I ended up installing Windex Exceptional Performance
blades a couple of days ago.
They work pretty well out of the box, but the passenger side one wasn't making full contact all the way to the outer end of the blade across the entire sweep. Fortunately, they can be tweaked, so I fixed that issue.
These are ready for our 1/4" side pins out of the box.
Unfortunately, the universal mounting system with various snap-in adapters uses a large bracket that's rather conspicuous to the driver with the wipers parked, especially true of the passenger side. I'm more interested in performance & longevity than aesthetics, so hopefully I'll get used to seeing it sticking up there and it will eventually be less distracting.
Other brands I looked at that would take our 1/4" side pin didn't seem lower profile (more aesthetically pleasing) than these, so that's evidently what ya get with universal upgrade beams.
The blades are dead silent, even when dry, at all vehicle and wiper speeds. Yeah, I know, most brand new blades are.
Perhaps the "coating" will help them last a while. Of course, the coating is almost certainly only applied to the glass contact surface, so they could still suffer drying/breakage at the "neck". I suspect the coating is mostly for noise control, but it may also help block UV. Winplus/Windex doesn't specify what the coating material is, but I'll assume it's either graphite (perhaps impregnated) or Teflon, since that's what most other brands use.
The price was right -- with $6 worth of Sears surprise points redeemed, I got the pair for $14.87 including tax. Most other brand premium graphite or Teflon beams cost that much or more for a single blade.
These seem to be decent quality, so I'm happy with the purchase for now.
I'll follow-up in this thread if I have problems with them within their life expectancy. There's nothing on the packaging, in the included instruction sheet, or on the Winplus website
specifying a warranty, but Winplus/Windex recommends changing blades every 6 months max
, so I'm going to assume that's what these are rated for (despite being "tested to 500,000 wipes").