Keith Tanner Windblocker

(No longer available. Can be made using instructions at )

Reviewed by: Mira Stratford -

Windblocker attached to the seats.

My experience was brief and disappointing. The windblocker did its job in deflecting the wind but the velcro(?) attachments to the seats made an annoying sound which really bothered me. It was brief because I made the mistake of leaving it in the car with the top on in a hot day here in CA. What happened was that the plastic warped. It is now basically unusable.

Obviously, my comment would be not to buy this brand. If you can stand the annoying squeaky sound and be very good at removing and installing the windblocker whenever it's a hot day.. then I'd say go right ahead. Good luck to you.

Reviewed by: Steve Shepley -

Windscreen for rear of cockpit.

I ordered the KT Windblocker from Keith by snail-mail, sending him a US check. The KTW arrived in a couple of weeks; this was in the middle of the UPS strike, so it really arrived very quickly. The KTW came sturdily packaged. Inside, the lucite/perspex/whatever_it_is still had its protective wrapping on it. There were no instructions of any kind. Mind you, anyone with an IQ in double-digits should be able to figure out how to install it, but I think some pointers on general care would help.

Basically, the KTW is a piece of see-through plastic or whatever that straps to the back of the seats and pops onto the poppers on the platform behind the back seat. It's intended to cut down on the wind that otherwise whips around the back of the side-windows. It's also probably intended for colder climes than Texas, but I have no pretensions to machismo on cool days, and that's why I bought it.

It was still summer when it arrived, so I only used it on very *hot* days when the top was down for hours. On days like this I'll get a headache eventually from the direct sun (95 degrees, 90%+ humidity), and I discovered that, with the windows up, you can turn on the air and drive comfortably all day with the KTW attached and the top down. That's a real plus.

Now it's getting cooler, with some mornings near freezing. I leave the windows up, wear a scarf (I need one of those really long ones), perhaps gloves, and a wooly hat. On really cold days I suspect you'll need a tighter mesh wooly hat than my present one. After the engine warms up, it gets pretty cozy; oddly, it's almost warmer at speed than just puttering around. Either the KTW or the design of the Miata draws hot air straight onto your feet and up the side of your legs -- very pleasant. What wind there is heads for the back of your neck, but it's no big deal. You will need a scarf if it's very cold, and probably something for your ears. Apart from that, there is a slight draft along your left hip.

Noise reduction is significant. Expect to be able to talk in a near-normal voice to a passenger at 70 mph plus.

The KTW can remain in place when you put the top up; but of course it prevents you from leaning back and tugging the top up -- you have to get out to do it.

The KTW lies down on the shelf in earlier Miatas. Mine has the strengthening bar, so the KTW has to be detached and slid onto the shelf. This involves tipping the seats forward, and as we all know the stupid things don't "remember" their previous positions.

The KTW scratches easily. This isn't any big deal -- you can't see it in the rear-view mirror -- but I can imagine a neatnik getting worked up about it.

The buckles on my straps keep falling off -- not when it's in use, but when putting it up or taking it down. I've had some correspondence with Keith on this, and I think the system could be improved.

There are also some small problems with the KTW if the seats are at different angles and positions. This places the KTW at an angle to the strengthening bar, and then it rubs into the bar itself and squeaks. A variety of home cures should solve this.

The KTW also squeaks against the vinyl backs of the seats. Appparently I have more problems with this than most users, but neither Armor-All nor WD-40 offers more than a temporary solution. I'm now contemplating covering either the seat tops or the KTW itself with some sort of material.

Overall, the KTW does exactly what you expect, for a very reasonable amount of money, particularly when compared to the competition -- I can't believe what some people pay for windblockers. Count me among the very satisfied users.

Reviewed by: Michelle Hall -

A suggestion for 1995+ Miatas.

