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Sun shirts have exploded in popularity in the last few years. I remember going to the beach or out on the boat and not wearing a shirt. Sure I lathered up in sunscreen, but I still always managed to get burnt. And I wasn’t alone, you never saw people wearing sun shirts like you do today.

Nowadays, you see them everywhere–on the beach, out boating, even the people working outside have adapted to the lightweight, breathable material over the traditional cotton shirts.

If you’ve been following this Caribbean blog for any amount if time, then I’m sure you’ve seen a photos or videos of Crystal and I rocking a sun shirt of some type down in the islands or on a beach here in Florida.

Honestly, I love them. I wear them every single day when we’re in the Caribbean. You can see that here at Honeymoon Beach on St. John.

Today, I want to tell you that not all sun shirts are created equal. One of my favorite Caribbean clothing companies makes a wide range of men’s and women’s sun shirts, and they do it with some cool island style.

HIHO R3 Sun Shirt Review

Hiho Sun shirts

Let me introduce you to the British Virgin Islands clothing company, HIHO and their new men’s R3 UPF50 sailing sun shirts.

First, let’s talk about the sun protection and the difference between SPF and UPF.

Sun Protective Clothing Defined

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) measures the amount of UV light that passes through fabrics, while Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures the amount of time it takes sun-screened skin to start to burn, or, in other words, the effectiveness of sunscreen. So when you think of sun protective clothing, you’re going to want to think in terms of UPF and the level of protection it gives you.

While sunscreen helps keep sunburn and sun damage from forming, the best prevention is to wear clothes. But did you know that even lightweight cotton and linen shirts still allow a good deal of the sun’s UV rays to pass through?

If this is a concern of yours, do yourself a favor and reach for sun protection clothing, even if you’re already wearing sunscreen. Our favorite sun shirts are from HIHO because they are made with a unique mesh that is lightweight, protective, and fast drying.

HIHO R3 Sun Shirt Material

You might think all sun shirts are the same. Just grab one and you’re good to go. Nope.

I have several different brands hanging in my closet and I can say that there’s a big difference. Some brands and materials are just better than others.

A local southwest Florida brand which we do like, uses a more dense, less breathable polyester. It sticks tightly to you when it’s wet, like when you’re getting out of the water. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of that.

mesh sun shirt material

HIHO uses more of a mesh material which is a proprietary poly/spandex pique.  The pique is the secret.  It makes the clothing breathable and super comfortable. It doesn’t stick to you when wet and dries quickly. It’s also UPF50. You can see the mesh material in the close-up photo above.

HIHO R3 Sun Shirt Style

The market for sun shirts is becoming a little more innovative to accommodate more diverse, even mainstream aesthetics, of which we are happy about. No one wants to wear something boring or common.

This is where I think the R3 from HIHO really stands out.

As you can see by the photos, the R3 has a cool casual look, but has a high-end vibe with its collar and button sleeve style. You’ll have no problem going from the boat to the bar or restaurant in this sun shirt. It’s a very cool look that I think will very popular with the boating and sailing regatta crowd.

Here’s a run down on the HIHO R3

  • Offers excellent sun protection at UPF50 with their Suntek material
  • High-end style with button cuffs, over-stitched collar, long placket, and side slits
  • Cool Caribbean graphics sewn as a patch on the back and printed on the front.
  • Easy cleaning as it’s machine washable and hang dry

Pro-Tip Benefit of Sun Shirts

It’s hard to pack everything you want to when traveling to the Caribbean. Crystal and I try to pack light every time, but always manage to over pack much to the dismay of the struggling zippers on our luggage.

A big benefit of sun shirts is they are incredibly easy to pack. The light-weight material easily rolls so you can fit a large amount of them in your suitcase. You’ll be able to fit twice as many sun shirts in your bag than you would cotton shirts.


I love to support small businesses in the Caribbean, and HIHO is one that makes you look good doing it. I highly recommend the R3 for its cool upscale sailing style and brands eye-catching island designs.

If you would like to browse the men’s HIHO R3 Suntek sun shirts or their other clothing options, click here to visit their online store.

Ladies, you can view the women’s sun shirts here. Crystal has several of the tops and a cool pair of bottoms that she loves.

And if you want to see more of the islands, I recommend following HIHO on Instagram and Facebook. They are always posting awesome photos of the BVI and USVI.

Cheers and never stop exploring!

Ryan – RumShopRyan


P.S. – Leaving soon? These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip:

We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Crystal and I greatly appreciate any support!

About the Author: RumShopRyan

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.