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Frequently Asked Questions about Sun Protective Clothing:






What are the top 10 benefits of Solartex's Sun Protective Clothing?


  1. 50+ SPF/UPF tested fabric offers broad-spectrum sun protection from over 97.5% of UVA & UVB rays. Designed in Australia by innovators of sun protection clothing.
  2. Won't wash off like sunscreen. Easy to use-reduces the hassle & uncertainty of applying body-covering sunscreen.
  3. The breathable, quick drying fabric, 2-way stretch fabric won't slow down an active outdoor lifestyle like a heavy, wet, clammy T-shirt, yet it provides over 5 times the SPF/UPF protection.
  4. Similar to a rash guard surf suit, it reduces surf and sand irritation-great for swimming, snorkeling, surfing and boogie boarding!
  5. Quick drying--great at theme and water parks! Bright colors make your child easy to spot!
  6.  Insulates the skin from the heat-stay cool & comfortable.
  7. No harsh chemicals.
  8. Chlorine resistant fabric maintains its shape and is well made, durable and long lasting (most children can wear them for two seasons).
  9. Provides added warmth in cold water.
  10. The Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology all recommend sun protective clothing and swimwear as a sun protection measure. 




Why should I choose one of the Solartex brands instead of another kind of sun protective swimwear?

Solartex BrandSolartex carries 3 brands of sun protection clothing. Solartex manufactures its own line right here in the United States.  Proudly made in America, the Solartex brand uses exceptional Italian made P.B.T. fabric made of 100% polyester that is sturdy without being heavy. This chlorine-proof material provides the perfect fit and is breathable, maintains its shape, is quick drying, resists "pilling" and  provides 2-way stretch. The 50+ SPF/UPF fabric is tested for  broad-spectrum UV protection and provides maximum protection from over 97.5% of UVA & UVB rays. The fabric has no added chemicals, the tight weave provides the protection. Solartex specializes in plus size swim shirts rash guards, swim pants, swim shorts and sun sleeves.

Our largest selection of sun protection swimwear is manufactured by Stingray Australia. Stingray is known as the "original sun protection clothing company in Australia"  and they specialize in rash guards, plus size swim shirts for men and women and long and short sleeve surf suits and full body coverage suits for all ages and sizes. Stingray uses the same 50+ SPF/UPF, chlorine proof, Italian made polyester fabric for supreme fit and durability.

Our third brand is made by Sun Emporium of Australia. Sun Emporium uses bright colors and a high quality, 50+ SPF/UPF, chorine proof, polyester fabric. Solartex works with Sun Emporium to design our own line of colorful, cute, high quality UV swimwear and swim shirts for infants, toddlers, boys, girls, men and women. Sun Emporium has been manufacturing sun protective wear for a number of years.

Sunsuits, rash guards and swim shirts made to mimic the Australian sun protective wear can be found at many surf shops and big box stores. But these imitators' swimsuits are often not tested for SPF/UPF and are made of flimsy material that the sun can easily penetrate. Frequently, these items are not chlorine resistant and fall apart after one season of use, whereas all of our items are made to withstand the sun, chlorine and the ocean, and have been known to last for years. (Chlorine resistant items are noted in the product description.) Some imitators' suits and shirts block as little as 70% of the sun's UVA/UVB rays, while our clothing blocks over 97.5% of these damaging rays. Others do not offer the generous coverage of our suits, but stop far short of the elbows and knees.

So if you want UV protection clothing made by innovators in the business and tested for maximum protection at 50+ SPF, choose one of our products and feel assured that you and your children will receive maximum protection in a cool, comfortable, chemical-free swim shirt or suit. 





Why is sun protection important?


Babies in the sunEveryone knows by now that sun exposure may cause wrinkles, spots, and skin cancer. It may even cause melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. 

The American Cancer Society states that:

        • Research shows a link between sunburns in childhood and an increased risk of melanoma and skin cancer later in life.
        • Protecting skin from the sun during childhood and adolescence is very important in reducing the risk of skin cancer as an adult.
        • About 80% of skin cancers could be prevented by protecting skin from the sun's rays.

The American Cancer Society recommends a 3-prong approach to sun protection with their "Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap" campaign. They suggest you "slip" on a shirt made of "tightly woven fabrics", "slop" on 15+SPF sunscreen, "slap" on a hat that shades your face, neck and ears and “wrap” around some sunglasses.  Find all of these items at Solartex. 




Why clothing? Isn't sunscreen alone, enough?


No. Clothing is recommended because it can reduce exposure to a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Clothing absorbs or blocks much of the radiation from sun exposure. With our variety of long and short sleeved swim shirts and long and short sleeved all in one suits, or full body suits, plus our swim shorts and swim pants, you can cover as much skin as you are comfortable with, both enhancing your protection from UV rays and reducing your exposure to chemicals from sunscreen. While sunscreen remains an important part of a balanced sun protection plan, many organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend wearing tightly-woven protective clothes. 

