Paint Protection Film, also known as Clear Bra, is the best solution to keep the exterior of your paint looking brand new for longer. Due to its composition and self-healing properties, PPF protects your vehicle from scuffs, rock chips and scratches. In addition, it provides UV protection and keeps the paint safe from negative impact of salt, bird droppings and chemical stains. Due to its increased popularity, many companies nowadays produce Paint Protection Film. So the question becomes obvious, – what brand of paint protection films is the best and how to choose the correct film?
While all major films feature self healing properties, great clarity, reduced orange peel and superior impact protection, there are still some features that are unique to each brand. In this blog post we are giving you an overview of major PPF brands, and their key features.
When it comes to Paint Protection Film, XPEL is usually the first name that comes to mind. Founded in 1997, XPEL is the world’s first heat activated self-healing PPF. It is an 8 mil thick film which heals on its own when the surface is exposed to heat. It provides superior surface protection against rock chips, scratches and scuffs.
One of the major benefits of XPEL films is their own DAP software. It is a library of pre-cut PPF patterns for majority of car models. This software allows to cut pieces precisely for each part of the specific vehicle. In addition, this software allows an installer to customize each piece if desired, to achieve an extra coverage. So choosing an XPEL film usually means that each panel will be wrapped in a piece that fits it precisely.
XPEL features non yellowing finish, and minimal orange peel, which means that the film will not yellow over time, and will keep its smooth texture. XPEL films edge seal technology also prevents the film from lifting, and keeps corners and sides adhered to the surface. The film has a low surface energy which allows it to resist staining and protect the surface from negative environmental conditions.
When it comes to choosing the right type of XPEL film, you are provided with an extensive variety of options.
One of the most popular XPEL PPF films is XPEL Ultimate Plus. It is an invisible protective film featuring high gloss finish and extreme impact protection. This film also comes in 2 other varieties, – Ultimate Plus 7, and Ultimate Plus 10. Ultimate Plus 7 is a thinner version of Ultimate Plus. It is great for an interior use due to its thinner construction. Ultimate Plus 10, on the contrary, is a thicker film, used primarily for heavy duty off road vehicles, that are more susceptible to getting damaged.
Stealth Paint Protection Film is designed specifically for matte or satin vehicles. It features flat finish while offering the same level of protection. So if you are looking to protect your matte vehicle, or turn your gloss paint into matte, – Stealth is your best choice.
XPEL offers a 10 year manufacturing warranty from the date of purchase for all of its films. It covers manufacturing defects such as yellowing, cracking, staining, blistering and delaminating.
Kavaca by Ceramic Pro
A new generation of Paint Protection Films, Kavaca by Ceramic Pro, is a recent addition to the PPF family of products. Ceramic Pro is a world’s leader in Nanoceramic coatings, which has introduced a special kind of Paint Protection Film. In addition to regular features of Paint Protection films, such as non-yellowing, reduced orange peel, and chemical and physical protection, Kavaca PPF has the following unique features.
Unlike any other film, Kavaca PPF features an instant self-healing top coat. You no longer need to apply heat in order to remove scratches. They disappear on their own. This unique feature of Kavaca definitely sets it apart from its competitors. So if you are looking for an instant self-healing effect, – Kavaca is your choice.
Ceramic Pro Coated
Another unique feature of Kavaca is its Ceramic Pro infused top coat. Kavaca comes with a factory applied layer of ceramic Pro Coating, which adds hydrophobic properties to the film. Hydrophobic properties make Kavaca very easy to clean, and prevent dirt and mud from sticking onto the surface. Consequently, your car stays clean for longer, which saves you time and money. The washing of a Kavaca wrapped car is also easier and quicker, because less dirt sticks to the surface.
Another benefit of an added layer of Ceramic Pro is its shine. Kavaca film makes your car look super shiny, and helps it to stay in a showroom like condition for longer!
In addition, Kavaca PPF comes with a protective layer which installers remove during installation. This protective layer helps protect the film from any installation related accidents, perfecting the final look.
