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UV Protection Golf Shirts: A Guide to Sun Protective Clothing


We're all familiar with having some "fun in the sun", but what's fun about a sunburn?! (Not to mention increasing signs of aging - GASP!)

Before you go out and play, take a moment to think about protecting your skin. Sunburns are not only painful, they can pose real danger, including cancer.

You’re likely familiar with sunscreens and their SPF (Sun Protection Factor) ratings. But did you know that clothes can also be rated for their level of sun protectiveness?

What does UPF in clothing mean?

These clothing ratings are known as UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), and they work slightly differently than SPF ratings.

SPF measures how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, if you would normally get a sunburn after 20 minutes of standing outdoors unprotected, then wearing SPF 30 sunscreen means, theoretically, that you could go 600 minutes (or 10 hours) without burning.

Woman in a car talking to a man wearing a Cutter and Buck men's blue golf polo.

But UPF ratings measure the fraction amount of ultraviolet light that is able to get through a garment. For example, a half-zip with a rating of UPF 50+ means only 1/50th of those UVA and UVB rays are penetrating through the material (or 2%).

In comparison, the average T-shirt has a UPF rating of 5. That means 1/5 of the UVA/UVB rays are getting through – or 20%!

A higher UPF rating means A LOT more protection. Whew!

Woman and Man wearing Cutter & Buck, holding hands, walking.

What is considered a "good" UPF rating for clothes?

Today, clothing must have a UPF rating of at least 15+ to be considered “sun protective”, and even those pieces are only considered to offer “good protection.”

The ratings can be charted like this:

  • Good UV protection
    • UPF 15 or 20
  • Very Good UV protection
    • UPF 25, 30 or 35
  • Excellent UV protection
    • UPF 40, 45 or 50+: 

50+ is the highest UPF rating you'll find online and in stores – and it’s the same number you find in any Cutter & Buck piece made with CB DryTec 50+UPF fabric!

Explore our Sun Protective Golf Shirts and more!