Travel Essential: Coolibar

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It was 120 degrees in Egypt on my first trip in 1993, and because the sun was almost directly overhead, there was very little shade to gather under as we listened to long-winded tour guides extolling the virtues of pyramids, obelisks and stone carvings. So I set aside my pride and used an umbrella, which consequently caused a few snickers from my tour group. That was when I realized I needed to bring my shade with me! And by the way, those same people who looked at me askance, were pretty desperate to stand close and try to borrow a little relief from the brutal rays of the sun!

1993: We started touring at 6:00am to try and beat the mid-day heat, so you can see a shadow at that time of the morning.
Notice the crowd in the background all huddling in the shade!
This is a good view of how flimsy the umbrella fabric is, as it is designed for rain, not for sun protection.

But a number of years ago, my mom gave me a Coolibar umbrella as a gift, and now I don’t go anywhere without it! I can tell the difference (up to 15 degrees cooler!), and since I’ve never been a fan of slathering myself with sun screen, it provides great protection when I need it, and can be put away when I don’t. Plus, when it is windy, the hinges allow it to turn inside out without being damaged (which, on a recent trip to Cartagena came in quite handy!).

In the Getsemani neighborhood of Cartagena, Colombia, where it was VERY hot and humid
Good photo (taken in Mazatlan, Mexico) of the underside, where you can see the metal armature and the thickness of the fabric
Cabo San Lucas
The high elevation and the location right on the equator in Quito, Ecuador made it imperative to protect myself from the intensity of the sun, even when it was overcast.

Check out this short video:

About Coolibar (cut and pasted from their website):
Coolibar is one of the most recommended and tested sun protective clothing companies in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, the company was founded in 2001 and makes a range of UPF 50+ swimwear, everyday wear and fitness wear that blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays and is guaranteed for the life of the fabric. Coolibar was the first clothing company to receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. The brand is also recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology and the Melanoma International Foundation.

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