Technical UV sun safe travel gear

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 26 February 2014

There’s a lot of great hi-tech travel gear out there to save your skin from the risky summer sun. Here’s our pick of the best. We’ve also chatted to South African dermatologists and done some myth busting, click here to find the best ways to stay sun safe.

Ray-Ban wayfarers

Costs R2 290

Choose sunglasses with the right protective properties that filter out UVA and UVB rays to prevent retina damage, blindness and cataracts.

UV Gear Ray BanUV Gear-3

These are made for travel and fold away into a small box-shaped case. They block out harmful UV rays, have polarised lenses and they’re sturdy enough to stand up to daily use (I’ve had my pair for two years).



First Ascent arm protectors

Costs R199

UV Gear-6

A garment’s ability to block UV rays is indicated by Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) and a rating of 50+ will shield your skin from about 97 percent of harmful rays. With a UPF of 50+, these are predominantly used for cycling, but are also good for hiking because they’re made from light, breathable and stretchy fabric.

Outdoor Warehouse


Barmah foldaway hat

Costs R895

UV Gear-4UV Gear-1

UV Gear-5

The wide brim offers all round shade for your face, neck and ears.


It fits snugly (the elastic band is a tight, so check the fit properly), is UPF50 and you don’t have to worry about squashing it into your suitcase because it folds away into a small carry pouch and won’t lose shape.


Aussie Gear


Second Skins bodysuits

Costs from R220

UV Gear-8

Cover up the kids with a garment that has South Africa’s highest UPF of 80. These swimming costumes have been put through stringent testing to meeting international UV protection standards – and they make adult sizes too.

Second Skins


Columbia Mission Air softshell jacket

Costs R699

UV Gear-7

Use during a hike or sightseeing outing. It’s light, breathable and folds into a compact package. The dense material weave gives protection from UV rays and the garment’s wicking ability will keep you fresh. It’s quite a noisy jacket, but incredibly comfortable.