7 Cool Accessories For Hot Summer Adventure
There are plenty of ways to keep cool when going on your next road adventure–jumping in a stream, dousing your forehead with ice cubes, wearing a neck cooling tube.
What about keeping your vehicle cabin cool? The following accessories help turn down the heat when your vehicle is parked and when you are driving.
- Window Screens
A removable mesh screen that you can attach to your windows or doors will go far to combat harsh sunlight.
There are various screens on the market that range from interior door or window clip-ons and even larger versions that will slip over the entire doorframe. While they block the heat and sun, their style still allows you to be aware of your surroundings and drive safely.
Also important to remember is that the mesh screens will help protect the interior of your vehicle against UV rays. This means your seats and other surfaces will last longer, stay more supple, and retain their vibrant appearance.
Specifically tailored screen products use magnets to attach to your car interior and allow for personal adjustment. These curtain styles are also useful at night if your passengers are hoping for a bit of rest without being bothered by highway lights or passing cars.
Also, certain products attach to sun and moon roofs allowing air to flow in, but keep direct sunlight out while protecting against pesky highway debris and bugs. With magnetic attachments, these breathable covers stay very secure, even at highway speeds, and are easily removed when desired.
- Dashboard Screens
The classic foldable screen inserted against your windshield as an easy fix while parking in the sun.
Protect the inside of your car, it keeps the heat down and you’ll be thankful for the lower interior temperature when you slide back into your seat.
Using these dashboard screens will also help the strain on your air conditioning system, since you won’t have to fire it up to full to combat built-up interior heat. This can aid your fuel consumption and save you gas on your way down the highway. Some testing says that running your AC can bring your MPG down as much as four miles per gallon.
Most dashboard screens fold away for easy storage and pop open easily when you are ready to use them. The screen adds a personal safety element too—it keeps spying eyes away from what you have inside your vehicle while parked.
- Removable window vents
While we all love good air conditioning, once you get on the road there is something special about a refreshing natural breeze filling a car.
Attachable hoods and vents placed in your partially open window will help direct fresh air into your vehicle while protecting you from debris or airborne particles.
These removable vents are normally fitted and pinned between your window and the track, many of which offer spinning fans turned by the moving air flowing into your car’s interior.
There are various price points and composites ranging from simple plastic to carbon fiber as well as louvered styles with detailed adjustability. While usually removable, some drivers do choose this as a more permanent installation. As always, research the specific style for your car’s make and model and your driving needs.
- Window exhaust fans
Want to remove heat from the cabin?
Consider an exhaust fan that will churn the stale air from your vehicle. These operate almost in a similar style to AC units in an apartment building window.
There are solar and auxiliary powered versions. These small but powerful units attach directly to your window with a relatively small profile and are easy to install and remove. They can also be helpful with eliminating musty smells from vehicles, especially after a car has been in winter conditions or might need a freshening up.
- Dashboard covers
We all know that feeling of the highway sun blazing off the dashboard and the heat it kicks off into the car and your face. In addition, over time this heat can cause cracking and drying to your dashboard surfaces as well as other interiors of your car.
Consider a dashboard cover that dampens the heat and protects against the sun’s harsh rays.
There are two main categories for these aftermarket covers: molded and a more flexible fabric style.
If you decide on the molded style, you’ll need to get one specifically for your make and model vehicle and it might be helpful to have an installer involved in the process.
Sometimes fabric styles won’t be a proper fit when it comes to vents or the shape of your dashboard. Be wary of one-size fits-all—they usually are less expensive but may look unsightly and have gaps.
- Steering wheel covers
Slip-on covers keep the steering wheel cool and may offer extra ergonomic grip with silicon, gel, or rubber bumps.
Even if your vehicle is new, steering wheel covers can be a welcome accessory for long drives, offering an easier grip for tired hands.
Different breathability comes from the diverse components. A neoprene or silicone style will keep your hands dry and cool, especially if you have sweaty palms or sticky fingers. These cover materials are also easy to clean.
Additionally, funky colors or printed designs on varying fabrics can reflect your personal style adding panache to your cabin interior.
- Seat covers
Add an aftermarket seat cover with built-in massage/cooling/heating if your vehicle didn’t come with that feature from the manufacturer. Seat covers have come a long way since classic wooden beads.
Popular gel seat covers offer comfort and cooling, plus contours to your body. They may include neoprene surfaces with vented tracks so heat doesn’t become trapped under you.
Neoprene or other heavy duty covers also offer protection against spills. Covers can be removed and easily cleaned. Look for covers designed to wick-away liquids so stains don’t get trapped in the material.
As before, beware of one-size fits-all offerings for seat covers. Often these variations can look baggy and may actually be uncomfortable due to poor fit. Do they attach correctly? Do they rub against your seat or other components in your car causing damage?
Here are our tips for cool summer adventure:
- Mesh side window screens are a great option to protect you against heat and sunlight while driving. Make sure you use one that allows you to still be aware of your surroundings on the road and doesn’t cause a distraction or impair your vision.
- Dashboard screens are great to keep the interior cool, especially when you step away from the vehicle. They can help with your gas mileage, since you won’t need to tax your air conditioning to reach a comfortable level when you get back on the road.
- Window vents can help bring cool outside air into the cabin or vent hot cabin air to the outside. Attachable hoods and vents placed in your partially open window will help direct fresh air into your vehicle while protecting you from debris or airborne particles.
- Exhaust fans that remove stale air from your vehicle. Some are solar powered; others use auxiliary power. They attach directly to your window and are easy to remove.
- Dashboard covers can lower the cabin air temperature, reduce the need for air conditioning and help prevent sun damage to the vinyl.
- Steering wheel covers keep your hands cool and prevent the “ouch!” surprise when entering the cabin after the vehicle has been sitting in the sun. Covers also can help with tired hands and driver grip.
- Seat covers. Gel covers can contour to your body. Some offer massage functions and seat coolers.
- Be wary of “one size fits all” products. Looking for proper fit and function. Research items designed for your specific vehicle make and model.
- Use caution if considering permanent window-tint installation for reduced sun glare. Research local ordinances so you don’t get hit with surprise infractions.