The 411 on UPF and the Sun

Protecting yourself from the sun’s damaging rays

by Colleen Kleve

Sun protection has become much more of a routine than ever before. Protecting yourself from the sun’s damaging rays is getting easier as clothing manufacturers are now building an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) into their garments. UPF is to clothing what SPF is to sunscreen lotions.

The amount of UV rays a garment can shield depends largely on the tightness of the fabric’s weave. The tighter the weave, the higher the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) and the less UV light passing through. Other factors such as dyes, fiber types or topical treatments also play into it. Polyester offers better protection than cotton or nylon. The higher the rating, the greater the protection. A rating of UPF 50 allows 1/50 of the sun’s UV radiation to pass through.

Outdoor activities clearly expose you to the sun’s rays but these days with SPF lotions and technical apparel manufacturer’s building in a UPF protection, you can feel better about your activities outdoors, while still looking good and being comfortable. It goes without saying, the more skin you can cover, the better your protection. Using a combination of SPF lotions and purchasing your outdoor wear with higher UPF ratings is always a good idea.

Stone Harbor has many lines of clothing with UPF ratings for your next hiking, climbing or canoeing adventure. Stop in and schedule an activity with one of our experienced guides and pick up a fun new piece of clothing to wear with UPF protection.

Don’t let the simplicity of the picture at the top of the page fool you–it took a lot of work for Beth Poliquin to create it. Ask her about it next time you see her.

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