What is it with toddlers and them wanting to do the exact thing you don’t want? Our little boy is currently a bit opinionated (about everything) and no time more so than when he’s in the car. Now he’s tall enough (and smart enough) he can stretch to open the window by himself in my pickup. Now, this was endearing for a short time – no so much at 65mph on the dual carriageway – and we all laughed about how he was so independent…but then summer came.

Having a toddler who loves to wind the window up and down is one thing, but explaining to him (and his highly irrational mind) that he’ll get the sun in his eyes if his sun shade pops off is a totally different challenge. The amount of times the sucker pad sunshade got pulled, torn or stuck this year has surpassed me.

I’m not one for those stretchy outside the window numbers…I wanted to stretch a pair of tights over my car, I certainly wouldn’t fork out the amount that they charge for those. Luckily for me, the team at Car Shades UK manufactured (yep from scratch) a set of sun shades for my Ranger. Why? Because that’s exactly what they do – they make Car Shades to measure for different models of car. No more stretched tights, no more jamming of suckers, and no more mid-drive boot offs about being blinded by the sun or not being able to see the red tractor (that he KNOWS is there…but it’s not.)

Unlike the sucker pad style shades and the stretched tights (or those horrible cartoon ones) Car Shades UK manufacture model specific, fitted shades for individual windows. This means that the shade fits the window of your car perfectly, inside the window frame – they’re subtle and neat. Along with UV protection and protection from light, the Car Shades design also allows for the shade to stay in place with the window down, meaning your toddler can wind the window up and down and the window motor will burn out way before the sun can get in!

Sucker pad sunshades don’t cover the full window and don’t allow for any airflow from an open window. The unique feature of Car Shades product is that you can make uncomfortable journeys more manageable by letting air into the car and keeping your child cool but also allows them that extra bit of vision too as there are no bulky edges, because the shades literally fit the edge of the window like a glove. Another advantage to the precision fit is that the shades provide 100% coverage so no light can slip through the edges – something that used to really annoy us and worry us about universal sucker pads when the boy was little.

As with anything, it’s not just the practicalities, it’s the look. A lot of the universal sucker pad shades don’t correctly fit the window, giving a scruffy finish – not what you want…those tights things? Even worse. I use my car for work and the Car Shades sun protector means I can work and also be a dad without looking unprofessional, whilst also not having to constantly pop a sun blind on and off the window. In addition, I’ve often got bits in the back of my truck I don’t want people seeing. Car Shades are perfect for keeping the back of your car secure and private, giving it a useful non-parenting function too. Tints can be really expensive and quite often over time them can begin to perish (if you get aftermarket film) and in honesty, after buying a car you don’t want it to look naff. Tinted windows are great, but they still let rays through too which is a common misconception.

One of the things I love most is that Car Shades have a dedicated team manufacturing the shades at their factory in Nottinghamshire. This means that you can talk to someone about what you need and how you can get it in one phone call. You don’t have to order something from China online to then find 26 days later that it’s broken, doesn’t fit or has a picture of and Asian cartoon character that you’ve never heard of on it. The team at Car Shades are amazing too, they go above and beyond. I’ve got a commercial vehicle and it wasn’t on their list of products; after having a shade for my wife’s car, I wanted one for mine. Car Shades researched and took the time to manufacturer a shade for my pick-up. There aren’t many companies who’ll do that for you!

Although I am a big fan (and who wouldn’t be after trying these?) Car Shades aren’t in the shops. The custom nature of the product means that getting them online is the best way. With over 800 different vehicles catered for and over 1000 sets sold every week, Car Shades UK is the place to go if you want a neat, decent shade that’s going to last you.