By on September 4, 2019

best sunshades for the car

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


You’ve seen plenty of vehicles with completely nuked dashboards in Murilee’s Junkyard Find series. After a lifetime of baking in the sun, these cars end up with cratered and cracked interiors that resemble the moon’s surface. It’s not pretty.

Sunshades are derided by some as useless items deployed only by Floridian seniors after parking their 1992 Chrysler New Yorker at the Golden Corral. Closer inspection actually reveals these things pop up on cars deposited in sunny climate long-term lots in an effort by their owners to keep the vehicle interior temperature from reaching those normally found on the sun.

An informal survey also taught this author that some delivery drivers deploy sunshades during a stop to try and keep their office cool and avoid a furnace-like blast every time they open the door. It adds a measure of security from prying eyes as well.

Here are an octet of the best sunshades we found on Amazon.

(Editor’s note: As noted above, this post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)


1. Editor’s Choice: EcoNaur Car Windshield Sun Shade

econour best sunshade for car

Offered in a quartet of sizes from 59 inches to nearly 68 inches wide, this choice pops out of its carry case like an excited jack-in-the-box. It folds away small enough to be stored in a vehicle’s door pockets. Measuring the inside width of your vehicle and then ordering the correct size is a sure-fire way to be assured this shade will stay in place.

Most of us have seared off precious layers of skin on a hotter-than-fire metal seatbelt buckle at some point in our lives, so this shade’s reflective exterior should repel much of the heat that causes these branding-iron sessions. Made from nylon polyester, just like your high-school science teacher’s suit, the shade will require its owners to flip down their sunshades to help keep it in place. Its twin round wire circles, designed to flex a bit during set up, result in a shape that encourages 10-year olds and 39-year olds to draw specific anatomy pictures on its surface.

Pros: Reasonable price, variety of sizes, shape is perfect for drawing rude pictures

Cons: Some reviewers report it doesn’t play well with rearview mirrors

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2. Cheap Relief: Hosaire Car Sunshades Windshield Reflector

hosaire best sunshade for car

On a website filled with readers who click on the Ace of Base series and enjoy cloth-bedecked Tradesman Rams instead of leather-lined Limiteds (weirdos), we figured it best to highlight this option which checks in at about a third of the price of a Starbucks coffee. Costing just $2.99, this shade is unlikely to last an entire summer season but, at that price, you can buy multiples of the thing for the cost of a single more expensive unit.

As with most things in life, one gets what they pay for. There are only three reviews, two of which are horrible. One particularly descriptive author said this shade can’t even support its own weight. Still, if you’re looking for a quick fix for a Craigslist flip, this el cheapo choice might be a good idea.

Pros: Cheaper than dirt

Cons: Questionable quality

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3. EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade

ezyshade best sunshade for car

Using a snazzy Audi as its cover model, this spellcheck-vexing EzyShade is available in three sizes and costs about 10 bucks. Actually formed out of two rectangular panels that overlap, the seller claims an 82 percent reduction in the buildup of heat inside a car. Remember, 58 percent of statistics are made up half the time.

Older reviews are generally good but recent ones from the last week or so are filled with vitriol generally reserved for those wretched plastic blister packs that foil all attempts to release the item they are holding. Reports of floppy fit and a weird chemical smell are rife, though the former could be a result of user error. Folding them also seems to be a bit challenging.

Pros: Dual panel coverage, affordably priced

Cons: Reports of off-gassing and folding problems

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4. Kinder Fluff Car Sun Shade (4px)

kinder fluff best sunshade for car

Kinder Fluff? What is this? Fit for a daycare? Actually, it kinda is, as these shades are meant for your car’s side windows instead of its forward glass. There will be times when Junior could use a bit of relief from the sun on a long journey, a task for which these things are designed. As they are only semi-transparent, heaving them into the driver’s line of sight is not recommended.

Measuring about two feet by one foot, they’re made with tightly woven synthetic fabric so that there are less holes in through which the sun can shine. Simply unfurl the shade, dampen the window, and press the thing into place. In a presumed attempt to ward off complaints, the seller notes these shades will have crease fresh out of the box.

