Happy 2014! Are you looking for a challenge in the New Year to help reach your fitness goals? Consider becoming a 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete.
Our athletes are fitness fanatics who are also concerned about sun safety. Whether your life is at the water, on the mountain, or on the court, we want to know about the extraordinary things you’re doing outdoors, protected by Coolibar of course, and share it with our sun-loving community. So bring on the sunshine, because it’s no match for Coolibar athletes.
Still not convinced? Hear from a few of our former athletes.
“I thought the whole athlete sponsorship program was super fun and it was really inspirational to be part of.” – Sevve Stember
“I loved being an athlete representative for Coolibar. My teammates were envious of my sun-protective clothing!” – Molly Baross
“I am truly happy and lucky to have had this opportunity. I am deeply saddened it has come to an end.” – Kristie Cranford
Now accepting 2014 applications. Apply Now to become a 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete.
If you live in the state of Minnesota, Mr. John Randle needs no introduction. For those of you not familiar, Randle is the former defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer known for his sacks, elaborate black face paint, energy and his mouth. In fact, they say this guy never shuts up, earning him the nickname “Motor Mouth.”
We love a guy with something to say, especially when he’s reviewing our products. Randle has tested almost every athletic shirt on the market and knows a thing or two about workout wear. Because he’s already a fan of our first generation Fitness Shirt we couldn’t wait to get his opinion on our update to the 3D dri SUNTECT® fabric used in our fitness shirts, we’ve added a new cooling feature called COOLTECT™. Our Short and Long Sleeve Cool Fitness Shirts incorporate moisture activated cooling particles that lower skin temperature in addition to a quick dry mesh side panel for improved air flow making the shirts feel ultra cool and lightweight.
Randle, a fitness fanatic, works out 6 days a week – running, walking & resistance training. He had plenty of opportunities to test our Cool Fitness Shirt. Below is our Q&A session.
Coolibar: What’s the most important feature you look for in the fitness clothes you choose to wear? JR: Comfort, durability, longevity and style – it has to look good!
Coolibar: What are your overall thoughts on our Cool Fitness Shirt? JR: It works great! The shirt is comfortable, wicks sweat, washes well and looks good, unlike some competitors. Each time I wash it, it Looks Fresh. My body felt cooler and I could concentrate on my workout.
Coolibar: How well did the cooling dots perform? JR: They worked, I felt cooler, while my body heated up. It felt like a cool breeze was coming over me, or like I was running near a vent. I looked and there wasn’t a vent near me.
Coolibar: Did the fabric meet your expectations? JR: YES! It’s comfortable, breathable and cool. It’s not just a workout shirt, I wear it on the weekends and sometimes even sleep in it too, it’s that comfortable.
Coolibar: Did the fabric stick to your skin? JR: No, it’s light & breathable. I loved your fitness fabric before, but the new one is even better. It feels so much lighter.
Coolibar: What score would you give our Cool Fitness Shirt on comfort, scale of 1-10? JR: 10, I Love it! It’s very comfortable. Sometimes I even wash it when I get home so I have a clean one to wear the next day.
Coolibar: Would you recommend this garment to a friend? JR: Heck yeah! I want all my friends to try it.
Coolibar: Is sun protection important to you? JR: Yes, it’s Important for a healthy life. I think about sun protection, but probably not enough. Your clothing has changed my perception of sun protective clothing – Coolibar looks great and feels great. I wish more people knew about Coolibar and your products.
A final piece of advice from Pro Football Hall of Fame Member, John Randle: “Exercise is important to your overall health and you need to keep a positive perspective on it. Look forward to your workout and build it into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.”
Thanks John for making Coolibar a part of your workouts. Our Cool Fitness Shirts for both men and women are 20% off, now through November 21, 2013.
Our newest fabric, Cooltect, now incorporates sweat-activated, cooling technology into every UPF 50+ Coolibar Fitness Shirt! When the body begins to perspire, tiny dots printed inside the fabric work to absorb moisture and activate a cooling agent that actually lowers the temperature of your skin. Check out this review from Coolibar Athlete Chad Hannon, an adventure race competitor and all around healthy living devotee.
