Author Topic: Sun shirts?  (Read 3274 times)

rothwem

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Sun shirts?
« on: July 26, 2023, 02:54:50 PM »
I went to the beach a couple weeks ago and got a crazy blistering sunburn on my back and shoulders.  It was the pretty standard story--I started out strong with a good application, but I got sidetracked and even though I kept my kids lathered up, I forgot to reapply myself and got absolutely scorched.  I was a little freaked out, my sister recently had a melanoma removed and she's only 33, so our pasty English genes are definitely in the risk group for skin cancer. 

I've seen plenty of people at the beach wearing those sun shirts though, I'm not even sure of the brand, but they look like a regular tech T with long sleeves for the most part.  Is that all they are? I have long sleeve running shirts, though I've never thought about wearing them in hot sunny weather because I've always thought they'd be too hot.  Are the sun shirts any different?  More sun protective, less hot?  I've found out the hard way that a regular cotton T-shirt is pretty worthless at protecting from the sun once it gets wet. 

Anyone have one of these type shirts?  Here's some links from REI that sortof look like what I'm thinking of, any thoughts? 
https://www.rei.com/product/185196/rei-co-op-sahara-shade-hoodie-mens
https://www.rei.com/product/203301/tyr-sundefense-long-sleeve-shirt-mens

Adventine

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2023, 02:58:47 PM »
I bought my husband these UPF 50 sun shirts off Amazon. UPF shirts are specifically tested to protect against sunburns.

They are lightweight, feel cool on the skin, and are great for people who dislike or simply forget applying sunscreen. My husband liked the first one so much, we bought multiple shirts and pants in different colors (and he usually hates buying clothes). I bought some for myself, too.


They have been great to wear in our humid Southern summers. Not unpleasant or stifling at all.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2023, 03:07:18 PM by Adventine »

ixtap

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2023, 03:14:37 PM »
Look for the UPF rating: not all materials block the sun equally. I got most of my sun shirts at Marshalls, but they are mostly Columbia branded. I have both some that fit like tech Ts, some polo style and one hoodie. I don't actually wear the hood very often because I usually wear a hat to shade my face. Sometimes Costco has some, as well.

Archipelago

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2023, 08:35:49 PM »
I can give mention for Columbia PFG long sleeve shirts. I've been wearing them daily for years, including the summer.

I would also like to mention Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen. Best sunscreen I've ever used and will use it for life.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2023, 12:01:28 AM »
I can give mention for Columbia PFG long sleeve shirts. I've been wearing them daily for years, including the summer.

Same.  I wear these and the off brands a lot. 

Telecaster

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2023, 10:10:52 AM »
They are typically called rash guards and are made to go in the water.   Almost any outdoors store will carry them these days.   I see them at Costco quite frequently too. 

englishteacheralex

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2023, 10:15:53 AM »
Those REI Sahara shirts are awesome. My husband, daughter, and I all have one apiece. Hawaii sun is not kind to white folks. We wear these at the beach and when we go hiking.

Metalcat

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2023, 10:26:49 AM »
They are typically called rash guards and are made to go in the water.   Almost any outdoors store will carry them these days.   I see them at Costco quite frequently too.

There are rash guards for swimming, but also much cheaper UV shirts for everyday wear.

I buy Hanes UV shirts, they're pretty cheap.

Turtle

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2023, 12:09:20 PM »
I'd suggest buying one now to try.  Then if you find it works for you, you may be able to find more on end of season sales.  Actually, depending on the store, they may already be on end of season sales.

My local Costco had some in the springtime, but they are sold out in the store now.  They generally only get them in once a year. 

rothwem

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2023, 01:00:14 PM »
So I went with the REI Sahara one.  I was all about to order the ones that @Adventine posted, but they don't have a Tall size, which I think I'd probably need at 6'2". 

I'll let you guys know how it goes. 

Adventine

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2023, 01:05:48 PM »
So I went with the REI Sahara one.  I was all about to order the ones that @Adventine posted, but they don't have a Tall size, which I think I'd probably need at 6'2". 

I'll let you guys know how it goes.


Here's to no more sunburns!


I think the REI Sahara shirts are great, but if you decide to try the ones I linked, my husband is a lean 6' and is very comfortable with the medium sizes.

Just Joe

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2023, 03:22:36 PM »
I bought my husband these UPF 50 sun shirts off Amazon. UPF shirts are specifically tested to protect against sunburns.

They are lightweight, feel cool on the skin, and are great for people who dislike or simply forget applying sunscreen. My husband liked the first one so much, we bought multiple shirts and pants in different colors (and he usually hates buying clothes). I bought some for myself, too.


They have been great to wear in our humid Southern summers. Not unpleasant or stifling at all.

Same shirts, same experience. Wore them in the Florida Keys this year on vacation. No burns. Also DW found some amazing coral friendly sunscreen that we used on faces and legs. No burns there either.

