The Best Automotive Window Tint

GILA XLB242 Midnight Black 2.5% Xtreme Limo Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

Our Top Pick for 2016: GILA XLB242 Midnight Black 2.5% Xtreme Limo Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $13.61*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Looking to add a little style to your vehicle, or maybe it is just some practical additions that will make the drive safer? Window tint can bring both style and the practical together, and if it you just don’t like the idea of others being a little too nosey, well that will be accomplished too. If you don’t have money to just spend without concern, or if you are on a budget it really doesn’t matter. Read on, because below are listed a variety of window tint options that range from the ‘money doesn’t matter’ group to those on a tight budget, and products that have been rated in quality from the very best to it-gets-the- job-done. There is a tint for you, and for that car we love.

Take a look at some of the best rated products listed here and don’t overlook some of the following tips and reminders designed to help avoid any troubles you may incur. This will also increase the odds of your window tint application coming off as well as it possibly can.

Table of contents

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Rejects Up To 78 Percent Glare
Rejects Up To 97 Percent Glare
Rejects Up To 61 Percent Glare
Removable And Reusable
Darkest Tint Available
Deep Dyed Technology
No Adhesive Needed
Limo Look Plus Privacy
Keeps The Vehicles Interior Cooler
Visible Light Transmission 20 Percent
Visible Light Transmission 2.5 Percent
Visible Light Transmission 35 Percent
Two Year Limited Waranty
Two Year Limited Waranty
Two Year Limited Waranty

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): GILA XLB242 Midnight Black 2.5% Xtreme Limo Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

GILA XLB242 Midnight Black 2.5% Xtreme Limo Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $13.61*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerAll of these window tint products on this list are excellent and reliable, this just happens to be how it worked out when compared to one another. Even that final product with those for a shoestring budget is a quality window tint that is by no means a cheap imitation or poor product choice. So now, here are the final results.

The winner of these window tints is the Gila Xtreme Limo tint. This product has achieved this ranking primarily because of the quality. Just in case you were wondering it does come with a little higher price tag. Gila is not only a brand leader when it comes to DIY (do it yourself) window tint products, but also offers an extensive line of styles and performance.

This product comes with the whole ‘batman’ feel that offers maximum privacy and is a darker tint than all the others. As with all Gila products, they have utilized the most advanced technologies available to create films that provide the best of endurance and life as well as an adhesive that is the secret behind these qualities. This window tint is the very best of those features. Exceptional in resisting cracking, peeling and bubbling it is a can’t miss product that offers looks, glare reduction and everything that a customer could want for a top end window tint.

These products are thoroughly tested to ensure that they meet the highest performance standards. As with any product regardless of what it is, the most convincing advocates are always the consumers. Who better to promote a product than those who have bought and used it firsthand? The Gila Xtreme Limo tint received a perfect rating from half of the consumers who have used it. It is also worth noting that the Gila Xtreme Limo tint is a best seller at many locations, it isn’t likely that this is coincidence.

From those who loved it, the overall consensus was that it was easy to install versus other films. It offered excellent protection from sun and headlight glare, many stated that they either would buy it again or already have, that’s about the best endorsement a product can get! What was so popular also about this product is that the interior has a cool blue look while it appeared coal black from the outside (that is the ‘batman’ feel).

The quality of a window tint can really make a difference in more that just appearance. No doubt that a bunch of bubbling will have a less aesthetic appeal. But there are also the concerns of pealing an scratching. When pealing starts, there is only one option from that point which is a removal and reinstall. That’s a brand new headache. There is also the possibility that a bubbled or scratched window can impede a drivers visual acuity which can be a precarious situation.

To be fair, there are always opinions that differ and from that minority came some concerns or disapproval from those who weren’t precisely thrilled with this window tint. Fortunately, the vast majority of complaints here are very common to the application of all window tints. These customers cited such issues as, difficult to install or wasn’t ideal for their particular vehicle.

A few details, especially for all the detail heads out there:

Visible light transmission is 2.5 percent. Rejects 97 percent of window glare. Uses Gila EZ mount adhesive for application. The darkest available film. And comes in rolls that measure 24″x2″x2″.

Just be aware this is one of those dark tints and will have an impact on the overall look once installed. It definitely offers the privacy or prevents those kind of people who want to watch you eating that sloppy cheeseburger while driving from seeing the mess.

So if a product that offers great quality, has an excellent look and is comparably easy to install – the Gila Xtreme Limo tint will be what you are looking for, but if something perhaps a bit more affordable is wanted, or something quite so high end isn’t desired, no worries because we’ve only just begun.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Gila JS246 Peel and Cling Super Limo Black 20% VLT Static Cling Glare Control Automotive Window Tint

Gila JS246 Peel and Cling Super Limo Black 20% VLT Static Cling Glare Control Automotive Window Tint

View it on Amazon for $11.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThis was a very close and very difficult choice in determining the winner. Although the Gila Peel and Cling Super Limo tint has some advantages like the price and the fact that it is reusable, it just lost out. Obviously the fact that it was so much like the winner in quality and longevity speaks of just how good a product this is, and it won’t disappoint.

