If there’s one thing we’re all in search of on a hot summer day, it’s shade. Sitting under a tree to avoid the sunshine can shave 15 degrees off your skin temperature, making for a much more relaxing afternoon. There are many different awnings on the market, and I just tried a unique one called the Moonshade.
The Moonshade’s primary purpose is to attach to the side of any vehicle, but it’s more versatile than that. It works well on a fence or even a tree if that’s all you have. I tested it out in my backyard, and here’s what I thought.
Setup was a snap. It took about two minutes to attach to the fence, insert the poles, and attach the guy lines to stakes. Bam – the chairs were out of the sun, and it was time for a cocktail. It comes with four suction cups for attaching to a vehicle (pretty slick). If your car is shorter than the awning’s width, there is a tension pole that makes for a stable shelter. The awning is 7×9, so depending on the sun’s angle, you can mount it from any side you like.
The awning is 420D ripstop polyester, and I found it to be quite sturdy. I’ve reviewed a lot of tents in my time, and it’s easy to spot a material that isn’t going to last. This one will. Another cool feature is that the underside of the awning is reflective, so if you’re hanging out at night, the lantern will create plenty of light to socialize, play cards, etc.
There are other awnings on the market designed for vehicles, but I haven’t seen any utilizing a suction cup system like the Moonshade. The suction cups make it more versatile by allowing you to choose the height. If the sun was really beating down, you could even mount it to the hood of a truck to provide maximum shade at a lower height. At the beach, you could even stake one side into the ground, and you’d still have a nice shelter.
The only downside of the Moonshade is that at $315, it’s not cheap. Folks who spend a lot of time Overlanding and car camping will likely understand the utility in an awning like this. Setup is quick, and the carrying case doesn’t take up much space in the car. Fiddling around with a tarp can take forever, and somehow you never get it quite right in the end. The Moonshade is a fast, easy solution for summer weekend warriors, and if you don’t mind the price, it works remarkably well.