The Best Sun Protective Clothing of 2020

Stay safe outdoors

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Our Top Picks
"With some extra length in the back, it’s long enough to pair with your favorite leggings or yoga pants."
"The Cool DRI fabric rapidly wicks away sweat, making it a great choice for outdoor exercise and running."
"Designed to be worn over your swimsuit, it provides UPF 50 sun protection and is extremely soft, lightweight, and stretchy."
"Perfect for casual as well as workout wear, they come in several different colors and a wide range of sizes."
"Keep your hair and scalp safe during a hot weather run or outdoor excursion with this UPF 50+ running cap from Coolibar."
"It resists fading and damage from the sun, chlorine, and heat up to 10 times longer than unprotected fabrics."
"They’re made from a featherweight stretch fabric that feels super-soft and moves with you, and they are extremely breathable."
"It's made from a wicking, breathable recycled polyester, recycled nylon, and Lycra fabric that’s rated UPF 50+."
"The deep hood offers additional coverage from the sun, while the odor control technology keeps you smelling fresh."
"Its Omni-Wick technology pulls sweat off your skin, while the Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric protects your skin from harmful rays."

Whether you’re chilling at the beach, gardening in the yard, or doing outdoor yoga, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays should be a priority. Choosing clothing that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) built into it can reduce your exposure to UV radiation.

From long-sleeve shirts and dresses to board shorts and rash guards, there are plenty of options for sun-protective gear. All of our picks below feature UPF 50+, which is the highest-rated UPF certification and blocks out more than 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Of course, keep in mind that clothing with UPF is not a substitute for wearing sunscreen, and it should be part of your overall skin protection strategy.

Here is the best sun protective clothing for every type of exerciser.

Best Long-sleeve: Lands’ End Women's Moisture Wicking UPF 50 Sun Long Sleeve Curved Hem Tunic Top

Soft and featherweight, this long-sleeve shirt from Lands’ End provides the sun protection you want without making you overheat on a hot summer afternoon walk. The moisture-wicking and odor-fighting material controls sweat and smells while keeping you cool.

Additionally, the fabric is fade-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, and anti-pilling. The loose, flattering fit is not too clingy and, with some extra length in the back, it’s long enough to pair with your favorite leggings or yoga pants. It comes in several different colors, so you’re sure to find a favorite.

Best T-shirt: Hanes Women's Cool DRI Performance Tee

If you find long-sleeve UPF shirts to be too constricting or warm, you might like this Cool DRI Performance T-shirt from Hanes. The shirt’s soft, lightweight material and comfort seams give the shirt a barely-there feel, but the UPF 50+ rating still provides excellent protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

Despite its affordable price tag, it has high-end features, such as anti-odor technology. The Cool DRI fabric rapidly wicks away sweat, making it a great choice for outdoor exercise and running, especially when the weather might be too hot for a long-sleeve shirt. The shirt comes in various colors and sizes 4 through 26.

Best Rash Guard: Lands' End Women's Crew Neck Long Sleeve Rash Guard UPF 50 Sun Protection Modest Swim Tee

If you spend a lot of time at the beach, you probably want a quality rash guard to protect your skin from the sun, chafing, board rashes, sand, and other harsh elements. Designed to be worn over your swimsuit, this rash guard from Lands’ End provides UPF 50 protection for sunburn-prone spots such as your back and shoulders.

The extremely soft, lightweight fabric is stretchy, making it easy to wear when swimming, diving, or surfing. It’s also quick-drying and breathable, so it keeps you comfortable when you’re not in the water. Take your pick of several different colors, from basic white to vivid teal. The rash guard comes in sizes petite extra-extra-small through Long Torso Plus 3X.

Best Leggings: Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation Tight

If you like to wear leggings for yoga on the beach or runs in the park, you can’t beat these buttery-soft ones from Athleta for overall comfort and sun protection. Made from a quick-drying, breathable, and sweat-wicking fabric with a UPF 50+ rating, they’re ideal for workouts in the great outdoors.

The high waist and smooth, three-layer waistband keep the leggings in place, so you won’t be tugging or pulling as you move. Perfect for casual as well as workout wear, they come in several different colors and a wide range of sizes, from sizes 00 through 18 in regular, tall, or petite.

Best Hat: Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Women's Sunbreaker Running Cap

Keep your hair and scalp safe during a hot weather run or outdoor excursion with this UPF 50+ running cap from Coolibar. With a wide brim and removable neck drape, the cap will shield you from the sun, even on longer outdoor runs.

