Many that know me know that I like a quality car as much as I hate standing in the sun. I realize that most people appreciate a nice tan, but when I tan I don’t “untan”. It can be a problem when you get unsightly tan lines such as a farmer’s tan, watch tan or swimsuit crosses on your back that last until Christmas. I’m also convinced that my caramel coloured skin absorbs heat more than lighter tones and therefore makes me feel hotter quicker. Unfortunately in the past this means that my poor horse has had to face the sweltering heat in the indoor on hot summer days.
However lucky for Salut when I was visiting Wellington, Florida this past winter, I discovered SUN SHIRTS!!! Now since I’m tired of explaining to people why I’m wearing long sleeves in the heat I’ve decided just make it a public, lets say community notice here. These amazing inventions are shirts that provide UVB protection, strategically placed mesh vents and moisture wicking fabrics. Apparently adapted from golf apparel, these shirts are made with hi-tech fabrics that protect and cool. Here is my selection:
1. Ariat Sunstopper: This provides protection from the sun and uses Ariat’s MMT fabric technology wicks moisture away from the body to keep the rider cool and comfortable. The vents along the arm lets your skin breath while the rest of the fabric keeps your skin cool. The material is lightweight and feels almost silky against the skin. This is ideal for warm day with no humidity and a nice breeze. The fit is body-slimming. I bought this shirt in a small (my normal size) and it fits perfectly.
2. Wellington Collection Extreme Air Shirt: This shirt features the IceFil Fabric which uses your sweat to actually lower your body temperature by up to 5 degrees while providing an SPF of 50. This also features vents under the arm in the same colour of the rest of the shirt. The material is very thin and lightweight and has held up well in the wash (if you follows manufacturer’s directions). I was advised by the store to purchase at least one size larger as when it gets hot the looser fit is best. The fit in a medium is a nice loose fit all over. This shirt is best for warm, humid days with or without a breeze.
3. EIS Performance Shirt: Like the Wellington shirt this shirt also features IceFil and provides an SPF of 50. The vents are also the same colour as the rest of the shirt and the material has the same feel at the Wellington shirt. There are really only two differences – price and fit. This shirt is priced significantly higher at $94.99. I also purchased this shirt in a medium as the seller advised me to. The fit in the arms and across the back of the shoulders is much more snug than the Wellington and it is a little shorter in length.
With this new collection of shirts I have only ridden inside on a couple of occasions due to weather. Thanks to their odour absorbing qualities I’ve also worn them hiking and to lunch (if I’m clean). I am going for longer hacks, definitely getting more vitamin D and have no unsightly tan lines, so I believe this shirt should be allowed reimbursement under my health plan as it is essential to my health… but somehow I don’t think they will agree.