Comparing Crystal Clear & Regalite® Clear Vinyl
Choosing the right clear vinyl can be difficult, especially with the wide variety of choices available. Fortunately, Sailrite offers many clear vinyl products of various sizes and colors along with several PDF guides to provide general ratings on each type of product we sell. For more help, we’ve created this blog to compare two well-known clear vinyl brands to determine the best choice for your next project: Crystal Clear and Regalite® .
About the Vinyl
Both Crystal Clear and Regalite brands provide clear vinyl products appropriate for a number of practical applications. Both of these brands produce pressed and polished vinyl. This means that the product is created by taking two or more layers of material and pressing them together between highly polished chrome plates to create one thicker, polished sheet. High heat and pressure work together to weld the sheets of vinyl together and the result is an excellent clear window material.
Gauge, Optical Clarity & Hand
Clear vinyl is measured by its gauge, or thickness. Broken down, a 40 gauge piece of vinyl measures 0.040” and a 30 gauge is 0.030” thick, and so on. The higher the gauge, the thicker the vinyl and the better the optical clarity (ability to see through) will be. All Crystal Clear and Regalite products are rated for the highest optical clarity.
Pro Tip: Due to a slight bluish tint, we recommend pairing Regalite vinyl with other Regalite or O'Sea products.
Another way to differentiate vinyl is by its hand, which is how the material feels when handled. The Crystal Clear 40 and 30 Gauge Vinyl Window Material has a medium, semi-firm hand. The Regalite 40, 30 and 20 Gauge Vinyl Window Material has a soft, flexible hand. Crystal Clear vinyl is available in 40 and 30 gauge sheets of 54" x 110". Regalite vinyl offers a larger variety of sizes.
Regalite Vinyl Window Material is available in:
In general, both 40 and 30 gauge vinyl are great for marine dodgers, biminis and general enclosures. However, Regalite is the only brand actually certified for automotive use. The 40 gauge vinyl is often utilized for those who want a thicker vinyl for front window curtains rather than side curtains, which are typically 30 gauge. This is due to the higher optical clarity found in thicker clear pieces of vinyl. When placed around a corner, a higher gauge vinyl is also less prone to show misshaped bulges as opposed to a lighter 30 gauge. Overall, both gauges of vinyl are perfect for your next outdoor project.
As for the thinner, 20 gauge vinyl, this is a better alternative for areas that require some coverage but not an abundance of scratch, stain or UV resistance. For example, the 20 gauge works well for a “fabric folder” with a window showing the content of the folder through the window. It can also be used for sail windows, general enclosures and bimini sides.
Scratch, Stain & UV Resistance
Crystal Clear vinyl is a similar product to Strataglass but does not possess the same special coating. This makes it less resistant to scratches, UV rays, stains and chemicals. Regalite clear vinyl features a slightly higher UV resistance but is rated the same as Crystal Clear when it comes to scratch and stain resistance.
While neither brand is extravagantly priced, Crystal Clear is slightly more expensive than Regalite clear vinyl. As stated previously, Regalite offers various sized sheets of vinyl, which means there are ways to lower the cost for those products if they are purchased in a smaller sheet size. The choice is yours depending on what you plan to use the material for. However, it's important to note that if you plan to work on a professional automotive DIY, Regalite is your best bet.