Reviews for the Rain-X Latitude (Est. $16) are oddly mixed: Plenty of experts praise this windshield wiper as a good buy, but plenty of owners tell a different story.
On paper, the Rain-X Latitude certainly looks tempting. It's a low-profile, beam-style wiper blade -- at a fairly low price. Beam blades use a slim internal support, so they look sleeker than traditional wiper blades. They're also less likely to ice up in the winter, as there's no bulky framework to trap the ice. Indeed, in winter-weather tests at TheSweethome.com and CarBibles.com, the Rain-X Latitude does outperform traditional wiper blades.
It's not perfect; the Rain-X Latitude leaves some unwiped streaks in the rain according to CarBibles.com, and plenty of other wipers (including cheaper ones) do a slightly better job than this Rain-X wiper blade in another leading test. But overall, experts recommend the Rain-X Latitude.
Unfortunately, the car owners who run out and buy this Rain-X wiper blade based on those recommendations aren't always pleased. At Amazon.com, more than 1,300 customers review the Rain-X Latitude. About half award it a perfect 5 stars -- but about a third express their displeasure in 1- or 2-star reviews. (An updated version of the Rain-X Latitude just hit the market, but its reviews are following the same pattern.) Some say they're fine, but we found too many repeated complaints about the Rain-X Latitude skipping spots, leaving streaks, squeaking, chattering, fluttering at highway speeds, icing up in the snow or simply falling apart. Among low-profile blades, owners vastly prefer the top-rated Bosch Icon (Est. $23) .
A cheaper, traditional wiper blade from Rain-X fares about the same in reviews. The Rain-X Weatherbeater (Est. $12) performs fine in a leading expert test, and it's a customer favorite at AdvanceAutoParts.com. But at Amazon.com, about 600 customers give the Rain-X Weatherbeater mixed marks. About half award it a perfect 5 stars, but more than a quarter downgrade it to 1 or 2 stars, with the same complaints about skipping, streaking and squeaking.