Best UV Protection for Fishing

UPF 50+ UV Protection Fishing Shirt in the Sun

The best sun protection for fishing is with UV protection fishing shirts. Not only are UV fishing shirts great for their reliable sun blocking performance, but they’re also stylish and comfortable. And let’s face it, the better you feel while fishing, the more you’ll want to keep fishing! Of course, UV protection fishing shirts aren’t your only option for fishing sun protection, but they are your best option. Continue below to find out why!

You Never Need to Reapply UV Protection Fishing Shirts

Unlike with sunscreen, UV protection shirts don’t need to be reapplied every two hours. This means less time putting on sunscreen and more time actually spent fishing. In addition to saving time, fishing with UV shirts will save you money. In the long run, and especially if you participate in extended outdoor activities like fishing, UV shirts can save you and your wallet from costly sunscreen purchases. Properly applied every two hours, a $12 tube of sunscreen may only last one day. After just a few days or weekends of fishing, your sunscreen costs could exceed the price of a quality UV protection fishing shirt.

Surf Fishing with UV Protection Shirt

Fewer Sunscreen Applications = Less Greasy Hands

Although modern sunscreens are much improved compared to those of the last century, they still have their flaws. A common flaw of sunscreen, especially for fishing, is the greasy residue that’s often left on your hands. Slippery hands are bad for several reasons while fishing, not the least of which is your ability to hold your rod and reel. Don’t let the big one (or your entire rod) slip away because you can’t keep the sunblock off of your hands. Instead, keep your palms grease-free and trust the dependable sun protection of UV fishing shirts.

More Than Just Long Sleeves

What’s better than long sleeves? Long sleeves with hidden thumb loops! Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection of UV protection fishing shirts feature hidden thumb loops. These ensure that your sleeve cuff stays at your wrist, offering as much protection as possible. While fishing, you’ll spend lots of time with your arms up, whether casting, reeling or toasting your big catch, so choose a UV fishing shirt that’s designed for an active person.

In addition to long sleeves and thumb loops, the best UV protection fishing shirts feature hoods. These lightweight, UV-protective hoods offer even more protection from the sun’s harmful rays. When you’re on the water, and especially when you’re fishing and looking out over the water’s surface, a UV-protective hood is important. With a hood, your ears and neck are protected from both direct and reflected UV rays.

Don’t Settle for Less Than UPF 50+ Protection

The ideal UV protection fishing shirt offers UPF 50+ sun protection. UPF 50+ is the highest certified rating, and is reserved for fabrics which block greater than 98% of UV rays. All of Rayward Apparel’s products are certified UPF 50+, providing the clothing equivalent of SPF 50+ sunscreen. However, in contrast to sunscreen, our UPF fishing shirts offer all-day protection from the instant you put them on.

UPF 50+ UV Protection Fishing Shirt in the Sun

Comfort Matters for UV Protection Fishing Shirts

When it comes to choosing your go-to UV protection fishing shirt, don’t skimp on quality fabrics. Look for something that’s soft and lightweight so you look forward to wearing it all day. Equally important, especially around the water, is fast-drying and moisture-wicking apparel. Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound sun protection hoodie offers all of these advantages with a lightweight, 170 GSM fabric you can wear all day long.

Rayward Apparel’s UV protection fishing shirts are available now in both men’s and women’s. They’re ultra soft, lightweight, breathable and provide UPF 50+ sun protection—ideal for day after day of fishing.

What Is The Easiest Sun Protection?

Man looking for easiest sun protection

As easy as it is to get a sunburn, it’s also very easy to entirely avoid sun damage. In fact, properly protecting oneself from sun damage only takes a little intention, a few steps and the right apparel. Plus, the more you practice sun safety, the more it becomes second nature. And this is the ultimate goal, making sun protection a habit. The key to habitual sun safety, and ultimately to keeping sun protection simple, of course, is in wearing the right clothing. Continue reading to see why UPF apparel provides the easiest sun protection—even easier than sunscreen!

UPF-rated Apparel Eliminates Guesswork from Sun Protection

Various fabrics provide a vast range of UV protection, with some offering barely enough to pass as a weak sunscreen with an SPF of 5. This is because many variables, including the material, density, weight, color, fit and age, determine a fabric’s sun protection properties. The easiest way to eliminate this guesswork is to look for clothing that’s been tested and rated specifically for its ability to protect against UV rays. This is indicated with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. Based on the U.S. testing standard for sun protective fabrics, AATCC Test Method 183, the highest possible rating is UPF 50+. To provide the easiest sun protection, Rayward Apparel exclusively produces UPF 50+ apparel and accessories. While this approach may be more difficult for us, it translates into easier UV protection for you—and that’s most important.

