Heading out on your next trip but confused about UPF? With so many options to choose from when you're planning your next trip, there are a few things to consider when packing your bags to stay safe and healthy.

We'll tackle some of your most important questions, such as the difference between UPF and SPF and what they mean. We'll also go through some great tips and tricks to remember so that you can focus on maximizing your time with your friends and family during your next adventure.

What Does UPF 50+ Mean?

When it comes to shielding yourself from the sun, UPF is your outfit's secret weapon. UPF, short for Ultra Violet Protection, safeguards your skin from the notorious culprit: UV rays. 

With UPF 50+, only a mere 1/50th of those rays can breach your clothing, offering an impressive 98% protection like your trusty bodyguard. Soak up the outdoors in style with UPF-rated men's and women's sun shirts and other UPF 50+ rated apparel keeping you safe during all your favorite activities.

Man and woman sitting and leaning on surfboards while wearing UPF clothing

How is UPF Measured?

Ever wondered how UPF is measured? It's all about scientific testing in specialized labs. They subject the fabric to factors and light, assessing its ability to shield harmful sun rays. The rating reflects the number of UVA and UVB rays that pass through the fabric. 

Think of it as a denominator: the higher the rating, the stronger the protection. UPF 50+ takes the lead, offering even more protection than UPF 30.

Can UPF 50+ Clothing Prevent Skin Disease Caused by Sun Exposure?

UPF 50+ is touted as an absolute powerhouse in skin cancer prevention due to sun exposure. However, this does not mean you are entirely out of the woods. You can still get sunburned through clothing, for example, so it's best to practice healthy habits if you know you and your group will be in the sun for an extended duration. Nevertheless, it will keep you well-guarded so that you can have the peace of mind necessary to stay on task, regardless of what that is.

How is UPF different from SPF in Sunscreen Products?

Now that you have a deeper understanding of what UPF means, you may wonder what the difference is between UPF and SPF. 

SPF and UPF are used to gauge the amount of protection you are getting from the sun, but the difference is that UPF is used for clothing, and SPF is used for sunscreen. The numbers are also distinct. As a reminder, a UPF of 50 means that only 1/50 of the sun's UVA and UVB rays are coming through the fabric.

SPF measures how much protection you're getting from UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburn). Since your skin usually starts to burn around 10 minutes of sun exposure, an SPF of 50, for example, extends that to 500 minutes, or 8.3 hours (10 minutes multiplied by the SPF factor).

Man and woman fishing and cleaning up trash in the sun while wearing UPF clothing

Tried-and-True Tips to Keep Cool in the Sun

Now that you've armored yourself with some defenses against sun damage, here are some ways you can stay cool and healthy throughout hotter periods:

Shade: Although you may feel fine, prolonged exposure can cause dizziness and exhaustion. Remember to take frequent breaks from the sun under a canopy, tree, or umbrella.

Wide-Brimmed Hats: Protecting yourself entirely from the sun may not always be possible, so a hat is the next best thing. Try to keep your hat on at all times when exposed to the sun.

Water: There are always some fun activities when you're out and about the outdoors. You can also take a refreshing dip in the pool or beach to cool yourself off. Remember to hydrate to reduce the amount of water loss from sweating.

Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen regularly to keep up with protection. Not a fan of sunscreen? There are plenty of sunscreen alternatives that do the job just as well. If you wear UPF clothing, cover all exposed areas as best as possible to minimize your risk of skin damage and sunspots.

Remember to always listen to your body and to take breaks as necessary. If your eyes are hurting, grab your sunglasses from their pouch. If you feel dizzy from moving, take a break, sip water, and put your hat back on. Feeling overheated can lead to sunstroke or heat stroke, so stay safe while having fun.

Stay Cool with Free Fly

Sunshine, good times, and adventures await. Don't let the sun slow you down. Gear up with UPF clothing, stay hydrated, cool off, wear a hat, and shield your skin. Explore our collection of women's and men's sun shirts and adventure-ready assembles of UPF 50+ gear. Embrace the outdoors with confidence and make every moment count. Shop now and get out there.