While it will keep you protected, the hat is extremely lightweight with a mesh lining at the top inside of the crown, as well as ventilation inserts on the sides of the crown. The quick-dry fabric will keep you cool and sweat-free. Thanks to the adjustable hook and loop fastener sizing tab at the center-back of the crown, you won't have to worry about the hat falling off while you run, even in windy weather. Choose from three colors and three custom sizes.

Best Swimsuit: L.L.Bean Mix-and-Match Swim Collection

With this bathing suit, L.L. Bean has delivered what women want most in swimwear: a cute, flattering suit that’s comfortable for swimming and for other water activities. The nylon and Lycra Xtra Life UPF 50+ fabric provides the sun protection you need and doesn’t get stretched out over time.

According to the manufacturer, It resists fading and damage from the sun, chlorine, and heat up to 10 times longer than unprotected fabrics. Lightweight and fast-drying, the versatile suit is available in many different fun and vibrant designs and patterns, and in sizes 4 through 18, in regular, long, or plus options. It also has adjustable straps, so you can get a more custom, secure fit.

Best Shorts: Athleta Hudson Boardshort

Although they’re designed for swimming, surfing, and other water sports, these versatile Hudson Board Shorts are perfect for all types of outdoor activities. Flattering and comfortable, they’re made from a featherweight stretch fabric that feels super-soft and moves with you.

The quick-dry fabric has UPF 50+ protection and is extremely breathable, so you’ll stay dry and cool when you’re not in the water. Other nice-to-have features include four pockets and an adjustable drawstring waistband. They’re also wrinkle-resistant, so they definitely earn a spot in your suitcase when packing for vacation. The shorts come in two colors and sizes 0 through 16.

Best Jacket: Athleta Pacifica Baja UPF Jacket

Whether you’re lounging at the beach, sightseeing, taking a leisurely jog outside, or spending the afternoon on a boat, it’s smart to bring along a lightweight, sun-protective jacket. This versatile and eye-catching one from Athleta is made from wicking, breathable recycled polyester, recycled nylon, and Lycra fabric that’s rated UPF 50+.

It looks sleek and stylish when paired with a tank-top and jeans, but it is also practical and comfortable for the beach or for an outdoor workout. Other favorite features include thumbholes to keep sleeves in place, a secure zip pocket to stash essentials, and antimicrobial protection to fight the stink in between washes. Get it in four colors and in sizes 00 through 18, with options for regular, tall, and petite women.

Best Hoodie: Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoodie

Comfortable, lightweight, and soft, the Capilene hoodie from Patagonia can serve double-duty as a performance layer for running, hiking, or other outdoor activities, as well as a casual, cozy shirt for hanging outside. It’s made with quick-drying, moisture-wicking stretch fabric that provides built-in 50+ UPF sun protection. The deep hood offers additional coverage from the sun, while the odor control technology keeps you smelling fresh. It comes in three colors and in sizes 0 through 16.

Best Dress: Columbia Women's Freezer III Dress

Packed with features and technology to keep you cool and dry on a hot weather walk, the Columbia Freezer III dress certainly lives up to its name. It features Omni-Freeze fabric, which disperses body heat and uses a specialized, blue-dot treatment that lowers skin surface temperature while wet.

The dress’ Omni-Wick technology pulls sweat off your skin, while the Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric protects your skin from harmful rays. With a U-neckline, A-line silhouette, and flattering fit, the versatile Freezer dress is stylish, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down. It’s reasonably priced and comes in a variety of solid colors and fun patterns, so you may decide you need more than one. Get in a women's sizes 2 through 18.

Best Pants: L.L. Bean Women's Comfort Trail Pants

For leg coverage in the summer months, you can’t beat these lightweight, comfy, and rugged pants from L.L.Bean. Made from a stretchy blend of 95% nylon and 5% Spandex, they’re UPF 50+ rated, so you’ll protect your skin and move with ease while hiking, working in the yard, or walking through the neighborhood.

The fabric is breathable and wicks away sweat, keeping you dry and chafe-free. Despite their durability, these pants are surprisingly soft and have comfort-enhancing details such as a contoured waistband and gusseted crotch. They’re available in a wide range of colors, and they feature adjustable inside tabs and drawcords at hems to allow for a more custom fit. The pants come in sizes 4 through 20 with regular, petite, or plus options. Choose between two inseams—regular or medium tall.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

When she runs outside, marathon coach and runner Christine Luff protects her sunburn-prone skin with a waterproof sunscreen, visor, and running clothes with UPF 50+ sun protection.  

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  1. Skin Cancer Foundation. Sun-protective clothing. Updated 2019.