Before we proceed, let us make one thing clear. You should not leave your child in a parked car unattended, sun shade or no sun shade, air conditioning or no air conditioning. There is a possibility he or she will suffer from vehicular heatstroke regardless of what measures you think you have taken to prevent that.
Vehicular strokes are deadly. Every 10 days, vehicular heatstroke kills a child somewhere. Please do not fall into a false sense of security and let that child be yours. You should not count on sun shades, air conditioners or good Samaritans to save your child from death.
What a Car Sun Shade is
A car sun shade is a screen attached to the windows to protect the car and the passengers from the direct sunlight.
Car sun shades have many synonymous names, such as sun shields, sunscreens, and UV shields. Depending on which window is shielded, the sun shade can be called a windshield shade or rear window shade or side window shade. In the end, all that boils down to the simple idea: the inside of the car is protected from the solar radiation. The heating is significantly decreased. Although that is not the only purpose. After all, there are sun shades both for summer and winter.
Speaking of summer, please remember that children are not as tough as grown-ups are. What brings a strong sense of physical discomfort to the parent may kill the child. Do make sure to monitor your child when you are driving even if you have sun screens set up.
The Purposes of the Car Sun Shade
The purpose of a car sun shade is to lessen the level of solar radiation in your car and lower the temperature in it. They typically are installed when the car is parked (always, if we are talking about the windshield) but sometimes they are left installed even when the car is on the move.
As a rule, the car windows themselves block the UV radiation. Even though the sun shades would reflect the UV rays, this particular feature of them is not needed because of that. However, what windows do not block (or block ineffectively) is the infrared radiation and visible light, both of which can be absorbed by the objects inside the car and heat the air up. This creates the greenhouse effect unless the windows are opened.
The sun shades prevent the solar radiation from getting inside the car and thus reduce the possibility of thermal damage.
Not To Confuse With Window Film
A window film is not the same as a sun shade. Window films are used for the similar purposes, although they limit the sunlight by window tinting rather than block it completely, but the main difference is that a window film is just that, a film, and as such, it is always a permanent solution. Or “semi-permanent”, if you will. Either way, a window film hard to remove from the window once you attach it whereas a sun shade is generally easy to attach and remove. But even when it is not, it is easy to retract or remove the sun-blocking effect in some other way.
Do note that window tinting is not as effective as sun screens and is restricted in some countries because it makes driving dangerous, particularly at night.
Types of Car Sun Shades
The most popular types of sun shields are reflective. The reflective side often looks similarly to aluminum foil. However, this is not always actually so. These days, sun shades come in different varieties and are made of many materials. Some of the simplest car sun shades are made of reflective polyester film. Some of the more sophisticated ones are automatic and can be operated. Still, many car sun shades are removable. This is the most popular type due to being relatively cheap and easy to install.
That said, some car shades work in a different way. Some are folded, rolled up, and then there are those that can be installed permanently and operated remotely.
Top 5 of Best Car Sun Shades
This sun shade is not the most effective one but it has a lot of redeeming features. First of all, this is a retractable car sun shade. The blinds are made of high-quality PVC and they are extremely durable.
The disadvantage is that this shade does not block the sunlight as good as some other sun shades do. It is mostly used to reduce glare and tint the windows. The shade is effective in cooling the inside of the car while filtering only a portion of the visible light.
The Premium Sun Shade can be attached with several attachment choices: suction cups, Velcro, and adjustable built-in hooks. It should be noted that the suction cups are rather mediocre compared to the ones that come with other sun shades but the other to choice are better suited for it.
This sun shade is quite cheap, however, and therefore, purchasing should be a good choice for those people who want a sun shade to reduce the temperature in the car rather than to make it dimmer.
The Uarter Breathable Mesh is different even in how it is attached to the window because, technically, it is not so much attached as pulled down over the door. Naturally, these car sun shades cannot be applied to the rear window. If you would like to apply a sun shade to it, too, we are afraid you would have to acquire yet another one. The Breathable Mesh is only meant for the rear side doors.
The mesh is very flexible and stretchy, which makes it a perfect fit for almost any car, although you still have to be careful since there is a limit. But that is not what makes the mesh a perfect shade. The best thing about it is that the windows can be rolled down, and you children in the rear seat would enjoy both the fresh air (since the mesh is breathable) and the shade. Neither tinting nor standard car sun shades are capable of that.
The mesh covers the entire window when installed, unlike many other types of sun shade. Aside from that, it protects the door from scratches, dirt and other such things.
All in all, the Breathable Mesh is one of the best car sun shades. But it is somewhat expensive for a car shade. Additionally, it is a piece of mesh, if durable. As such, it can easily be damaged or accumulate dirt. Nevertheless, we still recommend this product.
This car sun shade is more traditional-looking than the other two. While something like the Premium Retractable and the Breathable Mesh is very rare, the Premium Baby Car Window Shades’ design should be familiar to most people.
The Premium Baby blocks more than 97% of the UV radiation. At the same time, the shades do not block the sunlight completely and merely limit it.
They are applied to the windows with the help of the static cling back. This makes the process of applying it extremely easy to implement. Additionally, there are no drawbacks typical for the suction cup or adhesive backs. Suction cups are not quite as reliable but even if they are high-quality, they still make the shades look bulky and imperfect. Besides, there is a gap between the window and the shade if the latter is applied via suction cups. Adhesives, on the other hand, are almost just as good as the static cling. However, that makes it difficult to remove them without any negative consequences.
That said, the static cling back has some drawbacks of its own. But they are easily compensated by how cheap these car sun shades are.
Much like the previous brand of shade, the Smiinky has a very typical design. Similarly to many other car sun shades, it is applied to the window via a suction cup. If it were not for its size, the Smiinky would have only been a standard sun shade, one of many other. However, the 20% difference speaks for itself.
The shade is made of a tightly woven mesh. Thanks to that, it is much darker than many other car sun shades and safer you use.
It should be noted that the suction cup is far from standard. The shade comes with the Octo-Grip suction cup, superior to standard cups in every way. This cup never loses the grip, even in winter.
The shade is a little bit more expensive than most sun shades but it is worth the money.
The Sunshade Protector from Veneev is yet another classic car sun shade. It is easily the best one there is. This pack is sufficient for all the windows in the back of the car. You do not have to purchase any extras if you get this set. With it, you get two side window sun shades and one rear window sun shade. No need to worry about overheating with the light filtered in all direction.
The shades are applied to the windows thanks to the static cling back, meaning there are no suction cups that would make the side window shades look not as good. Nevertheless, the rear window shade comes with suction cups as well, in order to improve the hold, even though they are optional.
The sun shades are not the only thing you get with the pack. The complete set also includes a storage pouch and a dashboard mat.
These car sun shades are also extremely cheap, even compared to the other sun shades in this list.