated. Follow these maintenance steps for some quick things that will extend the working life of your device.
    Avoid Water: Water is a winch’s worst enemy, as steel oxidizes when exposed to air. This won’t only gum up the winches, making them harder to use, but also corrodes the wire, reducing its effective weight limit. Keep things adequately lubricated and only use the winch when dry if possible to minimize corrosion.
    Lubrication: A come along winch doesn’t simply maintain itself. Place a light, non-viscous lubricant on moving parts to reduce corrosion and minimize friction on metal parts
    Proper Alignment: Metal wire and mechanical winches themselves lose strength if they’re twisted. The flatter you can maintain your winch, the more weight it will be able to support and the less likely it will be to fail in the long term.
    Come Along Winch Safety
    [Image: alt text: cable and rope]
    Come along winches are an incredibly useful tool, but when used incorrectly, they can be incredibly destructive. Not only will misuse drop whatever you’re pulling, but high loads on a cable mean catastrophic failure will sling that metal wire across your work area, with the potential to cut, lash, or friction burn at incredibly high speeds.
    While come along winches have the potential to be dangerous, they’re not too tricky to use properly if you follow some simple rules. Make sure to abide by the following:
    Watch Weight Limits: A weight limit exists for an important safety reason, and these limits are both accurate and enforced by the government. Following this guideline is simple: don’t go over the weight limit. If you’re dragging a load, make sure you’re multiplying the weight of the object by 1.5 or 2 due to the added friction force.
    Never Hook the Line to Itself: Always make sure you’ve got some type of winching strap to help you anchor to a tree, post, or other sturdy object. Hooking the line to itself amplifies force and causes the wire to rub against the object, leading to a higher likelihood of failure down the line.
    Inspect Your Winch: When a winch fails, it typically fails catastrophically, but it often gives signs before doing so. Before each use, give it a quick visual inspection. If there are any irregularities, don’t use it.
    Probability of Failure
    Winches fail in different ways, but each winch has its weakest points. It’s important to understand why and how a winch fails to mitigate the risk of it happening and harming you or your cargo.
    The most common and most destructive form of failure is a cable failure, as tension causes a large amount of energy to be released when it breaks. The second most common failure is the ratchet itself, which when broken, will let out the wire cable, not catastrophic but potentially damaging your load. The least likely to fail pieces are solid metal, the winch body itself, which shear off if they fail and drop loads, but fortunately won’t release energy in the same way as a wire under tension.
    Come Along Winch FAQs
    Come along winches, as with all tools, have a bit of a learning curve. We answer some of the most common questions below.
    How Does a Come Along Winch Work?
    A come along winch works by converting leverage applied to the handle into energy rotating a ratchet, pulling on a cable that in turn pulls the object it’s attached to. The true innovation behind the device is its use of a ratchet that lets it pull one way unencumbered without slipping backwards the other direction.
    How Much Weight Does a Come Along Winch Pull?
    It all comes down to weight limit. Come along winches are generally rated to at least one ton, with the heavy-duty winches rated to four tons or sometimes even more. Keep in mind that this number is a vertical lifting rating, which means you can pull rolling objects of a slightly higher weight but will be limited a bit more when dragging an object. If dragging an object on a high-friction surface, multiply its weight by 1.5 to get a more accurate limit.
    What’s Better, Webbing or Steel Cable?
    Most come along winches come with one of two pulling mechanisms: steel cables, or sturdily synthetically-weaved web strapping. While webbing has a low weight limit and an annoying propensity to tangle up, it’s still popular. Why? It has to do with flexibility: while steel cable functions well under tension in a single direction, when it’s bent or wrapped, performance decreases. Add to this the fact that a steel cable under friction loses much of its weight tolerance, and webbing becomes an attractive alternative. For flexibility: webbing. For pulling something in a straight line? Steel cable.
    How Do You Release Tension on a Come Along Winch?
    Most come along winches have roughly the same type of construction, with a handle, rachet, winch body, hook, and metal cable. Because of these similarities, tension is released most often in the same way, by releasing a hook on the ratchet that extends beyond the body of the winch.
    Should I Use a Come Along Winch or an Electric Car Winch?
    [Image: alt text: electric car winch]
    Plenty of off-roaders looking to save a couple of dollars: tires and other regular wear parts can add up, after all. So can you get away with using a come along winch? Our answer: a soft yes, but if you don’t have help, it’ll be trickier to get out of a jam with a come along winch than with a classic electric car winch.
    Wrapping Up
    For anyone looking to make a job pulling weight a bit easier, there is a come along winch to help them out. With proper use, an eye for safety, and a winch built to hold up, you’ll have no problem getting years and years of practical use out of the tool. More

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    The 8 Best Electric Trailer Dollies 2021

    Whether you’re hauling a commercial load, a bulky boat, or a cozy camper, backing up a trailer is a chore. And the process becomes even more challenging—if not outright impossible—when you need to squeeze a sizable trailer into a tight space.
    That’s why the electric trailer dolly is such an essential accessory for everyone who tows. Rather than stressing yourself out with a hellish hundred point turn, the trailer dolly lets you navigate through narrow areas with ease. And having an attached electric motor means no more back busting attempts at moving the cargo by hand—a godsend when you’re transporting an oversized load.
    You’ll find several different electric trailer dollies on the market, each with distinct pros and cons. To help you pinpoint the ideal option for you, we’ve put together an in-depth guide and reviewed the Top 8 Electric Trailer Dollies to buy in 2021.

    Deciding on the Perfect Dolly
    Before you start perusing our recommendations, we recommend you read up on the key features to consider. With a basic understanding of the technology, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and pick out the best option for you.
    Weight Capacity
    Trailer dollies have a specified weight capacity that refers to the maximum load it can support. Always work off the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), which includes the trailer and any passengers and cargo.
    Tongue Weight Capacity
    Tongue Weight (TW) refers to how much weight the end of a trailer exerts onto the towing vehicle’s hitch ball or the dolly. A correctly loaded trailer should have a tongue weight that is 10-15% of the gross trailer weight.
    The number, type, and dimensions of the wheels have a significant impact on how maneuverable the dolly will be. Different wheels are ideal for different circumstances, so be sure to factor in your personal needs.
    Power Source
    Larger self-powered dollies with electric motors make it easier and faster to move big trailers back and forth, so aim big if you’ve got an enormous rig. Cordless drill-powered dollies are cheaper but can be slow and laborious to use.
    High-end electric trailer dollies come with a built-in automatic braking system to ensure the trailer doesn’t run astray. Cheaper, non-electric dollies tend to have inferior brakes, if any at all.
    If you need to stash your dolly away inside a trailer or car, you’d be better off getting a lightweight model you can lift without straining your back. Heavy-duty dollies weigh a ton and are best left on the ground.
    If you’d like to read about these in more detail, skip ahead to the key considerations section of our in-depth guide. If you’ve got the basics down, though, you should be ready to look at our list of the best electric trailer dollies on the market today.

    Top 8 Best Electric Trailer Dollies 2021
    1. Best Overall Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This affordable and agile drill-powered dolly can support up to 10,000 lbs at a time.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 10,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs
    Wheels: Two 9.25” wheels
    Electric Motor: Cordless drill (sold separately)
    Dimensions: 28 x 12.3 x 8.9”; 54 lbs
    It’s hard to find a cost-effective electric trailer dolly capable of moving a massive load—many of us don’t have thousands of dollars to splurge on a heavy-duty device. And that’s where the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL shines: steadfast maneuverability at a fraction of the cost of the competition.
    Capable of moving a 10,000 lb trailer with 1,000 lb at the hitch, it’s ideal for budget-conscious camper trailer owners who stash their rig in the garage. And the fact its lightweight 55 lb frame fits neatly inside a trailer means you can take it with you to the RV park. Of course, there’s no harm in using it on smaller loads like boats or jet skis as well.
    While it’s undoubtedly a bargain, it’s essential to recognize the limitations at play.
    The jacking mechanism and the wheels are powered either by hand or by an electric drill. With the former, you get precision cranking at the cost of strenuous physical effort. Attach a cordless drill, however, and it’ll do the hard work for you at high speed, but it’s far from ideal.
    The drill crank tends to get stuck or skip gears, making maneuvering challenging and potentially dangerous if not done carefully (at least the automatic brake will engage when the handle is released). Your best bet is to switch between the two as needed: hand cranking for precision and the drill bit for speed.
    Another pitfall is the device isn’t great for gravel surfaces; it does work beautifully on concrete, even if there’s a slight incline. If you expect to work on less than ideal surfaces, upgrading to the Trailer Valet RVR9 Motorized Trailer Dolly might be worthwhile.
    Although it’s not without its drawbacks, most people won’t find a better 10,000 lb trailer dolly for the price.

    Cost-effective trailer dolly
    Suitable for trailers up to 10,000 lbs
    Portable enough to stow inside a trailer
    Good for home garage use
    Works well on a slight concrete incline

    Requires cordless drill (sold separately)
    Drill crank mechanism is tiresome to use
    Doesn’t perform well on gravel

    2. Best Budget Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TV5X Lift Jack Electric Trailer Dolly

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    Why we like it: This simple dolly is easy to use and well-suited to small loads, making it a perfect affordable entry point to the world of trailer dollies.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
    Wheels: Dual pneumatic tires
    Electric Motor: Cordless drill
    Dimensions: 8 x 26 x 17”
    As one of the better value budget dollies, the Trailer Valet TV5X is perfect for positioning light loads at a low cost. It can support up to 5,000 lbs with 500 lbs on the hitch, making it ideal for boats and small trailers but not bigger RVs.
    The dolly is super easy to install and can be attached to most trailers with the 8-inch mounting bracket—flip it up onto the trailer frame for fast storage after each use. High and low gears make for easier cranking on the patented drive system, while a positraction function improves handling in tight spaces.
    As you’d expect at this price point, it’s a drill powered or manual crank dolly. You’ll need to purchase both a drill and the drill attachment separately, so factor these into the final price.
    While it’s fantastic for maneuvering trailers on a hard flat surface like asphalt and concrete, it doesn’t do well on inclines or soft ground. Even with the cordless drill, you’ll struggle to move a trailer at the 5,000 lb limit if the surface isn’t sufficiently hard and flat. The drill attachment position is also a little too low for our liking. You’ll need to bend down and strain your back when cranking—not ideal for older users.
    Nonetheless, it works well with lighter trailers on flat smooth surfaces and won’t break the bank. If you’re happy to enlist the help of a friend to position your trailer, this budget-friendly dolly is well worth considering. Those who need to lift very heavy weights or will be working alone might want to look at the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly instead.

    Cost-effective solution
    Includes 8-inch mounting bracket
    Easy to maneuver in tight spaces
    Works well on concrete

    Doesn’t work well on inclines
    Only suitable for trailers under 5,000 lbs
    Requires bending over to operate the drill

    3. Best Premium Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet RVR9 Motorized Trailer Dolly

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    Why we like it: Parking a trailer with this beast is so easy you’ll barely have to lift a finger.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 9,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 900 lbs
    Wheels: Caterpillar treads
    Electric Motor: Electric motor and remote
    Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 30”; 77 lbs
    The RVR9 from Trailer Valet is ideal for taking the chore out of parking a trailer. Complete with heavy-duty caterpillar treads and a tough torque-optimized electric motor, it’s easily capable of maneuvering trailers up to 9,000 lbs.
    The highlight, however, is the remote control, which lets you effortlessly glide your trailer into position with a few lazy swivels of the thumb—no more arduous hand cranks here. The function makes it especially popular among solo RVers as there’s no need to enlist a spotter every time you park up. Guiding a trailer into a tight garage or car space is a one-person job with the RVR9, a benefit that justifies the high price tag for many consumers.
    The unit comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’ll give you 30 minutes of juice, more than enough to position a trailer. And with a remote control range of 40 feet, you don’t need to get right up close to guide it into position.
    At 77 pounds, it’s relatively heavy, so don’t expect to pick the dolly up on your own.
    Maneuverability, on the whole, is impressive; the RVR9 is nimble enough to pull off tight turns. Just be aware the dolly needs to be in motion to turn, and there’s a slight delay with movement and stopping upon each button push (this prevents the trailer from jerking when coming to a stop).
    While the RVR9 works wonderfully on hard surfaces like concrete, it’s not suitable on dirt or grass if you’re hauling a heavy load. The unit just doesn’t get enough traction on the soft stuff, especially when the ground is damp—you might get away with using it on dry grass for light trailers, however. Gravel is doable, even with heavy loads, but you’ll need to watch out for stones getting stuck in the caterpillar treads. This won’t matter to most people, but if you’re often finding yourself on soft surfaces, the TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly could be a more reliable option.
    Despite its drawbacks and the hefty price tag, the RVR9 is an awesome option for effortless trailer parking on hard surfaces like concrete; thus, it’s a winner in our book.
    Looking for a different weight capacity? Trailer Valet offers other options on its website.

    Trailer parking becomes a one-person job
    No physical exertion required
    Heavy-duty caterpillar treads
    Remote control for easy maneuverability
    Good for concrete and gravel

    Must be in motion to turn
    Can’t move heavy loads on dirt or grass
    Slight delay on button press

    4. Easiest Trailer Dolly to Use: Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: With the Force ISC 5K B2, parking trailers under 5,000 lbs is a pleasure rather than a chore.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 900 lbs
    Wheels: Two 4” tires
    Electric Motor: 7 horsepower
    Dimensions: 30 x 15 x 55”; 123 lbs
    The Force ISC 5K B2 from Parkit360 is an outstanding option for time-poor trailer owners who want hassle-free parking at home.
    Powered by a beefy 1.7 horse powered electric motor, the unit is suitable for a wide range of trailers and requires virtually no physical effort to use. Pop it in neutral and wheel it to the trailer to connect to the hitch, then use the forward and reverse toggle switch to steer it into position. You’ll be facing towards the trailer while maneuvering for a broader view and can park with the hitch facing forward to deter would-be thieves.
    Not only is it easy to use, but the Force ISC 5K B2 requires no fiddly installation as it’s virtually ready for action right out of the box. All you’ll need to do is connect the battery and secure the ball mount before use.
    Portability is another big plus. Although the whole package weighs a hefty 123 lbs, the body without the ball, handle, and battery is just 70 lbs—light enough to lift into the trunk of your truck with a second pair of hands. It’s ultra-versatile, too, boasting compatibility with a wide range of ball mounted trailers (campers, bumper pulls, cargo trailers, boat trailers, and more).
    Parkit360 is upfront with the limitations on their dollies, namely that you want to use a level surface with a maximum 4-6% incline. A steeper angle may be possible on hard concrete with a lighter trailer, but note the narrow wheels can’t withstand making turns on a slant.
    A wall plug and voltmeter let you keep the battery topped up with ease, and there’s an electric surge brake controller for optimal safety.
    Is this too small for your trailer? Try the 10K model from Parkit360 instead.

    Powerful motor does the hard work for you
    Face forwards for hassle-free precision parking
    Parks with hitch forward to deter theft
    Minimal installation required
    Portable and versatile

    Not suitable for inclines above 6%
    Only for trailers up to 5,000 lbs

    5. Fastest Trailer Dolly: TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly

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    Why we like it: The TX6000 moves trailers up to 6,000 lbs with minimal effort and in record time.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 6,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
    Wheels: 5” tires and aluminum wheels
    Electric Motor: 36V electric motor
    As the flagship electric dolly from TRAX, this tough little unit has developed a bit of a reputation in the towing world. The TX6000 is known for its speed, capable of reaching an impressive 222 feet per minute with a full load.
    If that doesn’t sound all that fast, remember that cheap electric trailer dollies cruise along at a snail-pace rate of 10-20 feet per minute or so. And the fact the TX6000 can travel several times faster makes it an attractive option for commercial towers; it’s great for moving trailers around a vast warehouse in a timely manner.
    For the RVer, the extra speed isn’t entirely necessary as they’ll only be moving their trailer a short distance anyway. What the home user will adore, however, is how easy the unit is to operate. A variable thumb controlled switch on the dolly lets you navigate around tight spaces without breaking a sweat. It lasts for ages on a single charge and has an in-built LED warning light to let you know when the battery’s running low.
    Another thing we love about the TX6000 is its heavy-duty design. With chunky 12.5-inch tires, a reinforced rear wheel caster, and an ingenious ball mount puzzle tab adapter, it’s remarkably robust for its size. Unlike the cheaper electric dollies out there, you’ll easily be able to move the max load limit—6,000 lbs, in this case.
    And for folks who need to park up on grassy areas, the good news is this works off-road. Of course, you’ll still need a relatively flat and hard surface to work on.
    On the downside, a lot of the best features aren’t included in the advertised retail price. You’ll need to fork out extra for different hitch ball types and adapters, while the battery kit and tire upgrade will set you back a pretty penny. Although these added extras enhance customization, get ready to spend big if you want one with the lot.

    Fast speed of 222 feet per minute
    Easy to operate
    Durable and stable design
    Easily withstands maximum loads

    Extras add substantially to the price

    6. Most Durable Trailer Dolly: Tow Tuff TMD-3500ETD Electric Trailer Dolly

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    Why we like it: TMD-3500ETD is a tough little dolly that works wonderfully at lugging small trailers.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 3,500 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
    Wheels: Two 13” tires, one 8“ swivel caster
    Electric Motor: 24V electric motor
    Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 37“; 100.8 lbs
    If you’ve got a lightweight trailer of 3,500 lbs or less, then there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on an uber-powerful dolly. Case in point: the TMD-3500ETD from Tow Tuff does the job brilliantly for a fraction of the cost.
    The crème de la crème of its durable design is the triple wheel layout, which features two beefy 13-inch tires up front and a solid rubber 8-inch swivel wheel at the back. The format provides both optimal stability and maneuverability, allowing you to park with pinpoint accuracy.
    It’s pretty spritely, too, with a respectable top speed of 1.5 mph thanks to the brawny 24V motor. You don’t have to operate at max speed all the time as the switch controller features a variable speed adjustment.
    Two sealed 7 AH batteries power the motor and give you plenty of juice to stow several trailers at a time. Recharging is best done overnight and is all too easy with the included 110V charger.
    With an adjustable ball height of 22 to 35 inches and a universal two-inch coupler, it’s suitable for most sub 3,500 pound trailers out there—versatility is a strong point with this one.
    One issue worth mentioning is the traction isn’t all that great. Try to use the Tow Tuff on a slippery or loose surface, and you can expect her to underperform. Stick to the hard, dry stuff (say, concrete), and you should be okay.

    Cost-effective light trailer dolly
    Fast and easy to maneuver
    Effective three-wheel design for added stability
    Suitable for most smaller trailers
    Good battery life

    Traction could be better

    7. Most Maneuverable Trailer Dolly: Happybuy Trailer Mover

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    Why we like it: It’s a decent low-cost dolly for maneuvering mid-sized trailers into tight spaces.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
    Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
    Wheels: One 8” wheel
    Electric Motor: 350W 12V motor
    Dimensions: 49 x 13.5 x 11.5”; 32.4 pounds
    If budget is your primary consideration, then this product could be a ‘happy buy.’ The low-cost unit performs surprisingly well at maneuvering mid-sized trailers around small garages and yards, perfect for the RVer who frequently stows their rig at home.
    Although it’s rated at 5,000 lbs with a 600 lbs tongue weight capacity, we advise you to approach with caution. Attempt to push the limit, and you may find it becomes unstable under the load—lighter trailers are fine, though.
    Two separate control panels adjust the jockey wheel height and give the motor power, while multiple gears help you achieve ample torque. As you’d expect from a low-cost dolly, it’s only got one relatively small wheel, so you won’t get much traction once you leave the pavement. Also, note it’s not appropriate for gradients above 5 degrees.
    We’re impressed by how easy the unit is to install, partly thanks to the fact it comes with handy mounting brackets that fit most trailers. Another major plus is how compact the dolly is; you won’t have any issues popping it in the boot or storage inside your travel trailer. The automatic brakes work as they should, keeping you and your trailer safe from harm.
    The big downside to the dolly is durability, or lack thereof. Use it occasionally in perfect conditions (flat hard ground), and it’ll likely last for years to come. But push it to the limits, and the dolly will encounter all sorts of issues, most of which are challenging to resolve. The rocker switch, the wire connector in the handle, and the welded nut are all prone to breakage (among other things), so you better be ready to MacGyver some DIY repairs.
    And that’s why the Happybuy is so cheap: it works well until it breaks, at which point you’ll need to figure out how to fix it or buy a new one.