Leave the Stopwatch at Home

Even sunscreen isn’t without fault. We like to think that sunscreen is easy to use, and that we’re pretty good at using it. In reality, however, there’s just enough timing and guesswork involved to leave room for costly (and painful) mistakes. At the beach, for instance, you need to remember when you last applied sunscreen, account for time spent in the water, and reapply sunscreen at least every two hours—all while still trying to have fun. One reason UPF clothing offers easier sun protection is because it doesn’t need to be reapplied. Unlike sunscreen, our UPF apparel’s UV protection doesn’t diminish throughout the day.

Timer to measure sunscreen application

For the Easiest Sun Protection, Seeing Is Believing

One of the most difficult aspects of sun protection can be knowing if you’re fully covered. With sunscreens that blend into your skin, it’s hard to know which spots were covered, and which were missed. In pleasant contrast, UPF apparel makes it easy to know what’s protected from UV rays. With UV protection clothing, it’s simply a matter of checking for exposed skin. If any skin is uncovered, then you need to complement your UPF apparel with sunscreen. If the fabric covers the area in question, then rest assured—you’re protected. Sun protection doesn’t get any easier than that!

Easier Sun Protection at a Moment’s Notice

One of the easiest things about trusting UPF clothing for your sun protection is that it’s effective instantly. Most broad-spectrum sunscreens come with a recommendation to wait 15-30 minutes before stepping out in the sun. If and when you need to protect your skin, the easiest sun protection method is the one that doesn’t require time-consuming application followed by a waiting period of 15-30 minutes. You should not ignore this crucial step, but you may find yourself wishing you had applied sunscreen earlier. The easier sun protection alternative? Throw on your UPF 50+ apparel, which offers the protective equivalent of SPF 50+ sunscreen. Plus, unlike broad spectrum sunscreen, UPF apparel protects instantly and easily.

Sunny landscape in Oregon

Easy Sun Protection Means No Hard-to-Pronounce Sunscreen Ingredients

Much has been made of the potential side effects of sunscreen ingredients, both on the environment and our bodies. So much so, that the stress of choosing the right sunscreen, or the fear of choosing the wrong sunscreen, leads some to skip sunscreen altogether. The easier alternative, of course, would be sun protection apparel. With UPF apparel, you need not worry about hard-to-pronounce sunscreen chemicals being absorbed into your skin. Plus, wearing our Sun Bound bamboo shirts in the ocean poses no risk to coral reefs and other sea life.

No Lotion, No Mess

We hope you never have to learn this one the hard way, but sometimes travel and adventure don’t make for ideal sunscreen transport. There’s nothing easy about cleaning a suitcase full of clothes after the cap to your sunscreen opens up mid-flight. Additionally, sunscreen adds weight to your pack and luggage. This can even add to your travel expenses (we’re looking at you, Spirit Airlines). Skip the hassle, avoid the mess and pack less by simplifying your sun protection with UPF apparel that doubles as sun block.

Packing easy sun protection clothing in luggage

To enjoy the easiest sun protection, start with quality UPF 50+ apparel, such as the Sun Bound collection of shirts from Rayward Apparel. Crafted from viscose of bamboo, our Sun Bound shirts are ultra soft, lightweight and block more than 98% of damaging UV rays. They’re the easiest sun protection decision you can make!

Source: NPR

Save Money With Sun Protection Apparel (vs Sunscreen)

Saving Money with UPF Apparel

Did you know that sun protection clothing is actually more affordable than sunscreen? In fact, throughout the lifespan of your UPF apparel, you’ll enjoy significant savings by wearing sun protective clothing. Continue below to learn how to save money on your sun protection by wearing UV-protective clothing and accessories.

Your best sun protection is achieved through a combination of both UPF sun-protective clothing and broad-spectrum sunscreen. However, the more you utilize sun protection apparel, and therefore the less you rely on sunscreen, the more you save on a per application basis.

One Shot Is a Lot

For proper sunscreen application, the average adult will need about one ounce of sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation gets even more specific in their guidance, recommending two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. If you need an easier (and more fun) way to remember this, consider it roughly the equivalent to a shot glass for the exposed areas of the face and body. The unfortunate reality is that most people don’t apply enough, which leads to inadequate skin protection and an increased risk of sunburn and UV damage.

Applying an Ounce of Sunscreen

Apply and Reapply and Reapply and Reapply…

Now, consider that sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours, and even more frequently if you are sweating or swimming. The reapplication time and frequency is the same regardless of SPF. In other words, whether you use SPF 25 or SPF 50, you still need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, again using approximately one ounce each time.

