UV Protection For Hiking

Hiking with UV Protection Sun Shirt

The best sun protection for hiking comes from UV protection hiking shirts. In addition to being the most effective defense against sun damage, UV protection hiking shirts are often designed with impressive outdoor performance qualities. This includes improved breathability, lightweight materials, temperature regulating fabrics and durable construction. Rayward Apparel’s UV protection hiking shirts, for instance, check every box when it comes to outdoor performance, comfort and sun protection. 

Hiking with UV Protection Sun Shirt

Choose UPF 50+ for Maximum Protection When Hiking

The best UV protection hiking shirt will have UPF 50+ sun protection. UPF 50+ is the highest achievable rating, and is awarded to fabrics that are certified to block greater than 98% of UV rays. Every single one of Rayward Apparel’s products are certified UPF 50+, essentially providing the apparel equivalent of SPF 50+ sunscreen. Fortunately, unlike sunscreen, UV hiking shirts offer all-day protection, among other benefits.

UV Protection Hiking Shirts vs Sunscreen

In comparing UPF apparel to sunscreen, you’ll realize several advantages of choosing a UV protection hiking shirt instead of sunscreen lotion. First off, UV hiking shirts don’t need to be reapplied. With sunscreen, you’ll need to reapply every 1-2 hours, and often without the help of a mirror. Second, UPF hiking shirts will save you money in the long run compared to costly sunscreen, which may cost a few dollars per 1 oz application. Additionally, sunscreen adds more weight to your pack. For these reasons and more, rely on UV protection hiking shirts as much as possible, using sunscreen only to cover those areas of your face and body not protected with UPF fabrics.

Not All UV Protection Hiking Shirts Are the Same

When choosing a UV protection hiking shirt, there are certainly do’s and don’ts. Do look for a certified UPF 50+ rating. Don’t skimp on quality fabrics. Depending on your needs, you may want an ultralight polyester blend, or perhaps a more breathable bamboo viscose blend. Do choose a durable hiking shirt that’ll withstand abrasion. Don’t settle for something that would look out of place anywhere other than the trail. Nothing has to prevent a quality UV hiking shirt from also being the type of stylish and comfortable apparel you’d wear before or after a hike.  Do choose a fast-drying and moisture-wicking shirt, especially for hot weather hiking. Fortunately, all of Rayward Apparel’s UV protection hiking shirts hit the do’s and dodge the don’ts.

Hikers at sunrise with UV protection apparel

Sun Protection That Lasts

Unlike sunscreen applications that are only good for 1-2 hours (and less if you’re sweating or swimming), the sun protection offered by UPF hiking shirts lasts for the entire duration of your hike. In fact, Rayward Apparel’s UV hiking shirts hold their UPF ratings for the life of each garment, even after laundering. Whatever the reason for your hike, be it for relaxing, exercise, escape or any other reason, make the most of your hike by trusting UV protection hiking apparel that lasts as long as your hike. 

Effortless Sun Protection = Effective Sun Protection

When designed with broad spectrum UV protection, clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. Firstly, it’s hard to incorrectly apply a UV protection hiking shirt. UPF apparel is working the instant you put it on. Simply put, if your skin is covered, then you are protected. And remember, you don’t need to reapply UPF apparel, as you would with sunscreen. These and the benefits outlined above add up to simple, effortless sun protection. As is to be expected, the simpler the sun protection, the safer the sun protection. Keep it simple and keep your skin safe by hiking with UV protection hiking apparel.

Rayward Apparel’s UV protection hiking shirts are available for men and women, featuring short sleeve, long sleeve and hooded. All of Rayward Apparel’s hiking sun shirts are lightweight, soft breathable and feature UPF 50+ sun protection—perfect for your next hike!

10 Hiking Essentials: Must-Haves For Your Next Hike

Hiking Essentials and Sun Protection

Hiking is one of the best ways to spend time outdoors. Whether you’re pushing your limits on a strenuous hike, or just taking a leisurely stroll to appreciate nature, here are ten hiking essentials that you should always have. No matter the length or difficulty of your next hike, go prepared with these 10 hiking must-haves!

Here’s the quick list of our 10 hiking essentials, followed below by more details for each:

  1. Hooded UPF 50+ Shirt
  2. Neck Gaiter
  3. Breathable Socks
  4. UV-Protective Hat
  5. UV Sunglasses
  6. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
  7. Refillable Water Bottle
  8. Lightweight Snacks
  9. Navigation
  10. Emergency Pack

Hooded UPF 50+ Shirt

Sun protection is critical for every outdoor activity, and only more so if you are planning to be outside for more than an hour. For lightweight, breathable comfort that protects as well as it performs, consider a well-balanced UV-protective hoodie. The Sun Bound UPF 50+ Bamboo Hooded Shirt from Rayward Apparel is well-suited for the outdoors, easy to layer and provides the highest rated sun protection for hiking with a UPF 50+ rating.

