30 Best UPF Clothing Options That Are Stylish and Protective: Solbari, Amazon, Coolibar Lululemon, REI

By now we all know that sunscreen is a must when it comes to protecting your skin from melanoma, sunburn, sun poisoning, and premature aging. UPF clothing (or sun-protective clothing), however, might be new to you. When you think about sun-safe clothing, what are the first things that come to mind? Perhaps shapeless shrouds, hiking gear, and wide-brim hats? Luckily, UPF knowledge has spread over the past few years, and now we have more options when it comes to protecting vulnerable skin.

What does UPF mean?

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it’s an umbrella term for UVA and UVB protection. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UPF is different from SPF (sun protection factor) in that UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can go through the fabric, whereas SPF is based on the amount of time it takes for UV-exposed skin to burn. UPF clothing is important because it protects the body parts that we don’t normally put sunscreen on (a common sunscreen mistake), thus decreasing your risk of exposure to harmful rays.

What should you look for in sun-protective clothing?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, when shopping for sun-safe gear, you should first look for its seal of recommendation. In order to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal, an article of clothing must offer a UPF rating of at least 30. UPF 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ offers excellent protection, shielding skin from approximately 98% of the sun’s rays.

They also suggest considering the following factors for clothing that’s not specifically labeled as UPF:

  • Dark or bright colorswhich absorb UV rays rather than allowing them to penetrate.
  • Densely woven fabriclike denim, canvas, and wool.
  • Loose-fitting, high-coverage silhouettes.
  • Fabric compositions like unbleached cotton, shiny / satiny synthetic fibers, and higher-tech activewear

Below, we found 30 pieces of actually stylish UV protective clothing from brands and retailers like Outdoor Voices, Athleta, Amazon, and Lululemon. You’ll find breezy long-sleeve T-shirts, versatile dresses, and thoughtfully-made hats. Everything on this list has a UPF rating of 30 or higher to keep you protected while exercising, camping, swimming, and lounging.


UPF T-Shirts and Sun Shirts

If you know anything about UPF clothing, you’re probably the most familiar with full-coverage, button-down sun shirts. As the world has gained more knowledge about sun safety and protection, more and more brands have developed UPF gear that looks like, well, normal clothing. Outdoor Voices’ new Solarcool collection is funky, temperature-regulating, and UPF 50+. Lululemon has a breezy long sleeve that makes an excellent protective beach shirt, and there are plenty of options at Amazon that are ideal for rugged hikes.

Lululemon

Lululemon Waterside Relaxed UV Protection Long Sleeve

Person wearing purple long sleeve

Amazon

Isnowood Long Sleeve UV Quick Dry Rash Guard UPF50 +

Person in lime green shirt

Amazon

Columbia PFG Bahama II Long Sleeve Fishing Shirt UPF 30

UPF Activewear

If you enjoy working out outdoors (or even close to a sunny window indoors), it’s a good idea to look for UPF fabrics in your activewear. Remember: Any body part that’s covered by fabric isn’t getting slathered in sunscreen and is unprotected unless your clothing has UPF. Amazon’s Baleaf brand has quick-drying shorts with a UPF of 50 for hiking and running. You also might want to consider a high-neck UPF sports bra for outdoor workouts to protect your chest. And, surprisingly enough, just because you’re wearing leggings doesn’t mean your legs are automatically protected from harmful UV rays: Athleta’s durable leggings are UPF 50+.

Person in running shorts

Amazon

Baleaf Hiking Quick Dry Shorts with Zip Pockets (4 in.)

Person in purple tights

Athlete

Athlete Rainier Unbrushed 7/8 Tight

Person in charge tights

Athlete

Athlete Headlands Hybrid Cargo II Tights

UPF Sweatshirts and Jackets

Whether you’re an athlete looking for a protective outer layer to wear on the sidelines or you just want to be extra safe during your chilly morning walks, there are more sweatshirts and jackets with solid UPF protection than you might think. Vuori’s ultra-soft crewneck pullover and Nike’s track jacket are both lightweight, sun-safe, and easy to travel with. Athleta’s full-zip makes an excellent workout buddy, and The North Face’s hoodie was practically meant for spring and fall treks.