    Easy to maneuver with two separate controls
    Simple to install with included mounting brackets
    Effective automatic brakes
    Compact and lightweight

    Has trouble supporting the full 5,000 lb limit
    Various parts are prone to wear and tear
    Doesn’t perform well off-road or on inclines

    8. Best Simple Trailer Dolly: Biltek Trailer Mover 350W

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This low-cost electric dolly does the job for light trailers on hard, flat terrain.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
    Max Jockey Wheel Load: 600 lbs
    Wheels: 8-inch solid rubber wheel
    Electric Motor: 350W 12V motor
    Dimensions: 74 x 12.6 x 10.6”; 35.28 lbs
    The first thing that might attract you to the Trailer Mover 350W from Biltek is the low price. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of some of our favorite electric trailer dollies, it’s an enticing option for cash-strapped towers. And while it’s easy to use with light trailers on hard concrete surfaces, the device does have its downsides.
    First off, the airless rubber tire and flimsy jockey wheel make the dolly struggle to support the advertised 600 lb tongue capacity—give it a miss if you’re trailer is pushing the upper limit.
    It also doesn’t come with any mounting brackets, meaning you’ll be forced to drill holes into the trailer frame. Depending on the contour of your trailer, that may require considerable DIY skills. And, consequently, the mount is bound to rattle around and offers inadequate grip.
    We also wish there was some way to swing the dolly up underneath the trailer when driving. It’s a pain in the neck to reattach it each time.
    On the plus side, the motor is plenty powerful, and it is relatively easy to maneuver around. The button control handle is intuitive to use, and the automatic brake function works as expected. It comes with a key-lock system, which is handy if you’re worried about theft.
    All in all, it’s a decent dolly for the price. Just be sure to stick to hard flat surfaces (concrete or dry grass) and don’t go anywhere near the 600 lb jockey wheel limit.

    Super low-cost electric dolly
    Easy to maneuver handle
    Powerful and reliable motor
    Braking system works well

    Jockey wheel doesn’t support the advertised weight
    Mounting requires drilling holes
    Can’t swing up for driving

    Everything You Need To Know About Trailer Dollies
    An electric trailer dolly requires a considerable financial outlay, so it’s in your best interest to thoroughly research the technology before making a purchase. To help you understand the finer details of this uber-convenient accessory, we’ve put together an in-depth Electric Trailer Dolly Buyer’s Guide.
    What Is an Electric Trailer Dolly?
    [Image: Alt-Text: A trailer dolly on a small trailer]
    It’s all in the name: an electric-powered dolly for trailers. While a truck or SUV is your best bet for transporting a trailer over a large distance, a dolly allows you to navigate narrow angles over a short stretch—perfect for parking in tight spaces.
    The Benefits of an Electric Trailer Dolly
    Although they don’t come cheap, a trailer dolly is a worthy investment for anyone who needs to position their trailer into a confined space. Let’s take a quick look at the key advantages of the device.
    Wide Range of Motion
    When positioning a trailer with a truck, you have limited freedom of movement and may need to perform multiple adjustments to achieve the desired angle. A good dolly like the Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly gives you a 360-degree range of motion, enabling you to maneuver the trailer in sharp angles that would be otherwise unachievable.
    Less Physical Effort
    An electric motor cranks the trailer up and down so you can easily couple it to the hitch without having to exert physical force. Electric dollies also have a motor connected to the wheels, which lets you move it around with a remote or switch instead of strenuous manual pushing.
    This mechanized design is beneficial for large trailers that are too heavy to crank or maneuver by hand. Elderly RVers who lack the physical strength to maneuver a trailer manually are especially fond of the devices.
    Safer and Less Stressful
    Backing up a trailer is a challenging endeavor; one wrong move could see you bump into an obstacle and damage your rig. Positioning a trailer with a dolly, on the other hand, is relatively easy, and you’re unlikely to bash into anything in the process. And that equates to fewer costly repair bills and less stress when it comes time to uncouple your load.
    Electric trailer dollies are compatible with numerous trailer types, allowing you to use the one dolly on several different trailers. So long as it exceeds the relevant gross trailer and tongue weight, there’s a good chance your dolly will work with most trailer types out there. Nonetheless, it pays to do your due diligence and thoroughly research compatibility before you buy.
    Electric Trailer Dolly Versus Manual Trailer Dolly: Which Option Is Best for You?
    Is it worth splashing out on a high-tech electric trailer dolly when the manual variety costs a fraction of the price.
    There’s no right or wrong answer; it all depends on your personal circumstances. Let’s look at what factors you should consider when deciding whether to get an electric or manual trailer dolly.
    Electric trailer dollies don’t come cheap, with the high-end models costing several thousands of dollars. Then you’ve got maintenance costs to consider as you’re bound to encounter issues eventually with prolonged use.
    Manual trailer dollies go for several hundred dollars, making them a viable alternative when money is tight. One excellent low-cost option is to get a manual trailer dolly you can power with a cordless drill. These won’t break the bank, nor your back when it comes time to crank the trailer.
    Trailer Size
    If you’ve got a tiny little trailer to haul something like a jet ski or a small load of commercial supplies, you’ll probably do okay without an electric dolly. Pint-sized trailers are easy enough to crank and maneuver by hand, so you won’t necessarily need assistance from an electric motor.
    Big commercial trailers and bulky RVs, however, are incredibly cumbersome. Hand cranking a 10,000 lb load takes a considerable amount of time and physical effort—but it’s all too easy with the help of an electric motor.
    Usage Frequency
    If you only use your trailer a couple of times per year, it might be hard to justify forking out thousands just to make the coupling and positioning process easier. Some infrequent towers are prepared to put up with a manual trailer dolly because they rarely have to suffer through the process.
    Folks who uncouple their trailers every single day—think industrial workers and full-time RVers—would get much more value out of the investment. The time and effort saved with each uncoupling would quickly make the purchase worthwhile.
    Electric Trailer Dollies: The Key Considerations
    [Image: Alt-Text: A truck backing a boat into a lake]
    Take the following factors into account before purchasing an electric dolly for your trailer.
    Weight Capacity
    The most crucial thing to consider with an electric trailer dolly is the weight capacity, which refers to how many pounds the device can withstand. If you overload a dolly, you run the risk of buckling the jockey wheel due to excess force, severely damaging it and the trailer in the process and potentially causing injury or death.
    It’s important to note the figure to consider is Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), which refers to how much your trailer weighs when fully loaded. Take your trailer to a weigh station to learn how heavy it is when you’re hauling your boat, jet ski, or whatever other cargo you’d typically carry. If you’re towing a camper, be sure to factor in food, furniture, and a full tank of fuel and water.
    Tongue Weight Capacity
    Tongue weight (TW) refers to the weight exerted on the dolly hitch. A properly loaded trailer should have a tongue weight that’s approximately 10-15% of the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW). If your trailer GTW is 10,000 lbs, for example, then the TW will ideally be about 1,000-1,500 lbs.
    Important: the ideal tongue weight also depends on the type of hitch. A bumper pull trailer should have a TW that’s 5-10% of the GTW, while a gooseneck TW should be 15-20% of the GTW.
    However, you can’t assume your TW will be the correct percentage of the GTW. The way the trailer has been loaded has a significant effect on tongue weight. An incorrectly loaded trailer will put too much pressure on the hitch, potentially causing it to snap—severe damage, injury, or death may ensue. Another disastrous consequence of a poorly configured load is trailer sway, a common cause of towing accidents.
    The easiest way to check your tongue weight is to bring your trailer to a weigh station and pay a fee of $10 or so. If you regularly need to check tongue weight (which is common for commercial towers), then it’s worth investing in a tongue weight scale so you can do it yourself. These nifty devices save frequent towers time and money in the long run.
    The number of wheels on your dolly will affect how much weight it can support. While smaller, low-capacity dollies tend to have a basic configuration, high-end models use heavy-duty wheels.
    Basic dollies, for example, only require one small wheel to support a relatively low load capacity. As the weight increases, it puts extra pressure on the tires; thus, a second wheel (or sometimes a third) is typical on medium-sized dollies.
    For extra heavy-duty dollies made for supporting massive loads, the preferred set up is the caterpillar-style wheel design. Although expensive, these can move huge trailers around with ease and still retain an impressive range of motion.
    Size matters, too. Bigger wheels provide more support and enhance the overall longevity of the product.
    Cheap electric dollies require you to crank the wheels and hitch with a cordless drill, while the top-end models include an advanced electric motor with plenty of grunt.
    The big advantage, of course, is an in-built motor negates the need to push the trailer yourself at any time—a challenging task when you’re working with a high GTW. The price difference is pretty significant; however, so some trailer owners prefer the cheaper option.
    The electric motor is often measured in horsepower or watts, with the higher numbers equating to more juice.
    The last thing you want is for your enormous trailer to start rolling downhill the moment you uncouple it from your truck. To prevent this potentially deadly situation from arising, electric trailer dollies have brakes built into the system.
    High-end dollies designed for heavy loads have advanced braking systems that automatically engage when required. Cheaper dollies tend to have less sophisticated brakes, which the user may need to set themselves.
    It’s always wise to double-check the brakes are correctly engaged before leaving a trailer unattended.
    The ideal size and weight depend on what you’re planning on using the trailer for. If you need a dolly for your camper or fifth wheeler, then look for something relatively small you can pick up and put inside after each use. The same logic applies if you’re towing a recreational vehicle like a boat, jet ski, or ATV—you want a dolly you can fit in the trunk of your car.
    Industrial towers, on the other hand, do most of their dolly work in the warehouse. Therefore, a big dolly that’s too heavy to lift isn’t a problem as it’ll remain on site.
    If you’re planning on bringing your dolly with you, look at something compact like the Happybuy Trailer Mover.
    Electric Trailer Dolly FAQ
    If you’ve still got questions about the electric trailer dolly, there’s a good chance we’ve covered them in our FAQ.
    What Is the Best Electric Trailer Dolly?
    The ideal electric trailer dolly depends on your requirements, so be sure to factor in things like size, price, usage frequency, and trailer weight. We rate the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL as the best electric trailer dolly overall for its portability, affordability, and heavy-duty design.
    How Much Is an Electric Trailer Dolly?
    Electric trailer dollies range from about $250 for a basic model to $4,000 plus for a top of a line machine. Take a read through our in-depth Buyer’s Guide to determine what features you need.
    Can You Move a Trailer Traveler by Hand?
    While it’s possible to move a lightweight travel trailer by hand with a manual dolly, it’s certainly not easy—the backbreaking process requires plenty of muscle power. Even a bodybuilder would struggle to move a big trailer with a manual dolly—the electric motors come in handy here.
    What Is a Power Trailer?
    A power trailer refers to any sort of motorized dolly mechanism, whether it runs on electricity or gas. Power trailers are useful for moving big trailers that are too heavy to maneuver by hand.
    What Is a Trailer Valet?
    Trailer Valet is the name of a well-regarded company that manufactures electric trailer dollies. We review multiple Trailer Valet products on our Top 8 List.
    The Best Electric Trailer Dollies: Final Thoughts
    An electric trailer dolly uses a motor to jack and maneuver a heavy trailer on your behalf, turning the once backbreaking chore into a breeze. And for frequent towers, that saves a significant amount of time and money, making the investment entirely worthwhile.
    Take the time to review our in-depth Buyer’s Guide to get up to speed on the finer details of the device. Next, it’s time to scroll through our Top 8 Recommendations and pick out the perfect product for you.
    With the right electric trailer dolly at hand, you won’t have the stress about the nerve-wracking and exhausting task of positioning a trailer in place. The machine takes care of all the hard stuff on your behalf, allowing you to focus your attention elsewhere. More

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    The 8 Best Towed Vehicle Braking Systems 2021

    Who wouldn’t want to cruise around our country in a big shiny RV? Checking out breathtaking national parks by day and sipping cold beer by the campfire come nightfall; it’s the American dream. But as luxurious as a massive RV can be, there’s one big downside: you’ll struggle to find parking outside the campgrounds.
    Day trips, grocery runs, and inner-city exploration all become a chore when you’re sitting behind the wheel of a 30-foot rig.
    But thankfully, there’s a viable solution to this age-old conundrum: towing a vehicle behind you as you go. With a towed vehicle, you can set up camp with your RV and scoot off in a smaller ride to explore the sights. Comfort at the campsite and mobility during the day—the best of both worlds.
    But it’s not as easy as hooking up an SUV to your RV hitch and hitting the road; the law requires you to install and utilize a towed vehicle braking system.
    In this article, we’ll discuss the details of the supplementary braking system in our in-depth guide. And once you’re up to speed, we’ll walk you through the best products on the market today so you can pick out the perfect option for you.

    Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Towed Braking System
    Before you start sifting through our top recommendations, it’s essential to understand the primary features to consider. Only then will you have the necessary expertise to identify the ideal auxiliary braking system for your needs.
    Although auxiliary braking systems work with most vehicle makes and models, you still need to ensure your preferred product is compatible. It’s crucial to check brake compatibility, too; some models only work with certain brake types.
    Portable or Permanent
    Do you plan on switching between different towing vehicles, or are you more likely to stick with the same one? You can quickly move portable systems between multiple cars, while a professional mechanic must hardwire permanent solutions.
    Braking System Type
    Towed vehicle braking systems come in three main types: proportional, direct, and progressive. For the everyday RVer, these aren’t quite as crucial to consider as the portable versus permanent choice. Nonetheless, it’s worth acquiring a basic understanding of how each system type works.
    This supplementary braking system monitors the towing vehicle’s acceleration and deceleration, then applies the toad brakes proportionally. The system monitors the RV brakes via an in-built accelerometer or sensor, which automatically evaluates how much pressure has been applied. Consequently, both systems exert the same amount of braking power at the same time.
    These don’t require any adjustment once installed, but they tend to perform poorly with hybrid or power-assisted brakes.
    This auxiliary braking system begins applying increasing (progressive) pressure on the toad vehicle brakes when it registers pressure on the towing vehicle brakes. The longer the towing vehicle brakes are depressed, the longer the toad vehicle will brake. However, the toad vehicle will eventually stop braking at a predetermined point to preserve its brakes from excessive wear and tear.
    The drawback to this cost-effective option is it essentially estimates how long the towing vehicle has been braking, so it isn’t entirely accurate. It also causes undue wear and tear on the toad vehicle, despite the fact it disengages them to prevent overheating.
    A direct towing vehicle braking system is hardwired into the RV brakes to mimic exactly what the latter is doing. The pressure exerted on the RV pedal gets replicated in a 1:1 ratio on the toad pedal, making it exceptionally accurate. This method largely avoids under-braking and over-braking the toad, making it safer than the other options.
    On the downside, it’s only suitable for permanent towed vehicle braking systems and may void the warranty of your toad.
    Weight & Size
    If you’re using a portable towed vehicle braking system, you constantly move it back and forth. Therefore, it’s sensible to aim for a lightweight and compact model that’s easy to transport. Portability isn’t a priority with permanent hardwired systems.
    Emergency Breakaway System
    An emergency breakaway system will automatically engage the towed vehicle brakes should it uncouple from your RV. This potentially life-saving safety feature prevents a loose towed vehicle from careening into oncoming cars or pedestrians.
    Cash strapped RVers might opt for a cheap portable system to save money, even if it’s not necessarily the ideal option. If you’re in a favorable financial position and plan on using the same towed vehicle for some time, a high-end permanent model is your best bet.
    Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s take a look at our picks for the best products available today.

    Top 8 Best Towed Vehicle Braking Systems 2021
    1. Best Overall Braking System: Roadmaster 8700 Invisibrake Hidden Power Braking System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: It’s a brilliant permanent system that provides optimal convenience and safe towing for years on end.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Permanent
    Brake Compatibility: Vacuum powered breaks
    Braking System Type: Progressive breaking
    Emergency Breakaway: Yes
    Dimensions: 5 x 12.5 x 7 inches; 15.6 pounds
    This high-end progressive braking system from Roadmaster offers superb functionality for vacuum-powered brakes.
    The permanent braking system is installed out of sight and takes advantage of existing electrical connections on your toad and motorhome. What’s more, it’ll bypass the 12V system to recharge your toad battery on the road—never worry about running it flat en route to the campsite again.
    The thing we love most about the InvisiBrake, though, is it’s a highly comprehensive solution. Once she’s installed in your toad, you won’t have to disconnect anything ever again—much more convenient than a portable model.
    The unit includes an emergency breakaway system for optimal safety and is easily adjustable to suit personal braking preferences.
    On the downside, it’s not at all easy to install. Even a skilled mechanic could spend hours getting it done, and we don’t recommend DIY unless you’re an auto pro. If you’re not exceptionally handy and don’t want to pay for installation, we recommend something easier to set up like the Blue Ox Patriot 3 Brake System. It’s also annoying that the motorhome brake lights come on and activate the unit while engine braking—hardly a deal-breaker, though.

    Convenient and comprehensive system
    Ready to go each day without connecting anything
    Will recharge battery while driving
    Adjustable braking preferences
    Includes emergency breakaway system

    Difficult to install
    RV Engine brake activates toad brakes

    2. Best Premium Braking System: Blue Ox BRK2019 Patriot 3 Brake System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: It’s compatible with most cars and works better than other portable braking systems on the market.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Portable
    Brake Compatibility: Most cars, including hybrids
    Braking System Type: Proportional
    Emergency Breakaway: Yes
    Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 10 inches; 14.04 pounds
    Although expensive, the BRK2019 Patriot 3 is worth every penny for RVers after a portable supplementary breaking solution.
    The state-of-the-art setup automatically monitors brake pressure while towing and slows your toad accordingly, resulting in a smoother and safer ride. Plus, its all-electric design makes for faster response times, which could save your life in an emergency.
    The system gets top marks for compatibility as it works well with virtually any car, including newfangled hybrids.
    It’s an excellent solution for non-mechanically minded RVers as the technology is remarkably easy to use. All you need to do for installation is position the Patriot in the driver’s seat, put the claw on the brake pedal, run through the setup, and then put the control unit in the RV—even grandma could work that out.
    We also love how you can fine-tune the brake settings from the control unit as you drive, as that’s not a common feature on portable units.
    Hooking up the emergency breakaway does require wiring, although it’s worth the hassle for the added peace of mind. Those who don’t want to mess with that will need to pay a professional to help or choose an even easier to install system, like the Roadmaster 9400 Even Brake System.

    Easy to install
    Simple to use
    Effective and safe braking
    Compatible with most cars

    Breakaway requires wiring

    3. Best Budget Braking System: Roadmaster 9160 Brakemaster Towed Car Braking System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This tiny portable system from Roadmaster does a beautiful job for a low price.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Portable
    Brake Compatibility: Air brakes
    Braking System Type: Proportional
    Emergency Breakaway: Yes
    Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 15 inches; 11 pounds
    If you don’t have a thousand bucks to spare on a towed vehicle braking system, then take a look at this nifty little number from Roadmaster. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of the competition, it’s a budget-friendly way to remain legally compliant and safe on the roads.
    The proportional system works on most air brakes by monitoring the tow vehicle’s braking power and emulating it on the toad. It’s especially effective when towing larger toads, so keep that in mind if you’re hauling a bulky SUV. And considering the low price point at play, the brakes work wonderfully well and don’t make you feel like you’re pulling a toad at all—extra points for comfort!
    As much as we love it, the unit does have one major drawback: the installation is a nightmare. Even an expert automobile DIYer would spend several frustrating hours getting the mechanism set up. More likely, you’ll have to enlist professional help, and that’ll only add to the overall cost. Once it’s set up, though, it’s super easy to move in and out of your ride.
    This model comes with an emergency breakaway feature, which we highly recommend. Still, if you don’t feel you need it, then grab the 9100 Brakemaster instead (it’s exactly the same sans the emergency breakaway).

