Having proper sun shades is an important aspect of improving your car and driving experience. Not only do windshield shades prevent your car from becoming an oven on a hot day, but they also protect and improve the longevity of your interior. There are many types and brands of shades to choose through, and finding a suitable one for your car might seem daunting at first.
Windshield sun shades come in different designs, but most are made with nylon or polyester fabric. These materials (notably nylon) are known for their resistance to the environment, making them a great choice for sun shades. You might see the density of the fabric denoted in quantities such as “210T Nylon”, which basically describes how much volume of fabric there is for a certain area. Basically, the higher the “T” number is, the denser the material (and more protection it can offer).
As for the types of sun shades, there are a few very prevalent designs. The first is the foldable two-piece shade, which is characterized by two circular shades held together by fabric. These are used commonly in the more universal products. Another type of sun shade is the overlapping kind—it offers length customization via overlapping the two shades. Finally, there’s the more old-school suction-cup based design, which is self-explanatory—it is stuck onto the windshield.
Best Car Sun Shades 2019
Windshield shades are an important accessory to consider for every driver, as the front windshield is the main thing separating your front seats from a scorching summer sun. Whether you’re looking for affordable or highly effective shades, there is always a product you can be satisfied with. Below are some key characteristics distinguishing the different sun shades on our list.
|EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade||Normal||Low||Foldable two-piece||29-36 inches (3 sizes)||Buy on Amazon|
|Blocks UV Rays Sun Visor Protector||Thin||High||Two circles + fabric,210T Nylon||27.55-37 inches (4 sizes)||Buy on Amazon|
|Windshield Sun Shade by A1-Sunshades||Normal||Medium||Two circles + fabric, overlapping pieces, 210T Nylon||Up to 35 inches (7 different sizes)||Buy on Amazon|
|Jumbo XL (70 x 35 inches) Car Window Shade||Normal||High||Folding shade||35 inches||Buy on Amazon|
|Shade-It Car Windshield Sun Shades||Thin||High||Two circles + fabric||27.55-36.4 8inches (3 sizes)||Buy on Amazon|
|DPIST Van Gogh Starry Sky||Thin||Very High||Suction-stick fabric||28 inches||Buy on Amazon|
|Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade 2-Piece Foldable||Normal||Medium-High||Foldable two-piece||29-36 inches (3 sizes)|
The EzyShade product is perhaps the best choice available. It is marketed as easy to use, effective (up to 99% protection), and universal. To its credit, many buyers agree with the sentiments, and at first glance it is a very neat product.
Foldable, Universal Design
The design of these shades are, on the surface, very pleasing. Firstly, the set comes with two shades, designed to be able to fit any car (as they say, if you follow the size chart). At its core, users should be able to easily fold up and neatly tuck the shades away. Some users do echo this statement, and describe that if you figure out the right way to fold them it becomes easy. Similarly, many are happy with its universal fit, noting that it fit their windshield almost perfectly.
To put it simply, if your windshield is the right size for this product, you won’t be disappointed. It fits snugly and protects your interior from both heat and UV rays to an impressive extent.
Caveats and Notes
One of the main criticisms of this car sun protector is the potential damage to the dashboard and windshield. Despite being designed to “prevent dashboard fading and cracking”, many customers had poor experiences in this regard. Others noted that their tinted windows began to peel as a result of these shades.
The lesson here is—make sure this product is right for you. It is close to perfect in functionality, but if your windshield is not compatible with it (or if you have stick-tinted windows), it might cause some problems. Otherwise, the only real complaint is about how tricky it is to fold, but practice makes perfect.
|If the size is right, it fits perfectly|
|Folding potentially tricky|
This product is fairly popular amongst its buyers, and seems like a good choice of shades. While it does come in a thin, round shape, it can fit most cars quite well (depending on the size you buy, that is) and block out a lot of the heat of a steamy summer day.
Comfortable and Easy
This product gets an “Amazon’s Choice” sticker for a reason it seems, as it seems to be a very user-friendly product. Above all, buyers lauded how easy it is to use, store, and fold back. In addition, there is a general consensus that the product fits quite well; these sun shades aren’t marketed as a universal fit, and on the contrary come in several sizes to choose from to make sure your fit is snug. It is also much easier to put aside compared to, for example, roller shades. To top it off, the package includes a sun visor extender and 4 car side window shades. Side window sun shades provide full coverage when paired with the front window sun shade, adding more protection to your interior.
