Summertime, when we all want to hit the beach and head outdoors, can often present a paradox. You're itching to embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer, but the blazing sun and stifling heat can be a bit of an obstacle. Many are tempted to lighten the load, shedding layers, but this can leave you vulnerable to the sun's relentless rays.

Sun sleeves are a great option—protecting you from the sun's harmful rays, while cooling you down, and keeping you from sweating profusely on a hot day. Read on as we give you the lowdown on the pros and cons of the best arm sleeves for sun protection.

What Are Sun Sleeves?

Sun sleeves are exactly what they sound like; they act as a shield against potential sunburn for your arms. Sometimes known as cooling sleeves, they are usually designed with moisture-wicking properties that keep sweat out and ventilate your body correctly.

Arm sleeves act as a shield from potential sunburn, reducing long-term sun exposure. Sun sleeves usually have a higher UPF rating, meaning it reflects most of the sun's rays. (Kinda like sunscreen for your clothes.)

Do Sun Sleeves Help Protect You from the Sun?

At first, adding an extra layer of clothing to your skin can seem counterintuitive, especially on a hot summer day. After all, what good are sun protection benefits if it causes you to overheat or deal with  other dangerous health conditions?

Sun sleeves serve as your arms' personal bodyguards against possible sunburn. Often referred to as cooling sleeves, they're carefully constructed to feature moisture-wicking capabilities, efficiently handling sweat and promoting proper body ventilation to keep you cool on even the warmest of days.

Related: Can You Get Sunburned Through Clothing?

The Benefits of Sun Sleeves

Now that you know more about sun sleeves, here's a couple of advantages they can offer you:

UV Protection

As mentioned earlier, sun sleeves provide UV protection to block the sun's harmful rays. This helps you stay sun-safe while also safeguarding yourself from the elements.


Sun sleeves come in a variety of styles—we prefer wearing a long sleeve shirt that protects your entire torso, neck, shoulders, and arms from the sun. While tank tops are tempting when it’s hot out, a lightweight long sleeve style keeps the sun off and works well as a base layer during the cooler months. 

Related: UPF vs. SPF: What’s the Difference?

Are There Any Cons to Arm Sleeves?

There's one minor hiccup when it comes to arm sleeves: becoming overly complacent. 

Ultimately, there may be areas that arm sleeves can't fully cover. If even a small patch of skin is left exposed without sunscreen or its alternatives, it could still be susceptible to the sun's harsh rays. So, while arm sleeves are a fantastic ally, we suggest a long sleeve shirt, and making sure to use sunscreen or sunscreen alternatives if your skin is still exposed.

Stay Protected with Free Fly Apparel

Summer is the perfect opportunity to explore the outdoors, and arm sleeves provide amazing coverage for any outdoor activity—canoeing, fishing, or taking it easy at the beach.

Need more upper body sun coverage? Free Fly's men's sun protective clothing and women's sun protective clothing provide complete coverage while ensuring you cool off faster and stay comfortable in all situations.