Summer gear guide for guys who love the sun

There’s no time like summer to draw people outdoors to see friends, go on a long hike or hit the town. Aside from good friends and good health, here are four other essential things guys need to take their summer to another level.

The Right Clothes

Getting clothes for summer doesn’t just mean buying a fresh wardrobe. It means having clothes that are designed to suit the season.

You don’t want to have to run home and change every time your t-shirt gets sweaty because the fabric retains moisture. Plus, it’s helpful to have a casual t-shirt you can wear in the morning that also looks good when you go out at night. Many people associate wool with winter, but you can get a Merino wool t-shirt that looks great, naturally wicks away moisture, and regulates your body temperature effectively.

You can add layers in winter to be comfortable, but when it’s hot out, you have to wear at least one thing — make sure it’s breathable and resistant to odors and wrinkles.

Sun Protection For Your Skin

Sunscreen is very important and while there's no shortage of options out there, picking one that is 'reef safe' is the first step, and picking one that includes lotion to help moisturize is important too. Additionally, depending on where you are going, make sure to avoid sun lotion without scents since that can attract insects. Skincare brands like Neutrogena make a wide variety of high-quality options including Hydro Boost that offers 50 SPF but also hydration to help protect the skin and keep it from drying out.

Summer Games For Social Distancing

While team sports such as volleyball or even baseball aren't on the agenda this summer, there are other options. For instance, you can have a blast with a buddy by simply going to the park and throwing a ball around. It could be a football, a baseball, or even a Frisbee. Just make sure to keep plenty of hand sanitizer on hand and consider even bringing a spray bottle of alcohol to clean the balls.

Any excuse to get outside and hang out with friends is what it’s all about. Throwing in some exercise to boot is a good bonus.

Stylish Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays — they’re not just very cool, they’re essential. Don’t bother with sunglasses that are less than UV400, as you won’t get full protection for your eyes. For guys like me that wear prescription shades, I love the folks at Sport RX who have some great options for active guys but you can also find more affordable - but still great looking - options at online retailers like Eye Buy Direct and Smart Buy Glasses who even has an app that can help read your prescription directly from your existing lenses.

Yes, the sunglasses at gas stations are affordable, and some of them look cool. But they do more harm than good. The dark shade reduces visible sunlight but doesn’t protect against UV rays. Your retinas open wider and are more susceptible to sun damage.

You need good sunglasses for health reasons, but you need many sunglasses because they’re cool.

Hats To Protect from The Sun

Hats and bandanas are a great accessory all year round but choosing the proper one for summer is especially important. For instance and for guys with thinning hair, a custom bandana can be the difference between a fun afternoon with the guys ... and a fun afternoon followed by a painful itchy scalp caused by a sunburn. I love a well-fitting classic baseball cap but prefer to avoid mesh backs to avoid burning my head. However, if I am going out fishing or offroading in the desert, I like to make sure I have a light-weight hat with a nice big brim like my Wallaroo hat. This not only keeps me cool but also to reduce glare in my eyes and shade my face from the direct sun. Sunscreen is important ... but if you can help reduce the sun's impact with proper clothing choices then that goes even further!

Take advantage of the season while the sun is still out! All you need is some smart-looking clothes that can withstand the heat, a bike to bolt around town, balls to toss in a park, and some slick shades to protect your eyes and keep you looking good.