Sunscreen originally blocked only UVB rays, the ones that cause a tan or sunburn. UVA rays were thought to be safe, but scientists learned that UVA rays are dangerous. Now most sunscreens block some UVA rays, but not all of them, and scientists still don't know whether the most dangerous UVA rays are being blocked.

Some research suggests that sunscreen may not prevent melanoma, and may even contribute to the increase in melanoma rates because it gives a false sense of security and it allows people to stay out in the sun longer and be subjected to more damaging sun rays. In fact, melanoma rates have increased dramatically since sunscreens became popular. (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18022535; http://www.nature.com/clpt/journal/v89/n1/abs/clpt2010227a.html.

Older articles: Peter Jaret's article, "Truth, Beauty, and Skin Cancer" in the July/August 1997 issue of Health. International Journal of cancer, Sunscreen Use and Malignant Melanoma, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0215%2820000701%2987:1%3C145::AID-IJC22%3E3.0.CO;2-3/abstract;jsessionid=987ED9884F507BAD6E2129688F319BBE.f01t03 . Also, see Dr. Phillippe Autier's article, "Sunscreen Use, Wearing Clothes, and Number of Nevi in 6-to-7-Year-Old European Children" in the December 16,1998, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.)

 Research indicates that most people do not apply enough sunscreen to achieve the desired SPF, and in practical use often achieve an SPF protection equivalent to between 3 and 7. The average adult needs to apply more than one ounce per application and frequent reapplication is required. And sunscreen is hard to apply properly--it is easy to miss a spot and end up with sunburn! Water, wind, heat, humidity, and altitude can decrease sunscreen's effectiveness and it rubs off, sweats off, rinses off and fades away making it necessary to reapply regularly. Studies also show that many people apply sunscreen after sun exposure begins and may take up to one hour to apply it to their children. Since sunburn can occur within minutes, a large quantity of sunscreen must be applied to all family members before going outside. Besides the expense of trying to use sunscreen effectively, it is often a hassle--especially with small children! 

In addition, sunscreen is chemical based, protective clothing is not; the tight weave of the material provides the sun protection. And a small percentage of people may be sensitive or allergic to some of the active ingredients in sunscreens. Furthermore, experts recommend that parents refrain from using sunscreen on infants under 6 months old and instead rely on protective clothing and keep them out of direct sunlight. 

For all these reasons, it makes sense to wear protective clothing... the sunscreen that never wears off! 





Why can't I just use a T-shirt?

While a very heavy, dark, tightly-woven T-shirt may offer sun protection, most summer-weight cotton T-shirts offer as little as 10 SPF dry and lose 50% of their SPF when wet. The minimum SPF recommended by the American Cancer Society and others is 15. (The protective qualities of sunscreen are rated by the Sun Protective Factor-SPF-which indicates the length of time someone can spend outdoors without burning. When using a 15 SPF lotion, a person who normally burns after 20 minutes can tolerate 15 times 20 minutes(300 minutes) without burning.) In addition, our sun protective wear is designed for the water--it's quick drying and fits well, unlike a wet clammy T-shirt that hangs on you and may weigh you down in the water.




What type of material is your sun protective clothing made from?


Solartex, Sun Emporium and Stingray all use exclusively manufactured chlorine resistant polyester fabrics. What makes these fabrics unique is their weave. There are no chemical additives that will wash away with time. The material combines a unique weave and specialized dyeing process to produce a fabric that is tested to provide a SPF/UPF rating of 50+ and blocks over 97.5% of UVA and UVB rays. This is the maximum protection available. The material used by Solartex and Stingray is a P.B.T. fabric made of 100% polyester that is sturdy without being heavy. This fantastic fabric is chlorine-proof, and provides the perfect fit with unparalleled techno-performance. On top of that, it is exceptionally breathable, it maintains its shape, it's fast drying, it resists "pilling" and it provides 2-way stretch. The result is durable, comfortable, flattering sun protective clothing and swimwear. The Stingray leisure wear items are made of a Water Resistant Micro Fibre Fabric which is exclusive to STINGRAY and is cool and light to wear. The Sun Emporium fabric is also 100% polyester with similar properties. 




What is the UPF Classification system? What is the difference between UPF and SPF?


Solartex sun protection clothing and swimwear is rated using the UPF classification system. UPF is short for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and is a fairly new rating system that was designed for sun protective clothing and swimwear. It is designed to measure the amount of both UVA and UVB radiation that can pass through a fabric to your skin. The higher the rating, the better the protection.  Unlike SPF ratings,  (SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor) which are typically used to rate sunscreens and other cosmetics, UPF measures both UVA and UVB radiation.


An SPF number shows the amount of protection that sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. A higher SPF number means more UVB protection. SPF doesn’t tell you anything about protection from UVA rays. The SPF number correlates to the amount of time you can spend in the sun before you get burned, so with an SPF 30 sunscreen, you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in the sun. And that’s if you correctly apply the sunscreen! If you are using sunscreen, look for broad spectrum sunscreen that also protects against the sun’s UVA rays.


