UPF clothing, swimwear and accessories to protect you from the sun

As the hottest months of the year approach, sun protection is a priority for many travelers. And while sunscreen is a no-brainer, one of the most practical, if less commonly used, ways to keep your skin healthy is to pack clothes with built-in UPF.

UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate fabric and reach your skin. For example, UPF 50 fabric blocks 98% of the sun’s rays, which significantly reduces the risk of exposure, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

“Wear UPF clothing and FPS protects against the development of skin cancer and reduces the risk of photoaging, which can present as sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles,” said dermatologist Dr. Joanne Simpson, MD, MPH said.

Simpson uses the example of a basic white T-shirt, which, although unmarked, has a UPF of around seven. If the shirt gets wet, the UPF drops to three. For regular non-UPF garments, Simpson’s recommends choosing darker colors and tightly woven fabrics. But for even more protection, look for clothes with a UPF rating above 30 (50 is the highest and the most protective).

UPF clothing is especially important for those who work outdoors, are sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients, or are active around water, Simpson says, making it a great addition to the packing list for your next boat adventure, waterfall hike or beach trip. Since children tend to squirm while applying sunscreen, UPF clothing from brands such as Reima can also be particularly useful.

Fortunately, UPF clothing seems to be getting easier to find with each summer season as more and more brands understand the need and desire for sun protection. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite UPF apparel, keeping style, comfort, and versatility in mind when choosing these travel-friendly picks.

UPF swimwear

Girlfriend Collective Marina Powell One Shoulder One Piece

UPF 50

Made from recycled materials like plastic bottles, fishing nets and other fabric scraps, Girlfriend Collective even gives a nod to the environment in its 100% recyclable packaging. The company prides itself on its contribution to slow fashion as well as protecting your skin. We love that this costume can quickly become a top when worn under shorts or jeans (meaning one less thing in your carry-on). Consider scaling this one.

Waterlust Abalone Restoration Sunsuit

UPF 50

Waterlust didn’t start out as a clothing company. A group of marine science graduate students made a series of short films about the environment and the ocean in particular. To reach more people, they then launched a clothing line using recycled materials. Each print in the Waterlust line of swimwear, leggings and accessories supports a different organization, from coral reef restoration to sea turtle research to billfish conservation. (Ten percent of every purchase is donated to the related printing organization.) And the models? All real people who are somehow involved or passionate about marine life.

Mott50 Hudson swim shorts

UPF 50

These relaxed fit swim shorts come in a variety of vibrant prints, with a moderate seven inch inseam. With soft 100% polyester material and pockets, the trunks bring comfort and functionality to your travels. Like the entire Mott50 line of products (dresses, women’s swimwear, kids’ gear), this suit offers UPF 50 protection. For families who love to match, this is your chance to get the whole gang in on the action. Lawyer beachwear.

UPF Tops

Coolibar Verdon packable jacket

UPF 50

There’s no such thing as a packable jacket, especially one that takes fit into account; this one from Coolibar looks tailored and crisp even just out of the case. The jacket “folds” on itself, creating a practical portable bag. Other features we love: an inside front pocket for valuables, a roll-up hood and its breathable recycled fabric.

Solbari fishing and hiking shirt

UPF 50

Solbari’s entire blog is dedicated to skin health, which should tell you something about the brand‘s commitment to sun protection. In addition to a great line of men’s and women’s swimwear, Solbari offers lightweight clothing like this men’s sports shirt, which is functional, breathable and odor-resistant.

UVSkinz Hooded Waterproof Jacket

UPF 50

UVSkinz was launched when Rhonda Sparks lost her husband of 32 years to skin cancer. With three children left behind, sun safety awareness has become a family mission. Every garment sold by UVSkinz has a UPF rating of 50 with many options for babies, children and adults. This hooded jacket is a best-seller, keeping you protected during the day and warm when the sun goes down (we love the zipped pockets to keep your phone and passport safe and accessible).

UPF pants and shorts

Title Nine Slaycation 2.0 short pants

UPF 50

Title nine takes its name from the law that prohibits public institutions from banning women from athletics. Fittingly, this women-owned company is committed to delivering clothes that look and feel great while keeping up with all the activities that come with travel; along with sustainability and style, keeping skin healthy is part of the brand’s core values. This particular pant can take you from the airport to the trails and will dry in a jiffy, should you decide to take a quick dip or find yourself in a sudden downpour.

Coolibar Petra wide leg trousers

UPF 50

These airy, gorgeous pants come in a variety of colors and look like cool silk (they’re actually made from the brand’s exclusive lightweight “Aire” polyester fabric). Even better, the brand is partnering with dermatologists and nonprofits around the world to help more people access sun protection.

Coolibar Miller Convertible Pants

UPF 50

Coolibar’s entire collection of men’s, women’s, kids’ and baby’s clothing has a UPF rating of 50. These technical pants are durable, can withstand the elements, and the bottom zips up to convert to shorts with a nine-inch inseam. With ventilation and a variety of different pockets, you can see why these bottoms pass the test for even the most adventurous traveler.

UPF Dresses & Rompers

Lululemon Mock Neck Zip Romper

UPF 40

Sometimes when landing at the airport, you want to start walking through your new location before you even check into your accommodation. Step into this Lululemon romper that provides the comfort we crave when sitting for long periods of time and keeps your upper body safe from the rays when heading outside after a flight or car ride. A drawstring waistband allows travelers to adjust to their personal style and comfort.

Carve Designs Cody Sun Dress

UPF 50

This dual purpose blanket from Carve designs looks more like a pretty dress than something to throw over a bathing suit. Drawstrings at the side let you adjust the length and style. Beyond the UPF rating, the dress is eco-friendly, made from recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer waste.

UPF Accessories

Solbari Reversible Ultra Wide Brim Hat

UPF 50

Solbari truly offers a hat for every head. This reversible hat is ultra-packable and ideal for adventurers who may find themselves in the elements a little longer than expected. Beyond headgear, the brand offers sun protection through hand covers and arm sleevestoo.

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