When choosing windows for your van, you may get overwhelmed by the multitude of styles and brands. Many van window models have the factory look, usually made of single pane glass with a small slider or T-vent opening. While these have the nice OEM look on the outside, unfortunately they're not as great to the people living inside.
After years of selling different window models and trying them all out ourselves, we are convinced that Arctic Tern windows are a great way to go for campervans.
First of all, Arctic Tern's double-pane acrylic design substantially improves thermal protection inside your van. Why does this matter? Well, imagine you're camping on some beautiful coast with crashing waves and evening storms. The warm humid air is lovely out on the beach, but inside you're suffocating in an ocean of sweat. Smart thinking if you sprang for a good solar and A/C system, but of course you don't have unlimited battery power. In van life, efficiency rules. That's why these windows are so worth it. You might spend a little more up front, but you'll save big in the long run...and not just dollars.
In addition to double-pane acrylic, Arctic Tern windows offer another thermal bonus -- the seriously amazing blind/screen assembly. See what we mean in this Arctic Tern quick demo video. These blinds not only provide privacy and a cozy dark sleeping space, but the additional insulation helps your climate controls keep you comfortable at night.
Now imagine a late fall morning parked next to a gorgeous mountain overlook, which would take your breath away except you can see your breath as you shiver through an icy breakfast. Just like with A/C, losing heat through your windows costs a lot in energy and comfort. And it might make your spouse or kids -- everybody but your dog -- scream to go home.
We put these in our own vans, and so far everybody's happy!
Another cost consideration you might not know about with single pane glass windows -- you have to make or purchase separate blinds, curtains, or magnetic insulating panels. Curtains don't do much to insulate, and although magnetic insulating panels are super nice, they're not cheap. When we add the cost of these panels, plus the necessary storage space in the van, the blind/screen feature sells us on the Arctic Tern windows hands-down. Have we mentioned how awesome that blind/screen thing is?
When you watch the video, also check out the three open positions for getting a little or A LOT of air through your van. Unlike the small slider or T-vent window openings, you can move tons of air through Arctic Tern awning style windows when you need to. The locking positions are strong, and there's even a position that's safe for driving without worry about damaging your window. We really like this feature and how well-made these mechanisms are.
Which leads us to quality. Over many years selling Arctic Tern windows, we have rarely seen an issue. Believe us, that's saying a lot! We van lifers use our van windows rough and regular. We open and close them many times a day depending on weather and interior activities. Sometimes we leave them open while driving, which destroys some models outright, and we take them out on bumpy dusty rocky roads. Honestly we're amazed at how well Arctic Tern windows have performed over the years compared to other brands. We love happy customers, even though we hear from them the least. We do sometimes hear from happy campers who still love their Arctic Tern windows after many years. What we don't get is problems or complaints about these awesome windows.
After years of selling many brands and models of windows, we can say without reservation that Arctic Tern are at the top in terms of quality.
If you add it all up -- the blind/screen coolness, the double pane acrylic thermal protection, the high-quality locking mechanism, the unbeatable awning airflow, and the resounding happiness of past customers -- you get an awesome window all around.
Whether you are trying to keep the cold out or keep the cool air in, we think Arctic Tern windows will help keep your van comfortable for years to come!
Check out the video below from a dedicated van lifer sharing his experience installing and using Arctic Tern windows.