Peace of Mind in the Outdoors
What's more fun than being out in the sun? Not having to worry about being out in the sun. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) clothing is designed to act as a barrier between you and the harmful rays of the sun. It works much the same as sunscreen: depending on the level of SPF, you get a level of UV protection, or UPF rating. Protection ranges from "Good," with a UPF rating of 15+, all the way up to "Excellent," rated 40+. Just like sunscreen, the higher the number, the longer you can stay out in the summer sun and avoid its damaging rays.
Of course, just throwing on an SPF shirt won't provide complete protection from UV rays. The best defense against the sun is a combination of protective measures. If possible, avoid being in direct sunlight during peak hours - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Or, use this tip: if your shadow is shorter than you are, cover up - it's peak hours! SPF clothing should be worn with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and any exposed skin should be covered with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater. Almost all SPF fabrics lose some effectiveness when wet, so when water activities abound, make sure to change into dry sun-protective clothing and reapply sunscreen as soon as possible.
All clothing has some degree of sun-protection, so what makes a fabric "SPF?" A wide variety of textile fibers are used to make sun-protective clothing, including polyester, cotton, and even silk. In fact, almost any fabric can be SPF depending on its weave or if it has been treated with sun-protective agents. As a general rule, the tighter the weave and the darker the color, the higher the SPF.
So does that mean you're stuck wearing a black canvas jumpsuit all summer long? Absolutely not! Attractive, affordable and even fashionable SPF clothing is easier than ever to find. Many styles also offer other features to enhance your outdoor comfort, such as quick-drying fabrics, zip-off pant legs, roll-up shirt sleeves and collars, and mesh venting to help keep you cool.
Guarding your skin from the sun has always been important, but now SPF clothing makes it easier to enjoy the sunny outdoor adventures you love, without sacrificing comfort or good looks.Contributed By: Angie Hall