Hop on Google and search for consumer-driven reviews of do-it-yourself paint protection or sealant and you’ll find two products continually above the competition – our kick-ass Armor Shield IX and CarPro’s CQuartz 3.0 UK (also called CQUK).
These two products have been battling for supremacy within the DIY ceramic coating segment, with both continually improving their formulation to meet customers growing needs. So – how do they compare side-by-side?
Well – that’s what we will discover today.
In the information below, we will compare Armor Shield IX vs CQuartz 3.0 UK. We’ll break down what’s included in their kits, discuss the formulation and why it is important, talk about similarities, and differences. Finally, we’ll provide some best practice options to determine which products are best suited for specific applications.
Breaking Down the Formulation of Ceramic Coatings
While all companies hold their precise ingredients close to the vest (for obvious reasons), there are some general ingredients that all high-quality DIY ceramic coatings contain. And these two combatants are no different.
- Nano SiO2: This is the magic ingredient that creates the hardness attributes of a ceramic coating. Si02 is the chemical formula for silica dioxide, an inorganic metal oxide that has a diameter smaller than 100 nanometers. Its primary duty is to form a crystal layer onto the surface area, or in the instance of vehicles, the clear coating.
- Nano TiO2: Titanium Oxide (TiO2) is mainly used in pharmaceutical products such as antiseptics and helps to inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria. When used in ceramic coatings, its primary duty is to improve the hydrophobic effects (repelling water).
- Activation of Fluorine: This ingredient is added to improve the anti-dust effect. Basically, it makes it difficult for dust and debris to stick to the vehicle surface.
- Brightening Silicon Particles: The shiny and gloss effect of ceramic coatings is mainly attributed to the addition of this ingredient.
- Polysilazane: The addition of this ingredient helps to improve the temperature tolerance of ceramic coatings. However, it also helps to improve the anti-graffiti attributes for coatings.
There are several additional proprietary ingredients that make products unique, so we’ll just deal with the main items above.
Comparing the Formulation of Armor Shield IX vs Cquartz 3.0 UK
DIY ceramic coating formulas are carefully engineered for superior protection, but also for ease of application. When it comes to installation, the main ingredient the determines the simplicity or provides a wider margin of error is SiO2.
The general consensus is that adding more than 90 percent of SiO2 is intended for professional application. The maximum range for easy DIY installation if roughly 85 to 88 percent. However, less SiO2 makes it easier to apply.
What is the SiO2 Percent in Armor Shield IX and Cquartz 3.0 UK?
CarPro: CarPro Cquartz 3.0 UK actively boast a SiO2 formula of 70 percent with 99.9 percent purity. The 70 percent SiO2 makes it easier to apply for the novice car care enthusiast. The 99.9 percent purity is to explain the quality of SiO2 used. It’s not unique to this product, as most high-end DIY nano product have the same quality.
Us: Our Armor Shield IX DIY Ceramic coating has a SiO2 percentage above 80 percent of 99.9 percent pure Si02. Earlier formulations were close to the 86 to 88 percent but were reduced slightly in their second and current edition to improve the application process for DIY’ers.
Winner: Since the higher percentage of SiO2 results in longer lasting and stronger protection, the edge goes to Armor Shield IX with SiO2 above 80 percent.
What are the Product Contents?
Each ceramic paint protection product is sold as an installation kit, which includes everything you need to apply the product correctly.
What’s in Armor Shield IX? – $69.99 + FREE Domestic Shipping
When you order (1) DIY ceramic coating kit, here is what you’ll receive:
- (1) 30ml Bottle of Armor Shield IX
- (1) Applicator Sponge
- (3) Applicator Suedes
- (1) Pair of Professional-Grade Nitrile Gloves
- (1) Microfiber Buffing Towel
A 30ml bottle will protect a motorcycle or a compact car. (2) bottles will cover sedans, pick-ups, and Jeeps, while (3) bottles should be purchased to protect full-sized trucks, SUV’s, or vans. The packaging itself is exceptionally clean, arriving in a matte-black case with a chrome-coated bottle, detailed illustrated instructions, and a user guide.
We also offer volume discounts for multiple kit purchases.
- (2) kits will run you $104.99 – which is buy 1 get the 2nd half off.
- (3) kits will cost $139.9 – which is buy 2 get 1 free.
