Outsmart the Sun with SunSmart
Our cool, breathable SunSmart™ apparel will help you enjoy every moment outside, blocking 10 times more sun than a white cotton tee. The sun protection is built in and never wears off, blocking at least 97.5% of the sun’s rays so you can stay outside longer.
What is UPF?
Ultraviolet Protection Factor tells you how much of the sun's UV rays (UVA and UVB) a fabric blocks. UPF 50 fabric blocks nearly 98% of the sun's rays and lets in about 2%. By comparison, a white cotton tee shirt lets in 20% and is equal to about UPF 5. Anything less than UPF 15 is not considered protective.
If you aren't wearing SunSmart, consider these factors that affect sun protection.
Unbleached cotton lets UV rays through, making it a poor choice for sun protection. Polyester and nylon are much better at blocking sun, and a polyester or nylon fabric with a shine is even better as it reflects the sun's rays away.
Loose-fitting clothing is a better choice. Tight, form-fitting apparel can stretch and pull the fibers apart, allowing more UV light to pass through.
UPF vs. SPF
UPF is often confused with Sun Protection Factor, or SPF. SPF is used for sunscreen and is derived from the amount of time it takes for skin to burn. If you typically burn after 15 minutes an SPF 30 sunscreen will let you stay out 30 times longer if used properly. Keep in mind that UPF measures both UVB and UVA rays, while SPF measures only UVB.
Dark or bright colors absorb more UV rays than light colored fabric, and do a better job of preventing them from getting through to your skin.
Densely woven fabrics like denim or canvas block the sun better than thin or loosely woven materials.