Sun Protection Explained, Plus 5 Must-Haves

Whether you are new to fishing or a seasoned veteran, it is very important to protect yourself from the elements… and we’re not talking foul weather. Learning how to stay cool, comfortable, and protected from the sun with UPF protection clothing is important to prevent fatigue, sun burns, and ultimately keep you on the water longer… if you’re so inclined. 

Why Do I Need to Protect Myself from the Sun?

Many years ago, the awareness around the need for sun protection was not near as prevalent. As any full-time guide will tell you, that has changed. The increased awareness of skin cancer is very real, often resulting from extended exposure to the sun while outdoors. To help combat that, AFTCO produces a wide range of sun protection gear for the whole family. 

Sun protection has become increasingly important to the outdoors community, but what is the best item to protect you from the sun? Unfortunately, it is not just one item. Whether you go with sunscreen or sun protection clothing, there are extra steps to ensure you are fully protected. Sunscreen comes in multiple SPF ratings, and that is a great start. UPF clothing will add additional levels of protection. When looking at the best sun protection clothing, you want a UPF rating of at least 30 and most importantly be sure to you cover all body parts that you want to protect. That includes facemasks, hats, shirts, gloves and even pants.

Five Sun Protection Necessities

1. Sun Protection Shirts

AFTCO Sun protection tops offer a lot of variety to choose from. If you want more protection or more breathable, there are multiple styles to choose from and whether you want a crew, a hooded shirt, or a full hood plus mask. You can get a crew shirt such as the Yurei AIRo Mesh Shirt, a great example of a shirt that provides UPF 40 rating but is more breathable than the basic Samurai sun protection shirt. This is a result of the AIRo MESH material providing micro pores throughout the entire shirt that promotes breathability while still maintaining UPF 40 protection. This is key in the summer or any humid climate when the heat may deter you from wanting to put on a long sleeve shirt. This shirt will allow the slightest breeze to blow through it so you won’t overheat and stay cool. 

The AFTCO Hooded Samurai Sun Protection Shirt is a great sun protection shirt that has a hood included. This shirt has a UPF rating of 50 meaning it has the highest sun protection blocking 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. Put on the hood to protect the back of the neck and more. 

If you want a hood plus a mask for the all in one package, the best sun protection shirt from AFTCO is the Barracuda Geo Cool sun shirt. The largest difference in this top tier sun protection shirt is that it is infused with AFTCO’s Geo Cool technology. This technology has jade infused fabric properties that take heat, perspiration and converts it into a cooling sensation that reduce the heat level leaving you comfortable in the most extreme hot & humid environments. Barracuda Geo Cool also provides venting along the entire side giving you the breathability factor as well. Wear the hood and mask to protect your face, neck, and head for a true all in one solution for ultimate sun protection.

All three of these options come in a crew as well as the hooded version giving you the choice to be able to cover up both your torso, and neck. 

2. Bottoms

Lightweight bottoms are great for fishing in the summer because they offer protection on the legs while still being lightweight and breathable enough to not overheat you fishing in the sun. The Gamma Ray Pants are made of lightweight 100% Nylon and UPF 50 will protect you from the elements and be comfortable enough to wear all year long. 

3. Sun Masks

Sun masks such as the Solido Sun Mask allow you to protect your face without worrying about spraying sun-screen or wiping sun-screen all over your face. This sun mask covers the face and the neck protecting two very important spots on the body that can get sunburned if not protected. 

4. Sun Gloves

Don’t forget your hands! If you protect your whole body except your hands, they will get the grunt of sun damage. Sun gloves such as the best-selling Solago Sun Gloves provide amazing protection for the tops of your hands, a usually overlooked and neglected spot on your body. Don’t let the tops of your hands be exposed if you are going through all the trouble of protecting yourself from the sun. 

5. Headwear

Covering your head might be something that you don’t think of since a hat is one of the most common accessories anglers wear. When looking at hats, consider a hat that will cover more than just the front bill, such as the Booney Hat or the Guide Hat. These hats cover the back of the neck as well as the ears which can provide added protection and alleviate the need for applying sun-screen to those sensitive areas.