    Cost-effective brake system
    Works on almost all air brake RVs
    Good for larger toads
    Doesn’t feel like towing
    Includes emergency breakaway

    Hard to install

    4. Best Braking System for Air Brakes: Demco 9599007 Air Force One Braking System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This high-end permanent system offers outstanding air brake performance and won’t void your RV warranty.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Permanent
    Brake Compatibility: Air brakes
    Braking System Type: Direct braking
    Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 9 inches; 51 pounds
    If you’re looking for a high-performance auxiliary air brake compatible system, then look no further than the 9599007 Air Force One. Good enough for the President of the United States (probably), this upmarket system affords awe-inspiring direct braking action on all air brake motorhomes. You’ll relish in a comfortable and safe ride as a result.
    Another thing we love about this American-made product is it’s one of the only air brake systems that won’t void the chassis warranty on your RV upon installation. Also, the braking system has a lengthy five-year warranty to ensure both investments are adequately protected. And that’s reason enough to buy this unit in our book.
    It’s a painful device to install, even if you’ve got plenty of practice working on automobiles. Keen DIYers without automotive experience would be better off outsourcing the job to a professional—trust us, your sanity depends on it.
    Once it’s installed, you won’t have to worry about a thing as there are no moving parts to tweak or settings to configure, making it a complete turn-key solution.

    Doesn’t void motorhome warranty
    Works well on air brake RVs
    Made in the USA
    Five-year warranty
    Safe and comfortable towing experience

    Very difficult to install

    5. Best Braking System for Hydraulic Brakes: Demco 9599006 Stay-in-Play Duo Braking System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The Demco Stay-in-Play harnesses two separate braking technologies for a safe and comfortable tow.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Permanent
    Brake Compatibility: Hydraulic
    Braking System Type: Progressive and proportional
    Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 9 inches; 11 pounds
    While most towed vehicle braking systems work on either a proportional or progressive system, the Stay-in-Play takes a different approach. This interesting option from DEMCO is both progressive and proportional, a unique design that optimizes safety and durability on the road.
    The system draws upon a potent dose of air pressure to activate the brake pedal on the toad, then uses a vacuum to power the braking system. It only kicks in when it detects both deceleration and the brake light, making it more accurate than other options out there. Also, your toad vehicle won’t apply the brakes during engine braking from the RV, which helps immensely on those steep downhill descents.
    It’s relatively easy to install for a permanent system—if you’ve got mechanical expertise, you could certainly have a shot at DIY. Another considerable advantage is convenience, as all you have to do is flick on the switch before setting off on your adventures each day.
    The mid-range unit is reliable overall but will require maintenance from time to time. The brake pedal cable is prone to snapping, for example, although it’s not hard at all to replace.
    Note that this unit is a newer, rebranded version of the SMI 99251 Stay-in-Play.

    Both progressive and proportional
    Uses air and vacuum technology
    Requires deceleration and brake lights to engage
    Doesn’t engage when engine braking
    Convenient and easy to install

    Some parts may need maintenance

    6. Most Even Braking System: Roadmaster 9400 Even Brake System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This powerful portable proportional system brakes evenly every time and doesn’t provoke excessive wear and tear.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Portable
    Brake Compatibility: Compatible with most toads
    Braking System Type: Proportional
    Emergency Breakaway: Yes
    Dimensions: 3 x 12.7 x 12.5 inches; 22.3 pounds
    Roadmaster makes a wide range of superb supplementary braking systems, and the 9400 is no exception.
    Although it costs about twice the price of our top budget pick, the Roadmaster 9160 is worth the extra expense. Frequent RVers who are happy to spend a bit extra on a quality portable system tend to love the device for its performance and durability.
    The proportional system does an outstanding job at evenly applying the brakes on both vehicles simultaneously. Consequently, you’ll enjoy a safer and more predictable towing experience without wearing down the brake pads on your RV or toad.
    The system is compatible with most toads, although it’s worth double-checking the chart on their website to make sure it’ll work with yours.
    You get a dashboard monitor as part of the deal to install in your RV, allowing you to tweak the configurations while on the road. Although the instructions aren’t the best, the initial installation is easy enough for the average DIYer to attempt. Swapping the unit between toads is simple, too, as it disconnects and reconnects in seconds.
    One downside is there’s no in-built system to keep your toad batteries charged up. It does at least feature a warning light on the motorhome dash display to let you know when the voltage drops low. If your battery reaches a critical level, it’ll automatically go into sleep mode (it’s still ready to engage for emergency braking).
    These sorts of even braking systems aren’t ideal at altitude, so give it a miss and upgrade to the Blue Ox BRK2019 Patriot 3 Brake System if you spend most of your days up in the hills.

    High-quality portable system
    Even and predictable braking
    Quickly swaps between toads
    Easy installation
    Compatible with most toads

    Can run toad battery flat
    Not effective at altitude

    7. Best Permanent Braking System: Hopkins 39530 BrakeBuddy Stealth

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This awesome option from Hopkins sits stealthily out of sight and doubles as a trailer brake system.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Permanent
    Brake Compatibility: Most cars
    Braking System Type: Progressive
    Emergency Breakaway: Yes
    Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 7.5 inches; 15 pounds
    The BrakeBuddy Stealth is an excellent permanent option for RVers who want a supplementary braking system that’s hidden from sight. The untrained eye won’t even notice these stealthy auxiliary brakes, and the unit is super easy to use—a true ‘set it and forget it’ solution.
    Although the initial installation takes a while and may require professional help, the system is super-fast and easy to engage once it’s ready to go. All you need to do is plug the adapter in and hook up the tow bar, a process that takes one minute or less.
    It’s a high-performance progressive system; thus, the unit will detect changes in inertia and apply the brakes accordingly. A vacuum pump replenishes the vacuum system to ensure consistent and reliable braking operation for years to come.
    We appreciate that this unit comes with a battery maintainer and disconnect kit, as you’ll never worry about draining your toad flat.
    Another big highlight is the device works well as a proportion trailer brake controller—you’re not limited to using it just on your toad. Of course, as it’s a permanent solution, it won’t be easy to move between vehicles. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent backup to have if you expect to upgrade to a trailer further down the track.

    Sits almost entirely out of sight
    Easy to engage for each use
    Includes battery maintainer
    Doubles as a trailer brake controller

    Installation isn’t easy

    8. Best Portable Braking System: Roadmaster 9700 Supplemental Braking System

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: It’s simple to switch between vehicles and comes with an emergency breakaway system.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Portable or Permanent: Portable
    Brake Compatibility: Suitable for most cars
    Braking System Type: Progressive
    Emergency Breakaway System: Yes
    Dimensions: 25 x 13.5 x 16 inches; 20 pounds
    The 9700 from Roadmaster is an excellent option if you want a user-friendly portable with an emergency breakaway system included in the deal.
    This unit runs on a basic progressive braking system, which means it applies a preset value of pressure upon detecting the brake lights being engaged. That means it doesn’t quite brake as smoothly or consistently as the Roadmaster 9400 (or other high-end proportional systems), but it’s still good enough for most users’ needs.
    The big advantage to this is portability as it slides easily into the pedal area of most cars and is a cinch to move between vehicles. The initial installation is also relatively straightforward—it shouldn’t take an experienced DIYer much more than an hour to set up.
    Another cool feature is the three pressure sensitivity and PSI presets you can pre-program before use: light, medium, or heavy braking. Aim high if you’re hauling a giant toad or cruising down steep mountainous slopes.
    The emergency breakaway system works well, overriding the presets to deliver maximum braking pressure in the event of a breakaway.
    It’s a bit bulkier than other portable systems, so we recommend you double-check whether it’ll fit into the allocated space.

    User-friendly system
    Relatively simple to install
    Easy to move between vehicles
    Includes emergency breakaway
    Multiple pressure/PSI sensitivity presets

    Doesn’t perform as well as proportional systems
    Bulkier than other portable systems

    Towed Vehicle Braking System Guide
    Before you pony up and purchase a towed vehicle braking system for your ride, it’s worth studying the details of the technology. And to help you learn the ropes with optimal efficiency, we’ve pieced together this in-depth Buyer’s Guide.
    [Image: Alt-Text: Towed vehicle braking system on an RV]
    What Is a Towed Vehicle?
    Let’s start with the fundamentals.
    A towed vehicle refers to an automobile that’s towed behind a larger automobile. To classify, the towed vehicle must have all four wheels on the ground, not on a hook, wheel lift, or flatbed as you’d see on a tow truck. Typically, the towed vehicle connects to the towing vehicle via an A-frame and sits a short distance behind it.
    While any large vehicle can tow a smaller car, the four-wheels-on-the-ground towing style we’re talking about is almost exclusively seen in RVs. Having a smaller vehicle in tow allows travelers to park their big rig at the RV park and explore their surroundings in a more agile automobile.
    In the RV world, a popular slang term for the towed vehicle is a “toad.” Some folks call them “dinghies,” a reference to the little boats you see being towed behind larger ships.
    What Is a Towed Vehicle Braking System?
    A towed vehicle braking system is a mechanical contraption that enables the RV driver to apply the brakes on the towed vehicle as well as the RV. The procedure takes advantage of the toad’s existing brakes; it merely provides a mechanism to activate them when needed.
    The towed vehicle braking system is either portable (installed every time you drive) or permanent (hardwired into the toad).
    Other common names include an auxiliary braking system or a supplementary braking system.
    The Benefits of a Towed Vehicle Braking System
    Your massive RV has already got a solid set of brakes. Therefore, you don’t need to bother hooking up the brakes on your tiny little toad, right?
    Not only does a towed vehicle braking system make your RV safer and more durable, it’s also a legal requirement in most US states.
    A Better Braking System
    A fully loaded Class A RV weighs anywhere between 16,000 to 30,000 pounds. Regardless of how good its brakes are, it’s going to take a long time to come to a complete halt. Chuck on an extra 3,000 pounds or so (the average weight of a towed vehicle), and it’ll take significantly longer still.
    Installing a towed vehicle braking system allows the driver to engage both the RV and toad brakes simultaneously, significantly reducing the time it takes to slow down. The reduced braking distance not only makes the RV more comfortable to drive, but it could also save your life in an emergency as well.
    Less Wear and Tear
    Although Class A RVs tend to come with heavy-duty brakes to handle a hefty load, they’re not designed to withstand the additional pressure exerted by a towed vehicle. Even though it may only weigh a fraction of the RV, the toad vehicle’s extra pounds will result in excessive wear and tear on the RV brakes.
    If you install a towed vehicle braking system, however, you’ll spread the braking work over two separate systems. That will prevent any of your brakes from overheating and substantially reduce the degradation of your brake pads. A towed vehicle braking system also reduces the pressure exerted on your tow bar, meaning you’ll need to replace it less often.
    Even though a towed vehicle braking system is a considerable immediate expense, it’ll reduce the service intervals and overall maintenance costs, potentially saving you money in the long run.
    The Law Often Requires It
    All US states and territories place restrictions on the weight you can haul without having a towed vehicle braking system installed. The exact limits vary from state to state, and they’re probably more stringent than you think.
    Bear in mind you’ll need to abide by the laws of the state you’re in, not where you’re from or where your vehicle is registered. So if you’re planning a cross-continental road trip with your toad, it’s almost certain you’ll be breaking the law somewhere if you don’t have such a system installed.
    If you believe a highway patrol officer would never pull you over to check compliance, then think about what would happen if you were in an accident. You’d automatically be at fault, and your insurance would become null and void. That would cost you a fortune in the event of a severe accident and could see you facing jail if there were any injuries or death. It’s just not worth the risk.
    How To Determine Towed Braking System Compatibility
    Although towed vehicle braking systems are designed to be as versatile as possible, not every product will work with every make and model. It’s up to the buyer (that’s you) to research whether a system is compatible with their would-be toad.
    Portable systems tend to be more universal than permanent ones, so be especially thorough with your research if you’re going down the hardwired route.
    Some Amazon sellers include a handy tool at the top of the page that tells you whether the product is compatible with your car’s make and model. Not all products offer this, however, in which case you can contact the seller directly, leave a question via the customer questions and answers tab, or consult the manufacturer website.
    You’ll also need to check what brake types your preferred towed vehicle braking system is compatible with. For example, the Demco 9599006 is only suitable for hydraulic brakes, while the Demco 9599007 only works with air brakes.
    Permanent Versus Portable Towed Vehicle Braking Systems: Which Is Best for You?
    [Image: Alt-Text: RV with a toad]
    When purchasing a towed vehicle braking system, you need to decide whether you want a portable or permanent device. Each works differently and has distinct pros and cons, which we’ll outline below.
    Portable Towed Vehicle Braking Systems
    The portable towed vehicle braking system is a budget-friendly and versatile option, but it comes at the cost of convenience. As the unit is positioned by the toad’s brake pedals, you’ll need to remove it every time you drive your smaller vehicle, then insert it again when you take off in your RV.
    The big benefit of the portable system is you can quickly move it between toads. If you’ve got multiple automobiles you’d like to tow behind your RV, you can transfer the braking system between them—no need to hardwire one into each car. That’s super handy if you’ve got a big family in which several relatives want to use your RV with their own toad. And if you upgrade your toad further down the track, moving the system into the new vehicle will be a breeze.
    Another plus is the price. Portable systems tend to be cheaper than their hardwired counterparts and don’t require an expensive professional installation. Some RVers opt for the portable system based on price alone, even if it isn’t the most convenient solution.
    The insertion and removal process is designed to be as quick and painless as possible and doesn’t require any specialist skills. Nonetheless, it’ll still take 10 minutes or so, and that becomes tiresome when you’re switching between campsites frequently.
    There’s also an initial one-time installation that takes an hour or so, although it doesn’t usually require much mechanical knowledge.
    Can be moved between different toads
    Doesn’t require professional installation
    Cheaper than a hardwired system
    Needs to be inserted/removed frequently
    Inconvenient when changing campsites
    Who Should Buy A Portable Towed Vehicle Braking System?
    RVers who expect to tow multiple different vehicles or plan to purchase a new toad soon should probably get a portable braking system. It’s also an enticing option when price is a primary consideration.
    Permanent Towed Vehicle Braking Systems
    As the name implies, these are designed to be permanently installed (hardwired) into the towed vehicle and RV. It’s a technical process that requires the expertise of a mechanic (or a mechanically minded DIYer), typically taking several hours to complete.
    The obvious drawback is you’ll need to fork out for a pricey professional installation or spend a whole afternoon, if not longer, attempting a DIY install (you’ll need exceptional auto electrical expertise).
    And once you’ve installed it into your toad, it’s an arduous task to take it out again. Reinstallation takes just as long as installation; therefore, these are generally intended to permanently be left in place. If you upgrade to a new toad, transferring a hardwired towed vehicle braking system will cost you dearly.
    On the plus side, a hardwired system is a true ‘set it and forget it’ solution. Once it’s in, you won’t have to stuff around moving a portable system back and forth and finding somewhere to store it. Your permanent towed vehicle braking system will always be there at the ready, and you’ll spend less time fiddling around when you set up camp. Furthermore, as they’re tucked away in a secluded spot within the toad, you won’t lose any storage space.
    Only requires one installation
    Saves time when setting up/packing down camp
    Hassle-free long term solution
    Doesn’t take up storage space
    Requires pricey professional installation
    Cannot be quickly moved between toads
    Who Should Buy a Permanent Towed Vehicle Braking System?
    RVers who only have one toad and don’t plan on upgrading it soon would benefit from the convenience of a towed vehicle braking system.
    Emergency Breakaway System
    The best towed vehicle braking systems come with an emergency breakaway feature for enhanced safety on the road.
    Should your A-frame tow bar snap while driving, a breakaway system will automatically apply the brakes on your toad. This stops the driverless vehicle from flying across the highway at breakneck speed and potentially causing a deadly collision.
    With a breakaway system installed, a runaway toad will quickly come to a halt without (hopefully) hitting anything along the way. It doesn’t offer failsafe protection, but it certainly does decrease the danger in a breakaway event.
    Battery Drain
    Many supplemental braking systems hook into the starter battery of the car for juice.
    The downside to this design is that with extended use—say, a cross country road trip in which you rarely turn on the toad’s engine—the starter battery may run flat, and you’ll need to jump or push start it to regain power. If you drive your toad at least a little bit every time you make camp, you should charge the battery up enough to avoid running it flat.
    Some auxiliary braking systems include a battery maintainer or bypass the toad starter battery by drawing 12V power elsewhere. Doing so means the toad battery won’t drain while being towed, and you’ll never have to worry about it running flat.
    Other systems include an indicator light on the RV dash panel to alert the driver of an impending flat battery. That way, you can pull over and turn on your toad engine to avoid running its battery flat.
    Towed Vehicle Braking System: FAQ
    If you’ve still got questions about the towed vehicle braking system, take a look through the following FAQ.
    What Is Best Braking System for Towed Vehicle?
    Although the best towed vehicle braking system depends on your personal circumstances, we rate some units more highly than others. The Roadmaster 8700 is our favorite option overall for its effective braking mechanism and affordable price tag.
    What States Require a Braking System on a Towed Vehicle?
    All US states and Canadian territories except Missouri require brakes on towed vehicles under certain conditions. Some states require a braking system for towed vehicles above a specific weight, while others base requirements off the braking distance of the RV and attached toad.
    Can You Flat Tow a Jeep Wrangler?
    Yes. All Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators are suitable toads. You’ll need to attach the appropriate A-frame and a compatible towed vehicle braking system.
    Can You Flat Tow a Jeep Without Brakes?
    Probably not, but it depends on which state you’re in. Most states only allow flat towing without brakes up to a specific weight limit.
    Does Towing a Car Put Miles on it?
    Nope. Towing a Jeep or any other towed vehicle won’t put miles on the odometer.
    What’s the Best Vehicle To Flat Tow Behind an RV?
    The best vehicle for flat towing comes down to personal preference. Nonetheless, the Jeep Wrangler is among the most popular flat towing options as it’s easy to hook up and relatively petite.
    Best Towed Vehicle Braking Systems: Final Thoughts
    By now, you know all the essential details of the towed vehicle braking system: what it is, why you need one, how they work, and the different types available on the market.
    All that’s left to do now is factor in the key considerations and peruse our top 8 Recommendations to pick out the perfect system for you. Once you’ve got a brand spanking new auxiliary brake system installed in your toad, you’ll be ready to hit the road in a safe and legally compliant way. More

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    The 10 Best Neoprene Seat Covers 2021

    You’re rough on your car’s upholstery. Whether it’s kids grinding animal crackers into the fabric or your pooch redecorating the backseat (because dog fur goes with everything), the interior of your ride takes a beating.
    If you want to preserve your car’s resale value — or if your existing seats are just cracked and uncomfortable — then investing in some neoprene seat covers is the way to go. Not only will they protect your upholstery, but they look snazzy and feel great to boot.