What’s in Cquartz 3.0 UK? – $74.99 + Shipping
Cquartz 3.0 UK is sold in the US as a 50ml bottle. However, they do offer a 30ml version for UK consumers. When you purchase a (50ml) kit, you’ll receive:
- (1) 50ml bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0 (Use 15ml+/- per coat for the average sized car)
- (1) 16″ Microfiber Suede Towel
- (1) CarPro Foam Applicator Block
- (5) 4″ MF Suede applicators
- (1) Reflective Hologram CQuartz Sticker
Cquartz 3.0 UK is sold by some distributors, so your pricing may vary. They do sell a 30ml reload kit, but it is hard to find in the USA.
So – let’s break down the tale of the tape:
Us: We package our product in a 30ml bottle which makes it easier to order the right quantity of product for different vehicle sizes. We also provide protective gloves, so you don’t get sticky stuff on your hands.
CarPro: The CarPro guys do provide an additional 4″ MF Suede applicator, but the 50ml bottle makes it difficult to determine how much is needed for those mid to large sized vehicles, like most SUV’s, trucks, and luxury cars. They don’t add any Nitrile Gloves for protection, but they provide a cool reflective hologram sticker.
Winner: If you’re looking for more product, Cquartz 3.0 UK does the trick. The 50ml bottle should cover most compact to mid-sized sportscars, like Nissan’s 370s. Their kit also gives you everything you need to apply (except for the gloves). If you’re looking for buying the right amount of product for specific vehicles, then Armor Shield IX is up your alley.
What are the Similarities Between Armor Shield IX and Cquartz 3.0 UK?
On the surface, both of these products are quite similar in their function and quality of results. Let’s review some of the areas where they are the same include:
- Superior hydrophobic properties. This helps to repel water, reduce water spots, and dust from sticking to the vehicle paint coating surface.
- Reduce the need to wax and polish: The formulation of both Armor Shield IX and Cquartz 3.0 UK include brightening silicon particles, which helps to produce an amazing shine and gloss. The coating itself does not need to be waxed or polished.
- Easy to apply. AvalonKing states that their SiO2 percentage is above 80 percent, but below that 86 to 88 percent threshold for ease of application. Cquartz 3.0 UK is 70 percent, making it their easiest product to install.
- Prep work. Both products recommend washing by a detailer or yourself, clay bar treatment, paint correction (if swirl marks exist), polishing, and a final IPA wipe down. Both do not recommend going to a car wash. Always follow their recommendation for washing a new car or used car.
- Include everything you need to apply correctly. As described above, when you order either product, you’ll receive everything you need to do-it-yourself.
- Repels water, chemicals, road grime, contaminants, UV rays, and more.
- Resistant to damaged caused by bird droppings, bug splatters, and reduced potential for light scratches.
- Easy to maintain. Cquartz 3.0 UK and Armor Shield IX contain self-cleaning properties, which means your car stays cleaner – longer.
- Same maintenance and care: While CarPro sells some upkeep products, both products recommend the same level of routine care – by washing the vehicle every two weeks using a two-bucket washing method. No waxing by a professional detailer is needed.
What Are the Differences?
While there are a lot of similarities between the two products, there are several differences that should be considered before making the investment.
As discussed in the beginning, the major difference with Armor Shield IX and Cquartz 3.0 UK is the SiO2 level.
CarPro: Cquartz 3.0 UK has a 70% SiO2 percentage, which is not bad but does not cure as hard or last as long as Armor Shield IX.
Us: Our ceramic coating contains slightly more than 80% SiO2, which results in a longer-lasting, hard-curing layer of protection.
Winner: Armor Shield IX wins as stated above.
CarPro: CarPro recommends applying a minimum of (2) layers of Cquartz 3.0 UK to protect a vehicle with an average life expectancy of 2+ years.
Us: We recommend applying (1) coating of Armor Shield IX for an average life expectancy of 3+ years. You can apply the 2nd layer for longer lasting protection, but it’s not required.
Winner: We’ll call this a draw. The goal of any ceramic coating is to provide protection for paint. Both products “get there”, but it will take longer to apply CarPro’s product than ours.
Temperature Application Range
CarPro: One of the main changes with Cquartz 3.0 UK’s new formulation was to expand the temperature range of installation (40-degrees F to 100-degrees F). Armor Shield is recommended to apply from 50 to 80 degrees for optimal results. The hotter the temperature, the quicker it will ‘flash’ and need to be buffed out.
