The best sun shirts for women

Shirts & Tops

Sun shirts with a UPF rate of 50+ are considered the most protective form of sun protection, and unlike sunscreen, UPF grade clothing protects your skin from both UVB and UVA rays.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which sun protection shirt for women is best?

Summertime is for hiking, beach days, weekends at the lake, backyard pool parties and countless other activities spent in the sun. You are outdoors more often than any other time of the year, and more sun exposure means your skin is more at risk for sun damage. Sticking to the recommended 2-hour sunscreen reapply schedule can be difficult, and not all clothing material will protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. No matter the time of the year, sun shirts are a convenient and reliable way to protect your skin from sun damage.

What are sun shirts?

Sun-protective shirts absorb or block UV radiation from reaching your skin, making sun shirts a simple and effective way to shield your skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation measures sun-protective shirts by the Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which indicates how much ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin. To be recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation a shirt must contain a UPF rate of 30, but a sun shirt with a UPF rate of 50 or more is considered the most effective form of sun protection. 

What makes clothing sun safe?

Not all clothes will protect your skin from the sun. However, dark and bright colors made with tight-knit material will block and absorb UV rays before they can cause harm to your skin. In addition, looking for shirts with UPF labels will give you a variety of good options for summertime temperatures that are guaranteed to keep covered skin safe all year round.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Ariel Reversible Pool Hat

Wearing a sun-safe shirt means less skin exposure to the sun, less sunscreen, less of a mess and more time for fun in the sun. Expanding your closet to include sun shirts will protect your upper body from UVA and UVB light, whereas SPF will only protect you from UVB. For extra protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, pair a sun-protective top with a fully lined crown hat to protect your face and scalp. For more information on the best qualities women’s sun shirts should feature, check out BestReviews buying guide.

10 best sun shirts for women

Best of the best sun shirt

Vapor Apparel Women’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Shirt

Vapor Apparel Women’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Shirt

This shirt’s dry-fit material is lightweight, made to last and will protect your skin while keeping you cool all day long. It has a slim-fit design that tends to run small, but it comes in a wide range of sizes with multiple color choices.

Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck sun shirt

ilishop Women's UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Rash Guard Wetsuit Swimsuit Top

ilishop Women’s UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Rash Guard Wetsuit Swimsuit Top

Be swim-ready with this quarter-zip style sun shirt that has a UPF rate of 50+ and is made with a stretchy fabric. You get two styles for the price of one with the adjustable length feature that easily transforms the top from a shirt to a dress. Washing this shirt with laundry detergent will ruin the sun-protective layer, so remember to hand-wash only.

Sold by Amazon

Most comfortable sun shirt

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Morada Everyday Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Morada Everyday Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Coolibar’s sun-protective shirt is made with a lightweight cotton blend fabric that doesn’t cling to your skin. This quick-drying sun shirt comes in 19 different colors and has a relaxed fit. Users recommend that this sun shirt not be worn on extremely hot and humid days due to its thicker material.

Sold by Amazon

Best sun shirt with a hood

Backcountry Tahoe 2 Sun Hoodie

Backcountry Tahoe 2 Sun Hoodie

Featuring a lightweight hood for extra protection and shade, this sun shirt is made of a stretchy material that is soft and moisture-wicking. The UPF 50+ sun-protective fabric is easy to move in and has built-in thumbholes. This sun shirt comes in six different colors, and users said it runs true to size.

Sold by Backcountry

Best sleeveless sun shirt

Sofibella Women's UV Colors Tank Top

Sofibella Women’s UV Colors Tank Top

For those sweltering summer days, try this women’s UPF rated 50+ tank. This breathable material is great for working out in the sun while still providing coverage for the shoulders and chest.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best button-down sun shirt

Women’s PFG Tamiami™ II Long Sleeve Shirt

Women’s PFG Tamiami™ II Long Sleeve Shirt

With its easily adjusted sleeves and convenient pockets, this women’s sun shirt is perfect for a long hike in the sun any time of the year. The UPF polyester fabric allows for easy airflow to keep you cool and dry.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon

Best sun shirt with fun patterns

Women's Super Tidal Tee™ Omni-Shade™ T-Shirt

Women’s Super Tidal Tee™ Omni-Shade™ T-Shirt

Avoiding UV rays does not have to be boring. This sun shirt provides full coverage against the sun’s harmful UV rays and comes in three colorful patterns that will add some fun to your pool day outfit.

Sold by Macy’s and Amazon

Best full zipper sun shirt

Essentials Long Sleeve Zip-Up UPF 50 Rashguard

Essentials Long Sleeve Zip-Up UPF 50 Rashguard

This sun shirt has a comfortable fit and a convenient full-length zipper, making it functional for any occasion. From the beach to the lake, this sun shirt will protect your upper body from harmful UV Rays.

Sold by Amazon

Best hiking shirts with neck gaiters

BALEAF Women's Hiking Long Sleeve Shirts with Face Cover Neck Gaiter

BALEAF Women’s Hiking Long Sleeve Shirts with Face Cover Neck Gaiter

The breathable face cover design of this loong sleeve shir for your outdoor activities provides wind and UPF50+ protection for your face and neck. It’s 100 percent polyester, while the face mask is a blend of 60 percent polyester and 40 percent polypropylene.

Sold by Amazon

Best pants to go with your sun shirt

Columbia Women's Saturday Trail Stretch Pant

Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Stretch Pant

If you are going on an outdoor adventure, pairing sun-protective pants with your sun shirt will help you reach full-body coverage. These UPF 50+ straight-leg pants are water-repellent and will keep you cool even on the hottest of days. They come in multiple colors, so you are sure to find one to match your other sun-protective garments.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.