Sun protection clothing has exploded in the last few years and it seems everyone is offering UPF protective apparel in one form or another. Similar to SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, UPF refers to an ultraviolet protection factor rating as relates to clothing. Why not just put on a T-shirt when you’re getting crispy? Well, for most people, that will be just fine. But for the ultra-fair skinned, kids and anyone spending lots of time at high altitude where the sun’s rays are more intense, UPF clothes, hats and accessories may help protect delicate skin from damage.
Mott 50 UPF rated shirt
All fabric disrupts invisible ultraviolet or UV rays to some degree. But UPF clothing that ranges from a rating of 15 to 50+ can help even more. A rating of 50 means that only 2% of harmful ultraviolet radiation to passes through. By comparison a white T-shirt will let anywhere from 5%-20% of ultraviolet rays through depending on how it was made, colored and laundered.
Royal Robbins UPF capris
The UPF rating system was developed in 1996 in Australia and then adapted by the US. Today, the FTC monitors UPF advertising claims and can investigate in case anything is suspect. Some clothing manufacturers who specialize in UPF clothing include Mott 50, Columbia, Royal Robbins, REI, Coolibar, and many others.