Hiking UPF Sun Hoodie

Neck Gaiter

One of the most versatile pieces of apparel, a neck gaiter should be packed for every hike, regardless of length. A well-designed neck gaiter, such as Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar UPF 50+ Gaiter, is versatile, lightweight and protects against sun damage. You can wear neck gaiters more than a dozen ways, which is why they are often referred to as tube headwear or multi-functional headwear. Whether worn as a neckerchief, beanie, headband, full face shield or simply around your wrist, just in case, you’ll never regret bringing a lightweight UPF 50+ neck gaiter.

Breathable Socks

Never underestimate the importance of a good pair of socks, especially before participating in any activity involving significant time spent on your feet. You’d be wise to consider wool or bamboo blends for their insulation, breathability and odor-resistance. Plus, well-made wool socks are unbeatable in the departments of comfort and durability. Wool also dries very quickly, which is something every hiker appreciates when our shoes or socks get wet or sweaty.

Wool hiking socks

UV-Protective Hat

A quality sun hat is a must for any hike. Although you may not notice the visible signs of sun damage, your skin and scalp are very susceptible to UV damage. Our top recommendation for UV-protective headwear is Rayward Apparel’s Sun Ops UPF 50+ Bucket Hat. The 360-degree brim offers more protection than a baseball hat, and the lightweight material will keep your head cool. Additionally, this bucket hat is lightweight, adjustable and easy to pack—important for all hiking essentials.

UV Sunglasses

Just as you’d protect your skin from the sun, you must also protect your eyes. This is especially important when hiking around terrain that reflects UV light, such as hiking near snow or water. We recommend a pair with lightweight frames that fit closely to your face in order to minimize the amount of UV light directed around your eyewear. Bonus points if they float, but you definitely want a snug fitting pair that will stay secure when you run and jump (or slip).

Hiking Sunglasses with UV Protection

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

You might imagine wild animals as your scariest threat, but you’re most in danger from something invisible—the sun’s UV rays. Ultraviolet light attacks your skin through both clear and cloudy skies, and is even more dangerous at higher altitudes. Therefore, don’t take any chances with your skin’s safety, and cover up in broad spectrum sunscreen. Additionally, since you need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, make sure you pack enough to last for the duration of your time outdoors. When it comes to protecting the only skin you have, better safe than sorry!

Refillable Water Bottle

Never start a hike without making sure everyone has more than enough water. Water accessibility, weather, altitude and hiking duration, as well as your health, will impact exactly how much water you need. We suggest consulting the Mayo Clinic for detailed information regarding daily hydration, but plan to drink 20-32 ounces of water every 1-2 hours. A stainless steel or BPA-free bottle is our top recommendation, but we also love the convenience of hydration packs. For remote hikes or more extreme weather, you’ll need much more water, and you may even consider a water purification system or purifying tablets.

Essential hiking water bottle

Lightweight Snacks

Hiking is not only healthier, but also more enjoyable when you have some tasty treats to keep you company. Trail mix is tried and true, as are granola and protein bars. Whatever your preference, plan to consume about 200 calories per hour, and pack accordingly. Also, depending on who you’re hiking with, you may need to pack additional snacks to fend off the grubby hands of your fellow hikers who forget to bring their own trail snacks. 

It is essential that you have some means of navigation for every hike. This will vary based on your specific hiking plans, but may include everything from a map or compass to a handheld GPS device or any mobile phone with a reliable signal. The more adventurous your hike, or perhaps the less marked the trail, the more likely you’ll need additional navigation tools. For most hikes, a working mobile phone and an updated trail map will suffice. However, you should always make sure someone knows when and where you’re hiking, in case of emergencies.

Essential hiking navigation

Emergency Pack

Ok, this one is a bit of a catch-all, but some level of first-aid and/or outdoor survival pack is essential for every hike. Items to consider include a standard first-aid kit, whistle, knife, headlamp, blanket, shelter and source of fire. The more extreme your hike, the more you need to pack for your safety. However you pack it, make sure you have it handy and that you know where everything is located. Of course, for a less-remote or more heavily-trafficked hike, you might be fine with a smaller first-aid kit or only select emergency hiking essentials.

