Intro-Tech and Covercraft Sun Shades – Overkill or Luxury?
If you spend any time at all flipping through parts catalogs or browsing internet auto parts shops, one thing eventually becomes clear: pretty much anything you can imagine as an accessory for your truck has already been designed, built and put on sale at a hard to resist price. Want LED lights for you windshield washers? They’re out there. Want to dangle a nasty representation of the male anatomy from your trailer hitch? It’s a mouse click away from being shipped to your house. The array of products available for the Tundra is really quite impressive, and it represents a very large market of people that are looking for ways to make their trucks nicer and easier to enjoy.
Sometimes, however, you run across a product that at first seems to make sense but after a little bit of research turns out to be impressively over-engineered and over-priced for the task at hand. The Covercraft Car Sun Shade and Intro-Tech Automotive Windshield Sun Shade might fall into this particular category.
Basically, these products perform a very specific task: they keep the sun from streaming through your windshield and heating up the interior of your truck to an uncomfortable level. Sun blockers are a great way to avoid that steamy jungle feeling you get when you open the door to your truck after it has been parked outside all day. They are also excellent at preventing interior materials from fading and cracking due to UV rays and at keeping leather seats from reaching a temperature that is hot enough to burn your skin on contact.
Both the Covercraft and Intro-Tech sunshades use a reflective metal surface and insulated interior layers in order to drop temperatures inside your truck down to a manageable 40 degrees C, regardless of how hot it might be outside. Each are custom cut to fit your Tundra, and the Covercraft sun shade features its own bag for easy storage. Each shade retails for around $40…which is 8 times the price of a cardboard sunshade that can easily be found at any big box store for a measly $5.
Having said that, a one-size-fits-all cardboard sunshade isn’t going to do too much insulating, nor is it going to necessarily make a snug fit on your dash. However, given that you could easily buy two or even three cardboard sunshades and still not spend half of what one of these deluxe models costs, you could afford to stack a couple of them up across your windshield should temperatures get really intense.
There’s also the one-size-fits-all reflective material sunshades, which you can buy for $10-$20. They don’t fit as nicely as the Covercraft or Intro-Tech, but they DO have some insulating/reflecting properties.
Still, despite all of our efforts to show you cheaper alternatives, there is something to be said for custom-fitted sunshades and the 40 degree F C guarantee. Considering the price you paid for your pickup, another $40 to protect the interior seems like a no-brainer…but it’s a slippery slope. That same argument can be used to justify a lot of extra purchases, so it should be used carefully.
The good news is that if you ARE going to spend for a nice sun shade, you can’t beat either the Covercraft or the Intro-Tech. They’re both high quality and work exactly as advertised. If you have to park your truck outside all the time and you live in a very sunny climate, $40 spent on a sunshade will save your interior from UV and your skin from super-heated steering wheels, door handles, and seats.
These sun shades are really popular too – AutoAnything.com lists them as some of their consistently best-selling accessories. A lot of people are tired of futzing with cardboard and like the features…so there’s definitely something to these things. But they’re not for everyone…
The bottom line: Don’t buy premium truck accessories without investigating to see if there is a cheaper solution (or to see if the cheaper solution works). Sometimes, $40 sun shades are $35 more than you need…and sometimes not. In the right situation, you can’t put a price on the convenience that comes with NOT burning your rear end on your expensive leather seats.
Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories