One of the least pleasant experiences you can have in a car is getting in after it's been baking in the sun all day. Temperatures in a hot car that's been sitting in the sun can reach well over 100 degrees. That's why having a good car sun shade is so important. With the right sun shade covering your windshield, you can drastically reduce the temperature of an idle car in a parking lot.
If you're ready to buy yourself a new car sun shade, then let us help you find the perfect one. We've compiled the following buying guide just for that purpose. We've also added reviews of some of our favorites, including our top pick, the Shade-It Windshield Sun Shade.
Considerations when choosing car sun shades
The most common types of car sun shades are roll-up custom fit, foldable custom fit, roll-up universal fit, and accordion. Custom fit and universal foldable models are easy to use and have a simple design. Roll-up custom fit car sun shades are not as easy to store when not being used. Accordion-style shades fold and unfold along the pleats and are easy to store, like foldable models. Most of these are made of similar materials (usually nylon and polyester); the real difference is in how they cover the windshield and how they are stowed.
Size is an important factor to consider when choosing a car sun shade. It's best not to rely on third-party dimensions, and simply measure your windshield by hand when determining what size car sun shade you will need. Every brand of sun shade is different, so pay attention to the manufacturer's dimensions when deciding whether or not it will work on your vehicle.
Because your car sun shade faces out from the vehicle while parked, some people find the color or design on the front of the shade to be important. If you want to give passersby something interesting to look at, then find a car sun shade with a fun design; you can find anything from butterflies to American flags to Vincent van Gogh.
Some car sun shades are easy to install, while others can be extremely cumbersome. Consider the size of your vehicle cabin, the size of the windshield, and the style of car sun shade. All of these factors contribute to determine the ease of use for installing and uninstalling your car sun shade.
Car sun shade prices
Most car sun shades cost between $5 and $90.
Q. How long can I expect my car sun shade to last?
A. That depends greatly on the type and quality of the car sun shade that you choose. As a general rule, if it is made of a semi-durable material such as nylon or polyester, you can expect it to last for a few years.
Q. Is it legal to use a side window car sun shade?
A. Yes. Although windshield car sun shades are only intended to be used when the vehicle is parked, side window sun shades can be used when the vehicle is in motion in most states. Check your local laws, though, to be sure.
Q. Does a car sun shade really block that much of the sun?
A. Though the answer varies by model, car sun shades can deflect an immense amount of light and heat from your car. Well-made car sun shades constructed from polyester or nylon can block up to 99% of the sun's rays. This means that car sun shades can lower the vehicle's interior temperature by 15º to 40º.
Car sun shades we recommend
Best of the best: Windshield Sun Shade
Our take: Blocks 95% of sunlight, and fits right back into a tiny package.
What we like: Extremely strong and even tearproof.
What we dislike: It's a little complicated to put in place.
Best bang for your buck: EzyShade Windshield Sunshade
Our take: Two-piece sun shade makes for one easy fit.
What we like: Comes in various sizes, and keeps out 99% of the sun's rays. Easy to install and store.
What we dislike: May not work well with all rearview mirrors.
Choice 3: Motor Trend Front Windshield Sun Shade
Our take: The accordion-style design will be like music to your ears, because it fits almost any vehicle.
What we like: Velcro strap is helpful, and the heavy-duty fabric stands up well against the windshield.
What we dislike: Rearview mirror slit may not fit all vehicles.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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