Freedomin5

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2023, 06:01:01 PM »
My husband wears UPF50 quick dry long sleeve sun shirts at the beach as well.

Dicey

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2023, 06:28:28 PM »
There are also sun shirts that repel bugs. This brand is expensive, but has neat loops for your thumbs and fingers. If you look closely at the hand photo, you can see the finger loop inside the right sleeve. One could easily DIY this feature on any shirt, for extra protection.

https://www.simmsfishing.com/collections/fishing-insect-repellent-clothing/products/womens-bugstopper-solarflex-hoody.

I have seen similar shirts offered seasonally at Sam's Club.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2023, 06:32:26 PM »
I've never gotten a sunburn through any shirt I've worn, even though I've never bought specialty shirts for sun protection. Whenever I hear "SPF 50" shirts exist, I get a little bit confused--but someone here mentioned wet shirts being bad, so is that the specific use-case for them?

Metalcat

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2023, 07:31:10 PM »
I've never gotten a sunburn through any shirt I've worn, even though I've never bought specialty shirts for sun protection. Whenever I hear "SPF 50" shirts exist, I get a little bit confused--but someone here mentioned wet shirts being bad, so is that the specific use-case for them?

I've absolutely been burned through a shirt, but I used to wear a lot of thin tops. Some women's clothing is practically made of tissue paper.

Also, UV damage can occur without burning. I got skin cancer on my arm in a spot that had never been burned.

Yes, a lot of thicker fabrics, especially those used in menswear, will provide plenty of protection. But UV fabrics have been tested and can be counted on to protect to a certain level, so there's no guessing.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2023, 07:56:59 PM »
I've never gotten a sunburn through any shirt I've worn, even though I've never bought specialty shirts for sun protection. Whenever I hear "SPF 50" shirts exist, I get a little bit confused--but someone here mentioned wet shirts being bad, so is that the specific use-case for them?

I've absolutely been burned through a shirt, but I used to wear a lot of thin tops. Some women's clothing is practically made of tissue paper.

Also, UV damage can occur without burning. I got skin cancer on my arm in a spot that had never been burned.

Yes, a lot of thicker fabrics, especially those used in menswear, will provide plenty of protection. But UV fabrics have been tested and can be counted on to protect to a certain level, so there's no guessing.
idk, the tl;dr of this seems to be that almost any clothing (except maybe white cotton tshirt) is better than almost any sunscreen. Point taken about the specific testing resulting in guaranteed performance.

draco44

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2023, 08:17:39 PM »
So I went with the REI Sahara one.  I was all about to order the ones that @Adventine posted, but they don't have a Tall size, which I think I'd probably need at 6'2". 

I'll let you guys know how it goes.


Here's to no more sunburns!


I think the REI Sahara shirts are great, but if you decide to try the ones I linked, my husband is a lean 6' and is very comfortable with the medium sizes.

I love the REI Sahara shirts, and wanted to chime in to note that after getting my first full-price in store after trying on a bunch of options, ever since then I've been able to find others secondhand when I needed them, either through eBay or REI's used gear website.

AlexK

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2023, 10:40:49 PM »
I was curious about sun shirts too so I bought a $20 off brand sun hoody from Amazon last year. It's amazing! I use it all the time kayaking, hiking, backpacking, whatever and never had any sunburn or tanning through the shirt. I took it out backpacking in the Sierras this week and treated it with the Sawyer permethrin spray beforehand. No mosquito bites through the thin shirt. I wore it for a week camping in Colorado in July and the mosquitoes easily bit right through it so that is a vulnerability without the treatment.

Metalcat

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2023, 04:00:10 AM »
I've never gotten a sunburn through any shirt I've worn, even though I've never bought specialty shirts for sun protection. Whenever I hear "SPF 50" shirts exist, I get a little bit confused--but someone here mentioned wet shirts being bad, so is that the specific use-case for them?

I've absolutely been burned through a shirt, but I used to wear a lot of thin tops. Some women's clothing is practically made of tissue paper.

Also, UV damage can occur without burning. I got skin cancer on my arm in a spot that had never been burned.

Yes, a lot of thicker fabrics, especially those used in menswear, will provide plenty of protection. But UV fabrics have been tested and can be counted on to protect to a certain level, so there's no guessing.
idk, the tl;dr of this seems to be that almost any clothing (except maybe white cotton tshirt) is better than almost any sunscreen. Point taken about the specific testing resulting in guaranteed performance.

???

I never said fabric was worse than sunscreen, I said that I personally have been burned through a shirt. I also doubt that study used gossamer thin fabrics like women's clothing are often made of.

I've seen plenty of people get sun damage while wearing sunscreen as well. At no point would I ever say that sunscreen is better than coverage with an opaque fabric.

But I've had skin cancer, and my husband has had skin cancer, so if I'm going to trust a fabric, I would like it to be tested and confirmed that it has a certain level of protection.

