Sun Protective Clothing Buying Guide
Whether you are fishing, cycling, camping and hiking or just going for a walk, enjoying any outdoor activity in Australia will always have one main enemy: the harsh Australian sun. While sunscreen is an essential item for any Aussie, the clothing you wear will also make a significant difference in protecting you from harmful UV rays. Apart from looking great and stylish, sun protective clothing is also specially designed to block or absorb UV radiation. Our sun protection clothing buying guide will explain everything you need to know, including some great examples to make sure you and your family are fully protected from the sun when on your next outdoor adventure.
- What Makes Sun Protective Clothing Sun Safe?
- The Difference Between SPF & UPF
- What Type Of Hat Is Best For Sun Protection?
- What Type Of Cycling Clothing Can Protect You Against The Sun?
- What Type Of Fishing Clothing Can Protect You Against The Sun?
- What Are Some Examples Of Sun Protection Clothing?
What Makes Sun Protective Clothing Sun Safe?
When it comes to SPF 50+ clothing in Australia, you luckily have plenty of options. But to make sure you are choosing the right sun protection clothing for your needs, here are the main factors to consider:
The construction of sun protective clothing is made from densely woven materials like synthetic fibres, canvas, wool and denim, making them much more protective than loose, sheer and thinly woven materials. If you aren't sure, hold the clothing up to the light. If you are able to see through it, then it's a pretty good indication that UV radiation will be able to easily pass through the clothing.
This UPF rating indicates just how much UV radiation the clothing can shield from the sun. For the best protection from the sun, you should look for UPF 50 clothing, which most sun protective clothing will indicate on the label.
It's important to remember that wear and tear is a part of life. Depending on the activity you are doing, the clothing is going to get wet or stretched, resulting in it becoming more transparent and losing its ability to protect you from the sun.
Bright and dark colours actually keep the sun's UV rays from penetrating through the clothing. They do this by absorbing or reflecting the light rather than allowing it to pass through the clothing and reach your skin.
Lastly and most obviously, the amount of coverage your clothing provides will increase the amount of sun protection it will provide. So, always make sure you are opting for long pants and long-sleeved shirts when venturing outside to ensure you don't return home sunburnt.
Beyond Sun Protective Clothing
In addition to wearing sun-protective clothing, safeguard yourself from the intense Australian sun by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face, neck, and ears from direct sunlight, and wear sunglasses with UV protection to safeguard your eyes. It's a good idea to seek shade during peak sun hours, generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration and heat-related issues. Consider using portable shade or an umbrella for extra protection in outdoor settings. Be mindful of reflective surfaces like water, sand and snow, which can intensify sun exposure. Adopting these measures ensures comprehensive sun protection and reduces the risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage in the Australian climate.
The Difference Between SPF & UPF
The main difference is that SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates the amount of time it takes for skin exposed to UV radiation to redden and only measures UVB (Ultraviolet B) which has a shorter wavelength. On the other hand, UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) indicates the amount of UV radiation that the clothing can withstand. UPF also measures both UVB and UVA (Ultraviolet A) which has a longer wavelength.
When it comes to sun protective hats, there are plenty to choose from. If you are going somewhere outside where there won't be much shade available, then you will want to consider hat styles such as legionnaire caps, broad-brim hats, bucket hats, balaclavas and straw hats. This is because these styles of hats offer the most protection to crucial areas including your nose, ears, face and neck. Typical hats such as trucker caps offer less protection, but are fine if combined with sunscreen and you are in areas where shade is available. But always check the UPF rating on the label to make sure you are buying the best sun protective hats and clothing.
Most cycling sun protection clothing is made from materials such as UPF 50 lycra instead of mesh, as the tighter weave increases its ability to block or absorb harmful UV radiation. When planning your cycling outfit, a long sleeve jersey that has a UPF rating of 50 is perfect for fully protecting your arms while being breathable and comfortable during your ride. Many feature collars, but for the ultimate sun protection for the back of your neck, consider wearing a neck shade as well. Long-leg cooler sleeves are ideal for protecting your legs from UVB and can be easily combined with bike shorts.
Unlike other outdoor activities, you are most likely going to have very little shade when out fishing, which is why it is so important that you are wearing the best sun protective clothing. Here is a brief breakdown of what to consider when buying sun protective fishing clothing:
Long-sleeved fishing shirts and polos are going to give your arms the best amount of protection on long fishing trips. They are typically made out of 100% polyester so they are breathable while also having a rating of SPF50+. And with our huge range at Anaconda, they all come in a variety of colours, sizes, styles and designs to suit your needs.