Unlike cheaper or imitation window tint products, this durable long lasting tint won’t turn or fade, leaving you with a clear or purple looking tent in the end like the others do. One of the advantages of working with a peel and cling window tint is that making adjustments after installing it is easier. Not to mention if the need to remove it arises, it is simple by comparison to adhesive films, and that makes sense as this window tint is also reusable.

Another benefit is that because these types of tints make use of static in order to bond to the window as opposed to adhesive window tints, the Gila Peel and Cling Super Limo tint won’t be as susceptible to peeling or bubbles. The other major benefit is that this is just an easier installation process, which is always a nice benefit. Now a word from the consumers who have been there and done that…

So what are the customers saying about this window tint product? Virtually all those who liked it and even those who didn’t raved or at least mentioned the ease of use. There may be a small glitch in the product in that many customers reported that it did in fact bubble, and sometimes quickly. The very good news is that with a little soap and water these were rather easily to get worked out.

Now regarding those who were less than fans, they all had similar reports. One, it is much more difficult to cut in tight corners due to the thickness of the film. Two, was a visibility issue. One customer stated that it was more “translucent than transparent”, which is probably a good description. This was a rare comment but it is potentially understandable with the additional thickness of this film.

Some details and specs for this tint:

78 percent glare protection. Visible light transmission is 20 percent. No adhesive needed. Roll size is 24″ x 6.5′

The ease of application, the finished look, the ability to work out bubbles or correct installing issues are all appreciated aspects of this tint. Adding to this was the fact that several customers mentioned that the Gila Peel and Cling Super Limo tint was surprisingly durable – one customer even said that it had been ten years and the window tint was still doing just fine! The bottom line here seems to suggest that this tint is very similar to the winning tint, and it comes down to installation preferences.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): GILA HPB046 Heat Shield Dark Smoke 35% VLT Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

GILA HPB046 Heat Shield Dark Smoke 35% VLT Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

View it on Amazon for $13.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThird place makes the podium any way you cut it, and this product albeit third on the list is still a worthy product. Gila Heat Shield Dark smoke tint, as the name may indicate, does an tremendous job of blocking out heat. For the very frugal types it should in theory actually even save the consumer on gas expenses as the less heat, the less AC is needed which of course means less fuel expense. To say what kind of savings may be gained would probably need to be studied (and that may be going too far), but a penny saved is a penny earned.

Don’t be mistaken, this film although constructed somewhat differently (this has to do with the genius technicians that find ways to incorporate metallics that do a better job of heat deflection) it is still made of the highest quality.

Saving a penny might be a needed equalizer as one of the drawbacks here is that this product may not be the most cost effective in relation to where it ranks on this list of the best window tint products. This window tint does however, offer the traditional benefits of the Gila window tint productions, such as life span and glare protection. A feature that also needs to be mentioned with the Gila products, including this particular window tint is the scratch resistant properties which will always be a plus, for not only appearance but for driving safety as well.

This product like all of the rankings here, rely heavily on consumer input and for all the reasons aforementioned. This tint didn’t rank nearly as high as our gold and silver winners, yet the actual quality of the product was not generally the issue with this tint product. Here is what the jury of the public had to say.

The installation was public enemy number one with this window tint. It was the most common theme from those who gave critique. Part of this problem was most often said to deal with the thin strips in which the Gila Heat Shield Dark Smoke came packaged as, and applying these strips made the process more difficult. It could be due to the packaging, but it was oddly enough stated on a few occasions that there wasn’t enough film in the packages to complete the entire tinting process.

Here are a few particulars for this product:

Light transmission visibility 35 percent. Utilizes EZ mount adhesive. Formulated for maximum heat deflection. Roll size 24″ x 6.5′

All that being said, the overall response was still quite positive, and it is strongly suggested that customers taking their time when installing the film. The greatest benefits boasted by using this tint were pretty much supported across the board, as the heat deflection and glare reduction were excellent by most all reports. This just goes to show that sometimes you don’t get what you pay for, but on occasion you actually get more.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): GILA NRS42 Basic Super Limo Black 5% VLT Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

GILA NRS42 Basic Super Limo Black 5% VLT Scratch Resistant Automotive Window Tint

View it on Amazon for $9.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickTo conclude the list and to ensure that there was a window tint to fit every budget without sacrificing quality the Gila Basic Super Limo tint wraps it up. A quality window tint that may not offer the same quality exactly (this tint has a visible light transmission of 5 percent), but will unquestionably get the job done and not break the bank while doing it.

A really nice aspect of the Gila Basic Super Limo tint is that it still offers that sleek and finished look to any vehicle to give it that desired look. As for the practical questions – is it scratch resistant, yes. Does it do a good job deflecting glare, yes. It is still a window tint however, which means there are certainly easier jobs when it comes to automotive related tasks, but nothing good ever comes without some effort!

