Hunting for a car cover that can truly handle the elements is a challenging endeavor simply from the abundance of covers. After four rough and windy years using a generic cover from PepBoys, the need for a replacement on my personal project vehicle arose after it finally tore in half during an excessively windy Nor’Easter. Thus, I was back on the hunt for a strong, durable unit that can withstand nearly all that Mother Nature could throw at it.
My project car, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL, sits outside not far from the Hudson River. Living near a major body of water—particularly one that regularly feeds the Atlantic Ocean not too far away—can make for some tumultuous conditions. That means the need for water resistance, UV protection against the sun, and most of all, durability to withstand occasional gale-force gusts demands a search for only the strongest and most durable of car covers. Flat Woven Webbing Sling
After sifting through the seemingly endless options, many of which weren’t listed as wind-resistant, I stumbled upon the CarCovers Platinum Shield, one of the few covers advertised to withstand nearly all conditions, wind included. A car cover is no good at repelling precipitation if the wind keeps blowing it away or ripping it apart.
Intrigued, I accepted a sample unit of its Platinum Shield to review since I was in need of covering my 450SEL as it sits exposed in an outdoor parking lot. Because it’s also a project and a vintage car, a few of its rubber seals are past their prime and sadly, water does start to drip inside when precipitation comes around.
Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed with the Platinum Shield’s lightweight and soft construction, especially when compared to the thick polyester fabric of my late-store-bought cover. Once removed from its vacuum-sealed packaging, it was resting comfortably over my Mercedes in under five minutes with little fuss. The same couldn’t be said for the cover before it.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of how this product scores in our evaluations:
All CarCovers Platinum Shield Covers are made-to-order according to the make and model of the vehicle. In this case, it had to fit over my seventeen-foot-long land yacht. At around $200, it is on the pricier side of the spectrum as some more generic car covers can be had for a fraction of the cost. Many of the higher-end covers charge at least double with some not being clear about their resistance against wind. As CarCovers’ flagship version, it competitively offers the same qualities as higher-end and more expensive rivals.
The previous cover, which fell apart after four tumultuous years (and a Category 1 hurricane or two), cost me around $130 at a local PepBoys. More expensive rivals, such as Covercraft’s Custom Weathershield HD, can retail for up to around $500 to 600.
The main outer fabric is made of reflective polyester, which specifically helps keep the temperature under the cover cool as it reflects direct sunlight and prevents UV damage. It’s also coated with a polyurethane layer, making the cover virtually waterproof.
It weighs roughly around 10 pounds depending on how large the cover is, which is on the lighter side. Some thicker material car covers can weigh up to double that with the carrying case.
For the sample model provided, the Platinum Shield’s lightweight construction made installing the cover an easy experience, especially when compared to the previous Barrett-Jackson brand cover I purchased from PepBoys. Instructions were also provided for the included locking kit and exposed antenna patched.
Along with the cover itself, the Platinum Shield comes with a rubber-wrapped steel anti-theft cable and keyed padlock, an elastic and lightweight polyester carrying case and an antenna patch kit for vehicles that don’t have fully retracting radio aerials.
Over the course of about six weeks since its installation, a few rainy winter Nor’Easters, and a windstorm or two passed through, putting the Platinum Shield to the test. Thus far, it’s lived up to its promise. The seams appear strong enough to withstand heavy winds, short of a full-fledged hurricane or tornado (though we don’t really get those in New Jersey). We do wish the cover fit a little more snugly.
To keep the cover secured during the wind, however, I did have to utilize the same pair of Husky ratchet tie-down straps that I had holding down the ends of the previous cover. Unfortunately, the anti-theft security cable, which secured the cover under the car at the center, isn’t taught or elastic enough to truly keep the cover secured in the wind. CarCovers does offer an additional “wind gust protection kit” as a separately sold accessory.
From its ease of installation, removal is equally as easy, which again, all comes down to the Platinum Shield’s use of lightweight polyester, making it easy to fold up. Folding and storing my previous unit wasn’t nearly as easy, mainly from its thick fabric and bulky construction. Once folded up neatly, the Platinum Shield stores nicely in its case and is about the size of a medium overnight bag.
CarCovers’ Platinum Shield is a very solid car cover for the money with a seemingly durable and lightweight construction. Its polyester exterior and fleece liner appear high quality and make for easy installation, removal and storage. The Platinum Shield seems to withstand moderate wind and rainstorms, but only with the help of additional straps—in our case, a pair of Husky ratchet tie-downs from Home Depot.
Though the real test will be on the longer term to see how it holds up over time and through more severe weather, particularly when the season of summer squall-line thunderstorms arrives, and if a tropical depression makes its way up the East Coast.
Though we’re only evaluating one product here, we evaluate all car covers based on these weighted metrics:
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