Next time you hike, go prepared with these ten hiking essentials. Not only will you get more enjoyment out of your hike, but you’ll hike safer with some variation of these ten must-haves carried with you. Of course, depending on the weather and remoteness of your hiking region, you may need to build upon this list with additional hiking and survival equipment, but this is an excellent starting point for any type of hike.

For all of your hiking sun protection needs, consider Rayward Apparel. All of the clothing and accessories designed by Rayward Apparel are rated UPF 50+ for maximum sun protection. Our philosophy is simple: the world revolves around the sun, but your life shouldn’t. #StayRayward with Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ hiking apparel.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Best Sun Protection Shirts For Hiking

Hikers on Summit on Sunny Day

The best sun shirts for hiking combine breathability, lightweight and UPF 50+ UV protection, all of which you’ll get with Rayward Apparel’s lightweight sun protection shirts. Keep reading to find out why these traits are important for your go-to hiking shirt. Furthermore, discover why Rayward Apparel’s UPF shirts stand above the competition and are the best bet for your next hike.

UPF Hiking Shirts for Varied Weather Condition

Whether you’re hiking in the wetlands of the Southeastern United States, or up in the Canadian Rockies, you need a hiking shirt that can handle different conditions and temperature ranges. Fortunately, Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection is up to the task. Made of viscose from bamboo, our UPF 50+ hiking shirts are breathable, lightweight and quick-drying. Continue below and discover more about how we designed the best lightweight sun protection shirts for hiking.

Couple Hiking Along Sunny Ridge

Breathable Comfort for Your Next Hike

Bamboo fibers help you regulate your temperature by helping your body vent properly. In hot weather, this means collecting cool air to keep you from overheating. Meanwhile, in colder weather, the bamboo fibers help trap warm air. In either hot or cold temperatures, the thermal regulating properties of bamboo help you stay comfortable. As a result, when you’re out hiking, you’ll feel great wearing our lightweight sun protection shirts from dawn till dusk.

Lightweight Hiking Sun Protection Shirts 

Another great thing about our sun shirts made from bamboo viscose is that they’re lightweight. As a result, they won’t weigh you down, whether on your back or in your pack. We know that the weight of every worn and packed item quickly adds up. Given this, our fabric blend balances protection with weight to make sure you are protected, but not burdened. Plus, our shirts are tailored with an athletic fit to avoid bulk. We also forgo unnecessary buttons, straps and fasteners for a clean, thoughtful design that gives you everything you need, and nothing you don’t! 

Hiking Wet Forest Trail

Quick-drying, Moisture-wicking Sun Shirts for Hiking

Any dependable hiking sun shirt needs to wick moisture and dry quickly. Why? Because eventually, at some point, you’re going to get wet! Whether that moisture is from a waterfall’s mist, a sudden rainstorm, or simply your sweat–the consequence is the same: you’re wet, and soon to be uncomfortable. Therefore, Rayward Apparel’s lightweight sun protection shirts use a fast-drying blend of lycra, natural cotton and viscose from bamboo. This carefully chosen blend excels at pulling moisture away from your body, which allows it to then quickly evaporate away. Rather than blocking sweat or making you sweat more than you should, our UPF hiking shirts allow your body to sweat naturally. Then, our moisture-wicking fabric assists your body’s natural process by quickly pulling the sweat away from your skin. Plus, the same process that works for sweat works for other moisture, including that rainstorm you couldn’t out-hike!

UPF 50+ Protection You Can Trust on Any Hike

Perhaps you already have a lightweight, moisture-wicking hiking shirt, but is it UPF rated? All of Rayward Apparel’s sun shirts, including our lightweight Sun Bound collection, are UPF 50+ rated. This means they block over 98% of UV rays, the equivalent of SPF 50+ sunscreen! Plus, our sun clothing’s UPF rating lasts wash after wash, and even when wet.

In conclusion, the best hiking shirt is one you can trust. Not just for its lightweight breathability and well-fit design, but also for how it protects your hide. For your next hike, perhaps to one on the top 5 hikes in the vide below, trust nothing less than the lightweight, UPF 50+ rated sun shirts from Rayward Apparel. 

Click Here to shop our men’s and women’s Sun Bound collections now!

When To Wear A Sun Gaiter Face Mask

Mountain Biker Wearing Sun Gaiter

Sun gaiter face masks serve a range of purposes, from protecting and comforting, to insulating and styling. Rayward Apparel’s gaiter face masks are great at meeting the demands of several situations in many different climates. Continue below for highlights of the most important and most common times to wear a sun gaiter face mask. 

