UPF Protective Clothing
Between the pain of sunburn and the fear of skin cancer, clothing companies have made UPF protective clothing for outdoors people. This protective gear was originally made in Australia in the 1990s and includes shorts, long sleeved shirts, t-shirts, polo shirts, button down shirts, pants, skorts, capris, neck gaiters, jackets, arm sleeves, bandanas, hats, and more. One of our favorite lines is Omni-Shade by Columbia, which works alongside the skin cancer foundation to make some of the best UPF protective clothing.
Columbia Freezer Zero Bandana - Photo Credit: http://www.columbia.com/
UPF is a fabric’s rating system that describes a clothing’s level of protection against UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) sunlight. In contrast, SPF, which is the rating system of sunscreen creams, only protects against UVB rays, which cause sunburn.
This makes UPF a stronger, better alternative for people concerned with skin damage and skin cancer. Experts on skin care agree that UPF clothing is better than sunscreen because many people forget to reapply sunscreen or even apply sunscreen too thinly.
There are several factors to consider when buying UPF protection:
- Check the UPF rating. UPF 15 is good, but 50+ is better, as it blocks 98% of UV radiation from reaching your skin.
- Choose a darker color for better protection.
- Look for a tighter weave, which will further block UV rays as there are no loose areas for the sun to sneak through.
- Consider the fiber type of your UPF protective clothing. Polyester is the best because of its carbon- and hydrogen-based benzene rings.
- Feel whether the material has a heavier weight, which is also known as the cover factor or mass. Heavier fabric will block more UV rays than lighter material.
- Find clothing with a dry wetness, as wetness weakens the UPF’s ability to protect against the sun. (Don’t worry about whether you can wash your UPF protective collection. Chemists and colorists have determined that washing UPF clothing doesn't affect the protective qualities of the clothing.)
- Look for material with less stretch. Stretchy fabric will loosen in density and allow more UV rays through its UPF protection.
Columbia Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt - Photo Credit: http://www.columbia.com/
Don’t settle for less with your UPF protection clothing; the ideal design for this line is a combination of style, comfort, and protection.
UPF Protective Clothing At Appalachian Outfitters
People of any skin sensitivity can benefit from UPF protective clothing. Sun protection is important, even if you feel that you rarely sunburn. Visit Appalachian outfitters today to see our Columbia line of UPF protective clothing!