    What You Need to Know Before Buying Neoprene Seat Covers for Your Car
    Buying something like a seat cover seems like a brainless proposition — you just buy the one you like and put it over your seats, right?
    While that isn’t terribly far from the truth, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you make a purchase.
    Not Every Cover Fits Every Seat
    As you might expect, a Ford F-150 has a different seat layout than, say, a Toyota Camry. That means that not every neoprene cover on the market will be compatible with your car, so it’s essential that you make sure you have a match before you make a purchase.
    Pay special attention to whether the cover is designed for bucket or bench seats. It’s not easy to make a cover fit an entire row of seats when it was only designed to cover one, after all.
    We’ll go over all of this in more detail later on, but for now, the important thing to remember is to make sure the cover you buy will work with the car you drive.
    What Do You Want the Cover to Do?
    This may sound simple — it needs to cover your seat, right? What else could it do, help you solve mysteries?
    While your cover may not be much help when it comes time to figure out what’s haunting the old Suggins place, some options excel at different things than others.
    For example, some are great at repelling pet hair, while others provide excellent comfort on bumpy roads. If you don’t know what you’re looking for your cover to do before you start shopping, you’ll have a hard time evaluating the different options.
    Unfortunately, there’s not a single cover that excels in every single category, but our top pick, the Gorla Premium comes closest.
    That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you, though.
    Additional Factors to Consider in Neoprene Seat Covers
    Along with the compatibility with your vehicle and the primary purpose of the seat covers, there are three other key factors that you’d be wise to consider when browsing through the available products:
    Comfort: Don’t underestimate the value of some thick foam padding. After all, the chances are that you’ll be sitting on this thing on a daily basis.
    Durability: Sure, a seat cover might be comfy for the first few weeks, but for how long can you expect it to stay that way?
    Care: The odd stain here and there is no biggie, as long as you can clean it up with relative ease. Some neoprene seat covers are machine washable, while others require you to be a little more hands-on. Our reviews will let you know what to expect.
    For a thorough look at our top 10 picks, including a detailed breakdown by category, read on.

    Top 10 Best Neoprene Seat Covers 2021
    1. Best Overall Pick: Gorla Premium Black Universal

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    Why we like it: The Gorla Premium is good at everything, and it can fit any car. Plus, the lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind that it can stand up to the kind of abuse you inflict on your car on a daily basis.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: Any make and model (bucket seats only)
    How many in each order: 1
    Warranty: Lifetime
    The Gorla Premium is our top pick because it’s very good at everything while still being convenient and affordable. However, it’s not necessarily outstanding at any particular thing, and comfort is a great example of that.
    This cover is comfy, don’t get us wrong. It only provides a medium amount of padding, though, and it won’t protect you from every bump and dip on the road (for something that will, check out the Rough Country 91018).
    The company backs its covers with a lifetime warranty for a reason. It may not survive a knife fight, but it’s more than capable of standing up to everyday wear and tear. You really have to work to damage this thing.
    That means it can withstand puppy claws too, so you can take your pets with you wherever you go.
    It’s also completely waterproof, so you don’t have to worry if you spill a drink on it or sit on it while still soaking wet from a day at the beach. The cover won’t stick to your skin either, regardless of how drenched you are or how hot it is outside.
    The company recommends hand-washing it, but it is safe for use in the washing machine. Just don’t put it in the dryer.
    Keeping it clean on a day-to-day basis is fairly easy, as you can just wipe most stains away with a damp towel. It will attract pet hair like a magnet, but fur usually comes off in the washing machine.
    You may want to wash it as soon as you get it as well, because it has a strong odor out of the box. The smell quickly goes away, though.

    Backed by a lifetime warranty
    Machine washable
    Strong enough to withstand dog claws
    Won’t stick to skin
    Completely waterproof

    Attracts pet hair like a magnet
    Strong odor out of the box

    2. Best Budget Pick: TANYOO Waterproof

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    Why we like it: While there’s not much to it, the TANYOO Waterproof gets the job done at an excellent price.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: Any make and model
    How many in each order: 1 (2-piece option is also available at a higher price)
    Warranty: Lifetime
    There’s not much to the TANYOO Waterproof in terms of fabric; it’s designed to fit over your existing seats and nothing more. As a result, most of the comfort will come from your car’s existing interior.
    That’s not to say that this thing is uncomfortable, though. It’s perfectly fine to sit on, and if you have heated seats, you’ll love how much heat it allows through. The flip side to that, of course, is that it’ll get hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
    There’s a rubber backing on it that helps keep it in place well, so you shouldn’t have to deal with too much slipping and sliding. At this price point, though, don’t expect perfection.
    You’ll also find three convenient pockets at the bottom. This lets you store your phone, a drink, or really anything that you might want to put into a pocket. When cup holder or console space is at a premium, they really come in handy.
    The thin fabric isn’t as durable as some other models out there (and if durability is your primary concern, you may want to check out the toughest option on this list, the Smittybilt 471225). You’ll definitely see some wear and tear after a few years.
    The good news is that the company backs its products with a lifetime warranty, so you can send it back if it starts to wear out. We definitely think it’ll give you plenty of bang for not-very-many bucks, though.
    The waterproof material is extremely easy to clean. Spills can be mopped right up, and any other stains usually come up with a damp cloth and a little bit of elbow grease.
    If the thing gets really grody, though, you can toss it in the washing machine. That should do the trick.

    Extremely affordable
    Compatible with heated seats
    Convenient pockets at bottom
    Easy to clean
    Rubber backing holds them in place well

    Offers little in the way of comfort
    Will show wear and tear after a while

    3. Best Premium Pick: Rough Country 91018

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    Why we like it: Custom-made for the Ford F-150, this option offers an impressive mix of ruggedness and sophistication.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: 2015-2020 Ford F150 XL/XLT
    How many in each order: 3 (2 bucket seat covers, 1 bench)
    Warranty: 1 year
    These covers boast a layer of thick foam padding that cradles your body and acts as a shock absorber. You can practically go off-roading and it will feel like you’re on a freshly-paved road with these things installed.
    The fabric is extremely breathable as well. It offers wonderful protection against the elements, allowing you to climb inside wearing shorts on a hot summer day without burning your skin off in the process.
    Part of the reason why they’re so comfortable is because they’re designed to fit the F-150 perfectly, including room for the air bags, seat adjuster, headrest, and more. This custom fit makes them fairly easy to install as well, and there shouldn’t be any bagginess or sliding to deal with.
    If you tend to be hard on your truck, then these covers are exactly what you need. They’re made to withstand a rough-and-tumble lifestyle, so you don’t have to change your behavior to accommodate your car’s upholstery.
    Of course, given how much these covers cost, they should be able to stop a bullet.
    One small detail that may irk you, given what you’ll spend on these things, is the fact that the logo is only screen-printed on. It will fade over time, but the underlying material should remain completely intact.
    The Rough Country covers are highly stain-resistant, and you can deal with most spills and messes by simply wiping them down. You can even leave the mess for a few hours without it staining the fabric.
    You can put them in the washing machine, but for best results, they should be hand-washed and air dried. This is a minor inconvenience, but any inconvenience at this price range sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Extremely durable
    Will fit your truck’s seats like a glove
    Easy to clean
    Includes a layer of foam padding
    Fabric is very breathable

    Very expensive
    Need to be hand-washed
    Logo fades over time

    4. Easiest Installation: MAJA Premium

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    Why we like it: You won’t find anything easier to put on and take off than the MAJA Premium, making it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to use a cover all the time.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: Any make and model (bucket seats only)
    How many in each order: 1
    Warranty: None
    The MAJA Premium slips right over your existing seat, including the headrest, and the thick fabric gives you plenty of extra padding. You’ll definitely appreciate the difference when you’re stuck in traffic during your morning commute.
    However, it’s designed to just sit on top of your existing seat, so you can expect it to bunch up and slip around while you drive. This can make it uncomfortable at times, especially on bare skin.
    Of course, that also makes it easy to put on and take off as needed, so it’s an excellent choice if you just want occasional coverage.
    The thick fabric does a good job of withstanding regular wear and tear, but if you sit on it wrong, you can put a crease into it. This won’t necessarily shorten its lifespan, but it can make it permanently less comfortable.
    Given that it’s so easy to get on and remove, though, you can choose to only use it when the situation truly demands protecting your upholstery. If you do that, it should last for years and years.
    It’s very easy to maintain this model, as you can spot-clean any messes, and getting rid of dirt and crumbs is as easy as taking it out and shaking it off. It’s machine washable in case it gets seriously dirty, but it needs to air dry.
    There are three different color options — or rather, you have your choice of three different colors of piping along the black material. The colors tend to fade over time if left in the sun, but this isn’t a terribly stylish option to begin with, so that may not matter much to you.

    Easy to put on and take off
    Good amount of padding
    Cleaning is a breeze
    Ideal for occasional use

    Tends to slide around and bunch up
    Can be creased permanently
    Not especially stylish

    5. Best for Jeeps: Smittybilt 471225

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    Why we like it: The Smittybilt 471225 will make even the roughest ride a little more comfortable, and it’s sturdy enough to withstand all kinds of abuse.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: 1997 – 2002 Jeep Wrangler
    How many in each order: 3 (2 bucket seats, 1 bench)
    Warranty: None
    The middle portions of these Smittybilts have quite a bit of padding, giving your lumbar some extra cushioning for long, rough rides down dirt roads.
    This also allows you to slide right out of the vehicle, which can be helpful for people with mobility issues as it drastically reduces the effort needed to get in and out. That extra boost can be necessary, as a side effect of all that padding is you’ll have a tendency to sink right into the seat.
    They’re not quite as comfortable to install, though, and you’ll likely end up with bruised and bloody knuckles along the way. What’s worse, if you can’t get them to fit just right, it will compromise how comfortable they are in a big way.
    There’s little to complain about in terms of durability, as these are well-made covers. That’s important, given that Jeep owners aren’t known for being easy on their gear.
    The neoprene is very thick and heavy, and it can stand up to all sorts of abuse. It will fade if left in direct sunlight, though, so you may want to park in the shade.
    These covers can be cleaned with a little bit of water and a chamois, and they dry quickly. Even mud comes right off, so there’s no reason to avoid taking your Jeep off-roading.
    That’s good, because they’re not machine washable. You wouldn’t want to take them off anyway, given how difficult they are to put on in the first place.

    Lots of lumbar padding
    Easy to slide in and out of seats
    Simple to clean
    Thick and durable

    A pain to install
    Will cause you to sink into seat
    Tends to fade if left in the sun

    6. Best Temporary Option: Goodyear GY1121

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    Why we like it: The Goodyear GY1121 is an easy and inexpensive universal option, so while it’s not the nicest on the market, it’s accessible for just about any owner.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: All makes and models (front seat only)
    How many in each order: 1
    Warranty: None
    There’s nothing to this cover, really; it’s designed to protect your existing seat, and that’s it. However, it’s not uncomfortable, but overall the coziness will depend largely on the seats that came with your car.
    Each of these covers is sold individually, though, so you don’t have to put one on every seat if you don’t want to. It’s a cinch to get on and off, as it just slips on and then straps in place, which means it doesn’t have to be a permanent addition, either.
    This is quite an inexpensive cover, so you might not expect much in the way of longevity. However, it should be able to handle normal wear and tear.
    It’s only water-resistant, not fully waterproof, which means there’s not as much neoprene in it as you’ll find in some other options, like the Motor Trend OS274. You shouldn’t expect it to last forever, but it can get the job done in the short term.
    You can throw one of these in the washing machine if it gets too dirty, but that shouldn’t be necessary too often. Food doesn’t really stick to the neoprene and liquid beads up for easy blotting, so it should never be too filthy.

    Sold individually
    A cinch to install
    Liquid beads on the surface
    Good value for the price

    Almost no padding whatsoever
    Not fully waterproof
    Won’t last as long as some other options

    7. Snuggest Fit: GEARFLAG JK

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    Why we like it: If you don’t like dealing with creases or folds in your seats, the GEARFLAG JK is perfect for you. They will stick to your seats like a second skin — and you may just forget they’re even there.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: 2007 – 2017 Wrangler JK
    How many in each order: 2 (front seats only)
    Warranty: None
    There’s no foam padding or anything like that on this option, but that allows them to fit your seats like a glove. Assuming that your seats are the least bit comfy, these covers should suit you just fine.
    The neoprene is extremely thick and heavy, so it should give you plenty of support.
    Installation is an absolute pain, but it’s at least fairly straightforward, so you shouldn’t be confused. There will be a heavy rubber smell for a few weeks, though.
    The thickness of these covers ensures they’ll last for a few years at least, and even the stitching is well-done. They’re more than capable of handling anything the road can throw at them when you drive with the top down as well, including rain, wind, and salt water.
    There’s no opening for a side airbag, though, so you’ll either need to modify them or understand that they may be damaged in the event of an accident.
    These covers don’t ship with instructions, so you’ll have to use your own best judgment when it comes to taking care of them. We wouldn’t recommend throwing them in the washing machine, though.
    For the most part, all you should need to do is wipe them off when they become visibly dirty. You may also want to put some protectant on them as well if you don’t want the color to fade.

    Made of thick neoprene
    Fit seats like a glove
    Even the stitching is well-done
    Easy to take care of

    Lacks an opening for side airbag
    Installation is a pain
    No instructions included

    8. Best for Jump Seats: CarCovers Custom

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    Why we like it: It has a limited utility, but if you need to protect the jump seat in your truck, you won’t find a better option than this one.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: 2009 – 2014 Ford F150, F250, F350
    How many in each order: 1 (jump seat only)
    Warranty: No
    If you have a truck with a jump seat, then you know that’s the hardest one to find a decent cover for. This option from CarCovers Custom does an excellent job of keeping your middle seat protected, but it’s not as comfortable as a model that would be made for one of the bucket seats would be.
    It covers the seat itself as well as the middle backrest, with holes cut out for the cup holders. As such, it’s extremely convenient to use and easy to put on. It’s not really meant to be sat on very often, although it does a good job of keeping your seat at a comfortable temperature.
    This is an extremely durable cover; it’s been treated with an application designed to increase UV-resistance, in addition to being thick enough to prevent regular wear and tear.
    You may have to really pull on it to get it over the seat, though. Over time, that may stretch the cover out, but that’s not an issue unless you want to put it in another truck.
    Liquids tend to just sit on top of this water-resistant cover, so it’s likely that all you’ll need to do is mop up any spilled drinks.
    It’s not machine washable, but it can be hand-washed and air dried. However, putting it on is difficult, so it’s likely you’ll only take it off if it starts to get really gnarly.

    Easy to put on
    Holes cut out for cup holders
    Treated to resist fading

    Not machine washable
    May stretch over time
    Less comfortable than other covers

    9. Best Weather Protection: Motor Trend OS274

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    Why we like it: These budget covers provide excellent protection from extreme weather, so your seats will always be at a comfortable temperature.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: All makes and models
    How many in each order: 2 (bucket seats only)
    Warranty: None
    These covers are designed for two things: to protect your seats and allow proper ventilation. There’s virtually no padding, so if you need a cover to provide comfort, keep looking (and look at the FH Group FB085RED114 in particular).
    They’re designed to be a universal fit, but they won’t be a snug one. Expect a little bagginess, which may lead to bunching or creasing. However, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable (unless your seats are already pretty ragged).
    Given that these are budget covers, the durability is in line with what you’d expect. They won’t last forever, but they can give you a few years’ worth of protection, assuming you’re not too rough on them.
    You won’t have to worry about them getting damaged by the airbags, though, as they’re cut in such a way as to allow unfettered deployment.
    The covers are completely waterproof, which means you shouldn’t have any issues with messes, as long as you have napkins or a towel handy. They’re not machine washable, though.
    There is one issue with their waterproof nature however, they don’t cover the entirety of the seat. That means you need to be quick on the draw with the cleaning supplies if you don’t want the mess to reach your actual seats.

    Provide plenty of ventilation
    Completely waterproof
    Very inexpensive

    Fit tends to be baggy
    Won’t cover the entire seat
    No padding whatsoever

    10. Most Attractive Covers: FH Group FB085RED114

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    Why we like it: If you want covers that will look as attractive as your existing seats — if not more so — then this stylish option is the way to go.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts:
    Compatible with: Most bucket seats
    How many in each order: 3 (2 bucket seats and 1 bench)
    Warranty: None
    The neoprene on this option covers a healthy dose of EVA foam, making them plush and comfortable. Plus, despite the padding, they won’t interfere with heated seats.
    While these covers are fun to sit on, it’s the appearance that really sets them apart. You can get them in 8 different colors, allowing you to choose a pattern that complements your car’s interior beautifully.
    The durability definitely leaves something to be desired here. You can expect the seams to start fraying after a year or so, and they’ll likely tear if they come in contact with something sharp.
    However, the biggest issue will come with washing them. They’ll fall apart after a few trips through the washing machine, so we’d recommend hand-washing or spot cleaning them instead.
    As mentioned above, you can throw these things in the washing machine, but it isn’t recommended. Spills are easy to clean, though.
    You’ll likely need to vacuum them frequently, as they collect cloth balls, food crumbs, and pet hair. All that mess usually comes right up when vacuumed, so there shouldn’t be any need to toss it in the dryer.

    Padded with EVA foam
    Very attractive
    Available in multiple colors

    Won’t stand up to much abuse
    Will fall apart after a few washes
    Tend to trap hair, crumbs, and other debris

    How to Find the Perfect Neoprene Seat Covers for Protecting Your Car’s Interior
    Seat covers may not be something you’ve ever given much thought to — after all, covering your seats was the manufacturer’s job, right?
    The existing upholstery may be all you need, but there are several reasons to consider an upgrade. We’ll go over some of the most important below.
    Why Should You Consider Putting Covers on Your Seats?
    There are several benefits to putting aftermarket covers on your car’s seats. For the most part, they fall into three categories: protection, comfort, and cleanliness.
    There are many things that can damage your car’s seats: UV rays from the sun, your dog’s nails, a spilled soda, or giving your friend Shredder a ride to Arby’s. By putting a cover over your seats, you can protect them from all sorts of harm.
    Not only does this keep your car looking pristine, it also increases the resale value once it’s time for a new ride. That makes seat covers an investment that can pay off many times over down the line.
    Many covers have extra padding sewn in, making them even more plush and comfortable than your existing seats. This can come in handy if you have back problems, or even if you just want to live in luxury during your daily commute.
    Not only that, but neoprene covers are extremely breathable. This means they’ll be comfortable even if it’s scorching hot or freezing cold outside. Many people put them over leather seats for that reason alone.
    If your hectic schedule forces you to eat meals in the car, or if you have kids, then you know how easy it is to make a mess of your seats. Drinks can get spilled, ketchup can get smeared everywhere, and crumbs can find their way into every nook and cranny of the fabric.
    It’s even worse if you add a dog or other pet in the mix. Now you have to deal with slobber, sharp nails, and tons of fur — and we’re still just talking about your kids (kidding — we hope).
    Rather than spend hours trying to vacuum your car out (or worse, living with seats that look like a Jackson Pollock painting), you can use a seat cover instead. Most covers are easy to remove and can be thrown in the washing machine, allowing you to always have pristine seats — no matter how clumsy you are with your Big Mac.
    What Makes Neoprene a Good Material for Seat Covers?
    Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber that’s often used to make wetsuits, orthopedic braces, and more.
    It makes an excellent material for seat covers because it’s extremely durable, and it’s resistant to UV damage as well as normal wear and tear. It’s also waterproof, so spills won’t penetrate to the material below.
    However, not all neoprene covers are created equal. Some are made of thick cuts of the stuff, while others use thinner layers or a mixture of neoprene and some other material. That’s why some covers are waterproof, while others are only water-resistant.
    Why Do Some Seat Covers Only Work on Specific Cars?
    It all depends on how they’re installed. Some seat covers — the ones that are universal fits, or close to it — attach with Velcro straps or other simple mechanisms. The MAJA Premium is one such model.
    Others, however, are specifically designed for certain makes and models. These usually take more time to install, as they line up specifically with certain parts of your car. The upside is that these usually look and feel better — and cost more. The Rough Country 91018 is a good example of a custom-fit cover.
    You should also realize that the custom-fit models are more likely to accommodate things like side airbags. If you’re buying a universal fit option, you should check beforehand to see whether it will interfere with any of your car’s safety mechanisms.
    Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Seat Covers?
    There are a few other things to think about, but they’re fairly minor in the grand scheme of things.
    One is whether or not the cover will block the warmth from your heated seats. Some are too thick for the heat to penetrate, rendering that particular luxury useless. However, neoprene does a good job of stopping cold on its own, so you may not need heated seats at all with a neoprene cover installed. If you don’t have heated seats and are worried that neoprene seat covers won’t be sufficiently warm, check out our guide to the best heated seat covers.
    Finally, some options come with accessories like seat belt covers, headrest covers, pockets, and more. Again, these bonuses shouldn’t be enough to swing your buying decision one way or the other, but they’re nice extras to have.
    Final Thoughts
    The best way to keep your car’s interior looking as beautiful as the day you bought it is to be extremely careful every time you’re inside it — with no eating, drinking, dogs, or fun allowed.
    If you want to actually enjoy your car without compromising its attractiveness, though, putting neoprene covers over the seats is the way to go. Neoprene prevents liquids and other messes from setting into the fabric, and it’s also extremely comfortable to sit on.
    You could leave your seats the way they are and treat your car like it’s an art museum full of priceless works — but installing neoprene seat covers will allow you to actually drive the thing without ruining its beauty in the process. More

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    The 10 Best Brake Rotors 2021

    Brakes. You need them if you want to be a productive member of society. Sometimes brakes wear out; they are, after all, considered regular wear items. Sometimes you just need more performance so you can rule the track, other times you just need a workhorse pair of pads. Either way, the second most common replacement item (behind pads) when it comes to brakes are rotors. They are also the most visible brake feature, so chances are if you are doing car work, you are going to interact with them.