One very minor complaint that I had about using the windblocker is that it made the seats vibrate at freeway speeds because of the attachment point. To remedy this, and the problem noted by the Product of the Month review of KT's windblocker that you can't have both seats in radically different positions, I took the straps out and reversed them, so that they clasped in back. Then I put adhesive strip pads on the potential friction points and wrapped the straps around the brace bar that runs between the seat belt towers. It allows a little more turbulent air into the cockpit since there's a larger gap between the rolled up windows and the windblocker, but it's worth it as far as I'm concerned.

Reviewed by: Chris Dunn - CSDUNN@GATX.COM

Wind screen for behind the seats.

The Windblocker works extremely well. It's easy to install, does not interfere with rear vision, and really helps keep the interior of the car warmer and/or much less windy. We drove over ten hours on two-lanes last weekend, and it was much less tiring with the Windblocker in place.

Keith Tanner was really helpful, and turnaround was very quick.

Reviewed by: Al Corelli -

Ultimate wind blocking device

When I first saw the Keith Tanner Windblocker (KTW), I have to admit I was skeptical as to if it would block wind as well as the factory unit that was on my '89 RX-7. When that thing was up, the passenger compartment in the RX-7 became calm and almost tranquil. Even at speed. High speed.

The first thing I did before I installed the KTW on my Miata, was run some preliminary tests to give me a baseline for my seat of the pants measurements. I checked at speed with the windows up and down. I also tried just the passenger side window up halfway. This particular method always proved to be the best for me in the past.

The results concluded that no matter what I did, there was always wind coming from the rear between the seats at speed. And I couldn't hear the stock headrest speakers at any speed above 50 mph on the highway.

So, I unwrapped the KTW and began installing the unit on my car. Even though it came without instructions, installation was, quite literally, a snap. At first I thought the lack of instructions was accidental, but there is absolutely no need for them. The KTW just uses three of the top boot's carpet mounted snaps to attach on the bottom, and two nylon cinch straps to wrap around the upper part of each seat under the speakers. Simple, effective, very cool.

The first test was the "city" test. The KTW proved its worth in around town driving by not allowing the bass from the stock headrest speakers to be lost. It also noticably reduced the amount of traffic noise admitted while driving and at stoplights. And it is a really neat place to display my Miata.Net and UMN stickers (Club M soon).

On the highway, the KTW proved itself yet again. The wind noise and buffeting were severely reduced. I could actually hear the suggestions of my favorite passenger at 80 mph. ("Please, slow down") After further testing at 105 mph, I could still hear her telling me to slow down ("Slow Down you SOB"), although this time it was in a slightly louder voice. All this time I was still able to hear the headrest speakers. At somewhere near 100 and something mph, all I could feel was a smacking sensation on my face. This proved later to be a red mark the same size and shape as Gail's hand. Imagine that.

I highly recommend the Keith Tanner Windblocker. If I found any flaw in its design, it would be that the edges of the plexiglass could have been finished a little better. I can barely notice this, though. I have been informed that Keith is now having a professional cutting place make up the blanks for him, so this tiny problem has been averted. There is DEFINITELY great value for the money in this product. When I finally aquire the Elusive Yellow Miata, I will purchase another one for it.

Reviewed by: Todd Breakey - BJBreakey@AOL.COM

I went ahead and bought one of the windblockers made by Keith rather than try to make one myself. The finish of the blocker is impeccable. Keith does a great job making this product. My windblocker showed up only three days afte he comfirmed that he received my check, which is pretty good concidering it is coming from Canada to the southern U.S.

I bought the windblocker to use on my honeymoon so that my new wife would let me keep the top down all the way from Raleigh,NC to Miami, FL. (a 14 hour drive) I was amazed at how effective the blocker is at reducing cockpit buffet and wind noise. I am 6 feet tall and therefore my head sticks a little above the Miata seat and usually gets beat around by all the wind buffet, but not with the blocker in place. I also found that with the blocker in place and the windows rolled up, the cockpit is as quiet, if not a little bit quieter, as with the top up.

I highly recommend Keith's windblocker to anyone who wants to take his or her Miata on long trips. The installation and removal takes all of 2 minutes and it is the perfect size to it on the deck when you have the top up. Keith provides great, prompt service and was willing to answer any question that I had.