The lightweight design is certainly a matter of personal preference; it is easier to store and use, but due to the thin nature of the product itself, it doesn’t block as much heat from penetrating into your car. However, not many had bad things to say regarding its effectiveness. While people’s cars would still be warm on a hot day with the shades up, there was a noticeable difference with using the protectors. However, the main complaint aimed at these shades by disgruntled buyers had to do with its thinness. Some even compared it to dollar store shades, adding that they did close to nothing to block the sun. Perhaps these shades are best used in slightly cooler climates, as they don’t seem to be too effective in scorching temperatures. In general, however, these are effective and affordable sun shades.
Comes with side window shades
Not suited to very hot weather
The main selling point of this sun shade is the 210T fabric that it is made of, offering more UV protection than 170T or 190T competitors. Its high quality silver-coated polyester design offers the best protection; but do its promises hold up in the highest heat?
In this case, we mean sharp in a literal sense. The first thing that jumps out at you in the negative experiences is the dozens of people describing how the supporting metal wire broke and ripped through the seams of the shade. This is not just an inconvenience, but also a danger; the “razor sharp” metal, as one user put it, is an injury risk if it ever snaps out of the seams. It would seem (no pun intended) that despite its intricate and sturdy design, they didn’t put the same amount of work into the security of the metal lining.
On the other hand, they keep falling off the windshield for other buyers, even for those that bought the “XL” 35-inch sun shade. This might be the result of inaccuracies in the size chart, as one user pointed out how the recommended size for their car was far too big. As a result, there was no way to keep the shades in place.
The heavily-hyped fabric does its job most of the time. Most buyers were pleased with the fit (if they got the right size) and its heat-blocking properties, and praised this sun shade as a whole. However, others had the opposite experience, and described getting back into a heated car and grabbing onto a scorching steering wheel. Despite being advertised as a quality car sun shade, it leaves a lot to be desired in some aspects.
Reflects UV well
|Breaking wires common|
Falls off for many
Size chart inaccurate
This product is probably the most self-explanatory of the lot; its name already suggests it is made specifically for large cars and SUVs. Its price tag is just as intimidating as the name, and certainly sets up high expectations from the start.
Often Too Small
Despite being a “Jumbo XL”, it has the problem of being too small for some car windshields (that it should technically fit fine). Additionally, there are a few instances where the fabric starts coming apart and/or the metal wiring starts poking through the shades. However, the negatives are few and far between, and there are no qualms for how well it blocks out the sun.
Perfect for Vampires
As the silly subheading might suggest, this blocks out the sun very well. Those that managed to fit it snugly in their vehicle enjoyed complete coverage across the windshield. Some car sun shades fail to cover the entirety of the windshield and/or limit sun exposure enough to keep your car cool, but this product does both jobs well. Even in cases where it doesn’t fit the windshield entirely, propping it up with the sun visors seems to do the trick. If you have a larger car, this is definitely the place you should start your search.
Can be propped up even if sliding off
Great coverage of windshield
|Only for larger cars|
Rare problem of being too small and/or bending
The Image 2-4 windshield is sized for perfect coverage; to be more precise, they acknowledge that “one size fits all” models are oftentimes very ineffective at either covering the windshield or staying in place. As a result, their product comes in multiple sizes to offset this fact and give customers the right size for their needs.
The thing that jumps out at first glance is the smooth-looking design of the sun shade pack. The case that you store the shades in looks soft, flexible, and easy to use, and the shades themselves have a satisfying appearance. This could be considered a double-edged sword for some, as the covers aren’t as stiff or sturdy as you might expect. As a result, it might be a bit more difficult to keep them in place, especially if you didn’t get the right size for your car’s front window. To Shade-It’s credit, they recommend users measure their screen before purchasing to make sure there are no mistakes.
Thin and Weak
The main function of a sun shade is to keep your car as cool as possible under the sun, and unfortunately it’s the main point of criticism for this product. Unfortunately, the material is too thin to block a substantial amount of sunlight, so if you live in sunny areas like Texas, it might not do the job too well. Others complained about the strong, “plastic” smell of the material. It is also difficult to take down and put away, so the benefits of a very accurate fit and fancy case are offset somewhat. As with the Blocks UV Rays product we looked at, this might not be suited to the hottest climates.
Harder to keep in place
If you’re feeling creative or want a nifty design for a windshield sun shade, this might be the product for you. It is affordable and does its job about as well as you might expect. If you think the artwork is worth the dip in quality, this sun shade isn’t the worst.
No Wires, No Hassle
Perhaps the most notable thing about this product is the suction-based mounting. It has no wires to mess around with, so is a decent alternative for those who need an easy fix. Of course, with this design comes several issues, ranging from peeling of the surface to being far too small. Safe to say, it is not suited for bigger windshields and definitely not for blazing-hot weather. In fact, one buyer said it didn’t compare to a cheaper shade he got at the supermarket.