    A Short Primer on Brake Rotors
    Buying brakes can be extra painful because of marketing. Every manufacturer claims to make the best brake rotors, pads, and calipers. They claim that only their rotors will stop you the fastest, only their rotors will cause the least amount of noise, only their rotors will last the longest, and for the most part, it’s just marketing. We want to give you the tools to cut through the infomercial jargon and get the facts. In order to do that, we have this quick buying guide, a review section below, and an in-depth look at brakes at the bottom.
    Styles of Rotors
    There are a few different styles of brake rotors that you will come across. The biggest concern with disc brakes is heat buildup, so engineers have come up with all sorts of ways to dissipate that heat. Having rotors with good heat dispersal won’t make your car faster, you can read about that down here, but it will make your brakes perform better after a lot of use.
    Smooth rotors are the kind of rotors your car probably came with. If you look at the surface, you won’t see any marks or anything. It will just be a smooth metal surface. Smooth rotors have the longest life, the least amount of noise, and the best value. They can also be ‘turned’ by a shop to get some extra life.
    Drilled rotors have holes in them. In the older days of cars, brake pads for disc brakes were garbage and ejected tons of particles into the air. Those particles would collect on the disc brake and make them way less effective. Performance junkies would drill holes into their brakes that the dust particles could escape out of. Nowadays, unless you’ve got an older car, it’s all for looks. Modern brake pads don’t need them. Drilled rotors can’t be turned and are noisier than smooth brakes.
    Unlike drilled rotors, slotted rotors are still used for performance. They have grooves that clean the brake pads as they pass, as well as remove debris from the disc itself. They are noisier, and won’t last nearly as long as a smooth rotor. However, they are better performing than smooth rotors. They won’t necessarily stop your car faster, but they will keep your brakes working better during heavy use.
    Dimpled rotors are a combination of drilled and slotted. They look drilled, but the holes don’t go all the way through.
    Vented rotors only worth mentioning venting because you’ll see them a lot. Old disc brakes would overheat quickly, so manufacturers changed the classic solid rotor design to get air to flow through them and cool them off. These air-ways, or vents, are found on every modern front brake system. Slotted, drilled, and smooth brakes can all be vented.
    Brake Pads: Making Compromises
    If you read above, you might have noticed that there are strengths and weaknesses to each type of brake pad. The basics of it are that the more performance you want, the more comfort you sacrifice. Performance brakes are noisy, they will destroy brake pads, and they’re expensive. Inexpensive brake pads and long-lasting ones perform poorly. That means you have to compromise when choosing which features are the most important to you.
    Performance is more about heat dispersion than stopping power. We’ll tell you about it down here, but the rotor itself isn’t really what determines how fast you can stop. What the rotor is responsible for is dispersing heat. When brakes get hot, they don’t work as well. The more you use your brakes, like when racing, the hotter they get. Towing, racing, and constant driving are where slotted rotors reign supreme.
    Noisy brakes are annoying. Squeaking, grinding, groaning. The problem is that noise is your brakes working harder, so quieter brakes are not dispersing as much heat and not biting as hard. That’s fine for the average driver, and it’s why new cars all come with smooth brakes.
    Longevity comes in two forms: how long your brake pads will last, and how long the disc will last. No one wants to replace their brakes frequently. Slotted and drilled rotors will consume brake pads at a much faster rate than smooth rotors. The coated, costlier rotors will last longer than cheaper uncoated rotors.
    Rotor Location
    The last thing you have to know is which rotor you’re replacing. Front rotors are often different from rear rotors on cars. Some rotors are also different from left to right. If you are all set up to change your front brakes, but you have rear rotors, you will have a bad time.
    STOP. Hopefully, that caught your attention because we need to talk about fitment. You need to take the time to make sure you buy the right brake kit for your car. Amazon makes it easy. If your garage is set up, it will recommend the right one or tell you if the brand doesn’t have anything for you. It will also give you a big red banner telling you if you are on the wrong product.
    Alright, let’s get to the reviews. There’s a lot of different options on this list. Some brakes, like the Power Stop Evolution, are just stock replacements. Some focus on noise reduction, like the Bosch, and some are really only good for performance driving like the EBC set. Get the ones that fit your lifestyle.

    Top 10 Best Brake Rotors 2021
    1. Best Overall Brake Rotor Kit: Power Stop Evolution

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The Power Stop Evolution series pads are a fantastic value, and since the kit includes pads, it’s a complete upgrade.
    Editor’s Rating:

    These are smooth, stock replacement rotors. We’ll call them “mild” performance, in that they aren’t an upgrade over your stock brakes, but they will still perform way better than old rotors. You will feel a noticeable improvement because of the included brake pads, though.
    The Power Stop brakes are quiet and have a great pedal feel. You won’t have anything to complain about if you install these on your daily. The Bosch down the list are a little less noisy, but they aren’t as convenient.
    They are smooth rotors, hard pads, and coated to protect against the elements. In other words, they will be good for a while. The only issue is that the coating doesn’t last as long as more expensive discs, so if longevity is your only concern, get the Bremby or Raybestos down the list.
    Our Thoughts
    Anytime you can get a kit that includes rotors and pads, we get excited. It’s not because they are super high quality or anything. It’s because it means you are more likely to replace and upgrade the whole system instead of just slapping rotors on your car and expecting miracles.
    What you get in the box is a perfectly acceptable replacement for your stock brakes. They don’t perform better, and they probably won’t last quite as long as factory brakes, but you won’t have to worry about them. The best part is that it’s a great value; you save about $50 by buying it as a kit.

    Good value
    Rotors will last a good amount of time
    Included pads make it a very convenient thing to buy

    The coating doesn’t last as long as others
    There are higher performing discs for the same price

    2. Best Budget Rotors: Bosch QuietCast

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The Bosch QuietCast rotors are perfect if you just want a solid rotor that works well and doesn’t make very much noise.
    Editor’s Rating:

    For the price, they have great performance. Usually, budget brakes shake and rattle. The ultra-cheap Wagners on our list certainly will. Bosch somehow made a budget brake rotor that is rock solid. It’s not suitable for racing or anything, but for the average car, they are fantastic.
    Comfort is where the Bosch rotors shine. They are very quiet and very smooth, and you will definitely notice how nice they are if you get stuck in stop and go traffic.
    Your pads will wear evenly, which is good, but the rotors are just middle of the road as far as durability. The price makes it easier to replace them when they get worn down, and you’ll still have spent less than rotors that last a bit longer.
    Our Thoughts
    Bosch knocks it out of the park with the QuietCast rotors. They are just a great rotor for most cars. They are quiet, work well enough, and last long enough to be worth it. We have to temper all of that greatness. We keep saying they work great for the price. There are better performing brakes, like the Napa’s, and there are longer-lasting brakes, like the Brembos, but they both cost more than twice as much. They are also both noisier.
    There just isn’t much bad to say about the QuietCast brakes at the end of the day. If they came as an easy to find set, they’d be the best on our list. The fact that Bosch sells the rotors one at a time just makes them inconvenient compared to the Powerstop set.

    High quality for the price

    Don’t last as long as similar rotors
    Only sold individually

    3. Best Premium Rotors: EBC Brakes Dimpled and Slotted

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: EBC is a household name in performance, and these slotted rotors are prime examples of why. The coating makes them look the part, too.
    Editor’s Rating:

    No matter how you slice it, EBC’s performance brakes are amazing. They get around the weakness inherent in drilled rotors by using dimples instead of holes but keep the extra cooling ability. The coating is meant for grip, the grooves will keep the pads clean, and the rotors are extra wide for extra airflow. If you track your car or go “to Mexico” a lot, these are fantastic.
    We talked a bit about how you compromise comfort for performance. EBC represents the extreme end of that. They make weird noises, the pedal will grab high and catch you off guard, they will throw dust all over your wheels that’s hard to clean off, and they will squeal under light braking. That just adds charm to a built street-rod, but it can be very annoying on your commuter.
    If you want to be annoyed, go read the reviews online about the EBC brakes. Many people are buying these performance brakes that don’t know the rules, and then they are complaining about how the brakes didn’t last very long. That’s the trade-off, you can’t have extra brake performance and durability.
    That being said, for performance brakes, they actually last a good amount of time. You’ll go through a lot of pads before you have to replace the rotors. Napa has a performance brake that does last a while longer, but compared to pads like the Power Stop cross-drilled deals, these things are solid.
    Our Thoughts
    If you’ll allow us to have a super vain moment, part of the reason we love the EBC brakes is that they look awesome. The dimpled look and dark color scream performance, and unlike the 30 dollar eBay wing bolted to an automatic Civic, they have the chops to back it up.
    They cost a lot, though. They cost a lot, you have to replace them way more often, and if you aren’t going to a track or doing a lot of spirited driving, they will drive you insane. If you just like the looks, no judgment, but just get the Power Stop drilled rotors. Those at least won’t set you back the cost.
    The other issue is that it’s sort of hard to find the right set for your car. EBC makes them for front and rear applications and makes them in a ton of different sizes. For some reason, it seems like no two places want to carry the same options. Chances are if you are looking for high-performance brakes, you already have a supplier you like, so it’s probably not an issue. Otherwise, if they aren’t on Amazon, try Summit.

    Looks amazing
    Very good stopping power
    Great cooling capabilities

    Can be hard to find the right ones for your car

    4. Best Easy to Buy Performance Rotors: Napa Reactive One Slotted

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: Napa’s brake parts line is well known for punching above their cost, and can be picked up anywhere.
    Editor’s Rating:

    The Napa Performance brakes are, surprise, meant for performance. They aren’t as hardcore as the EBCs, but will absolutely improve your car. If the EBC is perfect for racing, the Napas are more for stop and go traffic during a hot day in Florida. The kind where you have to make sure your brakes don’t fade because a guy in a scooter might drive right onto the highway right in front of you.
    Better than the EBCs, still awful. They will make funny noises, they will grab hard, and they don’t have the benefit of looking so good.
    It’s difficult to quantify the longevity on these, since they are performance brakes and won’t last as long as smooth rotors, but they are coated and made of a harder material than most performance brakes. That means they actually last a good amount of time. You’ll get at least a few years of good performance, no problem.
    Our Thoughts
    Napa brakes are sort of a guarded secret among mechanics. They are a good price, can be picked up anywhere, and are high-quality. You don’t get a sticker to put on your car, though. No one will be impressed when you respond with “Napa” when people ask you if you are running Brembos.
    What you do get is some really high-quality brakes. They are expensive compared to standard rotors, but they work great and last a while. Oh, and you don’t have to guess or play with a website to get them. Just walk into any Napa and have the clerk go grab them for you. It’s a very safe way to buy rotors since you can just have the clerk double-check that they’ll fit your car on the spot.

    High performance
    Very easy to find and buy

    No one will be impressed when you list your car’s mods

    5. Best Complete Rotor Kit: Detroit Axle 4 Disc Replacement Kit

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: It’s impossible to do a complete brake job for cheaper.
    Editor’s Rating:

    They will stop your vehicle. That’s it, that’s all you get. If the rotors get hot, they’ll fade, and they will get hot after a lot of use. These rotors are better than the Wagners, but not by a lot.
    They are a bit noisy for smooth brakes. The problem is twofold since the pads included in the kit are cheaper too. Cheaper products just tend to be loud; the Bosch QuietCast rotors are the exception, not the rule.
    The rotor will last a long longer than the pads, which is normal. What’s abnormal is how much longer the rotors will last. You’ll go through two or three sets before you need to replace the rotors. Just like with the noisiness, the problem is more about the poor quality pads. They work fine, but they don’t have the lasting power that higher cost pads will have.
    Our Thoughts
    If you tally up everything in this kit, it’s easily the least expensive brake job possible. The kit is amazingly complete, too. It’s amazing; they even include new brake fluid. You get all four discs, pads, shims, and the grease. Our other kit, the Power Stop, doesn’t even include half that much stuff and is the same price.
    Sure, it’s all of decent quality. In fact, if we are honest, the included pads are downright bad. If you just need new brakes for your junker, commuter, or other inexpensive rides, they will work fine. Don’t expect EBC quality, just enjoy the fact that you’re getting an entire brake replacement kit for cheap.

    Includes everything, even the cleaner
    Rotors are good for the price
    Very inexpensive

    Included pads are meh

    6. Best Looking Upgrade Rotors: Power Stop Drilled/Slotted

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: If you have a fast car, and you want everyone to know it’s fast, Power Stop has you covered with this upgrade kit.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Power Stop’s drilled rotors look great! They don’t perform as well as they look, though. They are maybe a little better at cooling than your average smooth rotors, but the grooves and holes are mostly for show. What will definitely improve your performance are the included brake pads, so there’s that.
    Okay, so we know we said that performance brakes are noisy and awful to live with, but they are only performance in name. They are quiet enough to be fine for daily driving. You will get the pedal feel that comes with slotted rotors, meaning it will take a little getting used to, but that’s part of the fun.
    They’ll last just as long as any budget discs like the Raybestos. The grooves and holes will eat your brake pads at a much faster rate, though. With the Power Stop Performance rotors, you are definitely trading practicality for looks.
    Our Thoughts
    There is no judgment in what we’re about to say, but if you really want your car to look high performance without being high performance, these brakes are perfect. You get the nice, drilled, and slotted rotor looks without the drawbacks of having an actual high-performance brake. It might even let you drive harder because psychologically, you’ll feel better about the brakes. We aren’t qualified to comment on that, but they really are good looking brakes.
    The thing is, they are a quarter of the cost of the EBCs. Plus, we said it before, we’ll say it again, we love it when you can get a kit with rotors and pads. Power Stop makes great pads, so you get good stopping power. Since it’s a kit, you don’t have to worry about matching anything up. It’s just a nice kit to upgrade your stock brakes, even if you’re just doing it for the prestige of having drilled rotors.

    Looks good
    It being a matched set makes it convenient
    Lasts a long time for slotted rotors

    Not really high performance
    Will eat brake pads for lunch

    7. Best Anti-Rust Rotor: ACDelco Professional

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: These brakes are just meant to last forever, which is perfect if you hate doing a ton of maintenance.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Do you like your care feeling like new? These brakes will make it feel like new, assuming you get good brake pads to go with it. They aren’t an upgrade, they aren’t worse; they are just a good replacement for old brakes.
    They are a little noisy for smooth brakes, but it’s not noticeable inside the cabin. For a replacement rotor, there’s nothing to complain about.
    ACDelco is the GM OEM replacement brand, so they have to be really, really long-lasting. That’s what they are known for. It’s not uncommon to see stock GM vehicles with high mileage and original brakes. ACDelco has to compete directly with that, you don’t have to worry about them failing.
    Our Thoughts
    There exists a pretty big issue with recommending ACDelco rotors. If you don’t have a GM product, like a Chevy Truck or Cadillac Coupe, then it might be hard to find brakes that fit. That’s because ACDelco is a GM OEM manufacturer. That’s great if you have a GM product. They are long-lasting, great quality for the price brakes.
    Check out the Raybestos or Power Stops if you don’t have a GM vehicle. There’s really no reason not to grab these if you do have a GM, though.

    Good quality for the price
    Guaranteed to work with GM products

    Not guaranteed to work with non-GM vehicles
    A little noisy

    8. Best Rotors for Stock Replacement: Raybestos Professional

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: They work great, don’t cost much, and are from a brand known for quality.
    Editor’s Rating:

    These are some of the only smooth, standard rotors that we can safely say will probably out-perform the stock brakes on inexpensive cars. For the price, you can’t really ask for more. Raybestos has lines that go all the way up to ultra-high performance, their R-300 line, but even their cheap line has great stopping power and cooling.
    They are average in the comfort department. Nothing that you will be upset about, but not as nice as the Bosch up top. You will get a very confident brake feel, though.
    The downside to performance is always that you sacrifice a little durability, and this is no different. It’s not nearly as extreme as something like the EBCs. It just won’t last as long as the Brembos or ACDelcos.
    Our Thoughts
    It’s hard to really say a lot about a product that is “just fine.” There’s nothing to praise, nothing to damn, and nothing quirky to dwell on. Maybe that’s praise enough. The Raybestos’ rotors are perfectly acceptable and don’t cost too much. Raybestos is at least a well-known quality brand, so you don’t have to worry too much about what you are getting.
    Comparing them to their direct competitors might be the most useful. They work better than the Bosch rotors but are noisier. They won’t last as long as the ACDelcos, but cost less and fit more vehicles. So if you want the best performance from a budget disc, here it is.

    Good stopping power
    Raybestos has good quality control

    They don’t last as long as similarly priced rotors
    Not as quiet as the Bosch rotors

    9. Best UV Coated Rotors: Brembo UV Coated

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: Brembo knows how to build brakes, and these coated rotors might outlast your car.
    Editor’s Rating:

    They are Brembos, they work great. You don’t get the heat dispersion, since they are just smooth rotors without bigger vents, but you’d be hard-pressed to get better from a smooth brake.
    Perfectly fine. The Brembos are as quiet as the Bosch rotors. They cost a lot more, so you should expect them to be a bit better than all the budget options. It’s nice that they aren’t a letdown.
    These Brembos are really well protected and well constructed. They will definitely last, and they won’t go through pads at an alarming rate. They will get noisier as the brake coating wears off over time. That affects longevity and comfort and can be one of the more irritating things when buying coated brakes.
    Our Thoughts
    Brembo is one of the brands, like Wilwood or EBC, that you can feel good about owning. You can take the sticker out of the box and slap it on your car. These ones are from the budget line. At least, as budget as Brembo gets, they are still expensive.
    You get some really long-lasting, good performing brakes that will improve your car over factory for the price. Enough said.

    Great performance for a smooth rotor
    Brembo is a well known, prestigious brand
    The coating will protect the rotors from the elements

    Can get noisy over time

    10. Best Inexpensive Rotor: Wagner E-Coated

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This rotor is incredibly inexpensive and does its job just fine.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Yup, they perform. Your car will stop. Your brakes will fade over time with, so it’s probably prudent to look for a performance pad if you’re planning on taking them to a track.
    These inexpensive rotors don’t produce too much road noise. These rotors are super cheap, so don’t expect too much.
    These rotors will last long enough that you can save up some money and get some higher quality rotors, that will last longer. If you need something cheap to get you through a couple of months, these are a good option.
    Our Thoughts
    Sometimes you just need a really cheap rotor to hold you over. If you have a cheap, old car that isn’t worth putting much money into, these are fine. If you are a little strapped for cash, but your rotors badly need replacement, these will work great. But if you’re looking for something that performs well, this is not your best pick.