Us: Optimal installation for Armor Shield IX is completed indoors, out of direct sunlight and at 70 degrees.
Winner: Gotta give it up to CarPro with this one. Their product has a broader range for application and installation with temperature variance. Kudos to them for coming up with this formulation, as it’s a huge benefit for those living in colder and hotter climates.
This one is really hard to compare, as there is a method behind each product madness.
US: We sell Armor Shield IX in 30ml bottles. The main reason for this is because we believe it provides the best progression in applying for different sized vehicles. It makes it easier to buy products based on vehicle size. Our volume discount helps off-set the cost of larger trucks and SUV’s.
CarPro: Cquartz 3.0 UK is primarily sold to US consumers in a 50ml bottle. They also sell a 30ml refill kit, for those in-between jobs, but getting it in the US can be challenging.
Let’s compare an average sized vehicle (which is a four-door sedan) for an apple-to-apple comparison.
- (2) Kits of Armor Shield IX: 60ml of Armor Shield IX will provide enough product for (2) coats of protection on a Nissan Maxima or Toyota Camry for example. This will cost $104.99 for (2) kits purchased directly from AvalonKing.
- (1 ½) Kits of Cquartz 3.0 UK: While they state that the ‘average car’ can be protected with their 50ml bottle, it’s very hard to find specifics on their website for how many kits you need to purchase for the vehicle type. Since CarPro recommends (2) coats of their product, and they have less SiO2 percentage than Armor Shield IX, it makes sense that you’d need at least 60ml of their product for maximum protection for the average 4 door sedan. The problem here is that you’ll have to purchase (2) 50ml Cquartz coating kits – costing you $149.98 + shipping. If you can find the CarPro Reload 30ml bottle, this would be a smart way to save money.
Winner: For sheer convenience – we get the nod. For medium-sized cars, Cquartz 3.0 UK 50ml bottle is a great option. Everyone else could benefit from buying 1, 2 or 3 Armor Shield IX kits.
Manufacturer Direct Sales
Buying directly from the manufacturer comes with multiple benefits – mainly cost savings and improved customer service.
Us: When USA consumers purchase Armor Shield IX, they are buying directly from the manufacturer with a product made, packaged, and shipped from the USA. This results in a fresher product, quicker service, and savings on shipping. In fact, you don’t pay for standard shipping when you live in the USA.
CarPro: Buying Cquartz 3.0 UK in the USA is done through a US distributor of CarPro products, Amazon.com, or eBay. Most of their products are made overseas, which may impact product quality, and will cost more in shipping. CarPro distributors charge a minimum of $10 per kit for USPS Express delivery.
Winner: No shipping fees with Armor Shield IX gives the advantage to us.
Summary: What’s Best for Your Car?
In the world of do-it-yourself ceramic coatings, Armor Shield IX and Cquartz 3.0 UK reign supreme. Each product is made with a focus on quality and does a good job protecting your vehicle surface. That being said, there are certain applications that are better suited for each product:
Armor Shield IX
If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, Armor Shield IX is the most complete solution. The easy to follow instructional chart for how many kits to purchase, along with their volume discounts make purchasing the right amount – for specific vehicles easier.
Review the chart below for the recommended kits based on the vehicle size and type:
These are our recommended quantities for the respective type of vehicle. The Volume Savings can be seen besides/below.
|Type of Vehicle||Recommended Quantity||Volume Savings|
|Small car||1 bottle*|
|Sedan||2 bottles*||Save $35 (25%)|
|Pick-up||2 bottles*||Save $35 (25%)|
|Jeep||2 bottles*||Save $35 (25%)|
|SUV||3 bottles*||Save $70 (33%)|
|VAN||3 bottles*||Save $70 (33%)|
|Boat||4 bottles+*||Save $110 (39%)|
*Please note that it may be a good idea getting an extra bottle, ensuring you don’t run out when doing an application.
Cquartz 3.0 UK
The 50ml bottle of Cquartz 3.0 UK is great for mid-sized Japanese coupes such as Mazda’s, Nissan’s, Toyota’s, and Mitsubishi’s. It can also be used on two-door BMW’s, Jags, and other smaller performance cars. Anything bigger would require a second kit. The 50ml bottle is a bit of overkill for a small compact car or motorcycle but would leave some extra for coating your helmet for example.