Save Yourself from the Cost of Sunscreen

The best-rated sunscreens usually cost more than $1 per ounce, and often two to three times that amount. Therefore, even with a conservative estimated cost of $1.50 per ounce, you’ll spend $3 on sunscreen for every 4 hours of sun exposure. If you play that out over a few days, it’s easy to go through an entire bottle of sunscreen in less than a week. In fact, if you’re sweating or spending time in the water, you might use twice as much, twice as fast.

UPF Apparel Equals Savings for Piggy Bank

UPF Apparel to Your Wallet’s Rescue

Now, some good news! Thanks to UV-protective sun clothing, such as Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ shirts and accessories, you no longer need to depend solely on sunscreen for your skin protection. Instead, use UPF apparel to complement your sunscreen. In doing so, you’ll use much less sunscreen (and spend less time applying and reapplying). A high-quality UPF shirt, for example, might only need to be worn for a cumulative 40-60 hours in the sun to save money compared to the cost of sunscreen.

UV Protection—and Then Some!

It should come as no surprise that UPF apparel requires a greater upfront cost compared to sunscreen. However, keep in mind that you’re getting both skin protection and clothing. Another way to compare the cost of these two options, sun clothing vs sunscreen, is to consider the following: if you don’t wear a UPF shirt, what shirt would you wear instead? That non-UPF shirt has a cost too, but you’ll no longer need it if you have stylish, well-made sun protection apparel.

Greater Skin Protection = Lower Skin Care Costs

Lastly, sun protection apparel not only allows you to save money by reducing your sunscreen use, but also by reducing your general skin care expenses. Simply by protecting and therefore taking better care of your skin, you won’t need to spend as much on products designed to repair sun-damaged skin. Don’t be surprised if you save a small fortune just by reducing your daily skin care costs.

To make the smart choice for your skin, and your wallet, shop Rayward Apprel’s UPF 50+ clothing and accessories. Remember, the skin you have now is the only skin you’ll get, so take good care of it!

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation

How To Protect Your Neck From The Sun

Sun Protection for Exposed Neck

Your neck is one of the most exposed parts of your skin, and therefore extremely vulnerable and susceptible to UV damage and sunburn. However, with the proper precautions and protection, you can protect your neck from the sun, even while outside all day. Continue reading to learn about the three most important steps for effective sun protection for your neck.

#1 – Apply Sunscreen to Your Neck

The first step in protecting your neck from the sun is to wear broad spectrum sunscreen. If you plan on spending even as little as 15 minutes out in the sun, then you need a broad spectrum sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 30. However, don’t just apply your sunscreen and then leave it at home while you go out. Instead, take it with you because you’ll need to reapply every two hours in order to maintain its effectiveness. If the sunscreen reapplication part sounds like a hassle (and a mess), then consider our second measure for neck sun protection…

#2 – Guard Your Neck with a Sun Gaiter

Sun gaiters are essentially tube headwear that protect your neck and face from damaging UV rays. By placing one around your neck, you’ll have 360-degree UV protection for your neck. Moreover, you’ll have the option to pull the neck gaiter up over your face and ears for additional sun protection. And as we pointed out above, while sunscreen is essential, it can be difficult to properly apply to the parts of your body that you can’t see, such as your neck. At home, you’ll likely have the assistance of a mirror, but that probably won’t be the case outside. 

Additionally, UPF 50+ neck gaiters utilize protective fabrics that block over 98% of UV rays, and their effectiveness is instant and constant. That means you don’t have to wait 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun (as you should with sunscreen). Plus, if you’re using a UPF gaiter for neck sun protection, you also don’t have to worry about your UV protection running out after two hours (as you would with sunscreen, thus the frequent reapplications). Therefore, leave nothing to chance and wear a sun gaiter for your foolproof neck sun protection.*

Sun Protection for Your Neck with Rayward Apparel's UPF 50+ Neck Gaiter

#3 – Wear a Hooded UPF Shirt for Neck Sun Protection

A third way to protect your neck from the sun is to wear a UPF sun shirt with a hood. Of course, a hooded sun shirt is only protecting your neck if the hood is up, so put it up and use it! The hoods on our UPF shirts, such as our Sun Bound Hooded Long Sleeve Bamboo Shirt, are lightweight and an easy way to transform a shirt into something that also protects your neck from the sun.

By using at least one, but ideally all three, of the methods above, you’ll have the best sun protection for your neck. Together, these methods significantly reduce your neck’s exposure to UV rays by blocking the sun with the combined efforts of UPF fabrics and SPF lotions, a winning combination to defeat sunburn.

To get the best sun protection for your neck, shop Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ neck gaiters and UPF 50+ hooded shirts today!

Bonus: Interested in some of the science behind what causes sunburn? Check out the video below and you’ll understand why sun protection is so important for your neck:

* Rayward Apparel’s neck gaiters are not designed for preventing the spread of disease. Our UPF 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, and should therefore not be used as an alternative to any appropriately-rated face masks.

