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Old 03-21-10, 08:57 AM   #1
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SPF Clothing


I am an occasional poster. I am more of a casual cyclist, but last year I started riding my bike to work occasionally, since it's fairly close (2.7 miles).

Although I know many people bike to work throughout the year, I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold weather (and I live in Buffalo) so I tend to do it only in the spring/summer. Now that spring is here, I'm looking into getting some clothing specifically for my commute, to prevent my arms from getting overly tan like they did last year.

I'm fair-skinned and my shoulders tend to burn, even when I use sunscreen. Also, while it may seem strange in this day and age, when tan skin is considered attractive and pale skin is "pasty" and "sickly," I actually like my fair skin and feel that it suits me. So I am looking for some long-sleeved tops that are cool enough for warm weather, and will help to shield my arms and shoulders from the sun (although I'm willing to still wear sunscreen underneath if necessary).

I've come across some tops that claim to shield UV rays, or some that even have an SPF rating. I was just wondering, is there anything to this, or is it just marketing hype? I just want to know if I should focus my search specifically on SPF clothing, or if any long-sleeved tops will do. Thanks!
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Old 03-21-10, 10:09 AM   #2
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Being a Daily Rider here in Tropical Miami Florida, I see many of our Boating and outdoor stores are now stocking Columbia Brand Outdoor/Fishing Long Sleeved Shirts with the roll up sleeve option. The Material used has SPF factors of around 30. Being a person with very light complexion and a Healthcare worker, I am also concerned with the high rate of Skin Cancer found here in south florida amongst fair skinned people. One clerk at SPorts Authority who stocks many of these Shirts with the built-in SPF informed me many shoppers who are replacing older Columbia brand shirts are doing so with the new built-in SPF Shirts. These shirts are not cheap but reletive to the Alternative, developing a case of skin cancer, is not cheap either. Look at the Columbia brands. also carries their own Brand Shirt with a SPF of 50.

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Old 03-21-10, 11:53 AM   #3
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Being fair-skinned myself, I've given up on not tanning. I wear SPF 50 (I tried SPF 70 last summer) and I tan right through it, even with proper and frequent applications. I don't burn, I just get browner and browner as the season progresses.

Good luck in finding something that works for you
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Old 03-21-10, 06:42 PM   #4
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I work out of doors for a living. I have had a few skin cancers removed already. Cover up if at all possible.

I wear the Columbia stuff quite a bit while cycling, mainly because of the vented backs. I also wear very light weight cotton long sleeved t-shirts. They do a decent job of blocking the sun. Yes they get wet, but hypothermia is not an issue at 95*/95%rh

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