At SEMA in October it was clear (no pun intended) that everyone was taking protective wrap more seriously than ever before. There were more than a few companies touting their wrapping materials and machines for cutting film wraps for perfect fit, but only one is Texas based, and only one offers a self-healing material that is an ideal match for Texas sportsmen and women.
XPEL is located in San Antonio and their products are available from a wide range of detailers, shops and dealers in the state and, for that matter, globally. It can also be ordered from them either in rolls or cut to fit almost any truck. In the interest of full disclosure, I had my Jeep hood, door edging, headlights and grille wrapped by these guys last year, and there is not a single ding or dent that wasn’t in my paint job before it was done. (I rarely write about any products that I have not tested myself.)
I am jealous, though, that they didn’t have the self-healing Ultimate film back then. This material is about 15% thicker than their other film product, but that’s not what makes it unique. When you scratch this stuff with almost anything, including a wire brush, the elastomer polymer can be heat activated (think hair dryer) to seal the scratches and mend the film to protect that expensive paint job. If you have a new truck, or are thinking about buying one, you should definitely explore protective film for any areas that are likely to get rock-dinged, scraped or scratched. It also eliminates the swirl marks and other fine scratches that inevitably show up with even normal wear and tear. If you have an older truck (my Jeep is three years old), it will keep things from getting worse.
This product also carries the longest warranty in the wrap biz (10 years material and labor) against yellowing, cracking, peeling, staining and hazing. They have virtually every vehicle exterior pattern in their library and are a favorite with Porsche owners and other people who don’t seem to understand that a truck should be their primary — perhaps, only — vehicle.
The link to “watch” in the middle of this post is a video showing the self-healing properties in real time, but looking them up online will give you even more application videos. Also, check out the matte film that takes any paint job and gives it that “stealth” look.
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