What Are The Best Sunscreen Alternatives?

Beach Umbrella for UV Protection

Sunscreen plays a vital role in sun protection. There are many occasions and activities that demand the type of protection that only sunscreen can provide. For instance, you may have a required uniform or dress code that leaves your skin vulnerable and exposed. Or perhaps you need or prefer the portability of a tube of sunscreen. But is sunscreen always your best option? To be clear, we aren’t advising against the use of sunscreen. However, sunscreen is not without its disadvantages, and in many circumstances there are better alternatives. Continue below as we highlight the best (and worst) sunscreen alternatives, featuring everything from shade to UV clothing.

First, a Few of the Worst Sunscreen Alternatives

A few minutes surfing the internet and you’ll come across dozens of so-called sunscreen alternatives. The problem however, is that most of these don’t meet the minimum protection recommended by dermatologists. Therefore, to alternate your sunscreen for any of the following would be ill-advised, and potentially dangerous. Despite what less-informed sources might tell you, the following are NOT safe alternatives to sunscreen:

  • Non-UPF Clothing: Many shirts offer UV protection equivalent to SPF 10 or less, which is to say they do not offer sufficient protection. Worse yet, their protective qualities typically drop when wet. Therefore, don’t consider standard clothing as an alternative to sunscreen unless you see a UPF rating proving otherwise.
  • Natural Oils (Sesame, Coconut, Olive, Almond, etc): There are several natural oils that do provide minimal UV protection, but the keyword here is “minimal” (think in the range of SPF 4-10). You may feel reassured knowing you smell better with some of these oils, but you should not count on them for safe sun protection.
  • Shea Butter: With an estimated SPF between 3 and 10, shea butter offers such minimal protection that we would never fool ourselves into thinking we were significantly safer for having applied it. You may receive other benefits from applying shea butter, but this should not be used in place of sunscreen.
  • Aloe Vera: While aloe vera is a tried-and-true natural remedy to soothe a sunburn, it will not help you prevent one. Unless mixed with other agents, aloe vera alone offers insignificant UV protection. As with all of the previously reviewed sunscreen alternatives, aloe vera should only be used as a last resort, and only while on your way to get proper sun protection.

What Are Safe Sunscreen Alternatives to Prevent UV Damage?

Shaded Hammock in Caribbean


This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how much skin damage you’d avoid by spending more time in the shade. Whether it’s from a tree, umbrella, canopy or awning, use your shade! Scan your environment for opportunities to give your skin a break from the sun (but do NOT use clouds!).

Sun-blocking or UV Cosmetics

This one comes with a mighty disclaimer. That being that your cosmetic either states its UV protection, or it comes recommended by dermatologists specifically for sun protection. That being said, there are cosmetics that provide a protective barrier for your skin. Please consult the product label and your doctor before relying on cosmetics as your sole form of UV protection.

UV Clothing

The absolute best sunscreen alternative is performance UV clothing. The combination of a UPF sun hoodie and UV protective hat, for instance, protects your face, neck, torso and arms. UV clothing protects you immediately and doesn’t require reapplying every 1-2 hours. Additionally, UV apparel doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy, it’s reef-friendly, and it’s less expensive in the long run. For more about how UV clothing works, check out this short video from the Mayo Clinic:

Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection, for instance, is lightweight, breathable, stylish and—most importantly—effective at preventing UV damage. Through a blend of viscose from bamboo and natural cotton, we’ve achieved the highest possible fabric UV protection rating, UPF 50+. This means that not only does our UV clothing avoid the application issues of sunscreen, but it also blocks more than 98% of UV rays. 

In conclusion, when you look back at the best safe alternatives to sunscreen, you are left with few options. Unless you wear UV-blocking cosmetics, stay in the shade and/or avoid the sun altogether, then we think the choice is clear: trust UPF 50+ UV clothing if you want a safe alternative to sunscreen.To learn more about Rayward Apparel’s UV clothing, and to shop our Sun Bound collection of UPF 50+ apparel, visit our shop today!

What Are The Worst Sunscreens?

Family Wearing Bad Sunscreen at the Beach

As previously mentioned in our blog highlighting the disadvantages of sunscreen, not all sunscreens are created equal. In fact, some are so bad we aren’t comfortable recommending them as complements to our sun block clothing. However, because sunscreen products and ingredient compositions constantly change, listing qualities of the worst sunscreens is more helpful than a list of specific sunscreens to be avoided. Effectively, these are the types of sunscreens that are the worst, featuring more of the attributes and ingredients that make bad sunscreens bad.