    They will stop your car

    They won’t last very long
    You are trusting your life to a product that prides itself in being just ok

    The Total Guide to Brake Rotors
    This section is going to feel more like a myth-busting section than anything else. There is so much marketing hype and misinformation about brakes on the internet. Even some other guides to buying brake rotors that we’ve seen are helping spread the embellished truths. We’ll call them that to be kind.
    What is a Rotor Anyway?
    In the olden days, all cars had drum brakes. In the 60s, performance cars were dabbling with disc brakes. By the 70s and 80s, disc brakes were a premium feature. Nowadays, they have largely replaced their less efficient drum counterparts entirely. Only the most budget of models still uses drums, and only in the rear.
    Disc brakes are composed of three main parts. The caliper converts hydraulic or mechanical pressure into squeezing force. The pads, which are made of abrasive material, are attached to the part of the caliper putting on the squeeze. Finally, the caliper squeezes the pads against the rotor to slow down your car. The rotor is the big disc that gives disc brakes their name.
    Rotors Are Only Part of the System
    This is an important takeaway. Rotors alone will not make your brakes better. Many sites and manufacturers put a huge amount of emphasis on how great your life will be if you buy expensive rotors. But the truth is that just getting expensive rotors probably won’t improve your braking performance much, if at all.
    How to Actually Improve Your Braking Performance
    In order to actually improve braking performance noticeably, you need larger diameter rotors, higher performance pads, and larger calipers. It doesn’t matter how expensive the EBC slotted and dimpled rotors are or how good the Power Stop drilled rotors look. You aren’t going to notice a huge improvement if you just slam on the brakes. That’s because rotor performance isn’t about braking distance, but about keeping braking performance consistent over time.
    If you really want the absolute best braking performance you can get for the money, buy newer, better tires. That’s not very cool; tires are boring and don’t add anything to your car’s looks. It’s the truth though. Most vehicles on the road (or the track, for that matter) are limited by tires, not brakes, when it comes to stopping power. It doesn’t matter how good your brakes can bring the tire to a stop. If you don’t have traction, the car doesn’t stop.
    Rotor Performance Means Keeping Things Consistent
    When you drive a car hard and do a lot of braking, the brakes heat up. Watch any car racing event, and you’ll see their brakes get red hot. If you really want a good example, watch Donut Media set their brakes on fire here. You can actually watch that whole episode to see first-hand everything we are talking about below. When brakes get hot, they stop working well and can fail outright. That’s called brake fade, and it’s a reality of performance driving. Rotor technology is all about getting rid of heat.
    Vented, Slotted, Directional, Drilled, and Dimpled
    We explained what each of those does in brief up above. What we want to touch on here is how you can avoid the exaggerations made by companies that are very into separating you from your money. If you want to keep it really simple, just know that you aren’t really getting a “super high-performance” brake kit unless you are paying thousands of dollars. On real race cars, a single rotor can cost over two thousand dollars. Check out this rotor from Willwood. That’s what a real exotic rotor looks like. If you are searching for one of those, or some similar carbon fiber brakes, for your 6-second car, then let’s face it. You probably aren’t reading this guide.
    Directional Rotors
    We only mentioned it very briefly above, but some rotors are directional. Directional just means that the left and right rotors are different. Either the veins for the vents are curved to push are out like a pump, or the slots run in a certain direction. Most slotted rotors are directional, like the EBCs. Not all of them are, some slotted rotors use straight grooves instead of angled grooves, and the Napa brakes we recommend have funky cool grooves that are symmetrical. The good news is directional brake rotors are almost always sold in pairs, so just make sure you read the label before installing them.
    Drilled Rotors
    Throughout this entire article, we have been hard on drilled rotors, saying things like “they’re mostly for looks” and “they don’t really help you stop.” That’s not totally fair, though: it’s even worse than we make it out to be. They also are weaker than other rotors. The holes create weak points that can cause cracking under high loads. Your daily driver or weekend car won’t notice any difference, but please don’t try to take cheap drilled rotors to a hillclimb.
    Rotor Replacement Tips and Tricks
    Now that you have chosen some rotors and learned all there is to learn, let’s get into some general tips to make sure you can have the best stopping power you can.
    Know When to Replace Your Rotors
    Rotors get warped, grooved, and wear down over time. If you are having bad vibrations under braking, or hear really awful noises when you tap the brake pedal, you probably need new rotors. Generally, they last about 50k miles, but check your manual.
    The only way to tell during normal operation is to measure their thickness, which you should do periodically no matter what. Take the time to also look for damage, and check their thickness against the factory specifications. Those are easiest to just google; use “type of car+type of brakes+rotor tolerance.”
    Replace Your Fluid and Pads
    Rotors are actually one of the slowest wearing parts of the brake system, so chances are you will also need pads and fluid when the rotors need replacing. You are already doing a ton of work to replace the rotors, and it doesn’t take any more time to replace the pads. Replacing the fluid does take more time, but most people don’t do that enough as it is so you might as well do a total service every time you do rotors.
    Don’t Be Afraid to Take It to a Shop
    These are your brakes we are talking about. If you don’t feel comfortable, let a pro do it. It’s not an expensive procedure. Most shops will do it in a few hours, so if you source the parts yourself, it’s quite inexpensive, and you won’t have to leave your car overnight.
    Don’t be afraid to do it yourself though, we guarantee there’s a Youtube video that’s a step by step guide to replacing the rotors on your car.
    Get the Lug Wrench
    So what are you waiting for? Grab some new rotors and get going. Or get stopping. Just remember to make sure the ones you buy fit your vehicle and don’t believe all the marketing on the box. More

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    The 7 Best Caliper Paints 2021

    If you’re a big car lover, it makes sense to want your ride to stand out from the crowd. Adding designs, accessories, and other peripherals to customize your vehicle can be rewarding as a car owner, but all the little expenses can add up in the long run.
    A low-cost way to personalize your car is to paint your brake calipers with specialized paints. Although caliper paints will cost slightly higher than regular cans of spray paint, they’re a worthy investment to make down the road.
    Finding the best brake caliper paint is crucial if you want to tackle a project like this successfully. But how are you to find your perfect match out there? Well, if that question has been burning in your mind, then you’re in the right place – this article will discuss everything you need to know about caliper paints, including a list of the best brake caliper paints you can find in the market right now.

    Factors to Consider When Buying Caliper Paints
    Before we proceed to the list of best caliper paints you can buy online, here are some of the most important factors you should consider first.
    Not all caliper paints are made the same. This may be somewhat of a no-brainer, but paint type is something you should consider when looking for the perfect caliper paint for your needs.
    Type usually refers to the material that the paint product is made of. It can be epoxy, enamel, or even vinyl film. The important thing to remember is that they all have their own pros and cons. For instance, epoxy paints can withstand temperature a lot better than either vinyl or enamel.
    There’s a whole lot more to this; if you want to know more details, head over to our full buyer’s guide below.
    When you’re painting your car to personalize it, it’s only natural to want a long-lasting, beautiful color that perfectly matches your personality.
    Therefore, one important factor to consider when picking caliper paints is the paint color. Different brands are going to offer different colors. For example, G2 Caliper Paint System has 11 colors in its arsenal, while Rust-Oleum gives you only 4 choices. You should always check beforehand whether the product you want offers the color that you prefer.
    More than the color spectrum, it’s also essential to know what the finish quality is of the product you’re going to buy. Will the finished product be rough or smooth? Matte or gloss? Knowing these things in advance helps bring out the best of what your chosen caliper paint has to offer.
    In general, one aerosol can of canister paint can cover all four of a car’s calipers and still have a little bit of material left. However, if you wish to purchase in bulk, there are always combo packs available. These bundles are cheaper overall than their price per piece.
    A general rule to abide by is to purchase at least two cans of aerosol paint if painting standard-sized vehicle calipers. If you run out, you won’t have to wait long for the next coating, making for a better paint job.
    However, if your brake calipers are a lot larger than the size of a clenched fist, then you’re going to need more paint.
    Your brake calipers are some of the most exposed parts of your vehicle. They regularly come into contact with water, chemicals, and debris on a day-to-day basis, not to mention the extreme friction that they generate to serve their purpose. High-temperature resistance will assure you that all your time and effort will not peel off after several drives.
    You’d also want to check other related properties, such as resistance to scratching, chipping, chemicals, and corrosion. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, caliper paints are also meant to protect the surface of your brake caliper from these damaging factors. The more resistant your caliper paint is to external factors, the longer-lasting your paint job will be.
    Application Method
    There’s a lot more to be said about the application method later on in this guide, but let’s highlight the very basics.
    Caliper paints are generally sold in two kinds: dip-brush application type and aerosol sprays. Beginners are more likely to prefer brush application compared to aerosol sprays. Although sprays are convenient, it’s very easy to make off-sprays and waste a lot of material. With brush application, one can carefully apply the paint with less chance for wastage.
    Drying Time
    Drying time is one of the most useful things to know about your chosen caliper paint. You don’t want to be uncertain about the time that your coat takes to dry. If you don’t know how long the paint dries, you may fail to schedule your time to get the job done properly. Worse, you might end up invalidating all your hard work by using your calipers before the paint has fully cured.
    High-quality caliper paints should be performance-dry about two hours after application. Your product should only need a minute or two before it’s dry enough to coat with another layer.
    The best caliper paint should be able to complete a full application within two or three coats. This refers to the base layer plus the full-coverage finish layer. If you need to apply any more to achieve a quality finish, you’re not getting the quality you deserve. This is all the more important for paint-application cans where the substance is more likely to be concentrated.
    The best caliper paint should last for at least several years. Nobody wants to retouch their brake caliper every few months. Choose a product that is essentially something you can paint on and forget until the next painting session 5 years down the road.
    Now that you know the factors you need to consider when buying caliper paints, it’s time to get to the products themselves. Without further ado, here are the 7 best caliper paints that you can buy online right now.

    Top 7 Best Caliper Paints 2021
    1. Best Overall Pick: POR-15 Caliper Paint

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: Made with professional-grade, high-quality materials, the POR-15 Caliper Paint offers you only the best in terms of heat resistance, durability, protectivity, and even aesthetics.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 5
    Type: Dipping Can, Heat Resistant
    Application Method: Dip, Brush
    Heat Resistance: 500°F
    Drying Time: 3-4 Hours Coat Drying Time, 24 Hours Full Curing Time
    POR-15 certainly doesn’t hold back anything in their pursuit to give their customers top-of-the-line products, and this specialized caliper paint is a great example of that.
    The POR-15 Caliper Paint is designed specifically to withstand high-temperature operations. It provides a long-lasting coating to protect against heat and various elements, boasting resistance to heat measuring up to 500°F. It also comes in different ceramic shades to make your car uniquely yours at the same time.
    Overall Performance
    Everything about POR-15 screams convenience and quality. The paint is sold in an 8-ounce can, more than enough to cover a standard-sized brake caliper. It comes in five beautiful and shiny vintage-like colors. The coat cures into a ceramic-like, durable finish that can protect your brake calipers from damaging factors like metal oxidation, although it can’t really do much for scratches and scrapes.
    It’s formulated for brake calipers, but you can also apply it as a protective coating on other small, metallic parts of your vehicle, making it quite versatile. That said, while the paint can withstand a punishing 500°F peak, it actually pales in comparison to the competition, some of which can withstand over 900°F like G2’s High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System and Rust-Oleum’s Caliper Spray Paint.
    The application is incredibly straightforward albeit a little messy. If you want to dip-apply it for a more convenient time, you’re going to have to remove your brake calipers from your vehicle first. If this doesn’t seem doable for you, you can always opt to hand-paint it instead. However, be prepared to devote a little more time to finish the task and accept that there will be spots that cannot be reached by your paintbrush.
    Nevertheless, the POR-15 Caliper Paint is a good all-around choice for anyone looking to personalize and protect their brake calipers simultaneously.
    POR-15 sells this caliper paint in a three-step paint system. Pair it with POR-15’s cleaner/degreaser and metal prep rust neutralizing agent for best results.

    Tough and durable coating
    Comes in 5 ceramic-like colors
    Protects against metal oxidation

    500°F heat resistance is lacking
    Brush application doesn’t give full coverage
    Does not protect against scratches and scrapes

    2. Best Premium Pick: G2 High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System

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    Why we like it: The G2 High-Temperature Caliper Paint System is an easy to use, wear-resistant, heat resistant, and rust-resistant paint set that comes in 11 glossy colors, adding an instant layer of beauty and protection to your vehicle’s brake calipers.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 11, Including Black, Blue, and Red
    Type: Hardens; Rust-Resistant
    Application Method: Brush
    Heat Resistance: 980°F
    Drying Time: 1-1.5 Hours Drying Time, 12 hours Curing Time
    G2’s High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System is a specialized caliper paint system that prides itself on having the highest temperature tolerance in the market right now. It can withstand temperatures of up to a whopping 980°F, almost double the resistance of other products like POR-15’s Caliper Paint.
    In addition to this, the paint hardens to a chip, flake, and rust-resistant coating that can be painted on for further customization.
    Overall Performance
    Sold as a full kit, this High-Temperature Caliper Paint System comes complete with the paint, brake cleaner, brake caliper reactor, and brush. It offers one of the highest heat resistance in the market, so you can be assured that the heat generated by your driving will not pose a problem in keeping your brake calipers looking good.
    The paint sticks very well to the surface metal, and the color doesn’t easily fade or wear off. It’s designed to resist damage from road salt, water, chemicals, and small debris. It becomes harder than aerosol sprays when dried, which means it will not flake or get chipped.
    It also dries faster compared to the competition, and one coating of paint can already get you far. You can easily do three coatings of paint on four standard-sized brake calipers, and you’ll still have a little bit of something left over.
    As good as the product is, though, the brush that comes with the set isn’t very user-friendly. It’s hard to aim precisely, and sometimes, it even leaves bristle marks on the still-wet paint. You should also be mindful when using this paint as it coagulates easily at room temperature. This can result in an uneven finish that doesn’t look as good.
    Coagulation, also known as clumping or clotting, occurs in this paint when the surrounding temperature is higher than around 72°F, or room temperature. If possible, schedule your painting season during colder weather to lessen the chances of this happening. Also, make sure to stir the paint every now and then while using it.

    Hardens to a shiny coating
    Impressive 980°F heat resistance
    Protects against chemical and physical damages
    The set already has everything you need
    Offers 11 color choices

    Clumps very easily
    More expensive than the competition
    Marketed colors don’t always match real life

    3. Best Budget Pick: VHT Brake Caliper Paint Can

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    Why we like it: For a fraction of the price of other products in the market, the VHT Caliper Paint isn’t only scratch and chip resistant, but rust, chemical, and heat resistant as well.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 9, Including Black, Blue, and Red
    Type: Glossy
    Application Method: Spray
    Heat Resistance: 500°F
    Drying Time: 30 Mins Touch-Dry, 24 Hours Curing Time
    If you’re looking for a brake caliper paint that can fit even into the tightest of budgets, look no further than VHT’s High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint.
    It’s formulated specifically for brakes, rotors, brakes, drums, and calipers. It dries into a sturdy, heat-resistant coat that can also resist chemicals and rust. The coat is also sturdy enough to resist regular wear and tear, scratches, peels, and chips.
    Overall Performance
    Considering the low price, the VHT Caliper Paint performs wonderfully even in extreme conditions.
    The paint atomizes well and produces a good, solid, and even coverage. It dries to the touch very quickly, but you need to let it undergo the complete overnight curing process before using your vehicle. Once fully cured, it can survive temperatures of up to 900°F.
    Application is very convenient, as it comes in an aerosol spray can with a quality nozzle that is easy to use even for beginners. There are also product instructions present on the can that you can follow if it’s your first time painting your brake calipers.
    The color variety is diverse enough for everyone and shines well in bright sunlight after a correct application. You can choose colors that are not commonly available in other caliper paints, such as gold, orange, and glossy black.
    However, you do need to be careful when using this product, as it can be quite choosy when it comes to adhering to your calipers. One, it’s not as thick as other caliper paints, so the application can be more difficult and messier than other paints. Two, you need to use a clear finishing coat to prevent brake dust from dulling the paint’s vibrant color. As long as you do this, we guarantee that the results won’t disappoint you.
    This caliper paint actually belongs to the VHT paint system. You can get the highest quality results when used in conjunction with the VHS cleaner and paint finish. Complete curing can occur even at room temperature, but you can also heat your brake calipers to 200°F to speed up the process.

    Wide color variety
    Lower price when bought as a six-pack
    Can help resist rust as well
    Resistance to high temperatures
    Protects against harmful chemicals

    Actual colors are a bit off from the packaging
    Color can fade out over time if not properly sealed
    Other products needed for best results

    4. Easiest to Apply: Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Paint

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    Why we like it: Not only does the Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Paint come with the standard heat, chip, scratch, and chemical resistance, but it’s also easy to apply, quick to dry, and long-lasting to boot.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 6, Including Black, Blue, and Red
    Type: Ceramic-Based Resin
    Application Method: Spray
    Heat Resistance: 500°F
    Drying Time: 30 Minutes Drying Time
    Thanks to its special “EZ Touch” Conical Nozzle, painting your brake calipers is made much easier with Dupli-Color’s brake Caliper Paint.
    Once it dries, it hardens into a sturdy coating that not only looks good but also protects your calipers against brake dust, chipping, and automotive and road chemicals. Not to mention, because of the ceramic resin materials, the glossy coating can withstand the heat of up to 500°F. All of this from a simple point-and-spray can.
    Overall Performance
    If you’re looking for a product that can protect your brake calipers in all aspects, then you’re in the right place. The paint can withstand up to 500°F of heat, and once fully cured, it can also resist minor damages such as chipping and abrasions. It can also prevent your calipers from developing rust and corrosion. A versatile product, you can apply it to drums and brake rotors as well.
    Dupli-Color’s Caliper Paint is also rather convenient to use. Its special feature, the “EZ Touch” technology, ensures you will not waste an atom of spray when you point and press this product towards your calipers. You can expect the paint to dry in just 30 minutes, although you need to wait at least an hour for it to fully dry.
    It can be bought in single, 2-pack, or 6-pack choices, each one providing you with the formula to a beautiful, long-lasting caliper brake finish. It also comes as a Paint Kit – a complete set containing the paint, aerosol cleaner, stick for stirring, paintbrush, masking tape, and even an instruction booklet to help you if it’s your first time undertaking a project like this.
    Be warned – the finished product is more matte than glossy, despite what Dupli-Color is actually advertising. However, for people looking for that exact look, this should be no problem at all.
    For the best results, consider using the Paint Kit mentioned above, which has everything that you will need to ensure a successful, high-quality, and long-lasting finish. If you don’t want to buy the full kit, however, Dupli-Color also sells a cleaner individually.

    Attractive matte finish
    Fast drying time
    Chip, chemical, and dust resistant
    Includes a detailed instruction manual

    Lower heat resistance than the competition
    Advertised as glossy instead of matte

    5. Best for Precision Spraying: Rust-Oleum Caliper Spray Paint

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    Why we like it: The Rust-Oleum’s Specialty Rust-Preventative Caliper Paint is specifically designed for precision-spraying, which means you should get your rust-resistant, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant paint only where you want it to go.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 3, Including Black
    Type: N/A
    Application Method: Spray
    Heat Resistance: 900°F
    Drying Time: 24 Hours Curing Time
    Rust-Oleum has been a huge name in the rust inhibition industry for quite a long time now, and deservedly so. The company now brings its reputation of providing top-of-the-line rust-inhibiting chemicals into the caliper painting market with this new product.
    The Rust-Oleum Caliper Spray Paint dries into a strong, durable coating that can resist temperatures of up to 900°F. Aside from brake calipers, the paint can also be applied to springs, rotors, and drums.
    Overall Performance
    Performance-wise, this caliper spray paint is perfect for day to day driving, especially for hot climates and even for competitive driving. It’s also designed to resist rusting due to moisture, chemicals, or brake dust deposits, so you can rest assured that your calipers remain safe and sound beneath this protective layer of paint.
    In addition to this, Rust-Oleum’s easy-spray technology makes it easy for anyone to touch up their brake calipers. The comfort-tip nozzle works from any angle so that you can reach even the most body-twistingly difficult places.
    The biggest downside to this product is the coverage, specifically the sheerness of it. Each can contains 12 ounces of material, but since the coverage isn’t that good, you would have to do at least two coats to fully cover your calipers. At most, a single can only covers two full coatings on two brake calipers, which makes it relatively expensive compared to other options on the market. It also doesn’t dry that fast, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time painting with this product.
    Although the paint instructions on the container tell you that you don’t have to prime, this doesn’t mean that you can’t—or that you shouldn’t. Users have reported better success if they prime the metal first before applying this spray. Other than this, Rust-Oleum’s paint is also safe to dry with microwave ovens or hair dryers, in case the weather outside is too cloudy or rainy to dry paint well.