Worth the Price?
This isn’t the most expensive shade, but it’s questionable whether it’s worth the price nonetheless. The artwork, while a neat addition, is oft described as poorly printed. To add to this, the flaking that people describe seems to be a trend rather than an exception in hotter weather. However, it fits easily due to the suction mechanism, and all-in-all could be a good purchase in slightly cooler areas, even if just as a novelty.
Easy to prop up
Very light and compact
|For smaller windshields only|
Flaking of the edges
7. Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade 2-Piece Foldable — Two-Sided Protection
The last sun shades on our list are also advertised as a universal, perfect fit, bringing us full circle from the first product. At first glance it is a solid and well-designed product; let’s see how it was received.
Glancing through the shade descriptions, there is a lot to take in. It is made with premium quality materials and is offered in three sizes: sports, universal (for most sedans, mid-size SUVs, trucks, and standard cars). The design is centered around two overlapping shades to fit a variety of windshield lengths. The shades themselves are double-sided; the silver side for reflecting UV rays, and the black side for keeping the sunlight from penetrating into your car. This is perhaps the best-received shades in this list, and the design is very slick and reflects (no pun intended) its quality.
Even the complaints regarding these shades note how easy it is to install and how effective it is at keeping the car cooler in the heat. The main issue buyers had with the product is how difficult it is to fold and return into its case. A few others couldn’t get it to fit their car, and some others found it broke after a few weeks of use. Overall, however, there are more glowingly positive experiences with this product and it does its job very well.
Accurate and customizable fit
Effective against both UV and sunlight
|Hard to fold back|
Some experiences with early breakage
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I use sun shades with tinted windows?
A: In terms of safety, tinted windows usually don’t offer as much protection from UV rays as shades would. If you have tinted windows, it’s a good idea to avoid suction cup based shades, as they might damage the tint (especially if they’re non-factory modifications).
Q: What material are sun shades made of?
A: Typically, sun shades are made of nylon. The thread counts and densities of various products vary, and usually correspond to the protection they offer. It’s one of the most versatile materials, as it is rot and mold-resistant and partially UV resistant.
Q: Are sun shades universal?
A: Many shades are designed for specific sizes and types of fitting. While a manufacturer might advertise their product as universally applicable, it does not guarantee a perfect fit. The safe option is to measure your windshield and see if it corresponds to the product dimensions.
Conclusion — Buyer’s Guide
There are many things to look out for when picking out your sun shade, from size to thickness of material. Some trends, such as flimsy wire securement, are more prevalent in certain products than others. Choosing the right windshield sun shades is a matter of preference, budget, climate, and vehicle, so be sure to consider these before you take the leap.
If you’re in need of some lightweight and compact shades, there are several choices. The Blocks UV Rays product is a decent choice, and comes in multiple sizes. If you get the size for your windshield down, it can end up being the right purchase. If you’re looking for a little more “pizazz”, the Starry Night sun shade is a relatively unique alternative, as it is the only one on this list with suction-only attachment. Finally, there is the Shade-It model, and while it has less problems with wiring and breakage than some others on the list, it is notoriously difficult to take down and put away. However, it does cover the windshield well and looks quite slick when equipped.
It should be noted that all three of the above have had complaints levied at its effectiveness in hot weather; the thin nature of the materials doesn’t provide optimal protection for your car. So, if you live in a hotter area (Las Vegas, Dallas, etc.) these might be an easy pass.
There are two on our list—the Autoamerics and A1 Sunshades models—that are either the best or the worst, depending on who you ask. Both have the occasional problem of the wire coming out easily, causing a sharp rod to make its home in the corner of your shades. The A1 sunshade offers high-density materials in their 210T nylon setup, and as a selection of different sizes to choose from.
For a more universal fit, make sure to take a look at the Autoamerics sun shades; despite some complaints regarding its foldability and fragility over time, it certainly accomplishes its main task: keeping the heat out of your car. Its slick design and effectiveness make it a very recommendable product.
There is very little to say about the Jumbo XL in terms of poor qualities; there is the occasional problem of the shades not fitting a windshield and flimsy wiring, but at its core, it is a solid product. It effectively blocks the entire windshield (in most cases) and is a solid product to have if you have a larger (35”) front window. It’s a good place to start when looking for shades for larger cars.
If you’re looking for a great all-rounder, you can’t really go wrong with the EzyShade. Despite a few drawbacks related to user error and long-term use, it’s a solid choice that boasts a universal design and proper protection. As with any others, make sure you get the right size for your windshield.