SpiderWeb Shade vs Alien Shade: The Big Battle

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Summer’s about to roll and you’re probably a bit torn. True, riding a roofless, “open-air” Jeep on a sunny day is the definition of freedom. At the same time, those scorching sunrays can be a bit too much to bear…

The most common solution is to get a Jeep sunshade top so you can protect yourself and other passengers.

Let’s be real: there are a lot of cheap Chinese knock-offs. Luckily, there are also two brands which don’t outsource their production and keep matters inside American soil.

I’m talking about Spiderweb Shade and Alien Shade. Both are available for both Jeep Wrangler JK owners or those riding an old school TJ beauty.

My top choice Alien Shade sunshade is this one.

Spiderweb offer this full cover mesh as a direct competitor.

The BIG question is…

Is there a substantial difference between them?

My answer would be that no, there’s not that much of a difference. Still, there are a few nuances to keep in mind. Here’s a quick comparison table to outline them:

  • Spiderweb Shade
  • Made in USA
  • Mesh quality:
    ★★★★★
  • Design Variety:
    ★★★★
  • UV reduction:
    ★★★★★
  • Warranty:
    5 years limited warranty.
  • Models:
    Jeep JK/Wrangler/JL/TJ
  • Alien Shade
  • Made in USA
  • Mesh quality:
    ★★★★½
  • Design Variety:
    ★★★★★
  • UV reduction:
    ★★★★★
  • Warranty:
    10 years limited warranty.
  • Models:
    Jeep JK/Wrangler/JL/TJ

Spiderweb Shade vs Alien Shade:
The similarities

In terms of quality, you’re looking at two brands that follow the same manufacturing standards. Most importantly, both of them do their production locally here, in the US.

Spiderweb Shade is the pioneer as they were the first sunshade top company. However, Alien Shade have followed through with no compromise or cheapening of the construction quality.

You’ll find that from ball fasteners to stitching to metal rings, both sunshade tops keep it steady and durable. You won’t need additional tools and the installation literally takes 5-10 minutes, not more.

Here’s how this happens with Alien Shade – but with Spiderweb the process is more or less the same:

As far as the mesh goes, Alien Shade is slightly less condensed if I can say so. The difference is not that tangible, though. Both of them are pretty high quality woven PVC mesh that will stick around for quite a few years.

Both will block most of the UV rays (Spiderweb says it’s up to 90%) which is pretty good. Even at 70% of rays blocked I’ll be ecstatic!

And the main differences are

Customization options and the warranty details are where things get a little bit different.

Alien Shade definitely offer more diversity in their sunshade top designs. There’s the classic American flag Jeep sunshade which even has a “grunge” variation:

When it comes to Wrangler sunshade tops, Alien Shade have simply been more creative. Spiderweb Shade has a fair amount of colors to match your ride, but their design variety is more limited.

You can’t see this cosmetic advantage in the TJ department where it’s all the same, though.

The most tangible difference comes with the warranty. Alien Shade offer you a 10-year limited warranty, which is double the 5 years you’ll get with Spiderweb Shade.

Some people prioritize warranty length a lot, while others are more relaxed about this. I’m not sure which group you are a part of, but I’m not that concerned with the warranty of US-born manufacturing usually 🙂

What about wind noise, having enough room etc.?

This is a valid worry. Driving an open-air Jeep means a lot of wind, and sometimes the constant blowing and noise can really get to you.

A good sunshade top cover will drastically reduce the pesky noise. It will calm things down a bit so you can enjoy your drive session more.

Spiderweb Shade, due to its slightly thicker mesh provides a bit better solution to wind noise.

In general, however, both brands’ shade tops are designed to protect you from the wind and give you enough headspace to feel comfortable.

A point to consider when getting a sunshade top
for your Jeep JK/TJ/Wrangler/JL

Obviously, search around for a product that fits the generation of Jeep you drive, yes.

But you should also consider some further details like:

Are you driving a 2-door Jeep? Or is your vehicle a 4-door monster?

In the first case, you can do with a smaller cut sunshade top shielding the front passengers from the sun and heat.

For example, this Spiderweb Shade 2-door mesh is an excellent accessory.

Or what Alien Shade has to offer with more custom designs for 2-door rides.

For 4-door Jeeps and people who want full coverage, you’ll need the massive tops with extra coverage.

Keep an eye on the designs so you don’t end up with a front passenger-only top even though you drive a 4-door vehicle and have back passengers too!

Concluding thoughts

As I elaborated, both brands manufacture good sunshade tops. You might want to consider the warranty duration or if you’re more into eye-candy customizations, vote for the one with a more diverse portfolio of designs.

After all, as I pointed out in my article on Jeep accessories…one of the cool things about owning a Jeep is how creative you can get with your ride.

Just make sure that you have something over your head, as heat stroke is pretty dangerous…and the sun can be pretty sneaky. Remember to stay hydrated too, and enjoy the great outdoors with – no doubt about it, the most stylish off-road vehicle you can have.

You can also check my other guides on everything Jeep, like my thoughts on ball joint kits you can use after/if your OEM ones wear out. Cheers! 🙂

Founder of ToolingFun. Couldn't even change a lightbulb in my teenage years. Discovered the joy of DIY projects during my 2nd year in college. All about tinkering around, trying fun tools and projects, and giving my opinion on industry brands!