Person in mustard sweatshirt

You want it

Want Long-Sleeve Halo Crew

Person in blue zip up

Athlete

Athleta Pacifica Illume UPF Full Zip

UPF Shorts, Skorts, and Capris

Sun protective bottoms like shorts, skorts, and capris come in plenty of silhouettes. The Skin Cancer Foundation encourages loose-fitting gear because when tighter fitting clothes stretch, the fibers pull away from each other and allow more UV light to pass through. We love Outdoor Voices’ and Coolibar’s relaxed vibe for lounging or low-key movement. For hiking, you can’t go wrong with Columbia, or Kuhl’s skort that’s both functional and stylish.

Person wearing green pants

Amazon

Coolibar Café Ruche Pants UPF 50+

Person in cargo shorts

Amazon

Columbia Sandy River Breathable Cargo Short UPF 30

Pants and Jumpsuits

If you’re into lounging outdoors in the spring, Vuori and Beyond Yoga’s supersoft fabrics offer a solid amount of protection and warmth. Athleta makes a cute pair of convertible pants perfect for outdoor activity (and we think they’re great street-style pants too). Looking for resort wear? Coolibar’s flowy pants make an excellent protective option that doesn’t sacrifice style.

Person in dark pants

King Co-op

Beyond Yoga Spacedye High-Waisted Practice Pants

Person in patterned pants

King Co-op

Athleta Trekkie Convertible Hike Pants

Person in blue pants

Amazon

Coolibar Petra Wide Leg Pants UPF 50+

Swimsuits and Rash Guards

Upgrade your swimwear with more protective styles like these, which all shield your skin from harmful rays. Lululemon’s stylish rash guard is excellent for water sports and Torrid’s retro-style halter is cute enough to wear all on its own.

Person in teal swimsuit

King Co-op

Carve Designs Sandhaven One-Piece Swimsuit

Person in patterned rashguard

Lululemon

Lululemon Waterside UV Protection Short-Sleeve Rash Guard

Person in gingham swim dress

Torrid

Torrid Retro Halter Swim Dress

Person in patterned swimsuit

Amazon

Coolibar Medley G2 Swim Bra UPF 50+

Dresses and Cover-Ups

There are plenty of stylish sheath dresses, midi dresses, workout dresses, and more with built-in sun protection. We love Summersalt’s colorful shirtdress for our next beach day, and Solbari’s long-sleeve midi is full-coverage but has a slimmer silhouette for more shape. Outdoor Voices’ moisture-wicking one-shoulder dress has built-in support for activities like jogging or tennis.

Person in green dress

Solbari

Solbari Long Sleeve Maxi Dress UPF 50+

Person in white dress

Athlete

Athleta Pacifica Illume Dress

Person in patterned clothes

Summersalt

Summersalt Short Effortless Shirtdress Cover-Up

Hats and Accessories

Hats are the easiest foray into UPF gear because chances are you already have one! These options from Solbari and Arc’teryx are adjustable and secure, making them ideal for boating or windy beach days. You can also opt for a pair of arm sleeves, which offer UPF 50+.

Model smiling and wearing a beige reversible wide-brim beach hat with a chinstrap

Solbari

Solbari Reversible Wide Brim Beach Hat UPF50 +

Model wearing natural straw sun hat with a relaxed brim

Solbari

Solbari Weekend Sun Hat UPF50 +

Pink adjustable sun hat on white background

KING

Arc’teryx Women’s Sinsola Hat

Model wearing white t-shirt and gray sun-protective arm guards

Solbari

Solbari Arm Sleeves UPF50 + Sensitive Collection

Related:

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.