Sun Block with Unnecessarily High SPF Ratings

Many sunscreens attempt an appearance of additional effectiveness by means of the highest SPF rating possible. While this alone does not make sunscreen unsafe or bad, it is misleading. This is because an SPF 50 and SPF 100 lotion both need to be reapplied every 1-2 hours, yet higher SPF ratings sometimes fool people into thinking they can stay in the sun longer. Meanwhile, during that 1-2 hour time period, you are only receiving marginally better protection, as SPF 50 already blocks 98% of UVB rays. As a result, we agree with the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendation of at least SPF 30, but anything from SPF 30 through SPF 50 is ideal.

Sunscreens that Damage Coral Reefs

Another common feature in the worst sunscreens is a long list of coral-bleaching ingredients. Only additional research can reveal the full extent of damage sunscreens cause to coral reefs. However, as of now, both oxybenzone and octinoxate are linked to coral bleaching. Unfortunately, at least one of these ingredients is found in many sunscreen products. Of course, if you definitely aren’t going into the water, then this is less concerning. 

Coral Reef with Sea Turtle damaged by Sun Block

Expensive Sunscreens

Our next gripe with the worst sunscreens has to do with their price. Sunscreen is not cheap, and a quality sunscreen usually costs anywhere from $2-4 per ounce. Prices can escalate quickly into the $5+ dollars per ounce, especially for face lotions. Given that you should be applying at least 1 ounce per application, you’ll run through bottles quickly. With Rayward Apparel’s sun block clothing, on the other hand, your protection isn’t on a timer and won’t run out. In fact, if you consistently wear UPF apparel, you’ll quickly start saving money by needing to buy less sunscreen.

Non-water Resistant Sunscreens

Another set of sunscreens that you may consider avoiding are those that aren’t water resistant. The FDA allows sunscreens to claim either 40-minute or 80-minute water resistance. All things equal, we prefer the 80-minute water resistance. You should know that currently, not sunscreen is “waterproof.” Seriously reconsider any sunscreen making such claims. If you want waterproof protection, wear UPF clothing that maintains its UV protective qualities even when wet, such as Rayward Apparel’s bamboo-based Sun Bound collection.

Palm Tree Blocking Sun

Non-Broad Spectrum Sunscreens

While some of the previous sunscreen issues could be a matter of personal preference, this one is not up for debate. Therefore, we’ll keep it short: you NEED broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sun block protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and anything else isn’t keeping you safe. Unless clearly labeled as “broad spectrum,” do not use it. Fortunately most popular sunscreens are now broad spectrum, and all UPF sun block clothing offers broad-spectrum protection.

For more information on decoding sunscreen labels, check out this handy guide from the American Academy of Dermatology:

If the above painted a dire picture of sunscreen, then take comfort in the fact that there are also many great sunscreens. Choosing the right one just requires considering how you intend to use your sunscreen, as well as carefully examining the product label. Also, some of our criteria for the best sunscreens are more about personal preference than they are about sun safety. So as long as your sunscreen’s qualities don’t prevent you from using the product properly and protectively, it’s ok! Perhaps you get more comfort using an SPF 75 instead of SPF 50, for instance. Or if you know you won’t be in the water, it’s probably ok if your favorite sunscreen isn’t reef-friendly or as water-resistant. 

Ultimately, you should be using sun block clothing to protect as much of your body as possible, and only relying on sunscreen (or a safe alternative) for the areas not covered by UPF apparel. To shop Rayward Apparel’s sun block clothing, also known as UPF apparel, click here!

What Is Bad About Sunscreen?

Woman Swimming with Sunscreen instead of SPF Shirt

You don’t have to spend much time with the Rayward Apparel Team to realize that we’re big fans of sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a critical part of sun safety, and we use it to complement the protection offered by our SPF shirts for men/women. However, sunscreen isn’t perfect, and there are many reasons we prefer SPF apparel, whenever possible. Continue below for more on what is bad about sunscreen, from application issues to ingredient concerns. At the same time, we’ll examine if those same issues exist with SPF shirts for men/women.

Marketing Gimmicks and SPF

Not every sunscreen is guilty of this, but far too many rely on gimmicks and misleading labels. Our main point of criticism is in SPF ratings. In sunscreen, most dermatologists recommend an SPF of 30-50. However, since you still need to reapply after 1-2 hours, there isn’t much benefit to going above SPF 50. A higher SPF isn’t necessarily bad for you, but misleading labeling often portrays them as being safer. An SPF 100 sunscreen, for instance, still needs to be reapplied as frequently as SPF 30 or SPF 50 lotion. It will probably cost you more, however. Speaking of cost…

Sunscreen is Expensive

Good sunscreen is expensive, often around $2-3 per ounce. And prices only go up as you include more criteria, such as non-greasy application, water resistance and reef-safe ingredients. Consider that it takes about 1-2 ounces of sunscreen to properly cover your exposed areas of your skin. Now remember that you need to reapply every 1-2 hours, based on activity. Given that, even a half-day at the beach could require an entire 8 oz bottle of sunscreen per person! Of course, the more of your body that is protected by UV protective clothing, the less sunscreen you need. You will actually save money by investing in UPF apparel.