    Easier spraying with comfort-tip nozzle
    Resists heat up to 900°F
    Has rust-inhibiting features
    Scratch, peel, and chip-resistant

    Requires multiple coats for the best finish
    Long drying time
    Not resistant to brake cleaner agents

    6. Most Versatile Caliper Paint: Superwrap Sprayable Vinyl Wrap

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    Why we like it: The Superwrap Sprayable Vinyl Wrap is a versatile product that you can apply to any metal part of your car to make it more personalized—including your brake calipers.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 5
    Type: Sprayable Vinyl
    Application Method: Spray
    Heat Resistance: 500°F
    Drying Time: 30 Minutes
    The Superwrap is a new product with lots to prove. With its high-end look and easy application, it’s a perfect choice for beginner DIY-ers who are not confident yet with their painting skills.
    You can use Superwrap for your wheels and accessories, including your car’s brake calipers. The best thing about this product is that it only takes a single step to get a good-looking finish.
    Since it’s a sprayable vinyl, you can easily peel it off with a scraper if you want to remove it. It does come with fewer benefits than traditional spray paints, but its one-step, easy application makes it worth considering for many.
    Overall Performance
    The Superwrap can give your brake calipers a high-gloss, professional, premium look that is hard to beat, especially for the amount of effort–or lack thereof–that it takes to do.
    Although it’s very different from traditional spray paint, the process is fairly similar. This includes cleaning, masking, spraying, and drying out. One remarkable thing about this product is the fact that it’s made out of vinyl. This means that you can peel it off much easier than normal paint in case you change your mind. Otherwise, it stays strongly bonded to the material.
    Performance-wise, the material is self-leveling and does not drip while drying. If you do it properly, meaning while the paint is still half-dry, you can remove the tape without peeling any part of the paint off.
    Just make sure to follow the instructions to the letter and apply it during good weather for proper drying. If you do this, you’re sure to have great-looking brake calipers to spruce up your car’s looks.
    However, since the product is more for detailing and aesthetics, it does fall slightly short in the protection aspect. Although it looks good, all it has is a bit of heat resistance – no protection against physical, chemical, and corrosion damage whatsoever.
    The Superwrap was not originally manufactured for brake calipers, which means that you can use it on any metal surface of your car, not just your calipers.
    Be sure to apply the product in multiple light coats until you achieve the desired effect. After doing so, lock in the color by using a paint sealant to reduce the chances of it peeling and chipping away.

    Extremely easy to apply
    Professional-looking finish
    Does not drip while drying
    Easy to remove

    No additional protective qualities
    Durability is doubtful in some instances
    New product means fewer user reviews

    7. Best Long-Lasting Pick: Eastwood Long Lasting Heat Resistant Caliper Paint

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    Why we like it: You can apply the Eastwood Long Lasting Heat Resistant Caliper Paint in both paint and spray methods, which gives you a lot of leeway in planning your workflow.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Colors Available: 3
    Type: Spray Paint
    Application Method: Brush or Spray
    Heat Resistance: 650°F
    Drying Time: 1 Hour Dry to Touch
    Eastwood’s offering may be relatively new on the market, but its take on brake caliper paint is spot-on. This paint is highly resistant to heat, chemicals, and UV rays. It’s also wonderfully convenient to apply, as you don’t have to remove your brake caliper from your car to paint it. Moreover, you can either spray it or brush it with a paintbrush, which is quite rare for caliper paints, as far as we’re concerned.
    Overall Performance
    Eastwood has developed a reliable reputation in the repair and restoration automotive paints industry, although they’re not as well-known in this specific niche. This product, which comes in silver, red, and black, is their entry into the caliper brake market.
    Because of its nano-ceramic technology, it’s able to withstand up to 650°F of heat. It can even protect against the harmful and corrosive effects of chemicals and UV rays as well. You can apply it via brush, roll, or paint gun. The paint comes in a large 16-ounce can, which means one is enough for four brake calipers. Thankfully, it can go a long way in terms of coverage.
    Once you’ve applied it and properly sealed it, you can rest assured of brand-new looking calipers that wouldn’t accumulate brake dust. The self-sealing nature of the paint allows it to dry to a hard coating, which makes for easy cleaning.
    However, one particular drawback is the cost of the maximum-quality kit, since you need to buy several more products individually to achieve the best effects.
    To get the best out of Eastwood’s Heat Resistant Caliper Paint, you should use the urethane activator. It cures and hardens the ceramic and urethane components of the paints, allowing the paint to become even sturdier.
    You should also buy the pre-painting aerosol spray to achieve the most optimal cleanliness for the highest quality finish. The cleaner the surface, the better the final look.

    Resistant to UV and chemicals
    Above-average heat resistance
    Convenient spray or brush application
    Large can means more coverage

    Limited color choices
    Produces strong fumes
    Can cause skin irritation

    Full Guide to Buying Caliper Paints

    Interested in knowing more? This section will cover everything you need to know about caliper paints, including what they are, what are their advantages, and how to apply them to your vehicle.
    What Are Caliper Paints?
    Caliper paints are paint products formulated specifically for brake calipers. The brake calipers of your car are an important part of your vehicle’s braking function, which includes disc brakes for the front and back wheels. Calipers house the brake pads, which are two pieces of metal that create friction with the rotating disk of your wheel to slow your vehicle down every time you hit the brakes.
    Although there are various methods for upgrading your vehicle’s look, painting your brake calipers is probably one of the most affordable yet most overlooked.
    With caliper paints, you get to add a dash of oomph to your ride without having to do costly overhauls. It also serves to protect the metal surface of the brake calipers from external factors, such as moisture, chemicals, and friction. Thus, it’s important to choose the best caliper paints to ensure the best for your car.
    Benefits of Using Caliper Paints
    At this point, you may be wondering if you even need to paint your calipers in the first place. Short answer? Yes. Here are some of the main benefits of using caliper paints.
    1. It Adds to the Aesthetic of Your Vehicle
    Tired of your ride’s same old look, but can’t commit to anything too time-consuming or expensive?
    Painting your calipers lets you add a dash of style to your vehicle without all of the hassles and cost that comes with a full design modification. You can even choose different colors to complement the look that you’re aiming for, and it easily accentuates the design of your vehicle. Make your car pop with just a little touch-up!
    2. It Offers Tremendous Benefits for Low Costs
    Vehicle upgrades will undoubtedly cost you thousands of your hard-earned cash. Painting your brake calipers alone may not provide as much impact as fully repainting your car, but it’s always better than your vehicle remaining its drab self. Best of all, this nifty little upgrade won’t even put a dent in your pocket.
    3. Provides Additional Protection for Your Calipers
    The best-quality caliper paint shouldn’t only make your vehicle look good; it should also be durable.
    Think about it. Your vehicle’s brake system is regularly subjected to high temperatures and constantly exposed to debris, road chemicals, and water. Due to this, calipers are more prone to corrosion, rust, and damage. A good coat of protective paint can help mitigate these damages and therefore keep your car safe and sound for longer.
    4. Painting Your Brake Calipers Is Not Rocket Science
    It’s barely even mechanical science. All you have to know is how to remove your tires and wheels. The rest of the process is as easy as one, two, three. If you know how to follow basic instructions–like the ones included in this guide below – then you’ve got all you need to perfectly pull off the job.
    5. You Can Redo It Anytime You Want
    Since painting your brake calipers is not a major design modification, it’s very easy to redo it if you’re unhappy with how it turned out. Just buy another can or two of your desired color and dedicate a few hours to finish the process, and you can say hello to your car’s new look.
    Types of Caliper Paints
    There are several types of caliper paints, each with their own pros and cons.
    Also known as spray paints, aerosol paints are some of the most common types of caliper paints on the market right now. They typically contain enamel-based paint and are commonly sold in 11- or 12-ounce cans, with a wide variety of gloss, metallic, matte, or other kinds of finish.
    This kind of paint is popular thanks to its ease of application and relatively quick drying time. However, they tend to need a few coats of material to provide a finished look, meaning you have to factor in multiple coats when estimating your total application time.
    Vinyl Film
    Vinyl film is a more difficult type of caliper paint to work with, especially if you’re a complete beginner. That’s because you need tools, such as razor blades and heat guns, to pull off the job successfully. In return though, you get a much faster drying time and a cleaner finish.
    The paint comes in vinyl sheets and, using a heat gun, you’ll have to meld the sheet to the surface of your brake calipers, completing the process in one step. If there’s any excess film visible at the edges, simply trim it with your razor.
    Dipping Cans
    Dipping cans are a nice option to have for people who find brush painting or spray painting inconvenient. With dipping cans, you simply have to dip your calipers into the can of paint, resulting in a uniform coat with only one application.
    The only notable downside is that you have to completely remove your brake calipers from your vehicle first – something that you don’t necessarily have to do when using vinyl film or aerosol paints.
    Epoxy-based caliper paints adhere to the metal of your calipers much better than any other type on this list. They’re durable and protective, and they keep your brake calipers looking good for a long time to boot.
    Unfortunately, not only are they more volatile than other caliper paint chemicals, but they’re also more difficult to apply. Plus, all the caustic chemicals present in the paint could seriously harm you, so you need to take more safety precautions before you begin the painting process.
    Important Features of Caliper Paints
    Different products offer different things. To find the best caliper paint for your vehicle, you should take note of the features that these products usually offer.
    Paint Density
    The denser the paint is, the more effective it is in protecting the metal surface of your caliper against the elements that it gets exposed to every day. It can also better inhibit rust and other forms of corrosion from forming on your calipers.
    However, keep in mind that a higher paint density also equates to a muddier finish, so you have to find the middle ground if you want to create a shinier coat.
    For instance, polymer-based paints, a dense type of paint, result in a thick enamel coating that can protect your calipers from chemical, physical, and even temperature damage while creating a beautiful and shiny finish.
    Resistance to Different Elements
    As mentioned, caliper paints don’t exist purely for the sake of design. They also have to be functional. Caliper paints are a great way to protect your brake calipers from damage, be it from road chemicals, debris, or water.
    To know what you can expect from your caliper paint, it’s good to know the kind of resistance that they can offer you first.
    Heat Resistance
    Since they regularly deal with a lot of friction, it’s normal for your vehicle’s brakes to become hot during daily use.
    A temperature spike of above 400°F (204°C) is a normal occurrence for these components, and they can sometimes even rise higher than the vehicle’s engine itself. Because of this, normal paint will undoubtedly burn off, and you’ll be left with exposed and vulnerable brake calipers.
    Heat-resistant paints like specialized caliper paints, on the other hand, work as fire inhibitors that expand above a certain temperature threshold to provide a barrier for insulation.
    Rust Resistance
    Rust resistance is another important aspect of caliper paints. Rust-inhibiting formulas prevent oxidation to happen on the metal’s surface. Oxidation happens when metal reacts negatively to water and oxygen, allowing corrosion to occur.
    To prevent it, your caliper paint should adhere strongly to the metal surface and seal tightly enough to completely cut off its exposure to air. For double protection, other rust-inhibiting paints have zinc additives, which oxidize themselves to protect the metal underneath.
    Chemical Resistance
    You may not notice it, but your brake calipers are exposed to tons of chemicals every day. Various metal-damaging chemicals are present in the asphalt of your roads, such as road salts and harmful oils.
    You may not be driving across a chemical, radioactive wasteland when you drive to work, but little by little, these trace amounts of chemicals can accumulate and eventually cause damages to your calipers.
    Chemical resistant caliper paints can prevent this by providing a neutral buffer between the underlying metal surface and the outside world.
    Damage Resistance
    You shouldn’t expect bulletproof resistance, but a good caliper paint should at least be strong enough to resist abrasions, scratches, and chips. More than protecting the metal surface, high-quality caliper paints are actually damage resistant themselves. This allows them to stay on your calipers and look good even after months or years.
    Brush vs. Spray
    There are different ways that you can apply your caliper paints, but by far the two most common methods are by brush or by aerosol spray.
    Pros and Cons of Brushing
    Brush-type applications are best for you if you want precision and control. The paint must be dense and adherent, as you want the paint to stick to the brush after just one dip. If it doesn’t, then that means it’s too watery and perhaps not ideal for brushing.
    Because these paints tend to run thicker than aerosol sprays, you typically don’t need to do more than one coating, two max. This is different from aerosol sprays whose coverage is on the thinner side, so you have to go through the extra coating to have an adequate finish.
    However, if you don’t do it well, your brush strokes can leave uneven and undesirable streaks on your calipers. Companies also tend to pack cheap paintbrushes in brush kits, leaving paint bristles on your work that results in an uneven texture.
    Pros and Cons of Spraying
    If your main consideration is the ease of application, then aerosol spray paints are the way to go. All you have to do is point and press. They also tend to result in a more balanced final layer.
    In addition to this, you have the added benefit of being able to reach nooks and crannies that may otherwise be rendered inaccessible by brushing. You don’t have to remove the calipers themselves, just the wheel. To prevent paint from getting into undesirable areas, simply use tape to mask them.
    However, although sprays are convenient, you have less control over the output of your work, as you can’t adjust the sensitivity of the spray or the size of the nozzle. Also, if you’re painting in an uncontrolled environment–say, outdoors on a windy day–aerosols can definitely make the application a lot messier than necessary.
    Steps to Painting Your Calipers
    Before painting, make sure that you have the following materials prepared.
    Your chosen caliper paint
    Rubbing alcohol
    Masking tape
    Rag for cleaning
    Sandpaper with a 400-600 grit
    Tools for wheel removal
    Protective equipment, such as gloves and workshop goggles
    Hydraulic jack, or any form of load-bearing elevation for your vehicle
    Painting your brake calipers is actually an easy, straightforward job, but it can be quite overwhelming for someone who has never done it before.
    Mount your vehicle to allow you to remove the wheels. You can also choose to remove your calipers and set them down on a flat surface.
    Clean the surface that you want to paint with a rag.
    Next, sand down the whole area with 400-600 grain sandpaper to grind down rust and create a rough enough surface for the paint to stick on.
    Apply a degreaser before wiping it again with rubbing alcohol to ensure that no unwanted particles are remaining.
    Mask the areas that you don’t want to paint using painter’s tape or masking tape. Make sure you cover everything, especially if you’re using aerosol sprays where you have less control over the spread.
    Paint your calipers using your preferred method. Make sure to give the paint enough time to dry in between coats.
    Let the paint cure before you use your vehicle. Curing time depends on the specific product, but we recommend letting the paint sit for at least 24 hours to fully ensure its readiness.
    Tips for Buying and Using Caliper Paints
    Here is some additional useful knowledge about buying and using caliper paints.
    If it’s your first time painting brake calipers, it’s best to use a spray-type paint first like VHT Brake Caliper Paint Can, as they are the easiest and most convenient to apply.
    Avoid white caliper paints since they can easily look dirty in day-to-day use.
    Some caliper paints don’t indicate the color of the contents. Instead, you can find out the color of the paint itself from the color of the packaging or the cap.
    Try out the paint on a piece of scrap metal first to see what color it is when it dries. You can take it a step further and apply one, then two, then three layers of paint to know exactly what to expect.
    Make sure that you’re painting in a well-ventilated area. Caliper paints have harmful chemical fumes that can cause damages to your health if inhaled for long.
    Always use protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and goggles when painting, especially for body parts that are near or in contact with the paint.
    Frequently Asked Questions
    If you still have questions about caliper paints, never fear — we have answers to the most common ones below.
    1. Do I Need a Clear-Colored Final Layer for More Durability?
    No, you don’t need to apply clear paint for your final layer, as you can simply add another layer of the caliper paint that you already have. If you want a clear coat just for the shine, you should choose a caliper paint product with an already shiny formula, like the G2 High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System.
    2. Does a Large Vehicle Need More Caliper Paints Than a Small One?
    Not necessarily. The main determinant for how much caliper paint you need is the brake calipers themselves. For instance, even smaller cars may have larger brakes installed, if they were manufactured for high performance uses.
    3. Do I Need to Disassemble My Brake System to Successfully Paint My Brake Calipers?
    Painting your calipers typically only requires you to remove your brake caliper from your wheel assembly, not disassemble the entire brake system itself. Some paints are even easier to apply, only requiring you to remove the wheels from the car in order to get to the calipers.
    4. How Long Does It Take for Caliper Paints to Wear Off?
    The duration of your caliper paint depends on a lot of factors, including usage, climate, and how well you maintain your car. In general, though, high-quality caliper paints can last for about 3 years before needing a complete overhaul.
    Final Words
    Customizing your car is a wonderful way to express yourself and distinguish your ride from the sea of its similarly-faced, mass-produced cousins. Painting your brake calipers is a cheap and easy way to do this from the comfort of your garage.
    More than that, painting your calipers provides much-needed protection, making sure that the metal within stays untouched by rust, corrosion, and damage.
    Set yourself apart from the crowd and protect your vehicle at the same time by painting your brake calipers now! More

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    The 10 Best Retractable Truck Tonneau Covers 2021

    Trucks are awesome. They can be found taking bricks to the job site, taking luggage to the hotel, or hauling all the fishing gear to the river. That makes trucks the adventure vehicle of choice for many people. Unfortunately, the same feature that makes trucks awesome can also make them terrible.
    The open bed of a pick-up truck is a beautiful thing for quickly loading big objects, but those objects will be exposed to the weather. What’s worse, though, is that anything easy to put in can be easy to take out, and nothing ruins a day faster than having your stuff stolen.
    Fortunately, a retractable tonneau cover is an easy to operate upgrade for your truck that can keep your stuff dry and away from sticky fingers. This guide will help you choose a great one. First, we’ll go over what they are and what to look for. Then we have a top 10 list with our take, and in the end, we take a closer look at some of the features.

    Retractable Tonneau Basics
    Tonneau covers can vary a lot in style and features, so if you are in the market for one, there are a few decisions you have to make. If you are here, you’ve already made the first decision. Tonneaus come in a lot of different flavors, you can see our complete overview here, but in this article, we are focused on the kind that retracts.
    This leads us to…
    What Makes a Tonneau Retractable
    Retractable tonneaus are specially made to be easy to open and close. They do this by rolling up tightly at the front of the bed. Often they have some sort of assistance to make it easier to roll them up. Picture a set of horizontal blinds. You pull the chord, and they retract up with little effort. It works the same way.
    Assistance Method
    If the retractable cover features some kind of assistance, it will have one of two mechanisms.
    Springs: Torsion springs help retract the cover and hold tension on the cover while you drive. These are exactly like your house blinds, just bigger. They take a little bit of effort to use but are less expensive.
    Powered: Fancier, more expensive retractable covers are powered. You don’t have to do anything other than press a button to open or close them.
    What to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Tonneau Cover
    There are a handful of things to look for to make sure you get the right tonneau for your situation. We’ll expand on many of them below if you want to know more.
    Most modern retractable tonneau covers are made of aluminum, so there’s not much variation. Some are aluminum combined with g, which has its own specific benefits. The vinyl covering can add an extra layer of protection, and polymer parts can add strength and security.
    Locking Mechanism
    A simple lock and key is good enough for most people who are concerned about security. It will stop most thieves. Electronic locks can add an element of extra convenience since you don’t need a key, and tonneaus that have no external access are even more secure.
    Ease of Operation
    If you are going to be getting into your truck bed a lot, you are going to want to focus on getting a cover that is easy to operate. The differences are often subtle. One cover might have adjustable stops, while another may use ball bearings instead of plastic bushings. In our reviews, we’ll try to point out which ones are especially easy.
    Ease of Installation
    Weight, complexity, and quality all greatly affect how easy it is to install. If you have help, are mechanically inclined, or are willing to pay a shop to do it, it’s probably not a big concern. If you are doing it yourself and don’t have many tools, you should focus on products that are easier to install.
    Trucks are already expensive, and unfortunately, so are retractable tonneau covers. There is still variation in price, though, so if you are on a strict budget, just expect to sacrifice features or quality to keep the cost down.
    Trucks have to withstand a lot of abuse, and most tonneau covers are up to the task. Some are just exceptionally sturdy, so we were sure to point them out.
    Extra Features
    There are a whole host of extra features that are specific to one model or another. Gator, for instance, has adjustable lock open points, and Retrax has a model that allows you to mount a bed rack to it. If there’s something specific you really need, then keep an eye out for it.
    Check Your Bed Size
    The good news is that almost every product on our list comes in a variety of sizes. They are either selectable on the same product page or will be in the recommended section on the page. You can also use the Amazon Garage feature to help you out.
    Just make sure to double and triple check your bed size before confirming a purchase. Unless you are the inventor of a shrink ray, there is no way to make a cover that’s 8ft by 6ft fit your 5ft by 4ft Tacoma bed.
    Now that you know the basics of what to look for, let’s jump right into the reviews of our favorite Tonneau Covers for 2021.

