Gear of the Day: MoonShade

The parking lot of the local cyclocross race is as good a place as any to develop a real sense of envy. Not just for the racing rigs either. The myriad of #vanlife customizations to make family vehicles feel more like a racing headquarters is enough to have you questioning your life choices. For some of us though, the full on $18,000 camper kit is a bridge too far, and it may be because our spouse will murder us in our sleep, or we may be too keen to part with the feel and handling of our German-engineered sports vehicle. For those of us who don’t want to go whole hog, MoonShade may offer a perfect race day solution.

The MoonShade is a portable awning that attaches to any vehicle in a few easy steps. The suction cup mounting devices are highly effective and simple to use, the shade’s construction and adaptable mounting options means that it works on anything from a pick-up truck without an extended cab to an Audi Q5, to a regular sedan. Many of the high end permanent awnings can go for close to $1,000 and the MoonShade offers a comparable option at nearly 1/3 the price ($325).

The MoonShade’s construction is impressive, from both the grommets and the fabric of the shade itself to the poles and suction cups. Everything feels solid and durable and it’s fully removable, so you can use it on yours or your teammates’ vehicles without needing to leave any of the mounting hardware in place. In five minutes on the first go, you can have an awning on the side of your vehicle with a 9’x7’ foot print. The pop up tents work great, but they are heavy and take up a ton of cargo space. The MoonShade impressively packs down to the size of one or two yoga mats, and weighs around 8 pounds. There are tons of mounting options for just about any vehicle and the easy set up time means you can spend more time on rollers, reconning the course or making excuses for why you don’t have the legs for today.