GuitarStv

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2023, 03:44:04 PM »
I've never gotten a sunburn through any shirt I've worn, even though I've never bought specialty shirts for sun protection. Whenever I hear "SPF 50" shirts exist, I get a little bit confused--but someone here mentioned wet shirts being bad, so is that the specific use-case for them?

I've had the same experience . . . but all my clothing is standard guy stuff (cotton shirt, rash guard, cotton/poly blend).  My wife has a lot of weird, poorly made gauzy stuff that probably doesn't work the same way.

The UV rating is a legit thing though.  Most of the teams in the Tour de France switched to lighter fabric in their jerseys a few years back and the material was a lot more permissive of UV light than many of the cyclists were used to:
 

Just Joe

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2023, 02:51:43 PM »
OUCH!!! Did that level of burn at the beach once many years ago. Rough 24 hours or so... Liquor did not help - well, it did and then it didn't.  ;)

FINate

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2023, 09:22:20 PM »
I've been wearing sun shirts for many years. I do a lot of backpacking, fishing, and hunting which means lots of time in the sun. Not a fan of sunscreen. There's the forgetting to reapply problem (as OP learned), but also the issue of chemicals being absorbed into the bloodstream. Is it safe long-term?  Maybe. Probably better than the risks of too much UV damage. So I'd rather cover up and apply sunscreen sparingly.

The Columbia PFG Zero sun shirts are great for hot days. I also have a couple of REI Sahara shirts that also work well. A cheap Cabelas sun hat with flap keeps direct sun off my face and neck. More recently I've added fingerless sun gloves while fishing because I was starting to get sun damage on the backs of my hands.

Besides UV protection, I've found covering up helps with annoying bugs and I feel less drained at the end of the day.

I look like a dork, but that's fine. I don't want to deal with skin cancer, and seeing my parents have spots removed via freezing or surgery every few months...  not worth it.

rothwem

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2023, 12:06:48 PM »
So I just got back from the beach, and yup, I can confirm that I looked like a dork. 

However, I don't have sunburn, which puts this sun shirt in the "win" category.  Now my wife wants one too!

catccc

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2023, 01:26:34 PM »
My whole family uses rashguards, and I think we look smart, not dorky!  Seriously, so much easier than applying sunscreen, better protection that doesn't wear off, no coral bleaching chemicals. (Okay, we use mineral sunscreen, anyway.  But not everyone does.) 

I would suggest bright colors for kids, no light blues that blend in with the pool.  It makes them a lot easier to spot in the water.

Also, on hot days, they facilitate cooling through evaporation, which is a bonus.  When it's hot.  When it's cooler they can be a little too chilly.

Our go to brand is Lands' End.

Fiddlestix

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2023, 11:05:58 AM »
I've got several Coolibar shirts and leggings. I swim in them. Their patterns, and most sun protective clothing patterns, are... aggressive.
I have driving gloves which were pretty darn expensive. I'll be looking for gloves for kayaking next.

My favorite shirts though are Eddie Bauer's Mountain Ripstop Long sleeve buttondown type shirt. I was thrilled to find a dark purple one with darker swirls. Groovy, baby! I have a light yellow one for hiking (to be able to see ticks).

VanillaGorilla

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2023, 08:12:46 PM »
I bought my husband these UPF 50 sun shirts off Amazon. UPF shirts are specifically tested to protect against sunburns.

They are lightweight, feel cool on the skin, and are great for people who dislike or simply forget applying sunscreen. My husband liked the first one so much, we bought multiple shirts and pants in different colors (and he usually hates buying clothes). I bought some for myself, too.


They have been great to wear in our humid Southern summers. Not unpleasant or stifling at all.
Thank you for the recommendation! I now own two of these. They're quite good! Minor nits: they stain easily around the seams, and compared to high end shirts (e.g. Patagonia) the hood is a bit small and the fabric isn't quite as soft.

However, they're 1/3 the price for 95% of the performance! Excellent! Note: quite small for the size.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 08:15:28 PM by VanillaGorilla »

Adventine

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Re: Sun shirts?
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2023, 09:32:25 PM »
I bought my husband these UPF 50 sun shirts off Amazon. UPF shirts are specifically tested to protect against sunburns.

They are lightweight, feel cool on the skin, and are great for people who dislike or simply forget applying sunscreen. My husband liked the first one so much, we bought multiple shirts and pants in different colors (and he usually hates buying clothes). I bought some for myself, too.


They have been great to wear in our humid Southern summers. Not unpleasant or stifling at all.
Thank you for the recommendation! I now own two of these. They're quite good! Minor nits: they stain easily around the seams, and compared to high end shirts (e.g. Patagonia) the hood is a bit small and the fabric isn't quite as soft.

However, they're 1/3 the price for 95% of the performance! Excellent! Note: quite small for the size.


Glad you liked them!