Lightweight Long Sleeve Shirts For Hot and Cold Weather
Lightweight long sleeve shirts are very important part of outdoor clothing not only during summer, but throughout other seasons as well. Rowing on the open water exposes skin to the elements, requiring extra care yearlong. During summer, long sleeve shirts protect skin from strong sunlight, draw sweat off the skin thus improving cooling and reducing sweating, prevents skin rashes and irritations etc. And they have to look good ...
When rowing indoors, such shirts also cool the body, prevent excessive sweating, keep body hydrated for longer period of time and thus prolong rowing sessions.
When choosing clothes for protection, there are several things to have in mind.
Size and shape of the shirt - obviously, if you are not comfortable in your clothes, you will not feel good and your rowing and other physical activities may suffer. So, choose clothes that fits you perfectly and make you feel good. It is pointless to wear shirts that itch, annoy, irritate and similar. When put on, good shirt is like a second skin - you wear it and you forget it.
Moisture wicking - good shirt for hot and cold weather draws off sweat from the skin by (usually) capillary action and prevents buildup of excess sweat on the skin. When combined with good two way air circulation, it improves cooling effect even further.
During winter obviously, additional clothing is required to protects the body from cold weather, but good shirt will help trapped air circulate around the body, keep proper temperature and prevent excess sweat. Of course, during periods of intensive physical activity, even during very cold weather, sweat buildup can not be avoided. In such occasions wear several layers of clothes and take off or put on clothes according to your physical activity.
Material of the shirt - most modern protective shirts are made from artificial or semi-artificial materials, enabling use of very fine fibers that at the same time wick away moisture, can be woven in various patterns, have good air circulation, are odor resistant and similar.
Such materials are used for multi-layered shirts too, with inner mash enabling good air circulation and outer, denser fabric protecting body from both the heat and the cold and at the same time wicking away sweat.
UPF vs. SPF - UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and it provides information about the amount of ultraviolet radiation that a shirt blocks. Amount of blocked UV radiation is calculated using formula:
For example, shirt that has UPF of 20, blocks 95% of UV radiation, UPF 30 blocks 96.6%, UPF 40 blocks 97.5%, UPF 50 blocks 98% of UV radiation.
Actual UPF of the material is check using spectrophotometer in the lab.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and indicates a function of skin reddening due to UV radiation. SPF measures sun block creams and lotions protective rates.
Also, protective clothes protects from both UVA and UVB rays, while SPF creams mostly protects from UVB, leaving the body unprotected to UVA rays.
Note: ordinary clothes often protect only from UVB, while very harmful UVA radiation can penetrate even thin clothes.
Protective clothes or protective creams? IMHO Both - during summer heat, wear good protective clothes and exposed parts of your body protect with 'full spectrum SPF' sun creams which provide protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Such sun creams and lotions cost somewhat more, but have in mind that each year more than one million people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer of some kind, with Europe, Australia and Asia not lagging behind ...
Other things to consider when buying protective clothes:
- is shirt machine washable and machine dryable? Is bleach allowed and what kind? What about fabric softener? Can it be ironed?
- rash guard properties of the clothes - last thing that one wants are rashes caused by abrasion or by sunburn or something else when rowing or being physically active in some other way.
- does clothes stretch enough and enables full range of motion - being comfortable is very important during rowing, running, cycling and other physical activities.
- color of the clothes - white and other bright colors reflect sunlight, while black and other dark colors absorb sunlight. Thus, during warm days choose bright colors, and during cold days, choose darker ones.
Of course, there other, often very individual, factors which are important when choosing protective and other clothes. Whatever you do, safety should be your first concern.
If you like outdoor activities, regardless of the season, feel free to check protective shirts on Amazon.