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8+1 Best Car Window Sun Shades to Protect Your Car—And Keep It Cool

If you want to keep the inside of a car in good shape for a long time, sunlight is your worst enemy. When a car is left out in the sun, heat and UV rays damage the inside. After a long time, hard plastic dashboards and leather seats become dry and discolored. In the end, they might even break into pieces, which would require a lot of work to fix. Rubberized surfaces also wear down and get sticky and unpleasant to touch over time.

When your car is parked on the street or in a lot with no shade, a car sunshade is a way to stop this kind of damage. In addition to protecting the interior, they help keep the car cool, which is much better than blasting hot air until the AC kicks on. Read on for tips on how to choose the best options and what to think about before you go shopping.

What to Consider

Most car shades have a shiny reflective side that faces out and a dark fabric side that faces the inside of the car. Size and shape will be two of the most important things to think about when looking for a shade. You’ll want something that covers the whole windshield without falling or being too tight. Measure your windshield to make sure you buy the correct size. The product is usually held in place by a light aluminum frame, so a tight fit is best.

Sunshades for cars can be one big piece or a set of two pieces. A two-piece set gives you more options for covering your windshield completely, but it won’t fit as well as a single shade. Almost all shades are made to fold up into a smaller shape for storage, and some even have an umbrella mechanism that lets them collapse or expand with just a few clicks. You’ll find it easy to keep these things in your car for when the sun comes out.

How We Selected

We chose the sun shades in this story after trying them out ourselves and reading reviews from experts on sites like AutoGuide and Forbes. Every sunshade we write about has an average rating of 4 stars or more from customers, and we write about products that fit a wide range of vehicles and fit a wide range of budgets.

COOLMADE

$14 AT WALMART
  • Inexpensive
  • Adjustable coverage
  • Simple install and storage
  • A looser fit than a one-piece shade

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 28 x 31 inches
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 2

This simple kit comes with two rectangle shades about 28 inches long and 31 inches wide. For windshields that aren’t as wide, it’s easy to overlap the pieces, which gives you some flexibility. The company that makes them also says that they block out 98% of UV light and 86% of heat.

To install, you just push the semi-rigid sides of each shade into the windshield frame. Then, you can flip down the factory sun visors for extra support. Before getting off the boat, they can be twisted up and put in a bag that comes with them.

A1 SHADES

$14 AT AMAZON
  • One-piece fit
  • Many sizes available
  • Awkward storage procedure

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 59 x 21 inches; 69 x 39 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 1

A1 makes a single-piece shade that comes in seven sizes. The seller even gives you a chart that makes it easy to find the right size for a wide range of cars, trucks, and SUVs. At its smallest size, this shade is 59 inches wide and 21 inches tall. At its largest size, it is 69 inches wide and 39 inches tall. With about 9 inches of space in the middle, it can also be folded down for narrower uses.

Like the CoolMade shades, this one folds in half and twists into a small size that fits in the bag that comes with it. This job might be too hard to do inside the cabin, so it may have to be done outside in the open.

NARUNDREN

$13 AT AMAZON
  • Very easy installation
  • Tiny storage size
  • Only one size is available

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 57 x 31 inches
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 1

This sunshade is easy to put up and takedown. It’s about the same size when folded like an umbrella that folds up, so it’s easy to put in a door pocket or behind a seat.

When you press the spring-loaded button, it opens up into a rectangle that covers the whole windshield. When it’s time to take it off, all you have to do is pull it back and lock it back into place.

This product only comes in one size, which is 57 by 31 inches. Even though the maker says it will fit most windshields, make sure to check the size of your car’s windshield.

ENOVOE

$11 AT AMAZON
  • Semi-transparent
  • Static cling installation
  • Prevents windows from rolling down

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 21 x 14 inches – 25 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 to 9 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 2-4

This shade can be put on the side windows instead of the main windshield and can be left there while driving. It’s great for parents or people who give rides. The product’s mesh fabric filter gets rid of glare from the sun and blocks about 90% of UV rays while still letting a good amount of light in.

