The Beauty of Sun Protective Pants

Sun protective clothing starts with a great hat, but the rest of  my body  needed a shield from  aging UV rays.  My first stop  was a New York City institution, Paragaon Sports.  Located near Union Square, Paragon has a seemingly  inexhaustable selection of  of equipment for just about every sport you can  name.  I wandered into  their hiking section and started thumbing through their racks.  A really hot thirty something salesman came over and asked if  he could help me find what I needed. When I explained what I was looking for, his eyes  lit up in admiration. ”  Oh, I understand, you’re going on a safari.”

I really loved  that image, but I had to admit I was planning a hike on a mountain near Kingston, New York.  “It gets very sunny  there and the bugs are vicious this time of year”  I added weakly.   I could  see  ‘hot guy’ struggling to  hide his loss of interest. ” Well, just let me know if you need a anything”  he muttered as  he waved his hand  in the general direction of the  hat section.

I found the perfect pants from Columbia and shirt from Royal Robbins.  I was not so lucky  with the hats and eventually ordered  that item  online from Tilley.  So here I am, dressed  up in my sun protective clothing that has a 20 SPF and   a  hat that offers  a 50UPF and  an insect repellant treated fabric– ready for a safari,  hike up  a mountain or in this case, trying them out  in a walk  in Carl Schurz Park.  Despite the 90 degree temperature, these clothes actually kept me cooler and more comfortable than my friends  dressed in shorts and tees.   The pants and shirt definately deflected the suns rays. 

The hat turned out to be truely wonderful.  Not only did it offer  cooling sun protection, the fabric was treated with  the FDA approved insecticide  permethrin and bugs definately stayed away.   All  kidding aside, New York State can be really buggy, making it  hard to sit outside.  Wearing this hat, insects were a non-issue and  I wore it to plant an herb garden, read in a hammock and chat with neighbors  while our legs dangled in the pool.

From a functional point of view, this outfit  is a winner.  However the style and color made me look  like  a very mature Dora the Explorer.  I’m going to look for  other sun  protective items in brighter  colors  and patterns.  Anyone know of a good source for this type of clothing?

11 thoughts on “The Beauty of Sun Protective Pants

  1. I get a catalog regularly from I’ve not bought anything yet from them, as it is very costly.

    When I went to visit my daughter in Mongolia, I did purchase some items at a local Gander Mountain.

    * Columbia Hat
    * Columbia Pants

    I then purchased some shirts from Eddie Bauer, REI, and a couple of Columbia shirts too. We were going to go to the Gobi desert, and even though temps were over the 100’s, I kept pretty comfy, in that I didn’t get sunburned, stayed relatively cool.

    Only bad thing was, after a camel ride in the desert, I was *unable* to get the camel spit off my pant legs (of the camel behind me, kept rubbing his mouth on the camel in front of him….which there I was….a well).

    I wear my spf shirts while I drive.


    • LOL! So now I know to be careful of my SPF pants when riding a camel. Your trip sounds amazing and I am thrilled that these high tech items worked so well for you. I will check out Edie Bauer and Sun Precautions as well. WOuld you have photo wearing the clothes on a camel. I would love to post it to the blog. BTW, what sunscreen did you use?

    • THanks so much Wendy. Although I might look like an extra from a Tarzan movie, this hat has such awesome features, I don’t care. In the evening I love to sit outside and sip some wine with friends, but the bugs always drove me inside. Now I wear this hat in the dark and can enjoy a summer evening. Let me know how it works for you.

  2. may i say what a great/enjoyable post – and i especially like your photo and the hat !

    like @gaileee i e.g. purchased pants, tops and hats (and their special sunglasses – e.g. great for driving and sailing) with sunprecautions/solumbra online (when i lived in the usa) – when they had a discount/promotion and have been very happy with all of them ever since (did not try camel-riding though 😉
    since safari-coloured is neither “my style” nor does it match my skin and hair type, ergo i like their choice of colours.

    also, i can second Eddie Bauer and Colombia – i have generally started buying “anticyclical” many years ago, esp. with the webz and always buy “that stuff” discounted/”off-season”.

    (sry i rarely comment but have been reading & gratefully enjoying your blog and e.g. the “food for thought” you offer)

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