Best Sunshades for the Car: Where the Sun Don't Shine

Vivek Nayyar
by Vivek Nayyar

Top 8 Best Sunshades

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.

Table of Contents

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

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

2. Cheap Relief: Hosaire Car Sunshades Windshield Reflector

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

3. EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade

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

4. Kinder Fluff Car Sun Shade (4px)

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

5. Windshield Sun Shade by A1-Sunshades

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

6. Motor Trend Front Windshield Sun Shade

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

7. EP-Car Sunshield Telescopic

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

8. TYPS Universal Car Windshield Retractable Sunshade

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

FAQs

What type of car sun shade is best?

The answer to this question depends on who you are driving with, in which areas you drive, and where you usually park your car. To explain in detail:

Who You Are Driving With?

If you drive alone or your passengers are mostly teens or adults, you may want to go for pull-down window sunshades as they can be pulled down to prevent harmful solar rays from entering your vehicle while driving. On the other hand, if you have a family and you drive along with infants, the fixed-position sunshades would be better to give you tension-free journeys.

Region of Driving and Parking Area

If your region of residence usually has a high temperature and/or you mostly park your car in an open area, under direct sunlight, you are advised to pick UV-resistant sunshades to protect the interior of your vehicle from degrading and to keep it comparatively cooler.

Size

You must get the sunshades of the correct size according to the type of car you have (hatchback, sedan, or SUV). Make sure to consult your dealer or an authorized professional before investing your funds in any such protective shield.

Do sunshades for cars really work?

A short answer would be, yes, they do work. Two types of sunshades are available in the market, namely:

Reflective

These are traditional sunshades with the characteristic of bouncing UV and harmful solar rays off your vehicle.

Non-Reflective

These sunshades absorb the heat and UV rays rather than reflecting them off.

Regardless of the type of window shields you pick, the interior of your car stays safe and comparatively cooler with them.

Are WeatherTech sunshades worth it?

Yes, WeatherTech sunshades have received a decent number of positive reviews on Amazon from a majority of consumers. The users are happy with the product and recommend it to others too.

However, there’s one thing that disappoints them the most is the poor-quality strap in the folding (pull-down) variants as it melts down due to high temperature. Other than that, a few say that it’s a bit bulky product. However, this flaw is not a deal-breaker. Is it?

To summarize, the overall performance of the WeatherTech sunshades is good and you can count on their quality.

Do sunshades keep cars cooler?

Yes, they do. Several tests have shown a temperature drop of around 30 degrees or more inside the car with sunshades as compared to that without one. However, to achieve this, you must pick UV-resistant window shields from a reputed brand and make sure that they are of the correct size to cover all the areas of the vehicle that are exposed to direct solar and UV rays.

Can you put a sunshade on the rear window?

Yes, you can put sun blockers on the rear windows of your car to protect kids from harmful UV and solar rays. Because these pieces of equipment are pretty useful, many vendors manufacture both manual and automatic rear window sunshades and you can choose according to your car type, comfort preferences, and budget.

What is the sun blocker in a car called?

As the name suggests, a sun blocker is used to protect the interior of your vehicle from harmful UV and solar rays thus keeping it comparatively cooler. Because of their functioning, such protections are often called sunshades, sunshade rollers (the term is mostly used in context with pull-down variants), and sometimes window shields. Generally, all these terms are used interchangeably during informal conversations.

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.

(Editor’s note: 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.)

[Main photo credit: aapsky / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Vivek Nayyar
Vivek Nayyar

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