Wearing a Sun Gaiter Face Mask for UV Protection

The primary purpose of Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar gaiter face mask is to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Therefore, the most important time to wear your neck gaiter is in the sun, even for a few minutes. This is because the sun can damage unprotected skin in as little as 5-10 minutes. Even if you’re wearing sunscreen, or if your sunscreen isn’t at least SPF 30 (the minimum recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation for outdoor activities), a sun protection gaiter face mask is great for ensuring you didn’t miss any of spots. This is especially important when you’ve already left your house and the convenience of mirrors, and are blindly reapplying sunscreen to your face and neck. In short, if the sun will be hitting your face, you better have it properly protected. Sun gaiter face masks are simply the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable way to protect your face and neck!

Using a Neck Gaiter to Keep Cool

You can also wear a face mask gaiter when you need to keep cool. For starters, this is because you’ll be protecting your face and skin from the hot sun. Additionally, the moisture-wicking fabric draws sweat away from your skin to help it evaporate quickly. This then assists your body’s natural responses to keep you even drier and cooler. Lastly, you can wear a face mask gaiter that has been dipped in cool water for quick, refreshing relief! This trick can be very useful when out on the open water fishing or anywhere where shade isn’t easily accessible.

Wearing a Gaiter Face Mask to Stay Warm

Another useful time to wear a face mask neck gaiter is when you want to keep warm. This may sound like a contradiction of the previous point, but in fact some of the same attributes that help face mask gaiters keep you cool, also make them effective at keeping you warm. Worn properly, a gaiter face mask allows moisture to escape. In the cold, wet equals cold. Additionally, a very thin insulating layer of air will remain between your skin and the outside air. You can also fold a gaiter into a double-layered balaclava, which provides even more warmth and insulation. Plus, you get all of this while still maintaining breathability. Lastly, if the warmth you need isn’t on your face, you can reposition your neck gaiter into a beanie,

Face Mask Neck Gaiters as Fashion Statements

One of the most overlooked benefits of gaiter face masks are their ability to be worn as fashion pieces, most often to manage and style one’s hair. When wearing a neck gaiter for its style benefits, you have a range of options. For example, face mask gaiters can be transformed into hairbands, foulards, neckerchiefs and more, all with a few folds. Imagine being able to turn your neck gaiter into a head scarf that simultaneously keeps hair out of your eyes AND protects against UV damage!

When NOT to Wear a Sun Gaiter

You won’t always need to wear a sun protection gaiter. For example, indoors or when protected by other means of UPF sun protection. Fortunately, sun protection face mask gaiters are just as easy to remove as they are to apply. Therefore, if you’re wearing one for any of the reasons outlined above (and you should be), but later find yourself in a situation where you no longer need a face mask neck gaiter, it’s as simple as pulling it down around your neck, wrapping it around your wrist, or stuffing it in a pocket. Our best gaiter face masks occupy very little space and are easy to stash away whenever you don’t need them. Of course, thanks to their versatility and styling options, we trust you’ll find them to be useful in many situations.

Now What?

In summary, you should wear a UPF gaiter face mask whenever you might experience even as little as 5-10 minutes of exposure to UV rays. You should also wear a gaiter face mask when you need its heating/cooling attributes, as well as its style applications. Additionally, face mask neck gaiters are easier to apply than sunscreen. Sun protection gaiters also don’t require waiting to become effective, and are removable the moment you no longer need them.

Are you ready to fall in love with the UV protection and versatility of face mask neck gaiters? If so, visit Rayward Apparel’s online store to shop UPF gaiter face masks today!

Rayward Apparel's UPF 50+ Gaiter Face Masks

Bonus: Need a quick refresher on how to use the UV Index to check your daily UV risk level? Check out the video below:

* Rayward Apparel’s gaiter face masks are not designed for preventing the spread of disease. Our face mask neck gaiters have been tested for UV protection, but have not been tested for their effectiveness at preventing the spread of disease, such as COVID19. They should therefore not be used as an alternative to any medically-approved face masks.

Top 10 Non-Caribbean Beaches

Matira Beach in Bora Bora of the South Pacific

No offense to the Caribbean, but sometimes it receives too much of the beach loving spotlight. Now, don’t get us wrong—the Caribbean is by all accounts a beach-lovers’ paradise. However, the Caribbean is not the be-all and end-all of sun-soaked sand. And given that Rayward Apparel’s drive is More Adventure, Less Exposure, is it not appropriate to encourage more adventure to ten beaches that receive less exposure than they deserve?

