How Heavy Duty Does an ATV Cover Need to Be?
We’re not always so gentle with our ATV’s. You bring it out on the trail, cover it in mud, run it ragged until it’s out of gas and then bring it home to hose off in the backyard. It’s a good life for us, but it’s hard on your ATV. We treat them pretty rough, but deep down, we love our ATV’s and we want to take good care of them. That includes the off-season as well, which is why it’s so important to find a good cover for your ATV.
With so many different materials and types of covers on the market, it’s difficult to know what features are worth your money and which ones are better left for those who didn’t do their research. Luckily we did the research for you, so keep reading to find out all of the things you should be looking for in your ATV cover.
Do I Really Need an ATV Cover?
An ATV cover might seem like one of those superfluous accessories. It’s a nice thing to have, but not entirely necessary, right? Well, if you don’t have a cover, your ATV will still work, but the purpose of a cover is all about protection.
If you leave your ATV outside in the off-season, or even during the season, your biggest enemy is always the elements. Depending on where you live, rain or direct sun exposure is the real killer. For some of us, it’s both. Your cover is your ATV’s first line of protection against the weather.
Types of ATV Covers
While you can find a variety of different materials and features for ATV covers, they are divided into two basic categories: indoor and outdoor.
Indoor covers are usually made from a softer material like cotton or nylon. They are not usually UV resistant, and because of the materials that are used, they are rarely water-resistant. The primary use for an indoor cover is to keep dust off of your ATV. The real advantage over outdoor covers is that they are made from breathable material. This allows air to flow freely around the cover and your ATV and reduces the opportunity for mold and mildew to form.
Outdoor covers are built to handle just about everything from light rain, to relentless UV ray exposure and even snow. They are made from a few different materials that are generally better at protecting your ATV from extreme nature. Canvas, micro fiber, PVC, and Tyvek are the most common materials used, and each offers different benefits. They range in effectiveness between water-resistant and waterproof, so make sure you know!
- Canvas is a good general material. It’s tough and water-resistant, but not waterproof.
- Microfiber is very soft, and it offers breathability that other outdoor materials don’t, but it is not as tough.
- PVC is the material you want if the water is your main concern, but you should keep in mind that it is not effective at deterring UV rays.
- Tyvek is one of the best all-around materials. It’s breathable, water-resistant and UV-resistant.
The Mark of a Good ATV Cover
So now that we know a little bit about the different kinds of covers and the materials they’re made of, let’s talk about the features that make the best covers.
Elastic hem at the bottom of the cover’s fabric edges should be the first thing you look for in a cover. The elastic hem keeps the cover pulled down and in place. This way the wind isn’t going to blow it away, and more importantly, it won’t blow it upwards allowing dust and debris to get under the cover.
This is going to be your mark for a very durable ATV cover. If you don’t know much about stitching seams, follow us as we get a little lost in the weeds. A plain seam is just a seam sewn between two pieces of fabric on the raw edges. Double-stitched seams simply add an additional seam to give the material enhanced durability. This is going to keep your cover from fraying and falling apart easily over time.
Durable Water Repellant
Durable Water Repellant, or DWR, is a synthetic coating added to ATV cover materials (or really just about anything) to make them hydrophobic, or water-resistant. Please remember that there is a difference between water-proof and water-resistant, so figure out what you need and make sure your cover complies.
Breathable fabrics are important for your indoor-covers. It protects your ATV against mold and mildew by allowing moisture to freely flow in and out of the cover. It is important for your outdoor covers as well. The outdoors are always more extreme, and moisture that causes mold inside causes rust outside.
You need to keep your body protected from overexposure to UV rays, and the same is true for your ATV. Too much exposure to the sun causes your ATV to look faded. That includes the paint, the chrome, and all of the other finishes on your ATV. While a faded-looking ATV doesn’t seem like the worst fate, it opens the door for worse events. Like paint chipping, heat damage, and discoloration.
You’re Now a Certified ATV-Cover Expert!
Rejoice, you’ve graduated from ATV Cover University! You now have the knowledge to wade through all of the subpar covers to find one that’s actually worth your money! You love your ATV as much as we love ours. So go out and get an ATV cover to protect your baby! Keep it safe for many years to come. And if you’re curious about some other ATV accessories you may find useful, check out this blog!