Have you ever grappled with the conundrum of wanting to look vaguely fashionable, feel cool and comfortable, but yet not wanting to end up with red triangles on your shoulders or strap lines on your back? Then I have found a solution that I didn’t even know existed until recently.
I have always been in love with the great outdoors, as quite frankly, I hate being cooped up inside. We have only one life to live, so I’d rather be hanging at the beach, riding or walking around the river or hiking through the bush.
Being very concerned about sun damage, I’ve tried my best at being diligent about slopping on the sunscreen and slapping on a hat before I head outside.
Growing up in Western Australia, my summer days are hot and dry, so it feels very logical to wear short sleeved shirts and shorts.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, but I try to do my best for my family with sun protection.
But unless you are strictly following the guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) about remaining in the shade between 10am and 4pm when the UV is above 3, and repeatedly applying sunscreen every 2 hours, then UV radiation exposure to bare skin is likely.
Summer vs Winter exposure!
As I educate myself about UV radiation, I have become aware that I have the misconception that I only needed to be concerned about the UV radiation in the warmer months of the year.
This is simply not true, as UVA radiation penetrates into our dermis layer of the skin all year round. UVA is the cause of premature ageing of the cells, leading to wrinkling of the skin and skin cancer.
This means it’s important for you to wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and sun protective clothing even in the winter and autumn.
What is UPF clothing?
When I think of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) I think of sunscreens. We talk about the importance of wearing a SPF 30+ or SPF 50+ sunscreen that protects us from both UVA and UVB radiation.
Now, certain clever clothing companies have been conscientiously investing into the research and development of Ultra-violet Protection Factor (UPF) fabrics.
A rating of UPF 50+ is the highest rating that can be achieved and blocks 98% of the suns UV. This is the equivalent of wearing SPF 50+ sunscreen.
It was news to me that not all fabrics are created equal. As I dig further into this topic, I have discovered that it is still possible for UV radiation to penetrate fabrics with a lesser UPF rating.
Thus, you think you are protecting your skin, but really you might need to be wearing sunscreen beneath your clothing.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not stain my clothes with the sunscreen, but rather start wearing UPF clothing instead.
Solbari, a Melbourne based company, is one of these clever companies creating Ultra-violet resistant clothing. To obtain the Australian government UPF50+ certification, Solbari must submit each of their unique yarns for stringent government testing.
To pass the testing, the composition of the yarn, tightness of the weave or knit, colour, stretch, moisture, condition, and finishing are evaluated.
With 6 types of fabrics, Solbari have put together a collection of sun protective clothing for women and men.
When I first came across Solbari, I was immediately impressed with how comfortable, yet stylish this range looked.
I definitely wasn’t looking to change my wardrobe into UPF 50+ clothing at the sacrifice of fashion and my active lifestyle.
Using great block colours and casual styles, this range can transcend the ages.
An 18-year-old surfer can easily feel comfortable in the active T-Shirt range, as equally as a 70-year-old grandfather (also a surfer!)
Solbari’s clothing range is designed around an active outdoors lifestyle.
When you click on each item in the online shop you will find everything you need to know, including the fabric’s benefits and the ideal outdoor activities for when the garment can be worn.
If the beach is not your thing, you can also wear Solbari clothing when playing golf or tennis, gardening, fishing, hiking, cycling, running and sailing.
Favourite picks for all seasons!
This UPF 50+ fabric has a divine feel on the skin. Made from organic cotton and natural bamboo so is super soft, naturally anti-odour and is designed to keep you cool on warm days.
I love the choice of colours: Navy, Grey, Black, Blueberry and Pale Pink.
Also, it has bilateral seam pockets, big enough to hold keys and mobile phone.
There are discreet thumb holes at the end of the long sleeves, designed to protect your hands from sun exposure, if you so wish.
This UPF 50+ product, comes in a range of colours for both men and women sizes.
Also, made from organic cotton and natural bamboo, all the garments in the sensitive collection are designed for people with sensitive skin types.
This lovely fabric is breathable and lightweight, plus has built in anti-odour technology.
Built with discreet thumb holes, this protect you from the cold as well as the sun!
Quarter Zip Top UPF 50+ Active Collection
Solbari have put together the Active Collection designed for long days in the sun. If you’re planning on playing sport in this clothing range, the fabrics have UPF 50+, anti-odour and moisture wicking technology built in.
I love that this kind of fabric does not need ironing and can be machine washed. The anti-odour technology is brilliant, as there is nothing worse than exercise clothes holding onto the sweat odour, despite being washed.
Also comes in a range of colours and sizes for both men and women.
Finally leggings that can be worn at the beach or anywhere you are being active. Salt water and chlorine resistant, these leggings are made UPF 50+, from the highest quality Italian swimwear fabric.
I love that you can go for a run and then jump straight into the ocean for a surf or swim, without having to change your clothes.
They have an internal pocket for keys and card, plus a drawstring for ensuring comfort on the waistband. Available in Navy and Black for both men and women.
Arm sleeves are a brilliant invention. Designed to be worn with your short sleeved shirts, you can protect your arms from sun exposure during any activity, including driving in the car.
Solbari have designed Arm Sleeves both with the UPF 50+ CoolaSun fabric and the Sensitive fabric collection.
CoolaSun fabric has the added benefits of being cooling on the skin on hot days, as well as being incredibly soft, supple and flexible.
All arm sleeves are sold as one pair and come either with thumb holes or without. Lots of colours to choose from for Men and Women.
Solbari even have free shipping worldwide!
Free shipping worldwide is a major plus for me. I do think the quality of the product, richness of the colours and specialty UPF 50+ fabrics are definitely worth investing in.
If you follow the washing instructions, then you will find that this is going to be a long-lasting garment in your wardrobe that looks great, whilst protecting your skin from premature ageing and skin cancer.
Check out all the different options to suit your outdoor activity and to avoid having to apply sunscreen to your body.
I hope you like this review and if you’d like to leave your own review, please comment in the box below.
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