Anyone who actually puts their top down in their Jeep knows that in the heat of the summer the sun just bakes you in your Jeep. In addition to the heat and the sun on us the seats, especially leather ones just become almost too hot to sit on.
Sun shades are a great solution for the problem. Many of these install to the Jeep’s roll bar and can be left on even with the top closed. It’s ready when you need it. Unlike older style bikini tops these are a mesh and cut down on the sun (like 70% less sun) without blocking it entirely. These tops also allow air to move in and out to allow heat to escape and a breeze in.
These tops can cut down on wind when on the highway but will not help in the rain, which will come right through. Although driving in a light rain may keep the rain out a bit.
We looked around at many of the options and chose the Dirtydog brand for the jeepfan.com 2018 JL Rubicon that we picked up from Quadratec. Their system uses straps with ladder clamps to hold the shade in place, while some use bungees, etc.
Dirtydog makes the shades in sections, front and rear seats, both sold separately. This allows combinations to fit 2 door or a 4 door Wranglers using just one section or both. We chose both for our 4 door JL.
The shades came in two small packages and with the top down on our JL we started with the front. It might be easier with a helper but it can be a one person job. Position the front shade in place and install the forward most strap between the roll bar and windshield.
Install the opposite side strap followed by the middle straps and then the rear. Tighten the straps to position the shade centered within the roll bar. Also allow enough space to be able to access the front top latches.
Rear installation is similar, follow the instructions for proper routing of the straps. Installation of both the front and rear took about 30 min. After installation it may be necessary to tighten the straps since the shade material will relax.
How it looks and works
The install is very clean and looks great. Dirtydog makes shades in a variety of colors. The shade doesn’t move much even on the highway. It’s quite see through and still gives a nice open air experience. The top latches are easy to access by just lightly pulling the shade back.
We are very pleased with the shade and feel like this is one investment that was 100% worth it. Other observations of the benefits of the shade is that it does a nice job of keeping debris like leaves and mud chunks on the trail out of the Jeep.