The outside edge sticks to the glass with static cling, and from what I’ve heard, it stays in place pretty well. Just be careful about rolling down the window while the shade is still stuck to it.

The size of the medium-sized Enovoe shade is 21 by 14 inches. It can be bought in packs of two or four, so you can get more coverage. There are also bigger versions for bigger sedans and SUVs.

SAFEFIT

$10 AT WALMART
  • Compact storage size
  • Allows window to open while rolled up
  • Suction cups slip over time

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 16 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 1
  • Options: Retractable Roller

This SafeTemp shade, like the Enovoe shade, has a see-through mesh filter. But it also has a roll-up storage feature that lets the window be partially opened without taking the device off. The shade is held in place by two suction cups along the top and one on the bottom. Over time, these cups may come loose and need to be reapplied.

When fully opened, the size is 16 inches wide and 18 inches tall. There is also a smaller 14-inch-wide version.

MAGNELEX

$14 AT AMAZON
  • Large coverage
  • Steering wheel cover
  • Size may hinder storage

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 65.7 x 36.4 inches
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 1

This extra-large shade covers an area of 65.7 by 36.4″ and can be used in pickup trucks and SUVs. It has a silver polyester layer on the outside that reflects light and heat. It can also be folded in half to make it easier to store, but because it is so big, this may be harder to do.

But the package does come with a bag for putting things in. Also included is a free steering wheel cover, which can help keep the vehicle’s controls from getting too hot when it’s parked in the sun.

ECONOUR

$36 AT AMAZON
  • Extra-large fit
  • Won’t work in cars

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (W x H): 41.5 x 50 inches
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 2

This color product is a simple two-piece shade set that is super-sized to fit the large windshields of RVs, semi-trucks, or buses. Each shade is 41.5 by 50 inches, so it can cover an area up to 100 inches wide.

The usual twist-and-bag method can be used to store them easily. If you’re looking for a product that can be used on smaller vehicles, this one will be much too big.

DASH DESIGNS
  • Adjustable size
  • Compact and inconspicuous
  • Hard to get a perfect fit

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 25 inches high
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Pieces In Set: 1

This item is made with a polyester material that folds up like an accordion, just like a cellular shade. It can also be adjusted in size in a lot of ways because the width of the shade can be stretched.

The fabric is 25 inches tall and weighs less than a pound. With double-sided tape, it’s easy to attach to the passenger side, and a hook on the driver’s side lets it connect to the other side. The shade fits inside the case when it’s not in use, so it’s not too obvious.

The main problem with this kind of shade is that it’s hard to get a perfect fit, but for the price and overall design, it does the job well enough.

ADVANCE OUTDOOR
  • Full vehicle coverage
  • Long-term shade solution
  • One-year warranty
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 10 x 20 feet, Height: 9.5-11 feet
  • Weight: 125 pounds — full assembly
  • Pieces In Set: Steel frame, canopy cover, 8 legs, 4 sandbags, 16 ground pegs, 8 spiral pegs

When you park your car outside at your home, a durable carport is a more permanent way to keep your car warm and safe from the sun. It also protects the paint on the outside from things like hail and bird droppings, which can damage the paint over time. This type of construction is heavier and costs more than portable sun shades, but it is more convenient and safe.

This Advance Outdoor model is 10 feet by 20 feet, which is big enough to cover both small cars and mid-sized trucks. The height can be changed from 9.5 to 11 feet. The frame is made of steel, and the fabric canopy is made to keep out the heat, UV rays, and bad weather.

It needs to be put together, but you don’t need any special tools to do it. The kit comes with four weighted sandbags and 16 steel ground stakes to hold the structure down in high winds. A one-year warranty is also included with the purchase from the company.

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Sanjeev Shah

I am professionally a Mechanical Engineer and i love blogging and for that purpose i have created the website for automotive contents.