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Scubapro has just released their new UPF Collection which includes a range of rash guard garments designed to protect your skin from the harmful damage of UV radiation. Before we take a look at this stylish new range we need to know what UPF is and how it differs from SPF.
UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) and SPF (Sun Protection Factor) are both standards used to measure the effects of the sun on your skin. However, they employ different approaches. SPF ratings are indications of the level of skin reddening and they are primarily used to measure the protective qualities of sunscreen. UPF ratings, on the other hand, measure the amount of UV radiation that a fabric blocks. For example, a garment with a rating of UPF 50 means that the garment blocks 98% of UV radiation.
As you can imagine, standardised measuring methods are used to determine the UV protection of dive wear and these tests are normally conducted on dry and / or new gear. UPF ratings above UPF 50 are considered to be in the “Excellent” Protection Category. All of Scubapro’s UPF collection are rated UPF 50 or above.
|UPF Rating||Protection Category||% UV radiation Blocked|
|UPF 15 – 24||Good||93.3 – 95.9|
|UPF 25 – 39||Very Good||96.0 – 97.4|
|UPF 40 – 50+||Excellent||97.5 – 98+|
But, in true Scubapro style, their new T-Flex rash guards go above and beyond UPF 50 to be tested against the UV Standard 801. UV Standard 801 is a much harder and much more stringent test that uses the most sensitive skin type and the maximum intensity of radiation using the solar spectrum in Melbourne, Australia on 1 January (in other words, at the height of the Australian summer). The fabric is then tested in relaxed, stretched, wet and dry situations. The T-Flex rash guards have achieved the highest rating available of UPF 80 under these tests.
So, with the understanding that UPF 50 is excellent and UPF being on a new scale of excellent we can take a look through the new Rash Guard collection which is split into these two UV rating brackets.
Besides providing UV protection, rash guards are very useful multi-purpose garments to have when enjoying scuba diving, snorkeling or pretty much any other water sport. When worn by themselves they are a barrier against stinging jellyfish and help protect the skin against abrasion damage. They also make getting wetsuits on and off much easier and more comfortable to wear by creating a low friction layer between the neoprene and your skin.
Scubapro’s top of the line rash guard for 2017 is made of 86% super-soft nylon and 14% spandex for comfortable and stretchy fabric that earned the T-Flex a UPF 80 certification by UV Standard 801, the only UV certifying standard that tests fabric in real conditions of use. These garments are designed to form-fit the body, provide a soft feel, and are available in different models for men and women.
The UPF 50 rated range of rash guards are made from a high quality polyester that offers a nice feel and provides good colour fastness. Polyester is comfortable yet durable, abrasion resistant and it does a good job of retaining its shape after repeated use. In addition to the short and long sleeve tops available in the T-Flex range there is also a full length skin suit for head to toe UV, sting and abrasion protection.
The Men's UPF 50 range comes in long sleeve and short sleeve tops as well as the full length skin suit. Both versions are available in Black, Blue and Graphite colour schemes with the blue and graphite tops featuring a stylish pattern to the arms.
The Women's UPF 50 also has long sleeve and short sleeve tops that are available in Caribbean, Jewel and Graphite / Onyx colour themes that match those of the T-Flex line, allowing the tops to be combined with the T-Flex leggings for extra protection. The full length skin suit is available in graphite and jewel colour schemes.
Lastly, the new Scubapro UPF Collection includes loose fitting Channel Flow garments that utilise a special one way wicking fabric that pushes moisture away from the body and toward the surface layer where it can evaporate faster. The loose-fit design of channel glow
garments enhances comfort and helps keep the skin dry.
The Women's Channel Flow comes in a long sleeved zipped top that is available in Caribbean and Jewel colour schemes that again match the the colours and patterns of the T-Flex Leggings.