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I had a large travel system type buggy which was great but I wanted a lightweight stroller too for quick trips out and for when boot space was limited. So I found a cheap stroller than was great but the sun shade on it was not only very small but it was so high up that unless my son was 2ft taller it didn't keep the sun out of his eyes.
I found the Sunshine Kids shade maker on Amazon, and thought it looked like it would do the job so I purchased it. The shade Maker is a universal fitting sun shade, it attaches to your stroller in four places with velcro and also has additional ties to make it more secure.
It is made from a thin stretchy material and very lightweight. I found that I was able to keep the Shade Maker permanently attached to my stroller as it folded down with it attached. Although depending on your type of stroller/buggy this may not be possible.
It is quite large and covers a big area thus providing plenty of shade, and it comes in a small zipped reusable packet so it can be neatly stored when not in use. It is supposed to be able to fold back (much like you can fold back a normal sunshade) and be secure, but I found that this feature didn't really work and just pinged forward all the time. This may have just been because of the shape of my stroller, as many 'universally' fitting products don't always work perfectly for everyone.
It has a pocket either side for storage, but the material is so light and thin you can't put much in there. If I put my purse in there the whole thing would fall to one side. So nice idea but not really practical. I paid £11 for this from Amazon which is a fair price. It gave me the additional shade I needed, but even with several fixings it did tend to move around a bit and need the odd adjustment. I would use it again if I had another stroller with the same problem as the price was good.
Last summer was the first summer my daughter spent in her buggy, the year before she will still in her pram and I didn't need to worry about a sun shade. I knew I didn't want a parasol type sun shade for the buggy as my friend had one and spent forever moving the parasol around whenever she changed direction. I needed something that would protect my daughter with minimal fuss.
After looking around on Amazon, I came across this Sunshine Kids sun shade and it looked perfect. It cost around £10 last year. When I received the package, I didn't quite understand how a big sun shade could fit in the small circular plastic packaging it came in. Once I had opened the zip on the packaging all became clear, the sun shade simply popped out to full size. The packaging then acts as somewhere to store the shade when it's not in use. It is quite tricky getting the shade back in as the packaging is so small and the shade is so big, but the mesh like material is easy to bend and after folding it a few times it will fit back in the packaging nice and snug. It also means that when the shade isn't in use, it can easily fit in the basket under the buggy or a changing bag.
The sun shade is easy to fit onto a buggy, Sunshine Kids say it will fit on most types of pushchairs. It has six ties in total, three for each side of the buggy. To fix the shade into position around the handles there are two velcro strips, these fit easily around the handles, further down the back of the buggy are two fabric ties so that it can be attached to the bars running down the back and then finally there are two ties on either side that attach to each side of the buggy.
Once the sun shade is in position and attached securely, you will find two small pockets on either side of the shade, the packing suggests using them for your phone and other essential items, the pockets do look quite deep but I still wouldn't trust them to hold my phone or my purse.
The shade boasts that it has a UV protection of 50+, this is very reassuring as you know your child is protected even if the sun in blinding down. Our buggy has a hood and the shade lies nicely on top so that's double protection from the sun. The shade then acts as a sort of canopy as it is a lot longer than the hood so children sitting inside the buggy get maximum protection. Even though the shade acts as a big canopy my daughter doesn't mind having this on her buggy as she still has a good view of what is going on in front and around her so it doesn't block her vision Although the sun shade has sides that go down too, it doesn't mean that children don't get much fresh air as it doesn't cover the whole sides of the buggy.
We used this sun shade a lot last summer and when we recently went abroad and it is still in an excellent condition, I think this is mainly because when it's not in use, it is simply stored away in the packaging. At £10 I think that's great value for money and I'd definitely recommend looking at buying one of these as an alternative to the umbrella parasol type sun shades.
Last summer was the first time we were using the Phil and Ted Dash and we realised although we had bought quite a few accessories for the pushchair they all seemed to be for the bad weather and none for when the sun decided to show it's self. Although the pushchair does have a hood it doesn't shield your child when the sun is very bright so some sort of sunshade was going to have to be bought. As all the accessory products we had bought were Phil and Ted we did look here first but I wasn't impressed. I didn't like the look of the UV mesh sunshade, my son wasn't a big fan of been enclosed under the rain cover he wouldn't want this on when the sun was shining. I do agree it is probably the safest for your child but it wasn't for us.
I visited an independent baby shop in the nearest town and straight away she recommended the Phil and Ted version. We instantly said no this didn't seem as easy as we thought. An umbrella style shade wasn't going to work due to the type of pushchair and having the extra seat on the back. (Which was becoming more like an extra shopping holder!) The lady then had an idea the Sunshine kids shade maker which says it fits most pushchairs. We agreed to have a look and the rest is history. We instantly loved the product.
The idea of the sunshine kids shade is it extends the existing hood on the pushchair shading your child from the sun. It is all black with a little sunshine logo and has a sun protection of 50 +. It will only work with pushchairs that already have a hood.
The sunshade is basically a large roundish piece of strong flexible material with Velcro strings on and some to tie further down. To position on you bend it over your existing hood and use the ties to hold it in place. It has a couple of pockets on the side. They suggest for your phone or keys but we have never used them I not sure they would be save. The simplicity of the item means it can be used on most pushchairs and is great for the Phil and Ted. The idea is it sits over the hood and can be pulled further down to extend the shade. If the sun goes in you can scrunch the material back so you don't have to take it off. Of course you will have to remove it when collapsing your pushchair. On the Phil and Ted pushchair we have found it does extend quite far blocking even the strongest sun. It gives a fantastic coverage and as our Dash is black it blends in with the pushchair. I have been stopped a couple of times by Phil and Ted users asking us about it thinking it was one of their accessories and wanting to know where they can get one.
The shade comes with a small plastic circular zipped bag. Putting it away can be slightly tricky you have to twist it. It is like those pop up tents you have to have the knack to twist it down. On first time it did take we a couple of attempts to fold the shade to fit in the provided bag. The bag is great though as the material is springy and not suitable for folding really so this makes it nice and small for storage. Ours if left underneath the pushchair at all times and takes up hardly any room.
The only problem I have with this shade is it can be quite difficult to attach to the pushchair alone. There have been a few times I have had difficulty when on my own and the sun is out but the wind is strong. As the material is springy and you only attach it by ties it does tend to move around a bit whilst you are trying to tie the rest on. So I will warn you it does a bit of getting used to.
My son doesn't mind having this sunshade attached to the pushchair and is quite happy to be shaded from the sun. If we are out in the afternoon and he nods off we pull the shade right down keeping the light out and seems to keep him asleep for longer!
The main thing is though it shields your child for the sun and is quite versatile. Last year we used it quite a lot and found it was a fantastic buy and intend to use it this summer. It has already been out quite a bit this year. Another plus side to this product is it doesn't break the bank. Most places seem to stock this sunshade, I have seen it in Tesco's and on Amazon and it seems to be priced around the twelve pound mark. Although Amazon currently (July 2011) have it reduced to nine pounds and for me I would say this is a bargain.