Have you ever gone outside and felt the sun burning your legs? It’s something that can happen regardless of the season. Coming from the sun’s light in the form of ultraviolet rays (which cannot be seen by the human eye), sunburn can occur easily when one is standing in the sun’s light for a long time. But wearing UPF pants are an easy way to fix this problem.
Below are important facts and info that you should know about UPF pants. Use it to help you decide on a good brand and product before making a purchase. All details are covered so you’ll be more than ready to head outside with better protection in no time. Let’s look further.
What Are UPF Pants and Why are They Important?
UPF Pants, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, are pants that contain enough material to block out some or most of the sun’s UV rays. When such rays touch the fabric of your normal clothing, it easily penetrates the top fabric and touches the skin. Remember, this isn’t ordinary light that we can see and is a leading cause of skin cancer.
Although most clothing can block this out, non-protective gear is not well-suited for ultraviolet. Any light that has a higher wavelength than what humans can see will cut through normal fabric. UPF pants will reduce the level of cancerous photons (light particles) that come into contact with you. But how is this possible?
At the microscopic level, you’ll find that normal clothing has many holes for light to travel through. If you were to look at UPF pants, you would find the number of them greatly reduced. It won’t be a 100-percent reduction on most, mind you, but enough to stop the sun from burning skin. You’ll be able to spend more time outdoors doing the things that you love without the risk of getting marks and spots from excessive sun exposure.
Where UPF Pants would be Useful
Here are some of the people and situations where UPF pants would be of great use:
- People with Sensitive Skin – UPF pants can help vulnerable people from developing symptoms from UV exposure. Some people are at greater risk of getting a sunburn than others. This could be the elderly, small children, and even young adults. Although most may protect their arms with unblocking lotion, the legs shouldn’t be ignored.
- Camping – Camping trips are a fun and exciting way to enjoy the outdoors. However, a good time can be ensured by everyone when in possession of safety and preventative items during the trip, which includes UPF pants. If you’re planning a camping trip soon, consider getting such pants to combat UV-rays that you’ll expose yourself to in the woods.
- Landscaping/Gardening – When doing yard work around the home, it’s very easy to get a sunburn. You can block this from occurring with UPF pants to help you take on your gardening projects and/or lawn care. People employed in landscaping would be well-serves with them, considering how much of their time is spent outside.
- Jogging/Walking – Whether it’s walking, jogging, or biking, UPF pants are sold in brands that are good for sporting. There are even yoga pants with stitching that’s capable of blocking UV-light.
- Beach – Because of the variety of UPF pants, you could find a pair (or even shorts) that’ll block out rays from the beach sun that you cannot see. Take them with you to the beach if you’re not planning on wearing a bikini or one-piece swimsuit (for women). For the guys, casual UPF shorts or pants would suffice.
- General Outdoor Use – If you want some leg protection for running errands outside, UPF pants are a good investment. UV rays can harm the skin very quickly; it doesn’t take long to become affected by sunburn. People working in office settings can easily find straight leg and relaxed UPF pants as well. They’ll offer great protection when out of the office for a break.
UPF Pants Ratings
If you’ve searched for UPF pants on the web already, you’ve probably come across a product with a description that looks something like this:
UPF 50 Hiking Pants
The number shown is the UPF rating, which is provided on all pants with UV-blocking material. This will let you know whether or not the pants come with the feature. If you don’t see this in the product’s description, then you’re probably not viewing UPF pants.
Remember that UPF pants with a 50 rating are among the best. The standard is 50 and pretty easy to find. It’s not 50-percent UV protection, mind you, rather 1/50th blockage. In other words, you’re getting on 2-percent of UV exposure when wearing UPF pants.
UPF vs Non-UPF (Normal) Pants
The obvious advantage of using UPF pants over those without the protection is less UV exposure. No longer will you have to worry about getting burns after standing out in the sun for a long time. There’s a lot of variety in styles. Going to the gym? There are UPF pants for that. Occasional walking outside during your office job? Easy to find UV-protective khaki and canvas pants. Some brands even make them for small children.
However, there are situations where you could get a bit irritated when wearing UPF pants. Because of the tougher stitching, breathability might be an issue, especially for UPF that aren’t made for exercise or gym activities. You can find them but try to find out how well the air circulation is before you buy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UPF Pants
Will UPF Pants Provide 100% UV Protection?
No matter the rating, UPF pants won’t be able to provide you with guaranteed protection from all UV-rays. There’s always the chance of you getting sunburn, which increases as the pants age. However, this isn’t to say that most people will minimize their risk of the sun when they’re worn.
Does the Protection from UPF Pants wear down Over Time?
Like all fabric materials, UPF pants can wear down. This won’t happen quickly, so don’t worry about the pants losing their protection too fast if you don’t wear them daily. People that do wear UPF pants more will typically wash them often.
During a machine wash, small pieces of the fabric will tear away from the clothing. And less fabric meaning lower UV protection. An easy way to slow down the wear is to periodically wash your clothing by hand, or allow the pants to air dry.
Are there any Chemicals that give UPF Pants their UV Protection?
No. UPF pants’ protection comes from the fabric itself. There are no coating or toxic substances involved during the manufacturing process.
Now that you’re familiar with UPF pants, you can choose the right pair for you with confidence. There’s not much to it, just narrow down your choices by finding pants that are built for the type of outdoor activity you need them for.
There are loads of different brands producing them, all of which are easy to find on the web. And once you have that completed, you’ll be on your way to having excellent sun protection whenever you’re outside.