Boating Sportswear With UV Protection | Boating Mag

2022-08-12 20:50:05 By : Ms. Lynn Deng

Stay protected on the water from the sun's rays with this apparel.

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Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a measurement of how much ultraviolet light is blocked by a fabric. UPF 50, the most common rating on clothing tags, means the fabric will cut out all but 1/50th of the sun’s cancer-causing UV rays. Basically, 98 percent of the UV rays do not penetrate a UPF 50 fabric. For all-day fun in the sun, choosing lightweight garments that offer this protection is beneficial for comfort and long-term skin care.

Using a UV black light and a UV meter, we shined the black light on the UV meter’s sensor from 5 inches away and measured the output. Next, we covered the UV light with a UPF-rated fabric, being careful to avoid stretching and opening the weave, and measured the residual light. While all of our test garments passed, some even exceeded the UPF 50 standard.

Caped sport shirts with button-down collars are the staple of anglers and boaters thanks to their cooling nature and sharp looks. Side panels and underarms are perforated for added ventilation. A sunglasses cleaning cloth is sewn into the shirt tail, and the left breast pocket has three cool tools. One is a line-cutting button. There is also a sunglasses loop and a rod loop. The right breast pocket is zippered and holds a large smartphone. The left one uses hook-and-loop fasteners, and both have drain holes.

This shirt is cool, soft to the touch and wrinkle-resistant, a feature proven by the number of days it was left in the laundry pile. Stainless-steel-trimmed pearl snaps make it easy to get on and off, and the cuffs have two snaps for a snug or loose fit. The collar buttons down, and the pockets snap shut. A sunglasses cleaning chamois is sewn into the tail, near the hip. The look is sharp, and the fabric is tough for rough use and durable good looks. 

The ultralight polyester fabric feels like a feather, and it remains cool in sweaty weather. A stain-resistant treatment protects it from even splattered fish blood and splashed wine. Pleated pockets have nylon snaps on the flaps. A sunglasses cleaning cloth is sewn into the tail, front and center. The sleeves can be rolled above the elbow and kept there with button-up straps. 

This techie fishing shirt has a face mask, hood and a kangaroo pocket, in case July and August turn cold. It’s a snug-fitting shirt in a highly elastic nylon. It’s water-repellent and stain-resistant to dry quickly and remain stain-free in hard use. Thumb slots keep the sleeves over the back of your hands—one of the most UV-exposed areas of the body. 

The sleeves and bottom half of the shirt have a waffled woven weave that is both tough and light to the touch. It feels as if it enhances ventilation. Underarms are seamless for comfort, and the hood covers the chin and extends far enough to shade the face. It provides full sun protection in the summer and would make a good wicking underlayer for cold weather.

Fashioned from 84 percent recycled polyester and 16 percent spandex, the stretchy shirt form-fits to the body, and the mask conforms to the face. The weave is less dense at the mouth and nose for comfort. When thumbs are in the sleeve slots, and the hood and mask are up, only the fingertips are exposed to the sun. Using recycled fabric material is just one way AFTCO pursues sustainability.

These pants are so light that they feel like pajamas, but they look perfectly street-ready. The fabric is stretchy, and 57 percent is Econyl, made from recycled fishing nets; 38 percent is virgin nylon, and 5 percent is spandex—the stretchy part. Two front pockets are fast-draining woven mesh. The right front pocket has a heavy-fabric knife-sheath pocket for a clip knife, and the back pocket has a drain hole. A snap and flap would’ve been a nice addition there. The pants are designed to be airy and cool, and they are.  

These 8-inch shorts exceeded standards for their UPF 50 rating, blocking 99.8 percent of UV light in our tests. A Teflon coating ensures stain resistance for hard-use fishing, and the crisp style makes them Saturday-afternoon sporty. The right-side pliers pocket is handy for fishermen or to hold a smaller smartphone. 

The shorts are even softer than the shirt, with slash front pockets that are mesh-lined for fast drainage. So is a zippered phone pocket on the side, and patch pockets on the hips can hold a wallet or your hands. Belt loops give them street cred, and the fast-drying fabric is waffled inside for better cooling. 

The fabric is water-repellent to dry quickly for all-day comfort. The 10-inch lace-up shorts with a zippered fly are comfortable and stretchy. The longer legs cover sun-vulnerable thighs to the knees. Side and hip zippered pockets are fast-draining and hold a large smartphone securely. A line-cutting button at the waist adds a touch of style and utility. 

Born for the Fourth of July, these 10-inch red, white and blue boardshorts are for celebrations, boating weekends and fishing adventures. Zippered front and back pockets, two each, are complemented with one pliers pocket with three tool slots. The lace-up front is all about board sports, but the stain-resistant fabric is all about bloody fishing decks.  

Extremely comfortable and possibly the coolest feeling shirt in muggy weather, the Rapids shirt has all the attributes of performance fishing shirt, including button chest pockets, roll up sleeves with keeper straps and cape back with polyester mesh vent. The front pockets have a slanted slash look. The poly spandex fabric blend is relaxed in size and flexes with the body. Hang it and it relaxes to an ironed look.

Beer and fishing must be inseparably bound and Columbia includes a beer opener on an elastic lanyard to scratch that itch. Anglers fear not, it also has a line cutter built in and the flat tool tucks into a handy thigh pocket. Slash front pockets, a zippered side pocket and two button up hip pockets keep gear, phone and wallet secured. Belt loops give it street creds and 10-inch pant length gives it board shorts creds. The fast drying fabric is stain resistant and fast drying. We’ve already gotten grease and barbecue sauce out of them.

Omni-Wick is Columbia’s trade mark for this fast drying, moisture moving polyester fabric. The long sleeves provide optimum sun protection to the wrist and neck. It’s comfortably cool to wear and comes in 17 colors from whites, to pastels to deeper colors and black. It would make an ideal wicking garment for any outdoor application, but is designed specifically to give anglers the freedom of motion plus sun protection needed to succeed on the water.

Select waist size from 28- to 44-inches and inseams of 30-, 32- or 34-inches. Light airy fabric with Omni-shield boasts water and stain repellency so fish blood washes out. Omni-Shade raises the UPF to 50. The un-pleated pant has slash front pockets, snap up hip pockets and a zip cargo thigh pocket. Belt loops complete the comfort package. Sizing is true but polyester with 9% Elastane offers a forgiving fit. They are tough enough to fish and sharp enough for dinner out.

This is the sportiest sport shirt in our test and it passed. Not only is fabric tightly woven but the dark color absorbs UV light before it penetrates to the skin. The fabric, cut and stitching are sturdy, the design sharp looking. The print is subtle shadows of fish. It’s comfortable on, soft, flexible and the least sweaty of any of our other shirts—short sleeves helps with that. There are dozens of colors in the Kona series, but this is our favorite.

UPF 50 is approved by BoatingLAB thanks in part to its tight fabric weave. However, a light twist to the fabric is laser perforation to aid in breathability. A thigh pocket holds all but the biggest smart phones and slash pockets in front are deep. Belt loops get you from board shorts status to dockside dining. They go perfect with the Kona Covered Up.

Price: $70 Color: Overcast Grey UPF Rating: 50 Test Results: Passed

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