Comparing Visibility in Marine Mesh

Item # X-HT-300160

Marine mesh fabrics like Phifertex® and Soltis® are great for a variety of shade and screen projects around your boat. These fabrics are top choices for hatch covers, porthole screens, sun shades, windshield covers and enclosure screens. If you’re looking to make a screen of any kind for your boat, you might be curious about the visibility provided by the various marine mesh options. To help better illustrate the visibility differences between these fabrics, we did a little visual test to show you.

We took our three most popular marine mesh fabric lines, Phifertex Standard, Phifertex Plus and Soltis, and held them up to a window on a sunny day to give you a view through the weave. For the best comparison, we chose similar shades of black and white for all three fabric lines and held them up in the same window. On the right-hand side of each photo, we left the window bare, so you can compare the shade to no shade at all.

Phifertex Standard

Phifertex Mesh White fabric in the window

Phifertex Standard Mesh White #393111

Phifertex Mesh Black window screen

Phifertex Standard Mesh Black #388111

Up first is Phifertex Standard Mesh. This is the most open weave, offering a 70% shade factor. It’s the easiest to see through, as you can clearly see the background through the fabric here. It will allow the most light to filter in, but also the least amount of privacy.


Soltis white mesh fabric as a window shade

Soltis 86 Vinyl Mesh White #120725

Soltis mesh fabric in black as a window shade

Soltis 86 Vinyl Mesh Black #120732

Next we head to Soltis 86. Soltis has a flatter weave than the Phifertex options and blocks 86% of light and UV rays. It still allows light to filter in and offers a fairly clear view of the outside, but it is noticeably darker than the Phifertex Plus. It's our mid-range option for light filtering and privacy.

Phifertex Plus

Phifertex Plus White Mesh as a window shade

Phifertex Plus Vinyl Mesh White #235811

Phifertex Plus in black used as a window shade

Phifertex Plus Vinyl Mesh Black #124511

Finally, we have Phifertex Plus. This fabric boasts a 92.5% shade factor and, as you can see, the most privacy. You can see the least amount of background through this densely woven mesh. As the most private, it will also allow the least amount of light to filter in.

When choosing a mesh for shade applications, it’s also important to think about how the privacy will change throughout the day as the light source shifts from outside to inside your cabin. This video demonstrates this difference by showing you inside and outside views of a Phifertex Plus sun shade.

You can find all of these mesh fabrics, as well as how-to tutorials for making a variety of boat shade screens, right here at Sailrite®.

Which mesh would you choose for your vessel? Share your experiences with these marine mesh fabrics in the comments.