Travel Apparel Review: Sun and Fun Protection

Collibar, sun protection clothing, Nancy D. Brown, beach
Summer is here and that means time spent outdoors and on the go. It used to be fashionable to come home from a vacation with a tan, but scientists and medical experts have determined that the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage our skin. We now know better than to slather ourselves in baby oil and bake in the sunshine. Fortunately, there are now clothing protection companies offering fashionable, quality sun protection.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles after five or more sunburns, making skin protection a priority for active adventure baby boomers and their family members. If you follow this blog, you may remember my brush with skin cancer earlier this year. I now wear sun hats and sun protection clothing year round.

Coolibar, sun hat, Nancy D. Brown, Paramount Ranch
Nancy wearing Coolibar Sun Hat at Paramount Ranch.

The folks at Coolibar sent me a sun hat, rash guard and swim tights to keep me protected during my deep water aerobics classes or when I’m kayaking or at the beach. The Quarter Zip Swim Shirt has been a boon to my wardrobe, both on the hiking trail and in the pool. That’s right, I wear this Thai pink rash guard all the time. Initially, I thought of the swim shirt for protecting my skin from sun exposure in the pool. Our deep water aerobics class is year round so the fact that it keeps me warm in the winter was an unexpected bonus. The same goes for the swim tights. They actually keep me warm in the pool and I love how quickly all the Coolibar clothing dries.

Coolibar, FlipBelt, Nancy D. Brown
Nancy Brown wearing FlipBelt

I took the swim shirt with me on a recent trip to Montana and wore it with my FlipBelt when I went hiking to a secret hot springs. The Quarter Zip Swim Shirt features fabric that is tested for Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) and all Coolibar clothing, hats and swimwear come with a lifetime UPF 50+ guarantee. This rating is similar to the SPF rating on sunscreens. A UPF of 50+ means the fabric will block 98% of the sun’s UVB and UVA radiation. The swim shirt retails for $75. swim tights retail for $59.50 and the SmartStraw Packable Tropicana Sun Hat retails for $59.50.

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I like the SmartStraw hats for easy packing as they are completely crushable and water resistant. Can you tell that my hat traveled perfectly flat in my carryon? In the photo above, I’m wearing my sun hat on set at Paramount Ranch in Conejo Valley. Make sure to check the Collibar website for current pricing on all sun protection items.

FlipBelt, hands free travel
FlipBelt holds iPhone for hands free hiking.

I brought my FlipBelt with me to Montana to test out the product for hands free travel. I slipped my iPhone (complete with my bulky OtterBox case) into the poly spandex waistband and off I went, hands free. The FlipBelt slipped easily over my waistband and its construction wicked away sweat. I imagine the belt would be good for running, working out, biking and horseback riding, too. The belt comes in many colors and five sizes for women and men. It retails for $28.99, but as always, check the website for current pricing.

Coolibar, sun protection, Nancy D. Brown
Nancy at Zuma Beach, Malibu, California

Insider tip:
Did you know that for every inch of brim on a sun hat you reduce your risk of skin cancer by 10%? You know what they say, go big or go home. For additional insider tips follow @Nancydbrown on Twitter and @Coolibar.

Article written by Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Thanks to Coolibar and FlipBelt for supplying me with this travel gear and sun protective products for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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