I sometimes feel like I’m in the minority without a car that has a backup camera. I wasn’t willing to pay another couple thousand dollars for that option, plus a GPS and DVD system that I didn’t need, so I am simply careful with my Pilot as I navigate the suburbs where I live. Given that, testing Back Up Better lenses and mirrors was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
The Back Up Better safety products are designed to minimize blind spots and prevent accidents. They include both add-on blind spot mirrors and rearview lenses that attach to the back window of a van, SUV, or other vehicle with a vertical rear window, as well as back up alarms that activate when you put your car in reverse and help alert others to your presence.
I’ve seen the add-on mirrors before and know that there are some vehicles that come standard with them installed. The mirrors are sold in pairs and are designed to be applied to both exterior mirrors. The application process is easy – simply clean the mirror, peel the sticker’s coating, and press to the mirror for 30 seconds.
Because not all cars are the same, they come in a variety of sizes from small ($6.99 a pair with two shape options) to mid and large size vehicles ($12.99 a pair) to full size SUVs and trucks ($12.99 a pair). I applied the mid and large size vehicles mirrors to my car, and I was surprised at the difference the view made.
Without the add-on mirror, I thought I could see fairly well to the sides of my car. I was wrong about the size of my blind spot and honestly quite surprised by how much more there was to see once I placed the add-on mirror onto my side mirrors.
There was a lot that I was missing that I didn’t even realize I was missing - like an entire tree. Having the additional visibility makes me more confident as I’m driving, not just when I’m backing up but also when I’m changing lanes on the road. It’s a great confidence boost.
The Back Up Better rearview lens was one that threw me for a loop when I first took a look at it. It also comes in two sizes, an 8″x10″ size for small and mid size vehicles ($14.99) and an 11″x14″ size for large vehicles ($23.99). I chose the 8″x10″ version for my SUV, and it was a good size.
The plastic mat has a lenticular side and a smooth side. It applies with just water, which makes it easily movable when needed. This is a product I will definitely be taking with me whenever I need to rent a car with a vertical rear window.
There was a bit of a trick to get it fully applied without air bubbles but it wasn’t difficult to squeeze them out, and because you use water to apply them, it isn’t a big deal to pull it off and start over. While the lens doesn’t look that special when you have it in your hand, what you see once you apply it on your vehicle is eye opening.
My regular rear view mirror view:
My rear view mirror view with the Back Up Better review lens:
Again, looking through my rear view mirror without the lens, I don’t feel like I’m missing all that much. Yes, I know I can’t see things directly behind me that are closer to the ground, but I’ve figured out where the corners are on my car. Once I place the lens on my window, however, I was amazed to see the difference in what I was now able to see. Looking straight back behind me was even a bigger difference.
With the added lens, I can see so much more of the driveway behind me. I can see a lot more to the left and right, as well as above and below my window. The image itself is a little out of proportion, but I don’t mind that because I can tell that there is something there that I wasn’t able to see previously. I have noticed that depending on the angle of the light hitting my car, there is a circle on the lower half of the lens that is more opaque than the rest of it, but I still find this invaluable.
Both types of mirrors took a little getting used to, just as it does every time you get into a different car to drive. I am still using all my mirrors and turning to check manually, but my confidence is higher with the additional tools from Back Up Better. In fact, the exterior mirrors are something that I would love to give to my mother who drives a smaller car but could still definitely benefit from additional visibility.
My other friends who have the minivans and SUVs without backup cameras? I know what they’re getting for Christmas!
My only real quibble with the Back Up Better products was their packaging. There were many grammatical and spelling errors on them, which was a little offputting to me, as I wasn’t sure of the quality of the product if the quality of the packaging was lacking. The directions for application of the product and what vehicles they were designed for also wasn’t very clear. To be honest, until I visited the website, I was under the impression that the rearview lens was intended for school buses and other commercial vehicles rather than for my own car. The website was far more helpful and clear, and there were directions included in my order that also made the process easier. I wish that level of detail were included on the packaging of the products themselves, as well.
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25 winners will receive a rearward view back window lens for an SUV, station wagon, minivan, crossover, or small van. Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!
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In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with product samples from Back Up Better for review purposes. I was also compensated for this campaign, but all opinions remain my own.