Saturday, July 23, 2011

Snooze Shade

Find out more about this award winning product at their website!  (Most pictures taken during a 74 degree day in Whitier, AK - you know it is warm when even the tourists are wearing shorts!)

Anchorage, Alaska gets 19 hours and 22 minutes of daylight on the summer solstice.  The running joke is that tourists tell their kids to be back by sun down and never see them again.  It is fantastic to take a bike ride at 10 pm without need for a headlamp or start a hike after dinner completing it easily in the light.  I notice that I sleep quite a bit less in the summer and this unfortunately goes for my children as well.  Blackout shades are popular for the bedroom, but they don't make them for tents.  Fortunately, a company is making them for strollers and car seats!

The SnoozeShade is a double layered mesh fabric cover that blocks out 94% of light.  This breathable cover also is SPF50 to provide full body protection without need for sunscreen.  I thought it would be hot inside the car seat, but it was actually cooler that the ambient temperature.  (The SnoozeShade website explains it being about the color black and air flow.)  There is a small, zippered peek window so you can check on the child without taking the whole shade off of the seat or stroller.

The car seat version ($32) attaches easily and can be put on without waking a sleeping babe.  You simply pull the elasticized top over the top of the car seat, affix the two velcro straps to the carrying handle and then pull the bottom (also elasticized) over the foot of the car seat.  The website says it has almost universal fit with infant car seats.  It also has the added benefit of blocking wind on cold days!

The stroller version ($32) is also easy, but took me a bit more time.  This larger sun screen has a variety of straps and velcro to let you fit it to most strollers.  It fit on my Bob jogging stroller without problem.  I set the top and then tried a few straps until it held nicely.  The website also reports the SnoozeShade fits on most jogging, umbrella, and pram type strollers.  I also tired it on my hiking backpack and think it could work nicely to keep both the sun and mosquitoes off of packed kiddos.  (The company also makes a more expensive ($48) stroller model with more bells and whistles that looks fantastic!)

I would have loved the car seat version on our first camping trip.  The kiddo easily sleeps in his car seat and this cover would have blocked out the light letting us sleep a bit.  I also had a hard time jogging trying to adjust the stroller's shade and keeping blankets from slipping off during the run.  The SnoozeShade would have been so nice to keep the kiddo shaded! My older son is quite sensitive to the sun and also crowds - he loves the shade as it makes him a "cave" (his word!).

Both shades are well constructed and passed the "two toddler tug test" without velro seaming ripping or fabric tears thankfully.  The design is simple enough that you don't need instructions, but creative so they can fit on all of your strollers (if you are like me and have a few too many).  I also like that the company is making a product useful, not just cute (they say it could be made in pretty colors, but then would have to be chemically treated).  The company contact was friendly and helpful and that is very important to me.

I give this amazing product my Alaskan Mom Approval as it helps children sleep during our wonderful summers, lets parents be active without needing sunscreen on infants and takes away the need for hats that don't stay on, sun glasses that get pulled off and head to toe coverage most kiddos find unacceptable.  This is a must-have addition to any active parent's baby registry and a surely welcomed baby gift.  This is an item that needs to be in Alaskan stores with our endlessly lit summers!

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