Real Review: Guardian Tri-Layer Trailerable Ratchet PWC Cover

Whether riding on the trailer down the road or sitting comfortably in the garage, the cover fits snug, and is easy to pull on or off.

Let me begin with a short story: Around six years ago, I built a very custom Kawasaki Ultra 250X while at Personal Watercraft Illustrated (I know, I’ve mentioned it before). Far more impressive than its lackluster performance was the absolutely stunning paint job provided by the master artists at Blowsion. The ski simply was a showstopper whether it was tied up at a dock or running at full throttle.

The decision was made that we would debut the ski – christened “Copperhead” – at the magazine’s booth at the World Finals. In preparation for the busy weekend, I had the technicians at Meguiar’s headquarters carefully detail Copperhead from top to bottom. The day I arrived, it was unequivocally the best it had ever looked. Every inch glistened. Every surface was supremely slick.

To preserve it as best as possible, I quickly covered the Ultra and drove it the five-and-a-half hours to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Yet, when I arrived, almost all of the hours of cleaning, buffing and polishing were gone. The persistent fluttering of the heavy canvas PWC cover scuffed the paint, plastic and rubber. The whole ski was equally covered in the fine mesquite dust. I was appalled.

With a ratcheting strap that can be tightened and loosened, and Guardian’s unique Tri-Layer stretchy, breathable material in the center, the Trailerable cover fits snug and comfortably while underway or standing still.

Four of these clips are located around the perimeter of the Tri-Layer Trailerable PWC cover, latching under the rail.

From that day on I swore I would never drive with a PWC cover on a ski again. That is, until today.

The Tri-Layer Trailerable Ratchet PWC Cover from Guardian puts its money where its mouth is – right in the name of the ski cover. When first looking over the ski cover, I was understandably hesitant. What would make this cover not flap like machine gun fire against a freshly cleaned runabout?

The secret to Guardian’s PWC cover is found in the soft, stretchy “Tri-Layer” material that runs down the center of the cover. Feeling a lot like the same breathable Lycra material used on the Slippery Fuse wetsuit we reviewed here a couple of months ago, the cover manages to actually diffuse the wind passing over the ski. Rather than flowing over the cover, causing it to flap, the wind actually passes through the cover.

Also unique to this cover is a Ratchet Fastening System, a lockable strap that cinches down the cover around the ski, beneath the bond line.

Featuring four large breathers, two on each side, the cover keeps out dust and contaminants while letting moisture escape. It’s even slightly reflective for added nighttime visibility, which is pretty cool.

Because of the “Tri-Layer” material, we’d suggest using this cover for skis kept indoors, although it manages to deflect moisture as well as heavier canvas covers.

Now, because of the weather and time constraints we couldn’t gauge how the cover holds up under prolonged exposure to sun bleaching and elements, so again, we’d suggest using this for skis kept indoors or that are parked under a cover/garage port.

At $179.99, the Guardian Tri-Layer Trailerable Ratchet PWC Cover isn’t cheap, what you’re getting is significantly better than most covers you’ll encounter – even the ones that might’ve come with your ski or those really expensive aftermarket covers. Again, the biggest factor for us was its behavior while being towed, and its here that the Tri-Layer PWC Cover is without a doubt head and shoulders above the competition.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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