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Which sun shirts for men are best?

Whenever you spend time outdoors, it’s important to be aware of the power of the sun. Come summertime, those rays that provide warmth and a nice tan can also cause rashes, burns, or more severe damage to your skin.

A men’s sun shirt helps protect your chest, shoulders, and back when you’re outside in the sun. Most clothes offer minimal sun protection, if any, but sun shirts are specifically designed to block powerful UV rays.

To learn more about the benefits of sun shirts, keep reading our guide, which includes a few recommendations at the end. Our top pick from Vapor Apparel is a stylish long-sleeve shirt that not only protects your skin but features moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry, too.

Considerations when choosing sun shirts for men

UPF rating

The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) determines how capable the shirt is at blocking the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Specifically, it denotes its effectiveness against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen’s SPF only indicates UVB protection.

Sun shirts’ UPF ratings range from 15 to 50; a higher number offers more protection. Those ranging from 40 to 50 block at least 97.5% of the sun’s rays.


Fabric plays a role in how protective the shirt is. Fabric that’s closely and densely woven offers more blockage from the sun. Synthetic materials are among the most effective, particularly Lycra, though nylon and polyester also receive top marks. Consider how heavy or a light a material is as well; you may want something easy to wear if you’re active outdoors.

Sun shirts for men features


Just like your traditional clothes, you can find sun shirts that fit tightly or hang loose. For those with a snug fit, watch for any stretching or potential rips, as these areas are vulnerable to the sun at that point. Take note of the fit on the shoulders, which is where the sun hits most frequently, and avoid shirts that stretch in the shoulders.


Men’s sun shirts may be geared for sports and activities, boast a casual, practical design, or show off your style. You may want more than one shirt for various occasions. The shirt best suited for playing beach volleyball probably isn’t the same one to be worn to an elegant patio lunch.


Men’s sun shirts are made with various sleeve lengths. They may have a short sleeve barely covering your bicep, a sleeve that reaches the elbow or wrist, or even offer protection along your hand with thumb holes. Consider breathability when looking at sleeve length, but also keep in mind that you have to apply sunscreen more frequently without long sleeves.


You have a choice of colors when it comes to your men’s sun shirt. While darker options absorb UV rays better than light options, bright shirts also serve you well. Generally, the material is of greater importance when it comes to protection, and color can be chosen for aesthetics.

How much you should expect to spend on sun shirts for men

You can find decent men’s sun shirts for around $20, but quality options that offer more protection and style can range up to $50.

Sun shirts for men FAQ

Q. How do I take care of my sun shirt?

A. Wash in cold water and use the gentle or delicate cycle so as not to ruin the protection. Similarly, avoid drying in excessive heat. Instead, air-dry out of the sunlight. Pretreat any stains as soon as they happen. Take care not to stretch the fabric when dressing or undressing.

Q. Do I still need to apply sunscreen?

A. It’s advised to complement a sun shirt with sunscreen for added protection, particularly around the shoulders and arms where you’re likely to get the most exposure. This is especially true if you’re going in the water with your sun shirt. Don’t forget to reapply over time.

Best shirts for men

Best of the best

Vapor Apparel’s Men’s Sun Protection Shirt

Vapor Apparel’s Men’s Sun Protection Shirt

Our take: Stylish shirt that keeps you dry, airy, and protected from the sun.

What we like: Boasts moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties to prevent odor. Lightweight and breathable. Long sleeves and high neck provide extra coverage.

What we dislike: Sizes run small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Baleaf’s Men’s Sun Protection Shirt

Baleaf’s Men’s Sun Protection Shirt

Our take: Affordable, long-sleeve sun shirt for those active outdoors.

What we like: Provides a comfortable fit; resists moisture and odor buildup. Ideal for being active in the sun. Solid value.

What we dislike: May stain or wear down easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

O’Neill’s Men’s Basic Skins Sun Shirt

O’Neill’s Men’s Basic Skins Sun Shirt

Our take: Stretchy, appealing slim-cut shirt that provides protection and comfort when active.

What we like: Designed to stretch without wearing down; fits close but comfortable. Variety of color choices available. Ideal for use in water; prevents rashes.

What we dislike: A bit pricey. Short sleeves leave arms exposed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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