For now Kavaca only comes in gloss finish, meaning you can’t use it for your matte vehicle if you want to keep the finish flat. So if you are looking to protect your matte vehicle, unfortunately Kavaca won’t work for you. However, Ceramic Pro announced that they are working on creating a matte version of Kavaca PPF, which is supposed to be released by the end of the year. So if you are looking for a Ceramic Pro coated PPF for your matte vehicle, you might have to wait just a little bit longer.
Ceramic Pro offers a 12 year manufacturing warranty for Kavaca PPF, which is a bit better than XPEL warranty.
Unfortunately, at this moment there is no cutting software designed specifically for Kavaca film. Installers get a discounted access to a software called True Cut, which is used by another PPF manufacturer, Suntek. However, the library of patterns is limited, and some patterns are not available. In this case, installers typically free cut pieces, and use technique called “bulking”.
Another manufacturer of protective films we are going to talk about today is SunTek. SunTek films contain a proprietary top-coat which protects the urethane against surface scratches. This film also possess self-healing qualities, and will self-heal when exposed to heat. Similarly to other paint protection films on the market, SunTek prevents yellowing of film, and minimizes orange peel.
When it comes to finishes, SunTek also offers you a variety of choices depending on a protection level and the look you are going for.
Paint Protection Film Clear
SunTek Paint Protection Film Clear is a nearly invisible paint protection film, featuring high shine finish. It protects the car from rock chips and light scratches, while adding shine to the look of your vehicle.
Paint Protection Film Matte
Matte Paint Protection Film has the same benefits of Clear PPF, but in a stylish matte look. This film can be applied to satin, matte or “frozen” finishes to protect them from damage of daily driving.
Paint Protection Film Ultra
This is a premium level PPF, which comes in both, gloss and matte finishes. One of its key differences is its HydroResist top coat layer, which increases stain resistance and limits water and dirt accumulation on the car surface.Superior protection with added hydrophobic features.
SunTek provides installers with access to a TruCut cutting software and pattern library. However, having personally used it, we found that pattern options were a bit limited.
SunTek offers different types of warranties for different types of finishes. 10 years manufacturing warranty for the Ultra line, and 5 years manufacturing warranty for the Matte and Clear lines.
You have probably heard of 3M Vinyl Wraps. However, the company also established great reputation in Paint Protection Film World as well.
3M offers 3 categories of Paint Protection Films, depending on durability level.
3M Surface Protection Film
The most cost effective option out of the three, it is also the thinnest one. At only 6 mil thick, it is ideal for a variety of surfaces. However, we would’t recommend using it for the exterior due to its thinner complexion. It has a good scratch and stain resistance, however is the least durable out of the three. It is available in Gloss finish only.
Scotchguard Paint Protection Film
Medium range film, Scotchguard PPF is extremely durable film applied to high impact areas. One of its key features is its clear coat with UV inhibitors, which helps maintain clarity.
Scotchguard Paint Protection Film Pro Series
The name speaks for itself. The Pro Series is the most advanced line of 3M Paint Protection Films. It features self-healing technology that makes most scratches to disappear. This film also comes in Matte and Gloss finishes, to allow for a wider range of applications.
3M has their own pattern cutting software, which features an extensive portfolio of cutting patterns. One of the great things about this software is that your installer can create custom patterns with “design and edit” option. This function allows to modify patterns, and cut pieces for custom made body parts, as well as increase area of coverage.
3M warranty covers manufacturing defects, however the warranty period varies based on the film series:
10 years for Scotchguard PPF Pro Series
7 years for Scotchguard PPF
5 years for Surface Protecton Film
So as you can see, it is hard to say exactly what brand of paint protection films is the best. There is a lot of factors to consider when picking the right film. All of the above films are relatively similar in terms of impact protection, so it does come down to special features each one has. We always recommend to talk to your installer and see what they recommend for your specific project.
Talk to us if you have any more questions in regards to the best brand of paint protection films for your project! We hope you enjoyed this blog post and found some new information!