To compare UPF and SPF, it’s important to know that SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. No sunscreen protects you completely.

Using similar percentages, here is the UPF Classification System:

UPF Rating UV Protection UV Blocked
15, 20 Good Protection 93.3% to 95.8%
25, 30, 35 Very Good Protection 95.9% to 97.4%
40, 45, 50, 50+ Excellent Protection >97.5%

Source: Australian Radiation Laboratory

For more info see:







Will my child be able to wear these items for more than one summer?

We recommend that you buy at least one size larger than your child currently wears in the Stingray items. Sun Emporium items run larger. For example, if your child wears a size 3 or 4 now, then order a size 6. If your child wears a size 5, try an 8. However, if your child is bigger than average, buy two sizes larger. If you choose the right size, the all-way stretch fabric should provide you with two summers of wear before you pass it down to the next child!




Aren't they hot?

This is a frequently asked question. The answer is no, they are not hot. In fact, they were originally designed for Australia's blistering heat. The material is similar to that worn by long-distance bike riders and other athletes. While they cover more of the body, they are made of a tightly-woven, lightweight and cool material. In addition to filtering out the sun, tightly-woven clothing reflects heat and helps to keep you feeling cool. See http://www.binghammemorial.org/health-news/health-topics/sun-protection-for-children.html




Are there special care requirements for your sun protective clothing?

Our sun protective wear can be worn at the beach or the lake, to the pool, or anywhere you or your child will be outside and need protection. (They're great on a boat, while jet skiing, or at a theme or water park.) Just remember to rinse them well after wear and let them dry in the shade. Avoid the dryer, use mild detergents and don't pack them wet. The fabric is chlorine resistant, but it is still important to remember to rinse well after use in chlorine. Don't worry if you accidentally put the garment in the dryer, it will not ruin the fabric. The sun protection derives from the weave, the color and the material, but there are no chemicals that could wash out or be affected by the dryer. We advise not to use the dryer because over time, it does begin to degrade the material.




Frequently Asked Questions about My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits:




What are the advantages of the My Pool Pal flotation swimsuit?

My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits allow children to learn to swim, become strong swimmers and develop confidence during water activities. Parents have the comfort of knowing their children can play and enjoy the water while wearing this innovative flotation swimsuit. They offer the following advantages:


  • My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuit is the most advanced swimsuit with Underwriters Laboratories component recognized foam (for use in Personal Flotation Devices) built right in.
  • One Piece Upright - My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits are designed so that children float feet down with their heads in an upright position. Kids gain confidence in the water, therefore allowing for the development of muscles required for more advanced levels of swimming.
  • Learn to swim aid - While wearing My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits kids actually learn to swim. They do not become dependent on their Pool Pal. Whether or not the children know how to swim, this extra protection gives parents greater peace of mind, and kids love it. The My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuit is now the Official Flotation Training Swimsuit of Swim America.
  • Sports - Swimmers wearing their Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits can maintain greater endurance for all sorts of activities: water sports, pool games, swimming practice, snorkeling, water aerobics, playing in the deep end, the lake, or the ocean; it provides extra help to tired swimmers.
  • Comfort - In contrast to other style suits, floats, belts, and vests, the design of My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits allows kids to play unrestricted in the water. The UL recognized foam won't absorb water, won't deflate, won't slip off in the water, and floats cannot be removed by curious fingers. My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits provide children with a greater sense of confidence in the water, resulting in a better environment in which to learn how to swim.
  • Relaxation - Children should be taught that when relaxed in the water and not swimming, My Pool Pal will keep them straight up in the water. They will learn that when they are tired of swimming they can relax in the water until they are ready to swim again.
  • Mobility Assistance - My Pool Pal products are also well-suited for individuals with disabilities who wish to enhance water-based physical therapy and enjoy water activities! These high quality garments offer the user added confidence and security in the water.




How long can my child wear the My Pool Pal suit?

When properly cared for, most children can wear the suit for two to three seasons.




How do I know which size to choose?

Please consult our size chart here. Also, please remember that the My Pool Pal swimwear is intended for a snug yet comfortable fit. Be sure to select exactly the right size, not one the child will eventually "grow into."



Warning: Parents should know that the My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits is NOT a Coast Guard approved life preserver and can not be represented as such. My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuit should be used with adult supervision at all times. Hands-on assistance should be provided for small children learning to balance in the water. Swimmer's performance varies according to body density, weight, age, ability, environment and experience. If a Swimwear Flotation Device is needed (one which meets Coast Guard standards), please order the Aqua Force suit.

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Solartex Sun Gear, Inc.
  • 10608 Purcell Rd
  • Glen Allen, VA 23060
  • (877) 476-5789 - Phone
  • (804) 364-4613 - Fax
  • info@solartex.com

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