Sunscreen is Too Greasy

It may be a necessary evil, but it’s a common complaint that sunscreen leaves your skin feeling oily or greasy. Plus, with some sunscreens the same thing that makes them greasy also causes them to stain your clothes. Fortunately, there are now more sunscreens that both feel dry and don’t stain, but this is still a common problem with sunscreen. UV protective apparel, on the other hand, will of course not make your skin feel greasy. Plus, if it’s made with quality fabric blends, like the natural cottons and viscose from bamboo used in our Sun Bound collection, then the finished product is extremely soft, comfortable and lightweight!

Challenges Applying Sunscreen

Another big problem with sunscreen is in how it’s applied. With lotions, you may need the help of someone else to properly cover your hard-to-reach areas. Meanwhile, with spray lotions, you have to be careful not to overspray, contact your eyes or breathe in the fumes. Plus, for all varieties of sunscreen, you should apply 15 to 30 minutes prior to going out into the sun. This requires either waiting or a bit of planning ahead. Also, you’ll need to reapply your sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and possibly more often if you’re sweating or spending time in the water. With SPF shirts, on the other hand, your protection is instant and never lapses!.

Applying Sunscreen by Hand

Concerning Sunscreen Ingredients

Our final gripe with sunscreen regards ingredients. It seems like new research comes out weekly raising concerns about the safety of certain sunscreen chemicals, or their environmental impact. Some sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into your skin, and there’s much to learn about related health consequences, especially with children. As of now, the FDA isn’t saying sunscreen is unsafe, but they are requesting more research on the potential dangers of absorbing sunscreen chemicals through your skin. If this concerns you, choose a topical mineral sunscreen that sits on the surface of your skin. Additionally, mineral sunscreens (aka physical or natural sunscreens) don’t use ingredients linked to coral bleaching, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you think this is complicated and leaves too much to chance, then rely on UV protective clothing as much as possible. With UPF clothing, you don’t have to worry about chemicals being absorbed through your skin or damaging marine life.

Sunscreen vs SPF Shirts

Based on the above, you hopefully understand why we prefer SPF shirts for men/women instead of sunscreen, if possible. At the same time, we’re realistic and recognize that you can’t cover your entire body in UV protective clothing. Therefore, you should still make sunscreen (or a safe alternative to sunscreen) a regular part of your sun safety routine, along with sunglasses and head protection, but do so knowing how to avoid the worst sunscreens.

To learn more about Rayward Apparel’s SPF shirts for men/women, also referred to as UPF apparel, click here!

What Is a Neck Gaiter?

Green Neck Gaiter Fabric

Neck gaiter masks have been popular with outdoor enthusiasts for a long time. In fact, neck gaiters were popular long before face masks became ordinary during the 2019 coronavirus outbreak. So what exactly is a neck gaiter? And perhaps more importantly, should you wear one?

The Basics: What Is a Neck Gaiter?

A neck gaiter is a specialized piece of apparel worn around your neck and/or face to protect against the elements. Popular and beloved for their versatility, neck gaiters can be worn multiple ways to meet the needs of many situations. This includes keeping you warm as a gaiter neck mask, keeping you cool or shielding you from insects. Plus, as is the case with Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar sun protection face shields, protecting your skin from the sun.*

Basically, neck gaiters are the perfect outdoor accessory, and they have nearly as many names as they do functions. Some of the most common alternate names for neck gaiter face masks include tube headwear, gaiter masks, neckbands, buffs, neck warmers, neck shields, neck wraps, neck scarves and multifunctional headbands. Our favorites are simply gaiter, and sometimes neck gaiter (so as not to confuse it with the ankle variety).

Neck gaiters are closed tubes of fabrics sized to fit over your head and around your face, neck or head. They can be made out of heavier fabrics when the goal is warmth, such as in the winter. Other times, and probably more often, neck gaiters are made of lightweight and breathable materials to be comfortably worn in a wider range of climates and conditions. The best is when neck gaiters are made of UPF fabrics, such as those used in our lightweight gaiter neck mask.

Neck gaiter masks are great for outdoor activities because they are small, lightweight and packable, and help you regulate your desired temperature. Depending on the activity for which they are designed, they may be windproof, insulated, UV protective, quick-drying and moisture-wicking. They really are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing!

