by Texas Homesteader ~
If you work outside often, wearing sun UV-Protective clothing can protect skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
RancherMan & I work our homestead every day, most of our daily activity involves being outside. We are careful to protect our skin from the sun.
Although these shirts were sent at no cost to me to try out & review, please remember that my words will be my own. I’ll share the real story with y’all, no fluffy obligatory stuff!
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
How We Protect Our Skin While Working Outside
Sun protection is important. Although sunblock is still an important part of sun protection, I’ve written a post about ways we Protect Our Skin From Sun to offset sunblock use. I encourage you to check it out.
We often protect our skin from the sun by covering it instead of using sunblock:
Wide-brimmed hats (helllooooo cowboy!)
Long-sleeved lightweight shirts
Heavy shoes or boots
The fine folks at *Vapor Apparel agreed to send sun-protective shirts for us to review. RancherMan & I will each compare our individual experiences with the performance of the shirt.
About Vapor Apparel’s Solar Shirts
Per Jennifer at Vapor Apparel:
- These garments are made with 100% Microfiber (a special performance spun polyester)
- The garment’s UPF/UPX INCREASES with each washing. In fact, after 25 washes the UV-B % block reaches coverages of: 99.44% dry and 99.92 wet!
- These solar shirts are actually endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation for their sun protection.
When the shirts arrived I was pleased with the colors. I’d requested tan for RancherMan & a pretty water-blue for myself.
We would be trying both long-sleeve as well as short-sleeved solar protective shirts.
When I handed the shirts to RancherMan his first exclamation was “Wow. These shirts feel like sleepwear!” LOL – well I guess if you can mow the yard in your PJ’s that’s a GOOD thing, huh??
When To Use Sun Protective Clothing
The weather was blue-sky sunny and the temps were in the low 90 degrees range. Hot and humid – typical summer weather for our area of NE Texas.
RancherMan will be using his long-sleeved solar shirt during the 4 to 5 hours-long chore of mowing the yard. (yeah, it really takes that long!) He also used it for several hours on the tractor mowing pastures.
To protect his skin from the sun he typically wore a regular light-colored long-sleeve cotton T-shirt. But today he’s trying out a sun-protective *Solar Long-Sleeve Shirt.
I will be using it primarily for my gardening chores since they typically involve the same measure of sun exposure time as his mowing the yard.
RancherMan’s observations about Vapor men’s shirt:
- The sizing for the shirt seems to be a little small. He typically wears a size Large but ordered an XL yet it’s still semi-snug across his belly. Not really tight, just not as loose as he’s accustomed.
- The short sleeve shirt sizes are even a little more snug than the long-sleeve versions, even though they were the same size.
- There was a noticeable reduction in the feel of the intensity of the sun on his skin after putting on this shirt as compared with his regular long-sleeve cotton t shirt.
- He sweat about the same in this solar-protective shirt as his lightweight cotton one. So no sweat difference than with an ordinary tshirt, but he had significantly more sun protection and actually stayed cooler.
- He mentioned that although he sweat just as much in this solar-protective shirt as his lightweight cotton one, there was no ‘work funk’ smell afterward. That’s because these shirts have a zinc-based addition that keeps fabrics fresh and defends against odor-causing bacteria. I guess it really works!
- The shirt wicks moisture away & didn’t get heavy with sweat like his old cotton standby did.
- The solar-protective shirt didn’t stick to his body as he sweat as he was afraid it would. (yea wicking action!)
- He ended up with a coffee stain on the front & a quarter-sized spot of dirt or grease on the elbow of the shirt (maybe from the tractor?) All stains came out easily in the wash. I used my same Homemade Laundry Detergent and it all came out beautifully, even without pretreating.
- He commented that it was a very comfortable & lightweight shirt, yet the slinky feel is not as preferable to him as the cotton T-shirt he’s used to wearing.
My Observations About Vapor Women’s Shirt:
I’ll be in the sun all day while doing hours of gardening chores. So I’m wearing the *Ladies Solar Long-Sleeved shirt along with denim jeans, a wide-brimmed hat and gloves.
Here are my thoughts about the women’s shirt:
- The ladies shirts definitely run small. In a regular t-shirt I wear a size medium, but I often opt for a size large instead for a loose fit. So for this Solar Long-Sleeved Shirt I’d requested an Extra Large based on *Amazon’s Sizing Chart & my measurements. It fit comfortably, but certainly not loose.
- The ladies shirts are also pretty fitted. So it’s slinky and snug and shows every line & curve. So keep that in mind, ladies!
- The sleeves are very long, which I find delightful. I’m a tall girl and sleeves that are long enough for me are sometimes hard for me to find.
- I was TOTALLY surprised at how cool I stayed in this shirt versus other shirts I’ve worn in the sun. A true skeptic here, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is the biggest benefit right here!
Although I love that I’m so protected from the sun, this shirt is too pretty limit its wear to schlepping around in the garden. It will be worn when we’re out & about too.
Conclusion? We Love Vapor UV Protective Shirts!
I’m very appreciative of the Vapor Apparel folks for sending these shirts to RancherMan & me to try. I must say I’m pretty impressed with these solar protective shirts.
Personally I love the feel of them (although RancherMan prefers a traditional cotton look & feel to the silky-type qualities).
I’m also very pleasantly surprised at how much cooler they keep me in that hot Texas sun. I was really skeptical given the heat & humidity of NE Texas. The thought of wearing a long-sleeve shirt seems like madness!
But they really DO keep me significantly cooler than a short-sleeve shirt would. Not only do they block that hot sun from hitting my skin, but the wicking action also helps keep me cool. A true skeptic at first but no more!
So if you are concerned about the sun’s harmful rays on your skin but don’t want to slather on sunblock every day, check out Vapor Apparel’s solar-protective shirts. They’re light, comfortable, affordable and look terrific!
Want To See Other Sun-Protection Posts?
- Protecting Skin Without Sunblock
- Wearing Cool But UV-Protective Clothing
- Sun Protection: Rigid Canopy For Our Mid-Sized Tractor
- Use Whatcha Got: MYO Fabric Canopy For Tractor
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