When travelling anywhere in Australia, but particularly in the outback in the warmer months, keeping the car cool is extremely important. This is especially true for us when we’re travelling with the fur babies in the back and trying to keep them cool on longer trips. To assist with this, we bought and fitted a set of Solarscreen window shades and these have turned out to be an extremely good investment.
Like most everyone else, we have tried all sorts of products to block out the sun in the back of the car. As well as making the girls more comfortable, reducing the heat inside allows the fridge and air conditioner to run more efficiently. We tried the various mesh shades but these really didn’t have a great effect. We tried using towels wedged into the windows but they didn’t work terribly well either. We’d seen a few cars driving around with these silver shades and wondered where they came from and soon discovered they were from a company in Brisbane called Solarscreen. A quick check on the net resulted in us visiting their factory in Carina on our last holiday and we walked out with a full touring set for the Cruiser.
The first thing you’ll notice about the shades is they are extremely well made and look to be a quality product. They are a far cry from the cheap shades we’d bought from various auto shops in the past. At around $300 for the touring set, they are not cheap but you can definitely see where the value is in them. They are a great deal thicker than I thought they would be which indicates there is a fair amount on insulation between the silver outer cover and the inner lining. Each shade has multiple suction cups to secure them to the windows. The shade for rear tailgate window has 10 suction cups in total. They are not likely to fall off even if one or two of the suction cups do come unstuck. A little moisture on the cups would ensure they stay put.
The first time we put them on, I couldn’t believe how much different the interior of the car felt. It’s quite a bit darker and noticeably cooler. The girls don’t seem to mind them either. Although they cannot see out the windows, they are definitely much more comfortable which means they will sleep for longer on an extended drive. We haven’t run the fridge with the shades fitted as yet but I have every reason to expect it will run more efficiently with the screens fitted. Running the airconitioner with the shades fitted took less time to get the car to a comfortable temperature.
The other advantage of these shades is they are a great security feature, blocking prying eyes from seeing what would be nice to steal from inside your car.
There only question that gets asked about these shades is if there are any legal issues with fitting them. To the best of my knowledge, there are no problems at all. If you think about it, when you get your car windows tinted, you’re restricted with the front windows only. The rear side windows are not an issue. As for the tailgate window, we only fit the shade to it when we have the van on the back of the car and given we cannot see anything except the front of the van, I can’t see that the shades would be considered to have impaired our rear vision in any way. In any case, we have driven past several police cars/motorbikes with them fitted and we have not been pulled over yet. Further, given they are not a permanent block out, they can easily be removed by chance we are directed to.
All up we are very happy with these shades from Solarscreen. Yes they are a little pricey but they are exceptional quality, work well and will last for many years.
We give them a rating of 5 westies.