The Rain-X Latitude wiper blade costs less than the top-rated Bosch Icon (Est. $23) -- both beam blades with a similarly slim, sleek look. Both perform well in expert tests. But in real-life use, owners report way more problems with the Rain-X Latitude. Both brands have amassed hundreds of owner reviews, and users overwhelmingly prefer Bosch Icon windshield wipers.
Works fine in tests -- but plenty of owners tell a different story. In expert tests, the Rain-X Latitude performs pretty well. It does a very good job cleaning the windshield in one top test (although plenty of other brands do slightly better). Snow is the Rain-X Latitude's strong suit: Beam-style blades tend to ice up less frequently than traditional blades, and this proves true in tests at CarBibles.com and TheSweethome.com.
But it's hard to ignore the hundreds of owner reviews -- and they're very mixed. Some are satisfied with the Rain-X Latitude, but plenty really dislike these wipers for various reasons. Some say they don't conform to the windshield, missing big patches with each wipe. Others complain that they streak, squeak, chatter, ice up, or simply break.
Durable for some, but not for others. Rain-X lists no warranty for its wipers. However, in one leading test, the Rain-X Latitude is the only wiper blade still doing a "very good" job after six months of real-world wear. At TheSweethome.com, the Rain-X Latitude proves a little more durable than the cheaper Valeo 600, but both wore out in extreme cold and had to be replaced after nine or 10 months.
Again, owners get mixed results. Some say the Rain-X Latitudes last for a year, while others say they wear out just as fast as cheaper wipers -- or faster. Several say their Rain-X Latitude wiper blades simply fell apart during normal use.
Cheaper isn't always better. The Rain-X Latitude does cost less than other low-profile, beam-style wipers, and plenty of experts hail it as a good buy. But owner feedback indicates that this wiper blade is a gamble: Some users like it, while others say it's terrible. For a few extra dollars, the Bosch Icon performs well in tests and pleases most of its owners. It's the best buy among low-profile wiper blades.
ConsumerReports.org includes the Rain-X Latitude in its latest test of 13 windshield wiper models. Testers install the wiper blades on the vehicles of 185 staffers, judging the blades' performance when new and again after six months. Subscribers also review the wiper blades, based on their own real-life experience.
Review: Wiper Blade Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2013
Ed Grabianowski picks the Rain-X Latitude as the best overall wiper blade, based largely on an older ConsumerReports.org test. In Grabianowski's test, the Rain-X proves a little more durable than the cheaper Valeo 600, and a little better in winter weather. Both brands wore out in extreme cold, and had to be replaced after nine or 10 months.
Review: The Best Windshield Wipers for Your Car, Ed Grabianowski, Updated Feb. 24, 2014
Car enthusiast Chris Longhurst tests an older but similar version of the Rain-X Latitude and its main rival, the Bosch Icon. He doesn't pick a favorite: Both of these beam-style wiper blades leave unwiped areas in the rain (on five different models of cars and trucks), but they're so stellar in the snow that he highly recommends them.
Review: Rain-X Latitude and Bosch Icon Wiper Blades, Chris Longhurst, Updated Dec. 15, 2013
The latest version of the Rain-X Latitude gets about 25 reviews from Amazon.com customers -- but those are mixed, mirroring the feedback for its predecessor (which scored similarly based on more than 1,300 reviews). Some owners are pleased with the new version, but others say the Rain-X wipers still skip areas, leave streaks, ice up or don't fit. The older model also got mixed marks for durability.
Review: Rain-X 5079279-1 Latitude Wiper Blade - 22" (Pack of 1), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014
The Rain-X Latitude gets much better reviews here: 4.6 stars, with about 70 owner reviews posted. A few say the wipers don't fully contact the windshield, leaving missed areas. One says a wiper broke while he cleaned the windshield. However, most award the Rain-X Latitude 4 or 5 stars.
Review: Rain-X Latitude All-Season Beam Wiper Blade, 22", Contributors to AdvanceAutoParts.com, As of February 2014