Do Sun Hoodies Keep You Cool? Unlayering the Truth

Last Updated on 26/03/2023

Do Sun Hoodies Keep You Cool?

Do sun hoodies keep you cool? Some do, but I have found some of the cheaper sun hoodies get too hot and become very uncomfortable once you break a sweat. Only the best sun hoodies, which have special fabric blends to wick moisture as well as block UV light, will keep you cool when hiking.

With rising temperatures and increased sun exposure, it’s essential to stay protected and comfortable when spending time outdoors. Sun hoodies are a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts for their ability to shield the skin from harmful UV rays without the need for sticky sun lotion. But the question arises, do these sun hoodies actually keep you cool in hot conditions?

Do Sun Hoodies Keep You Cool?

Sun hoodies keep you cooler if you are standing still. Once you begin to move around, I think sun hoodies can get quite hot, but that’s still way better than getting burnt. It’s important to consider factors like materials and features when selecting a sun hoodie to keep you cool and protected during your outdoor adventures.

The primary function of a sun hoodie is to provide UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) protection, which blocks the sun’s harmful rays while allowing the body to breathe and regulate temperature. Many sun hoodies are made from moisture-wicking and quick-drying materials, such as polyester or bamboo blends, which help to keep you cool and dry by allowing sweat to evaporate quickly when compared to traditional cotton-based clothing.

Furthermore, sun hoodies also offer additional features like lightweight fabric, ventilated panels, and sweat-activated cooling technology, which work together to enhance the overall cooling effect. For instance, the Mountain Hardwear Crater Lake hoodie is praised for its light weight and comfort on a hot day, making it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.

The Science Behind Sun Hoodies

hiking in sun with UPF hoodie

The science behind these innovative garments involves the use of advanced fabric technologies designed to block UV radiation while promoting breathability and moisture-wicking. In this article, we’ll delve into the research and engineering that makes sun hoodies an essential addition to your outdoor wardrobe, ensuring you stay cool, dry, and safe under the sun.

UPF Protection

Sun hoodies offer Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) protection, which refers to the effectiveness of a fabric in blocking out harmful UV rays. Sun hoodies with UPF 50+ fabric protect wearers by blocking out about 98% of UV radiation, greatly reducing the risk of sunburn and long-term sun damage. Studies have shown that wearing UPF clothing can significantly reduce a person’s exposure to harmful UV rays and consequently lower the risk of skin cancer.

Breathable Fabrics

One of the key factors in keeping cool while wearing sun hoodies is their breathability. Sun hoodies are designed with lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow air to circulate around the body, helping wearers feel cooler even in hot weather. This breathability also aids in evaporating sweat more quickly, making the wearer feel cooler and more comfortable during outdoor activities like running.

Moisture-Wicking Properties

Another key feature of sun hoodies is their moisture-wicking properties. Moisture-wicking sun hoodies are designed to move sweat and moisture away from the skin and spread it across the fabric’s surface, allowing it to evaporate more easily. This helps keep the wearer dry and also promotes cooling, as the evaporation of sweat is what ultimately cools our skin.

However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of moisture-wicking sun hoodies can be influenced by factors such as humidity. Do sun hoodies keep you cooler when you aren’t sweating though? That, I am not so sure of.

Pros and Cons of Sun Hoodies

Black Diamond Mens Alpenglow Pro Sun-Cover Quarter-Zip Athletic Hoody, Storm Blue, Small

Instead of explaining each pro and con of wearing a sun hoodie to stay cool I wrote a couple of paragraphs explaining them all together:


Sun hoodies provide excellent sun protection, as their full-length sleeves shield your arms from harsh UV rays. Moreover, they might even make you feel cooler than you would with exposed skin. These hoodies are designed with breathability in mind, making them a suitable choice for hot environments.

Some sun hoodies feature a relaxed fit, which allows for better airflow and contributes to keeping you cool during physical activities in hot conditions. They can be versatile, meaning you can wear them for various outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, fishing, and biking. They also help to protect you from biting insects when they are out in their droves.


Although sun hoodies offer many benefits, they also have some downsides. One potential issue is that some materials may not wick away moisture as efficiently as others, which might make you feel clammy during strenuous activities. This is particularly uncomfortable in humid conditions.

Another disadvantage is that the hoods on sun hoodies aren’t the best when it’s windy, as they have no adjustments or tightening cords. Other than that, they make a good base layer or mid-layer and are pretty nice to sleep in too.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sun Hoodie

Do Sun Hoodies make you hot

To make sure your sun hoodie stands the best chance of keeping you cool, you want a nice relaxed fit with soft material. here are some things you can look for:

Fit and Style

When selecting a sun hoodie, you want something that fits you well and looks good. A comfortable and well-fitted sun hoodie will be more enjoyable to wear and reduce the chance of it being too restrictive or inhibiting your movement. An athletic fit that is looser than it is tight works best for me.

Fabric Quality and Materials

The fabric quality and materials used in the construction of sun hoodies play a crucial role in their ability to keep you cool. Look for breathable fabrics that allow for airflow, as this will help maintain a comfortable temperature during hot weather activities like hiking or running. Lightweight materials like merino wool blends can be especially comfortable and effective at regulating temperature while also being odor-resistant.

UPF Rating

Sun protection is one of the main reasons for wearing a sun hoodie, so it’s important to ensure the fabric offers a significant UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. UPF rating is similar to SPF rating for sunscreen, indicating how much UV radiation the fabric blocks. Aim for a sun hoodie with a 50+ UPF rating to optimize sun protection.


In summary, sun hoodies can effectively keep you cool during outdoor activities. They provide sun protection while leveraging technologies such as moisture-wicking fabrics and breathable materials. These features work collectively to maintain a comfortable body temperature when exposed to the sun. Covering your skin with such sun hoodies can also help you avoid sunburns and potential long-term skin damage.

Do sun hoodies keep you cool? They can if you get the right one – Check out our guide here!

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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