Once again the poll of public opinion is favorable, and the results are generally very positive. The finished product was the biggest point of approval. Anyone who commented essentially said that they were quite pleased with how it looked after application. The other areas of praise were the sun and light deflection. For clarity, it wasn’t as if this product was shunned or didn’t receive positive ratings, it just didn’t run as well as the other listed products.

The same running theme continued with this film, and as in each case it was regarding the installation. There was one other area of concern with this product that didn’t appear in the other customer reports, namely that there were some areas of tint in the roll that didn’t meet standards. Yet these individuals stated that it was simple enough to cut around those areas as there was enough roll to cover the windows.

Details for this product:

Visible light transmission is 5 percent. Up to 94 percent glare rejection. Utilizes EZ mount adhesive. Roll size 24″ x 6.5′

Sure this particular window tint may not stand toe to toe with the best of the best, but it will certainly hold its own. So if budget concerns are an issue, this is a product that should put a smile on your face and give your vehicle that extra touch of style you’ve wanted.


Pre-purchase considerations

Think Practically

It is important to find a balance between what you want and what makes sense. This is being mentioned because many car owners want a tint that is as dark as they can get. That’s fine, the privacy or the look or whatever reason that is desired for a particular tint shade, it should always be within legal regulations. Check with the local (state) laws regarding this guideline to avoid future headaches.

Of course price must always be a consideration for the vast majority of us. It may seem like common sense, but sometimes the excitement of knowing that our beloved car is finally going to get that look window tinting offers can prevent us from thinking it through. Find out how much tint is needed to do the job, and get the best product that allows the job to be completed. Can you only imagine getting 75 percent of the job done, and then realize there isn’t enough film to finish the job?

What is the Primary Purpose?

Investigate your options based on why you are getting window tint. Is the primary goal privacy, better driving visibility by reducing glare, heat deflection? Maybe it is a combination, whatever the reason there are specific tints that are designed with a focus on offering better features, i.e. glare reduction or privacy. One type of window tint may be better at providing one benefit as opposed to another. This will also impact the price tag more often than not.

Do the homework, ask questions and check reviews on the products being considered. A well-informed consumer is a smart consumer, so get what you want, not something that you don’t want or don’t need. Most window tint products will describe in some detail the rating and a description likely highlighting the strength of that product.

Quality Matters

For those really practical people out there who are looking to get tinted windows for strictly the practical purposes, remember that quality matters. This isn’t like trash bags where that cheap brand really isn’t going to be a great deal different or cause a massive headache if they don’t hold up the same as a name brand. When it comes to window tint, there is a distinct difference in quality of tint. Much of this is above the pay grade of most, but how the tint is constructed and the material used have an impact of how well a tint works. That in turn has an impact on the quality and price.

Appearance may not be the driving force, but unless you are really wanting pastel purple windows, or bubbles and peeling that could even cause visual concerns when driving then it is necessary to consider the product. Get a quality tint, the headache saved will be worth the time, money and effort. This will be evident when the job is completed.

Do the Job Right

Anything worth doing is worth doing the right way. So you have ensured the legality of the tint. You have made sure it suits the purpose for getting it. And you have bought a quality film that you feel assured will look good and do the job. One last question, do you have any idea of how to do the job? It is going to save you a nightmare if you do a little studying. Nobody builds a house without knowing how to, well at least they shouldn’t!

This is a particular job that can be made a thousand times more difficult and stressful without first doing some study. By the same token, the installation process can be made just that much smoother if a little time is invested to understand the how to. It is always, always suggested that two people do the job of window tint application. Were the windows cleaned, really well? Is this an adhesive or static based (peel and cling) tint? These aren’t optional pieces of information, this is must know stuff! So once more, take the time to get some knowledge about installing the film, and take your time to do it the right way.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

There are few things that can add to the appearance of a vehicle while simultaneously adding such practical benefits. Hopefully these products and considerations have helped, and the end result will be the one you envisioned. Your decision to purchase window tint, if the millions of others who have are any indication, will be a choice that you will be happy with.

Don’t forget, make sure that a quality product is used. That you get someone to help, and finding someone who has done this before is most advisable. Take your time and please make certain that the tint being used does not violate the laws in your state. If these major points are covered, everything else should fall into place and the job of tinting your windows should produce the desired results.

With most all window tint products come a list of instructions and tips. The products mentioned here are no different. Just as an advisory, please be sure to read through these guidelines as it will only aid in providing the best possible results. After all, you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash and spend your valuable time tinting windows and find out after the fact that those mistakes could have been prevented.

Take those sunglasses off now, enjoy that new (oh, that’s still the same car), and feel free to share what you’ve learned. Remember, knowledge is power and giving away what you’ve been given always finds a way to benefit the giver at the end of the day

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Driving Sports TV, How To Apply Window Tint Like a Pro, Youtube.com
  2. How to Tint a Car Side Window, WikiHow.com

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