Our range of fishing pants not only provides optimal sun protection to your legs, but are also constructed from fabrics that have water-repelling treatment to ensure that water doesn't seep in through the material. They are the perfect balance of sun protection and comfort, whether fishing from the boat or the shore. If you are fly fishing, then a pair of tough waders will ensure you are protected and kept dry, even when standing in waist-high waters.
As mentioned before, a broad brim hat, legionnaire or straw hat is going to offer complete protection to your face, ears, nose and neck. This can also be combined with a solar tube or a neck gaiter to ensure you are fully protected. If you're fishing in the colder months and want sun protective hats that offer a little more warmth, then a fudd hat is perfect. Also, make sure you have a solid pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare when out fishing.
When purchasing sunglasses in Australia, prioritise lenses that provide 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Opt for sunglasses that meet Australian and New Zealand standards (AS/NZS 1067:2016) to ensure adequate eye protection. Consider the lens material such as polycarbonate or Trivex for impact resistance and durability. Polarised lenses are vital in Australian conditions as they reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water, roads and sand. Sun glare can be intense in sunny environments, causing eye strain and discomfort. Polarisation filters horizontal light waves, enhancing visual clarity and reducing eye fatigue. This feature is particularly beneficial for outdoor activities like driving and water sports. When buying sunglasses, also factor in the frame design for a comfortable fit and choose a style that complements your face shape and personal style preferences.
Fishing gloves are not only going to protect your hands from the sun but are also crucial for any serious angler. For example, angler gloves are designed to protect your hands from dorsal fins, fish teeth and gill plates when handling fish, and fillet gloves will not only protect your hands from sharp objects but also provide maximum grip when dealing with slippery fish.
Of course, no fishing get-up is complete without sunscreen. When buying sunscreen in Australia, consider the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating, which indicates the level of UVB protection. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield against UVA and UVB rays. Look for water-resistant formulas, crucial for outdoor activities - especially when out on the water. The Australian standard recommends SPF 30+ or higher for everyday use, but SPF 50+ is ideal for extended sun exposure. Ensure it complies with the Australian/New Zealand Standard for sunscreens (AS/NZS 2604:2012). Choose a product suitable for your skin type, considering sensitivities and allergies. Lastly, check the expiration date and reapply regularly for effective protection against the harsh Australian sun.
What Are Some Examples Of Sun Protection Clothing?
Whether you are after men's, women's, kid's or plus-size sun protective clothing, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in our massive range at Anaconda. Here are just a couple of examples of the best sun protective clothing you can find in our range:
Columbia Women's Bahama PFG Shirt
When spending long hours in the sun and needing an ideal amount of protection, our Columbia Women's Bahama PFG Shirt ticks all the boxes. Constructed from durable nylon, it has a lightweight and relaxed fit while offering UPF 50 protection from the sun. Whether you are fishing, hiking or enjoying the great outdoors, its hidden venting at the back will ensure you stay cool and the quick drying fabric will keep you staying dry throughout the day.
Mountain Designs Men's Ormiston II Long Sleeve Shirt
Featuring polygiene anti-odour technology, the Mountain Designs Men's Ormiston II Long Sleeve Shirt inhibits odour-causing bacteria, meaning that you can wear it longer before needing to wash it. Apart from offering UPF 50+ sun protection, it also features improved mesh panelling for maximum breathability. It also has built-in forward set shoulder seams to provide ideal comfort when lugging around a backpack during hiking and camping.
Discover The Best Sun Protective Clothing At Anaconda
Keep these important factors in mind to make sure that you are purchasing the best sun protective clothing for your needs. Before you head out though, make sure you are fully stocked up on all your outdoor clothing needs such as sunglasses, fishing shirts, hats and much more. Make sure you check out our Adventure Centre for more helpful tips and exciting destinations that you can visit with your friends and family. If you liked our Sun Protective Clothing Buying Guide, then you might also like some of our other helpful articles such as:
- Hiking & Camping Clothing Buying Guide
- Jackets Buying Guide
- 10 Free Camping Spots In Australia For The Savvy Camper
- What To Bring Summer Camping