Continue below for our top ten non-Caribbean beaches:

10) Matira Beach in Bora Bora (French Polynesia)

Matira Beach in Bora Bora of the South Pacific

It’s hard to pick just one beach in Bora Bora, but Matira Beach is one of the most famous for a reason. Pristine shores, emerald lagoons and picturesque palm trees make this a must-see for any beach lover—just don’t forget UPF clothing!

9) Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Over two miles long and surrounded by skyscrapers and mountains, it’s easy to enjoy Brazil’s fabled Copacabana Beach. Stay sun safe as you take in the mosaic promenade, festive parties and vibrant people so a sunburn won’t ruin your Carnival!

8) Reynisfjara Beach in Vik (Iceland)

Reynisfjara Beach in Vik, Iceland

This striking black sand beach is located along Iceland’s South Coast, just a short drive from nearby Vik. Reynisfjara’s claim to fame is the shadowy cave hollowed out of the towering basalt columns. Despite being near the Arctic, cover up in UPF clothing because you could experience 20+ hours of daylight during summer!

7) La Jolla Cove near San Diego (California)

Sea Lion in La Jolla, San Diego, California

Kayak along the coastline, snorkel caves teeming with sea life or keep it above sea level and watch the playful sea lions of California’s La Jolla Cove. However you spend your day at the beach, top it off with fresh fish tacos. Just keep the salsa off your sun protective gear!

6) Honokalani Beach in Maui (Hawaii)

Honokalani Beach in Maui, Hawaii

This black sand beach is sheltered within a crescent cove, featuring sea caves and lava tubes surrounded by thick green vegetation. Whether you’re seeking adventure or a peaceful retreat, you’ll find it at Honokalani Beach in Maui’s Wai’anapanapa State Park. Sport your UPF 50+ apparel and your skin will say “Mahalo!”

5) Hopewell Rocks “Beach” in the Bay of Fundy (Canada)

Hopewell Rocks in Bay of Fundy, Canada

This one might stretch the definition of a “beach,” but it’s worth your flexibility to experience the highest tides in the world. To appreciate the 40-foot tidal range, don your sun safe clothing and kayak at high tide, and then walk the sea floor of the very same location at low tide!

4) Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town (South Africa)

Camps Bay Beach in South Africa

Nestled behind Table Mountain and under the watchful eye of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, Camps Bay has a ton to offer, from an activity-filled day of volleyball or hiking, to a relaxing pairing of seascapes and local wine. Plus, if you’re an experienced surfer, go hang ten in your UPF 50!

Shipwreck on Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece

Greece’s Navagio Beach is only accessible by boat, but the extra effort will be worth it when you float past the staggering cliffs, swim the blue waters and get your Instagram-worthy shipwreck selfie. Arrive early to beat the crowds, and cover up in UV protective clothing to beat the sun!

2) Horseshoe Bay Beach (Bermuda)

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda with Pink Sands

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking Bermuda was in the Caribbean, but this subtropical island nation is actually about 900 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. The striking rock formations, turquoise waters and famous pink sand of Bermuda’s Horseshoe Bay Beach are the perfect setting for a day in the sun! Afterwards, try the fresh rock lobster, but avoid looking like one with proper sun safety.

1) Whitehaven Beach in Queensland (Australia)

Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia

You may have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming as you stroll the powder-like silica sand, snorkel the azure waters or hike to a lookout above the protected reefs. Whitehaven Beach earns bonus points for being a convenient gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Speaking of great barriers, protect your skin with one using our UPF 50+ sun protection clothing (and leave the reef-damaging sunscreen behind).

Ready for the quick recap? Here are the top 10 non-Caribbean beaches again, this time sorted #1-10:

  1. Whitehaven Beach in Queensland (Australia)
  2. Horseshoe Bay Beach (Bermuda)
  3. Navagio Beach (aka Shipwreck Beach) in Zakynthos (Greece)
  4. Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town (South Africa)
  5. Hopewell Rocks Beach in the Bay of Fundy (Canada)
  6. Honokalani Beach in Maui (Hawaii)
  7. La Jolla Cove near San Diego (California)
  8. Reynisfjara Beach in Vik (Iceland)
  9. Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  10. Matira Beach in Bora Bora (French Polynesia)

Ten incredible beaches equals ten incredible reasons to stock up on sun protective apparel! Check out the exclusively UPF 50+ clothing from Rayward Apparel.

Did we miss any of your favorite beaches? We’d love to hear about it, and we’d love even more to see it for ourselves. Let us know in the comments below!

Until next time, stay Rayward!

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