Rayward Apparel's Del Mar UPF 50+ Neck Gaiter

How to Wear a Neck Gaiter Mask

There are many ways to wear a neck gaiter, and the most popular of these are covered more in-depth in our post, How to Wear a Neck Gaiter. However, here are some of the more common ways in which our customers wear their gaiters:

  • Neck gaiter/scarf: simply worn loose around the neck
  • Face mask: pulled up over nose and ears
  • Hood: pulled up all the way over ears and to top of head, leaving only face exposed
  • Headband: folded over itself and worn around the forehead
  • Hairband/hair tie: wrapped around head or twisted to secure hair, like a ponytail
  • Beanie: twisted at the middle and then folded over itself to form a closed head cover
  • Hat liner: folded over top of head for light layer beneath hat or helmet
  • Wristband: wrapped around wrist for future use

As mentioned above, these are but a few of the many ways to wear your gaiter. However, if your gaiter is being used as a sun protection face shield, then you must keep in mind that you are only protected where you are covered, so gaiter responsibly.

When to Wear a Gaiter

Knowing when to wear a neck gaiter requires knowing what it was designed for, as well as what you need it to do. At Rayward Apparel, our goal is to protect you from harmful UV rays. This means our gaiters are all UPF 50+ for the highest possible sun protection rating. Therefore, you should wear our gaiters as a sun protection face shield whenever you are outside and your face and/or neck are not already protected by any other means.*

Kenyan Sunset Demands Neck Protection

Should You Wear a Neck Gaiter?

Worn alone, neck gaiters are great, but they really shine as an accessory complementing the rest of your outdoor apparel. For instance, Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound shirts won’t always protect your face and neck, but when paired with our Del Mar UPF 50+ gaiter, you have UPF 50+ sun protection from your face to your waist. So should you wear a neck gaiter? Absolutely! Ours are lightweight, soft, breathable and, most importantly, UPF 50+ for maximum UV protection.

Shop Rayward Apparel’s sun protection face shields and neck gaiters today and see for yourself why neck gaiters have become one of the most popular outdoor accessories.

Bonus: Curious to know how the sun can damage your skin? Check out the video below which highlights how UV rays affect your skin:

* Rayward Apparel’s gaiter neck masks are not designed to prevent the spread of disease. Our sun protection face shields have not been tested for their effectiveness at preventing the spread of disease, such as COVID19, and should therefore not be used as such.

Do You Wear Sunscreen Under UPF Clothing?

Light Representing UPF Fabrics

While there is no need to wear sunscreen under your UPF 50 long sleeve sun shirt, you may want to consider it for other articles of clothing. UV radiation can penetrate clothing, but it all depends exactly how much. This might seem like a ridiculous idea, but it’s actually something more people should be considering. Below are some situations when you should and shouldn’t consider applying sunscreen underneath your clothing:

If Your Shirt Has a UPF Rating Listed:

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? No need.

A long sleeve sun shirt with a UPF 50 rating means you are receiving the equivalent protection of a sunscreen with an SPF 50 rating. So in this situation – no, it’s not necessary to also wear sunscreen underneath your clothing. Oftentimes people choose to buy a sun shirt because it allows them to go about their day without having to apply sunscreen. It always keeps you covered, never needs reapplication, and is also a very comfortable option. If you already have proper UPF gear, no need to lather up with sunscreen as well (except for any exposed areas like the hands and face).

No UPF Rating Listed, But You Think Your Shirt Is Sun Protective:

Armor UPF Protection

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? It depends.

Without proper lab testing, it’s very difficult to determine exactly how much protection you are getting. If you can hold a fabric up to a light and absolutely no light can get through, it’s likely that it is providing superb protection. However, this is not always the case. Even UPF 50 long sleeve sun shirts allow visible light through, but it still provides excellent UPF protection.

Below are some of the other factors to consider when determining if you are receiving enough UV protection. If you are looking for more information on this topic, our post about which fabric block UV rays helps provide more specifics.

  • Fiber Material: Certain fibers like nylon, polyester, and bamboo often have a higher UPF value than cotton
  • Fiber Construction: A tight weave with less space between threads results in better protection.
  • Fit: Loose-fitting apparel is preferable to tight. The tighter the apparel, the more likely it is to stretch and allow UV rays through.
  • Style: The more coverage the better. A hooded long sleeve sun shirt not only protects your torso, but your neck and arms. 

A Typical Cotton Shirt

Average Cotton Shirt, No UPF

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? Yes.

If you are wearing a generic cotton shirt and are going to be out in the sun, you should apply sunscreen underneath. The reason UPF shirts exist at all is because the standard cotton shirt simply does not provide proper protection. You might only be receiving a UPF protection of 1-5, which is well below the dermatologist minimum recommendation of 30. In this situation, you should certainly wear sunscreen underneath your shirt. UV exposure is linked to skin cancer, and there’s no need to risk it for a subtle inconvenience.

