Sunburn: What a UPF Umbrella can do for you

1 in 3 Americans report getting sunburned every year, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources. That's a lot! Two of the most popular ways to prevent sunburn are sunscreen and UPF umbrellas. Both products reduce sunburn, but the question is, how much?

UV radiation comes in two forms, direct and diffuse. Direct means the radiation comes directly from the sun and hits you, diffuse means radiation that bounces off an object (such as snow) and then hits you. UPF umbrellas are great at blocking both, in fact they block 99.9% of direct UV radiation, according to researchers Hao Ou-Yang and Thomas Shyr.

We've found the two main factors that affect your UV exposure and sunburn are:

  1. Umbrella size
  2. Time of day

 So, let's get into it!

Importance of Umbrella Size

In regard to diffuse UV radiation, the width of the umbrella determines how much diffuse radiation it absorbs. According to researchers Caroline Opene, Mary-Margaret Chren, and Eleni Linos:

The amount of indirect ultraviolet (UV) light is proportional to the amount of visible sky from the shade, leading experts to recommend deep shade: trees near to other trees with dense foliage, buildings that block the sky, roofed areas, large shade sails or pergolas made of high–UV protective factor (UPF) material.

This indicates that the width of the umbrella affects how much radiation hits you from the side. According to researchers María P. Utrillas, Jose A. Martínez-Lozano and Manuel Nuñez:

For an umbrella of 80cm radius and 100cm high, our results show that approximately 34% of the incident horizontal irradiance is not intercepted by the umbrella.

Time of Day

The protection offered by umbrellas is primarily affected by what proportion of the UV radiation is direct versus indirect. See the graph below:

umbrella uv upf spf protection transmissivity hour of day or time of day

As the graph's description says, the umbrella is most effective at reducing UV radiation between the hours of 11am and 2pm.

Using a UPF Umbrella will save your skin

The HHS recommends two key sun protection and sunburn prevention strategies:

  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and other protective clothing, seek shade, especially during midday hours.Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin.
  • Remember that sunscreen is most effective when used in combination with other methods, and when reapplied as directed.

    Golf Store Outlet also offers Banana Boat Sunscreen to best protect you from the sun. As the HHS says, a combination of strategies is the wisest approach to sun protection, and our 57" diameter Suntek UPF umbrella (68" arc) and 49" diameter Suntek UPF umbrellas (62" arc) are the right way to prevent sunburn.




    SunTek umbrellas are designed to be the only umbrella you will ever need, no matter the situation. The reflective exterior canopy features the highest possible ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50+ to help you stay cool and protected from harmful UV rays. The double-canopy, Vortec Venting System allows wind to flow through the canopy to help prevent the umbrella from inverting during strong wind. Rain or shine, SunTek has you covered.



    The SunTek 68" Windcheater Umbrella protects you from harmful UV rays, while simultaneously keeping you cool in the sun and dry in the rain! This vented umbrella features a silver coated double canopy, and the Vortec Venting System prevents the umbrella from inverting in strong winds. The 68" SunTek Windcheater Umbrella is large enough to keep you and your gear dry in the rain. The fiberglass shaft and ribs provide extra safety in the event of a lightning storm. The oversized, ergonomic, rubber handle is comfortable for both right and left hand users. Dimensions: 42.5"L x 2.5"W x 2.5"H; 1.7 lbs.


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