Pros: Helps the kiddos, easy to place, they’re called Kinder Fluff

Cons: Static application can fail after a time

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5. Windshield Sun Shade by A1-Sunshades

a1 shade best sunshade for car

One of the few sellers to include a sizing menu – which, by the way, includes a listing for a 1987 Pontiac Bonneville – from which one can select their car, this shade is available in no fewer than seven different sizes. There is even a size specifically listed for the Wrangler, a decision which should surely please the Chads and Brocks of the world.

Reviews are great, especially given the large sample size of over 3,000 customers. Some of them warn that the shade’s metal folding structure can fail over time, creating a poking hazard. Beyond that, the review section is filled with praise for good fit and easy folding, though plenty of reports say this thing is hard to get back in the pouch. Simply fold it up and stick it in the door pocket, then.

Pros: Stellar reviews, wide array of sizes

Cons: Good luck getting it back in the pouch

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6. Motor Trend Front Windshield Sun Shade

motor trend best sunshade for car

Because the royalty fees for all those back episodes of Top Gear aren’t going to pay for themselves, MT feels the need to lend its brand to a variety of car-related products, including sunshades. You can be certain the TTAC name will never appear on such a product, mainly because no one wants to be associated with us.

This thing is offered in a single 58-inch width, meaning it won’t work for your Detroit Canyonero but it does come in a variety of colors, something which no other shade on this list can claim. It also has a smart cutout for the rearview mirror, solving a complaint levied by the customers of several other sunshade brands.

Pros: Different colors, allowance for mirrors

Cons: You’re potentially funding Randy Pobst’s dinner expense

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7. EP-Car Sunshield Telescopic

ep-car sunshield best sunshade for car

Here’s a different take on the car sunshade, one which retracts for storage instead of being required to fold up like a paper map or fabric Frisbee. Think of it as a manual version of a powered rear-window sunshade on fancy Audi sedans or a portable variant of a roll-up window shade.

Several sizes are available, including ones that will fit side windows and shade the heads of back-seat minions. The seller purports owners of this shade can stretch it horizontally across a windshield, an application which would surely require its removal before driving even in the retracted position.

Pros: Different sizes are available, multiple applications in the car

Cons: Zero feedback

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8. TYPS Universal Car Windshield Retractable Sunshade

typs best sunshade for car

This shade is similar to the one shown above in that it is of the retractable variety. Difference here is that it folds up like an accordion rather than rolling up like a window shade. It’s seller also markets it solely as a solution for the front windshield rather than a way to cool off the back seat during long drives.

Measuring just over two feet tall by a maximum of a hair more than five feet wide, it should fit the vast majority of cars. A bracket keeps it anchored to one side of the windshield while a suction cup keeps things aloft on the other end. Given its vision-blocking properties even when retracted, drivers must surely remove the entire thing before driving, not just retract it into its base.

Pros: Retractability ensures a wide range of sizes

Cons: Your car will look like it has corrugated sheetmetal in its window

Shop Now


[Images provided by the manufacturer. Lead image: aapsky/Shutterstock]

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20 Comments on “Where the Sun Don’t Shine: Best Sunshades for the Car...”


  • avatar
    ravenuer

    My 2cents: Thought I’d treat my new Lexus RX to a shade that you rated #1. Most of the time couldn’t get it folded again. Tossed it. Bought one like the first picture at the top of the article. Folds like an accordion every time. From the local AutoZone for a couple bucks. Perfect.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Sun shades seem like a good idea, but after 2 or 3 times becomes a pain. I could see maybe living in the desert SW they might be a good idea, but who else really needs them?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      When I park my car at work during the summer, I park it so the rear of the vehicle doesn’t get the afternoon sun. This keeps the seats from being too hot when I get in the car.

      In the winter, I do the opposite.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    I bought one from the dealership..not an all sizes fits all but made for the car. It is made for my windshield and seems to be of good quality. A must have in Florida. Protects the inside of the car and makes it a lot more bearable after a few hours in the sun. The next best thing since having the car parked in the garage.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I’m not sure they’re terribly effective, but they help. My thinking is anything to try to keep the sun directly off the dash. Even if its only a few degress cooler, thats a few degrees that the A/C doesn’t have to overcome to cool down the dash before the cool air actually reaches you.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I was hoping this article covered how good the custom ones fit.