    Top 10 Best Retractable Truck Tonneau Covers 2021
    1. Best Overall Pick: Gator Recoil

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The Gator Recoil is very easy to operate, very easy to install, and offers a ton of added security to your truck.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Tailgate
    What Stands Out
    The way the Gator Recoil operates is really fantastic. Rather than locking anywhere, you pre-set latching points that the Recoil will automatically stop at as you open it. That may seem like a downside since it limits the number of positions you can open the cover.
    With the stops, though, you can operate the entire thing one-handed and with minimal effort. If you have ever fought with a stop anywhere cover as it tries to retract away from you while you fumble with the keys, you know how nice those stops can be.
    It’s also very secure. The operation is all done from underneath the cover, so the only way to access it is by opening the tailgate. Your tailgate is a lot stronger than the little locks that come with other tonneaus.
    Our Thoughts
    The Gator Recoil isn’t the best in any one area. Instead, it does everything really well. It looks good, it’s easy to use, and it’s inexpensive. It’s not the best looking; that’s probably the Roll N Lock M-Series. It’s not the easiest to use; the powered Roll N Lock opens by itself. Finally, the Synetic USA Retractable is cheaper.
    All of those other tonneaus make sacrifices, though. They are hard to install, or expensive, or easy to break. The Gator doesn’t have any real compromises. In fact, it’s probably the easiest to install bed cover on our list. Gator has a lot of experience making rail systems, so it’s no surprise. All that combined is why we can easily suggest that if you don’t value any single feature over any others, it’s the one you should buy.

    The adjustable stop points make operation easy
    It’s easy to install
    It’s very secure

    It’s not the best at anything
    Some people will prefer covers without stop points

    2. Easiest to Use: RetraxONE MX

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The RetraxONE has a very unique, ultra-compact construction that lets it operate incredibly smoothly.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Reinforced Polycarbonate
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Key or Tailgate
    What Stands Out
    The RetraxONE is one of the smoothest operating covers out there. It’s something Retrax takes very seriously. In fact, it’s the reason they appear on this list with two of their other products; both the automated PowertraxPro and super durable RetraxPro are also very easy to operate. The RetraxONE is their “entry-level” product, which just means it’s cheaper and has fewer features than the other two.
    Our Thoughts
    The RetraxONE is a nice cover, no matter how you slice it. The durable black finish is more resistant to the truck lifestyle than many others, and the buttery smooth operation will have you smiling every time you have to peel it back to load a dirt bike.
    It just has a few issues that come from the “entry-level” part of the equation. To get the price down, they used plastic on this cover for parts that would be metal on their premium products. That can lead to some stripped screws or worn-out parts after a few years.
    It’s also just not as waterproof as it could be if there was a little bit more thought into fitting specific trucks. Usually, little design elements like that are what separate budget tonneau covers from nicer covers. The RetraxONE straddles the line between budget and nice, so we can’t fault it too much for not being as waterproof as a premium cover, but we also feel like it wouldn’t take much effort on their part to get it just a little tighter.
    All in all, though, it’s a good looking, easy to operate, and durable system. You won’t regret purchasing it.

    The black matte finish looks good
    It’s very easy to operate
    It’s a good value

    It could stand to be more waterproof
    The plastic parts can break over time

    3. Best Budget Pick: Pace Edwards Switchblade

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This cover has no external locks and is made of very durable materials. Thieves will have a very hard time ruining your day.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum and Polymer
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Tailgate
    What Stands Out
    First, we just have to say that this is a really good looking cover. It’s a very low profile, and the matte finish is hard to scratch.
    The other thing is that it’s very secure. Many tonneau covers rely on small keyed locks to stop thieves. The Switchblade doesn’t have an external lock; if your tailgate is locked, you can’t open the cover. The Gator Recoil has the same style of lock, but the Switchblade takes security to the next level because it’s made from a hybrid of materials that allow some flex but can’t be pierced.
    Our Thoughts
    There are a lot of things to love about the Switchblade. It’s got a great name, for one thing. It’s also a great value. The low cost and high security make a worthy investment for anyone with a truck.
    However, there are a few things that stop it from being perfect. The most disappointing thing is that it’s not as waterproof as some others. It comes with weatherstripping, but the low profile works against you. Water won’t flow off the cover, and that gives the water a lot of time to find any crack or hole.
    The other thing is that this cover isn’t as easy to install as others. You will find that to be the case with many budget covers. They don’t have nice clamps and are often just pickier about being centered. Not a huge issue, but when most of a product is good, the little things stand out.

    It looks good
    It’s very secure
    It’s inexpensive

    It could stand to be more weatherproof
    Other products are easiest to install

    4. Best Premium Pick: Roll N Lock E-Series

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The Roll N Lock E-Series is simply one of the fanciest tonneau covers you can buy.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Powered
    Lock: Electric
    What Stands Out
    Everything stands out on this cover. It has one of the nicest, thickest powder coat finishes, so even looking at it, you know it’s premium. It also has Roll N Lock’s signature waterproofing; it’s an unrivaled cover in that department. You could get all of that on the M-Series, though, and those cost a lot less.
    The E-Series is electric, though. You can open, close, and lock it with a small remote. It takes this cover from a simple utilitarian upgrade and turns it into a party trick. You won’t help but smile when you roll up to your friend’s house and don’t have to get out into the snow to let them borrow your chainsaw. Just drive up, hit the button, and make them retrieve it.
    Our Thoughts
    The E-Series Roll N Lock transcends practicality. There are good reasons to want the powered operation, like if you have trouble opening a normal cover or want the extra security of being able to close the cover when you drive to certain neighborhoods without getting out. However, if you just need a cover that automatically retracts, the PowertraxONE is just fine.
    The Roll N Lock is just nicer. It has a better finish, it operates smoother, and it has better weatherproofing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to splurge and get the best thing for your truck, and you certainly won’t find much to complain about with this thing.
    There’s nothing to complain about except the installation, actually. All those cool electric features make this thing weigh about twice what most retractable tonneaus weigh. That means you may have to bribe a few friends with beer or pay a shop to help.

    It offers some of the best protection from the elements
    It looks great
    The operation is truly effortless

    It’s really expensive
    It can be hard to install alone

    5. Best Looking: Roll N Lock M-Series

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: This cover is one of the best-looking covers you can buy, and it’s an absolute breeze to install and operate.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Vinyl Covered Aluminum
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Single Key Lock
    What Stands Out
    The best thing about the Roll N Lock M-Series is that it looks truly fantastic. It has an ultra-low profile; the tracks are even inside the bed rather than on the rails. It’s also got a vinyl cover over the aluminum slats. That gives it this nice, unbroken look and virtually eliminates the possibility of scratches.
    The vinyl cover also gives it an extra layer of weatherproofing, which is always a good thing. The downside is that the vinyl is more prone to fading, which is a problem that plagues almost all vinyl and cloth covers. The good news is that unlike most vinyl covers, this cover has an aluminum core. Thieves can’t just take a pocketknife to it and remove all your stuff.
    Our Thoughts
    The M-Series is a little on the expensive side for what is otherwise a fairly standard tonneau, so if you care more about function than looks, there are better options. The Switchblade is a great alternative that costs quite a bit less.
    Here’s the thing, though. A lot of truck owners out there don’t use their trucks for truck stuff. They rarely haul rocks and wouldn’t dream of loading two oil-covered motorcycles into the back. That’s fine; if you only occasionally open the cover to load some luggage and drive to the airport, a truck is a very comfortable way to do it.
    If that does describe you, the Roll N Lock M-Series is a perfect accessory. It gives you the security of aluminum without looking like a utilitarian aluminum cover. It gives you a very sleek profile for lower wind resistance, and it is resistant to scratches. It will add to the style of your truck, and there’s no shame in valuing that.

    The vinyl finish looks fantastic
    It’s scratch-resistant
    It has one of the lowest profiles for maximum aerodynamics

    It’s on the expensive side for what it is
    The vinyl can fade over time

    6. Most Durable: RetraxPRO XR

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: The RetraxPRO has premium features that make it perfect for people that like to use and abuse their trucks.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Key Lock
    What Stands Out
    One of the nicest things about the RetraxPRO is that it has special rails that allow you to bolt a rack onto it. The whole thing is built for adventure. It’s extra strong so it can survive abuse, and it can lock anywhere so you can load all sorts of misshapen things in the bed. Coupled with a rack mount, you can get yourself, your kayaks, and all your camp gear to the lake without worry.
    Our Thoughts
    The price is steep, and unfortunately, that’s the first thing that jumps out to us. You have to really want a rear rack for this cover to be worth it. If you frequently mountain bike or are into rooftop tent camping, then it’s probably worth it. Otherwise, you can grab the RetraxONE, and you’ll probably be just as happy.
    The good news is that with the premium price, there are a lot of premium features. It has extra protection from the elements, and the aluminum top can support up to 500lb. You can tell that Retrax put a lot of thought into every detail, and all the little things start to stand out. Things like the key slot have a rubber cover over it so that it doesn’t get impacted with debris, and when it rolls up, it doesn’t slide around, so it can’t get scratched.
    There is one final thing to be aware of if you are looking at this cover. The T-slot system it uses for mounting racks is not compatible with all racks. It’s something you’ll have to check if you already have a bed rack.

    It’s very high-quality
    You can mount a bed rack to the rails
    It’s very strong

    It’s expensive
    You may have some compatibility issues

    7. Great Waterproofing: Synetic USA Retractable

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: Unlike many budget tonneau covers, this Synetic USA offers amazing waterproofing.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Key Lock
    What Stands Out
    The Synetic USA cover exemplifies beauty in simplicity. It doesn’t have a ton of features, but it’s a very good cover. It’s great at keeping the elements off of your stuff, and it’s virtually maintenance-free. In short, it’s the perfect cover for anyone that does a lot of work with their truck and just needs a cover they don’t have to think about.
    Our Thoughts
    The Synetic USA retractable cover is a really good value. It’s made of good material, it is decently weatherproof, and it’s easy enough to operate. It’s not the best looking, but it’s really not anything to complain about. Best of all, it’s pretty inexpensive.
    The biggest problem with the Synetic cover is the installation. That’s the same problem that plagues most budget covers. The clamps aren’t as easy to work with. The instructions are honestly pretty bad, and it’s heavier than many competitors.
    It’s also not as easy to open and close as others. It’s a really minor thing in the scheme of things, but if you open and close the cover a lot, get the Gator instead. The Synetic USA cover has two locks for added security, but that makes it a lot slower to unlock, especially when you only want it partially open.

    It’s a great value
    The thick aluminum makes it very durable
    It has better than average waterproofing

    The installation process could be better
    It’s hard to open it quickly

    8. Most Versatile: Peragon Retractable

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: If you are constantly carrying a variety of different loads, a cover like this Peragon will save you from a lot of headaches.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: None
    Lock: Key Lock
    What Stands Out
    There are a few little things that stand out about the Peragon cover. It’s compatible with a truck rack, though it’s not as easy to work with as the RetraxPRO. It’s also really strong; it’s not a traditional roll-up design, so the slats can be made more durable than other brands.
    However, what really sets it apart is that it’s really easy to fold up and remove. Unlike most retractable, or even most folding, tonneau covers, once you roll up the Peragon it’s effortless to undo the latch and just lift the entire thing off your bed. You don’t have to worry about destroying it while hauling rocks or anything; just leave it behind.
    Our Thoughts
    There are a few bad things the Peragon covers. The first thing that can be a deal-breaker is that you have to order it from Peragon. You won’t find it on Amazon, which means you won’t get free Prime 2-day shipping or anything.
    The second thing is that they aren’t truly retractable, not like other assisted covers are. Most retractable covers, like the Gator we recommend, have some assistance that makes them easy to open and close. The Peragon covers don’t. They fold up very easily and offer almost the same benefits of a retractable cover, but you’ll be doing all the work.
    It makes up for those downsides in how easy it is to use and install. It’s a really easy system to live with because of how many configurations you can get from it, and it’s not likely to break.

    It’s easy to install
    It’s easy to remove
    They are very durable

    There’s no opening assistance
    They could be more convenient to buy

    9. Best High Tech Retractable Tonneau Cover: PowertraxONE MX

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: You can open this cover with your keychain, and unlike other automatic covers, it won’t totally break the bank.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Powered
    Lock: Electro-Magnetic
    What Stands Out
    The thing that makes this amazing is that you use a key fob to open and close it. One of the big issues with a lot of modern trucks is that they are high off the ground, and it can be hard to get to the covers to open and close them if you are short or otherwise can’t reach across the width of the bed. Having a powered retractable cover eliminates the need to touch the cover at all. You can retract it, load up, and then extend it all without much effort.
    Our Thoughts
    Just like the Roll N Lock E Series, this cover is automatic and powered by a remote, but it costs a lot less. That is a really fantastic thing because the cost of the Roll N Lock is the biggest drawback. Even though a self-retracting cover is already a luxury item, it’s always nice to save a few dollars.
    It’s not as nice as the Roll N Lock, which is sort of to be expected. The finish scratches a lot easier, and it’s a lot pickier about how you install it. If you are off a little bit, it can bind or leak. There is a very simple solution to that, though, and that solution is to make sure you follow the directions.
    Other than a few quality issues, this cover offers a really fantastic value. If you, for whatever reason, don’t want to operate a cover manually, you won’t be disappointed.

    It’s a great value
    It retracts and extends automatically
    The remote is small and unobtrusive

    The finish is not the best
    It can be a little bit finicky to install

    10. Best Basic Retractable Tonneau Cover: ISTUNT Aluminum

    View on Amazon
    Why we like it: It’s a little clunky, but it’s a really amazing price.
    Editor’s Rating:

    Quick Facts
    Material: Aluminum
    Assistance: Spring
    Lock: Single Key Lock
    What Stands Out
    This is the least expensive product on our list, so if you have a strict budget, then this is for you. Just be aware that they got that low cost by cutting corners on quality. The place that shows the most is in the fit and finish. It could look better, and almost everything else on our list is easier to install.
    Our Thoughts
    In our honest opinion, you’d be better off saving up a little more money and grabbing the Synetic USA cover. It’s much nicer, and it’s more secure. That’s because if budget is your primary concern, you should be looking at tri-fold tonneaus instead. They will protect your stuff, be much easier to install, and are much less expensive.
    Having said that, we know that many people really want a retractable cover and want it to be as inexpensive as possible. If that describes you, we probably don’t need to say anything else; this is one of the least expensive retractable tonneau covers on the hard-shell market.
    Just be warned, installing it is going to be a challenge. They have a “helpful” video on their product page that actually makes it more confusing unless you can parse out what “release the rope easily when you want to locking in the center” means.

    It’s very inexpensive
    It has an OK lock
    Made of aluminum, which is a little rare for a budget unit

    The quality could be better
    It’s a bit difficult to install

    A Closer Look at Retractable Covers
    If you still have questions after the reviews, this section is for you. There are a few things that deserve a closer look, starting with why you would want to have a retractable cover over other styles.
    The Pros and Cons of Retractable Covers
    If you read through the reviews but still aren’t sold on any of them, then it may simply be that a retractable cover isn’t what you are looking for. The following are the major advantages and disadvantages of a retractable cover for you to use to compare.
    They make it easy to get in and out of your bed
    They often look better than other types
    They are stronger than vinyl and multi-piece covers
    Many offer unique features, like rack mounts, that are not found on other types
    They are often much more expensive than other types
    They don’t offer the quality of weatherproofing that other bed covers offer
    They are harder to install
    The Security of Retractable Covers
    Keeping your cargo secure is one of the most common reasons to buy a hard tonneau cover. We touch on some of the differences in the reviews above, but there are some universal things that can make a tonneau more secure than others.
    Most retractable covers, including all of the ones we reviewed, are made of aluminum. That’s great for security since it can’t be cut by a simple knife and is resistant to being forced open.
    Some covers are more secure than others, though. Covers with smaller slats are easier to damage and get into, whereas covers that have a combination of construction materials are more resistant to common attacks from crowbars and things. There are also variations in the thickness of the aluminum; thicker aluminum is, of course, harder to damage.
    The rails that hold the cover in place are another place that security can be upped. If the tracks are easily accessible, it’s easier for a tool to be slipped underneath and for the tracks to be pried off.
    The clamps that hold the rails on come in various quality levels as well. A low quality, inexpensive clamp will shear much more easily than a thicker clamp.
    The locking method that a particular cover uses isn’t the most important part of security, but it still can make a difference, especially if you want the most security you can get. Anytime a lock is on the outside, as is standard with most covers, it is susceptible to being tampered with. That gives powered covers, and covers that rely on the tailgate for security, a slight edge.
    Tips for Getting Better Weatherproofing

    We mentioned above that retractable covers are not as waterproof as other types of tonneau covers. That’s because of the low profile, which allows water to pool up in places, and because of the tracks that the cover fits into.
    Those tracks can’t be sealed, or the cover wouldn’t be able to slide in it, so there will always be space for water to get through. You can do a few things to make sure you get the best waterproofing possible, though.
    Make sure the drain is properly installed. Most retractable covers have a tube that allows the water to drain from the storage box out to the ground. You will probably need to drill a hole in your bed to feed that tube through to the outside. You should follow the directions and use a grommet.
    Keep the frame square and equal. If the cover closes at a little bit of an angle, it will leave a gap that rain can get through.
    Be careful when installing the weatherstripping. Debris that gets trapped in the stripping can prevent it from working correctly.
    What Does Tonneau Mean?
    Tonneau is the French word for a barrel. In the old days of racing, people would put arch-shaped covers over their cars’ open spots to make them more aerodynamic. Those barrel-shaped covers were eventually used to cover a truck’s cargo, and the name stuck. You can read more about the history here if you want.
    Will A Tonneau Cover Improve My Gas Mileage?
    Probably not. The Mythbusters famously put the gas mileage claim to the test and found no meaningful improvement. However, there are so many different trucks and truck bed designs that it’s impossible to claim that there won’t be an improvement on your vehicle. Many people claim to get better mileage, but our advice is to make sure you are choosing a bed cover for other reasons.
    Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Waterproof?
    A retractable cover will keep most of the water off your cargo, but if rain is your biggest concern, an overbed folding tonneau is a better option. Retractable covers must-have tracks that they are attached to, and those tracks are nearly impossible to completely waterproof.
    Can I Go Through the Car Wash With a Tonneau Cover?
    A touch-free wash is probably not going to harm your cover. A good pressure wash may force water into your bed, so if you are giving it a good pressure washing, it’s better to retract it so the bed can dry.
    A drive through brush style car wash can damage the tonneau, and we don’t recommend it.
    Enjoy Stylish Security
    Statistically speaking, a truck will be the second most important purchase of your life. Give it a bed cover. They are relatively cheap ways to ensure your stuff doesn’t get ruined by weather or stolen by thieves, and they are incredibly stylish. More