At Rayward Apparel, all of our products are rated at UPF 50+. All of our products and individual color variations have been tested and certified, providing our customers the peace of mind knowing they have proper protection. While protective, our products are also designed with functionality in mind. Our SUN BOUND collection of athletic shirts are built to perform as well as they protect. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your comfort to keep your skin safe.

Best Gaiter For Fishing

Kayak Fishing with Neck Gaiter

Around here, neck gaiters are considered essential equipment for any fishing trip. Whether it be a few casts from the pier or an all-day deep sea excursion, you just need one. That’s because fishing face masks are one of the best ways to protect your face and neck from UV rays. To help you find the best fishing neck gaiter, continue below as we spotlight our favorite fishing face mask: Rayward Apparel’s lightweight Del Mar UV Neck Gaiter.

Rayward Apparel's UPF 50 Fishing Neck Gaiters

UPF 50+ Protection for a Full Day on the Water

The best fishing neck gaiters are made out of UPF rated fabrics, which are proven to block harmful UV rays. Rayward Apparel’s fishing face mask is no exception, featuring UPF 50+ protection that blocks more than 98% of UV rays. This is especially important around the water because UV rays reflect off the water’s surface towards your face and neck. Therefore, when you’re on the water, you need protection from both direct UV rays pouring down from above, and reflected UV rays bouncing off of the sand and surf. Compared to sunscreen SPF ratings, our UPF 50+ rating is essentially the fabric equivalent of SPF 50. The big advantage, however, is not having to reapply UPF fabrics every two hours throughout the day. After all, you’re out there to catch fish, not a sunburn!

Extremely Soft with the Right Amount of Stretch

Another reason we love Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar UPF fishing face mask is because it is extremely soft against your skin, yet features the perfect amount of stretch and flex. This specific blend of synthetic fibers were chosen for their ability to stretch to fit around your neck, over your ears or over your entire head. Best of all, you’ll actually want to wear Rayward Apparel’s fishing face mask because it feels super soft against your face without any unnecessary seams.

Our Best Fishing Neck Gaiter is Lightweight

When you’re out fishing in the warm sun, you might choose heavy tackle, but the last thing you want is a heavy gaiter. Fortunately, Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar UPF 50+ fishing face mask is extremely light and breathable. In fact, it’s so lightweight, you might even forget it’s on! It’s easy to both breathe and speak through our best fishing neck gaiter, so you’ll be able to communicate effectively. This is especially important when fishing from a boat where verbal instructions or alerts need to be shared quickly. Therefore, choose a fishing gaiter that checks both boxes for lightweight and breathable performance.

A Detailed, Dependable & Durable Fishing Face Mask

At first glance, or when only viewed online, many of the most popular fishing gaiters look the same. However, when worn and viewed up close, you can really see the difference in the details. For instance, Rayward Apparel’s UPF fishing gaiters have finished seams for a more durable face mask. This gives our seams the strength needed to stretch to fit your needs. At the same time, it also provides a smooth-edged seam that you won’t even notice against your neck and head. Finishing the edges of the closed tube also prevents the ends from curling and unraveling, which can be a problem with inferior alternatives.

Finally, a Truly Versatile Fishing Face Mask

Oftentimes with clothing, especially outdoor performance apparel, less is more. This is certainly the case when it comes to designing versatile fishing face masks. You may have noticed some fishing neck gaiters hyping additional “features” like breathing vents, mesh panels, nose flaps, ear loops and so on. There are two common problems with many of these features. The first is that they can lower the UV protection factor of the gaiter. The second is that they can create weaker sections of fabric that fray and tear. We prefer the simplicity of a single layer of fabric that best performs its main function, protecting your skin.

Another advantage of Rayward Apparel’s streamlined fishing headwear is that you have more freedom in choosing how you want to wear it. The most popular style is to wear the gaiter pulled up to just beneath your eyes, which offers safe UV face protection from your nose and ears down. This is just one of many ways to wear our fishing face mask, however. Other popular techniques include wrapping it around your head as a hat liner, keeping it scrunched loosely around your neck, pulling it entirely over your head like a hood, or twisting it into a beanie. With its simple, closed tube design, you have many more style options available.* That being said, since our fishing neck gaiter is designed for UV protection, we suggest wearing it so as to maximize your sun protection.

How to Get the Best Fishing Neck Gaiter

Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ fishing neck gaiter is available now, and available in multiple colors.

Bonus: If you forget to wear your gaiter face mask and end up with a nasty sunburn, here’s a helpful video with some tips for how to treat your sunburn and alleviate the pain. If you only learn one thing, it should be don’t get burned again!

* Rayward Apparel’s fishing face mask is not designed to prevent the spread of disease. While perfect for fishing, these masks have not been tested for their effectiveness at preventing the spread of disease, such as COVID19, and should therefore not be used as an alternative to any approved face masks.

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