Snap Shades Window Covers For The 5th Gen 4Runner Are The Easiest Way To Add Sun Protection To Your Backseats & Cargo Area – Install & Review
The rear seat and side cargo windows have decent tint from the factory, as most SUVs or crossovers do. However, I found that on especially bright and sunny days, they weren’t quite dark enough to prevent my son from covering his eyes when sitting in the backseat. The easy solution is to either get the windows tinted or buy those awful suction cup-mounted shades for the windows.
I didn’t want to spend the money on high-quality tint and let’s be real, the 4Runner isn’t a minivan! So, I definitely wasn’t getting the universal window shades. My options were limited, but I eventually came across the Snap Shades window covers that are custom-made for the 5th Gen 4Runner.
Find It Online:
- Snap Shades Window Covers (5th Gen 4Runner): Check Price
How They’re Different
Window coverings in general provide two main benefits:
- They shade your interior in a non-permanent way.
- If you opt for the kind that wraps around the door, can provide protection from bugs if you’re car camping.
The cons to both of those types are that they’re kind of ugly. One doesn’t cover the window completely and the other looks like you wrapped your window with a sheet.
Snap Shades is based out of Australia and as you can imagine, they get their fair share of sun. Their shades are custom-made for each vehicle make and model and fit into the window frames perfectly. With a combination of magnets and snug-fitting metal frames, they stay in place even with the windows rolled down.
I found this most useful when car camping because I could keep the windows open at night and keep the bugs out. Another benefit of having these secured into the frame is that you can roll down the windows and retain sun shade.
Snap Shades states that these block 84% of UVA & UVB rays. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it’s probably at least as good as the factory-tinted glass. Plus, when you roll down the windows, you retain that protection. With normal tinted windows, once you roll them down, your protection also goes away.
There’s really nothing to it in terms of installing the Snap Shades. All you need to do is push them into the window frames and you’re done! They do advise that it can take a few days for the metal wireframes to fully mold to your window frame. They arrive folded in a box, so that’s understandable.
The main reason for getting the rear cargo window covers was that I have MOLLE panels installed. Not only that, but a connecting shelf to boot. That means if I want to tint the rear cargo windows to keep valuables hidden, I would need to completely uninstall that MOLLE system. I don’t have time for all of that, so the Snap Shades windows covers were a no-brainer!
All I had to do was slide these behind the panels and use a stick to push them into place. In less than 5 minutes, I had darker side cargo windows. Yes, I could’ve gotten the windows tinted before the MOLLE panels, but hindsight is 20/20. Plus, these were probably cheaper than getting them tinted by a reputable shop.
Pictured above: Factory tint (left), Snap Shades installed (right)
In the photo above, you can see that the rear cargo windows are now considerably darker and it’s much more difficult to see what’s mounted on the MOLLE panels.
Overall, I’ve found the Snap Shades window shades to be amazing. They’re discrete enough to leave installed full-time. From the outside, it just looks like I have a dark tint. I’d say they’re equivalent to around a 10%-15% tint when combined with the existing factory tint. For reference, my front windows have a 20% tint.
If I ever need to remove them for whatever reason, all I have to do is pull them off. There are no sticky residue or suction cup marks on the glass to wipe off. While they’re a bit pricier than universal window shades, they are the best looking in my opinion. This really is a “you get what you pay for” type of situation in that you get complete coverage that is completely factory-looking from the outside.
Initially, I bought the rear window covers which shipped directly from overseas. As you can imagine, they took forever to arrive. After ordering the cargo window covers recently, however, it seems like all U.S. orders now ship from NY. So, they arrived in a few days.
These darken the interior just enough, and my kid no longer has to hold his hands over his eyes on sunny days. If you have kids or keep valuable items in your 4Runner, I would highly recommend taking a look at these!