When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays should be a top priority. While sunscreen is a popular choice, there is another effective line of defense that can provide additional protection: American made sun protective clothing.

With advancements in textile technology, the rise of sun protective clothing (also known as UPF clothing or UV clothing) has gained popularity as a reliable and stylish option for safeguarding your skin. This list of American made clothing for sun protection includes UPF clothing brands in sizes for men, women, and kids and for all seasons.

Sun Protective Clothing Made in the USA

Before delving into the benefits of sun protective clothing and sharing the sources we found for sun protection clothing made in the USA, it is important to understand the distinction between SPF and UPF, as you will see these on labels and in product descriptions.

What is the Difference Between SPF and UPF?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure commonly used to assess the level of protection provided by sunscreen against UVB (ultraviolet b) rays. On the other hand, UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is a rating system specifically designed for textiles and clothing, indicating the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the fabric and reaches the skin.

While SPF measures the effectiveness of a sunscreen's ability to block UVB rays, UPF evaluates the blocking of both UVA and UVB rays by sun protective clothing. A garment with a UPF rating of 50, for instance, allows only 1/50th of the UV radiation to pass through, offering excellent protection to the covered areas. It is worth noting that higher UPF ratings signify stronger protection. So, when it comes to choosing sun protective clothing, pay attention to the UPF rating to ensure optimal safeguarding of your skin.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Choosing American Made Sun Protective Clothing

Selecting the right sun protective clothing involves considering a few key factors. Here are some important guidelines to help you make an informed choice:

  1. Look for High UPF Ratings: Opt for clothing items with a UPF rating of 30 or higher. The higher the rating, the more effectively the fabric blocks UV radiation.
  2. Consider Fabric Type: Fabrics that are tightly woven or knitted tend to offer better protection. Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, as well as natural fibers such as cotton and linen, can provide adequate UV protection when woven densely.
  3. Check for Breathability: While protection is paramount, it's essential to choose garments that offer breathability and moisture-wicking properties. This allows for comfort and helps regulate body temperature, especially during warm weather.
  4. Seek Coverage: Look for clothing that offers extensive coverage, such as long sleeves, high collars, and longer hems. We should be seeking protection from the suns UV rays all year long, not just in the summer, especially if you work outdoors all year long or enjoy winter outdoor recreation activities. Consider options with built-in features like hoods, gloves, and neck gaiters for added protection.
  5. Darker Colors and Prints: Dark-colored fabrics and bold prints tend to absorb more UV radiation than lighter colors, providing increased protection. However, all colors can offer UV protection to some extent.
  6. Don't Forget Accessories: Complement your sun protective clothing with wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses with UV protection, and sunscreen for exposed areas to ensure comprehensive defense against harmful rays.

Learn the brand story behind Sun50, a made in USA UPF clothing brand we have included in our list, in the YouTube video below.

Benefits Beyond Sun Protection

Apart from shielding your skin from the sun's rays, sun protective clothing offers various other advantages. UPF clothing is convenient, as it doesn't require frequent reapplication like sunscreen does. It also minimizes the risk of missed spots or inadequate coverage. Sun protective clothing is an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive skin, as it reduces direct contact between sunscreen chemicals and the skin, mitigating the chances of irritation or allergic reactions.

Sun protective clothing is not limited to swimwear and activewear! It comes in various styles and designs suitable for everyday wear. From lightweight shirts and pants to stylish dresses and hats, there are numerous fashionable options available that combine protection and style seamlessly. This means you can enjoy outdoor activities while feeling comfortable and looking chic.

In the quest for comprehensive sun protection, sun protective clothing, or UPF clothing, plays a vital role. It offers a tangible and reliable barrier against harmful UV radiation, minimizing the risk of skin damage and potential long-term consequences. By selecting clothing with a high UPF rating, considering fabric type, and ensuring proper coverage, you can enjoy the great outdoors with peace of mind. Embrace the practicality and style of sun protective clothing, and let it become an integral part of your sun safety routine.

Sun Protective Clothing Made in USA: Top Picks

The brands below are listed in alphabetical order. Did we miss a made in USA sun protection clothing brand that you love? Let us know in the comments!

Note: The cover photo and pinable image is a stock photo. Similar clothing items can be found by the brands Solumbra and Sun50, both of which are included in the list.

Have you visited our Made in USA Shopping District? It is the place to start your shopping when you want to find the best of American-made.

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Tips on selecting clothing for sun protection with a list of American made UPF clothing brands we love.