    I use an Auto Heat Shield for my C7 and its just short, especially at the top. So I have to use velcro to secure it. I got some random, off brand “custom fit” shield for the wife’s Q60 – sadly another miss here. I had to enlarge the slot so it would fit around the rear view mirror. How hard is it to trace the inside shape of a windshield to ensure correct coverage and fitment?

    Does anyone have experience with WeatherTech? I know their floor mats are custom and fit really well (thanks to lasers if you believe their commercials), but what about their sun shields?

    I live in FL and these shields are must haves since you can’t tint the front window. My C7 has a leather dash that is known for peeling up (cheap GM glue) if you don’t keep the sun off it.

  • avatar
    EAM3

    I have been using the Covercraft UV custom fit sunshades since 1985 (’85 Trans Am) and have had one for every vehicle I own ever since. They fit like a glove and, especially in South Florida, they are a must. The temperature difference compared to not putting one on is drastic. Are they a pain in the butt? Nowhere near as much as getting in a car without it.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    As I live mostly in Southern California I need these things, I just bought two from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts after the AutoZone ones were too damn BIG to fit my old hoopty ride .

    I prefer the accordion kind, the wire hoops are O.K. but I always manage to bend the spring hoop when I’m in a hurry .

    Sadly I threw out the wrapper with brand and info .

    The really cheapo $2 ones are worthless, not even good enough for a day’s use as they sag and fall down when you close the door .

    Even with the sun shade it was 128* F inside the car when I opened it yesterday afternoon after struggling most of the day on leaky water pipes and toilets in a poorly ventilate whse .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    I’ve had Intro-Tech sunshades for my last two cars; the current one is custom-fit to the car. (I had to fold in the “wings” around the rear view mirror to avoid frying the camera. The one for my new ride fits perfectly in that regard.)

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Living in Dallas, a sun screen is a must. The reason they’re required is that the sun heat-soaks that giant block of black plastic that is your dashboard, as well as your front seats. With a good sunscreen , you only need to cool the air inside the car rather than cooling the heat-soaked areas so the car will cool down very quickly.

    I have used Heatshield sunscreens for years now. They’re custom fit to each car, and the materials are strong enough to last many years. They’re also stiff enough that they don’t sag, but easy to roll up; the attached Velcro strap keeps them rolled up. For what it’s worth, Heatshield started out making their screens for aircraft.

    https://www.heatshieldstore.com/

    Over the years, I’ve tried them in the rear window as well, but I don’t find the benefit worth the bother. The front is quick and easy but not so crawling into the back seat every time you move your car.

  • avatar
    6250Claimer

    Y’all missed the best product on the market, bar none – the Covercraft UVS100. Far, far superior to any of this crap. And I’m an expert, I live in Arizona. :)

  • avatar
    picard234

    I have the Ezy Shade (number 3 above). They don’t fit nearly as well as that picture. Also, the wire frame broke through the thin fabric after just a couple of weeks. Being in the Florida Keys, these shades are a must, but I wouldn’t get this one again.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Who here has a Covercraft one older than 3 years ? .

    For my car they begin at $70 and Amazon doesn’t have the correct P/N .

    That’s a lot of $ for a fixed budget .

    It’s also only available in FUGLY brown .

    TIA,

    -Nate

  • avatar
    amca

    I live in Phoenix, and I’m convinced by experience these shades do not keep the car cooler. By the time the sun has made it through the windshield to hit the sun shade, the heat’s in the car and being held in by the sealed glass.

    Shades will keep your seat cooler if it happens to be getting direct sunlight (good for third degree burns in Arizona). But they do precious little to keep the cabin cooler.

    What’s needed is a shade outside the car, so the sun doesn’t hit the glass in the first place. A tree. A dedicated shade. Or, my crazy idea: auto-inflatable/deflatable shade that pops out of a box on the roof. Never going to happen, but it’d be great in crazy climates like Phoenix.


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