Intro-Tech and Covercraft Sun Shades – Overkill or Luxury?

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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.

Custom sun shades are a nice accessory, but they might be overkill.

Custom sun shades are a nice accessory, but they might be overkill.

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.

The Covercraft Sun Shade

The Covercraft Sun Shade

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.

Intro-Tech Sun Shade

Intro-Tech Sun Shade

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 – 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


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  1. Goofballtech says:

    “drop temperatures inside your truck down to a manageable 40 degrees F” 40 Degrees? Thats pretty darn impressive. Maybe i should just trim a hole in it and save gas by turning off my ac and just look though the sun shade while driving 🙂

    Ok, I’m just joking. Typos Happen, but you have to be able to have fun with them.

    Good article Jason, i think there are a lot of really expensive things out there that can be subbed for something half the price but ~90% as effective.

  2. Jeremy the CyberThug says:

    40…….drops temps down to 40. It rarely EVER gets down to 40 here. I’ll take 3 and express ship these puppies. I am replacing my fridge with one of these. This will save me TONS of money, and I don’t have to switch to Geico.


  3. ARGGGH! I read that post TWICE and I missed it both times…it’s supposed to be Celsius (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit). STUPID. Anyways, thanks to both of you and yes that is definitely fun to make fun of. My bad.

  4. Jeremy the CyberThug says:

    You made my morning.

  5. Jeremy the Mad Hatter says:

    Cynical Sarcasm, Yet another free service I offer.

  6. Mickey says:

    Even at 104 degrees that’s awful hot still. Now if it brings it down to like 70’s then you have something. At 104 you can still burn your butt on leather. It needs to be lower than that to be worth that price.

  7. Jeremy the Mad Hatter says:

    August here, 104 is a cold front with the heat index. I once tried to fry eggs on the sidewalk but failed. I burned them.

  8. Jeremy the Dark Dork says:

    I didn’t mean to DOA the topic. Oops

  9. LOL – No way man. I’ve just been real busy the last few days. Always fun to read your comments.

  10. msg says:

    I stumbled across this post while trying to figure out which sun shade is best, but it seems to be cut off after “they” — what was the verdict?!? 🙂

    I’m looking at Covercraft, Intro-tech Ultimate, and Heatshield.

    I’ve had a few different types of these things over the years. The original silver cloth one rotted out after prolonged exposure (several years), and those circle foldy-auto-expanding ones will sometimes flip out whacking passengers in the head. I think it’s funny. they don’t. at any rate, they worked okay, but neither was insulated and I think could have been better if they were.

    was thinking about going with an insulated folding model this time.

  11. Jason (Admin) says:

    msg – My bad – we had a problem with our database a few months ago and I’m still finding issues like this one.

    In any case, the article is complete now. You’ll see that we’re lukewarm on the concept, but it sounds like you’ve received good value from them in the past.

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