I am the kind of athlete that gets hot when I compete or train. In fact, I get so hot that other athletes regularly notice my lack of clothing. No…I’m not “Shirtless Guy” at your local 5k. Although I understand that guy, I still maintain that a shirt should be worn in races. However, I am the guy that is caught wearing just a shirt in races in January and February. No coat. Remember, I live in Illinois.
For instance, last February, I ran an eleven mile race through Starved Rock State Park. The temperature was twelve degrees at the start, and at times when the course took us right by the ice filled Illinois River the wind chill would drop to zero or less. I ran it in an Old-school Coolibar long sleeve fitness shirt. Yes, I did have a hat and light gloves, I’m not totally nuts. You get the idea how warm my body burns though when I compete.
Fast forward to August of this year, and I’m racing the Thunder Rolls 24 hour Adventure Race and it’s 90+ most of the daylight. The humidity taking the heat index past 100 degrees through the hottest part of the afternoon. What am I wearing? Yep, an Old-school Coolibar fitness shirt. I did opt for the short sleeves. The same guy who only wore a shirt in zero is now wearing pretty much the same shirt in 100.
I can honestly remember saying out loud as I ran along “Coolibar needs a cooling shirt! I mean ‘Cool’ is in their name!”. So, I was excited to find out THEY HAVE ONE NOW!
First, from a style standpoint, I was happy so see they stepped up the style. Coolibar shirts always look nice, but they did the stitching in a more contrasting color and it really looks great. I love it.
Second, they kept it just as comfortable. That is to say, it’s one of the most comfortable shirts you will ever own. I have no idea why Coolibar shirts are so comfy, but they are. The fabric is stretching and soft and just feels awesome. I gave my teammate a Coolibar shirt to run a race with me and it’s become a standing joke between us that it’s all she wears now. I am constantly seeing her on Facebook wearing it to a mountain bike race, a long trek, or even to dinner. She swears by its comfort, and so do I.
So, I really can’t tell you how the cooling works. It’s science beyond me. I can just tell you from experience that it does. It is a welcome addition to an already fantastic shirt.
Let’s face it, the ultimate fitness shirt is one you don’t notice you’re wearing. This is it!
Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Ambassador Chris Cronick spends a lot of time outdoors, teaching spin classes at the gym and traveling around the community to raise awareness for lupus along with her husband Patrick. Coolibar provided them with a few items to test during their busy month. Chris shares their thoughts on fit and function.
Coolibar is an awesome sun protective clothing line for those with lupus (like me) because we need UV protection, yet want fashion and comfort. My husband Patrick and I had the opportunity to try some fantastic items throughout the past couple of months.
I don’t know about you, but when I shop, I’m always curious to know the size and measurements of the model so I can visualize how it may fit on me. I’ve included some pictures so you can see how Coolibar fits on real people. I’m 5’8” and about 130 pounds. I wear extra small and small sizes.
One of my favorite Coolibar items is the Vera Resort T-Shirt (size small). I love this shirt so much that I now have it in Fig and Turkish Blue! It didn’t cling around my waist and was longer for my arms, providing great coverage. It’s the softest (almost silky) long sleeved shirt I have ever owned. I’m all about layering, especially living in Minnesota. This shirt can be worn alone or perfectly layered underneath a short-sleeved t-shirt, under a button-down shirt, a light jacket or vest. In fact, I thought it would make a great Christmas gift so I’m getting a couple more for my family!
I sported the Vera Resort T-Shirt, along with the Fitness Jacket in White/Iron at the most recent Twin Cities Lupus Walk for Hope event. There’s reflective piping which makes this the go-to jacket for walking the dog at night (picture upper left). There’s a zippered pocket perfectly situated on the front chest. I found this to be a nice, handy home for my cell phone. I also like the wrist cuffs which double as gloves. How ingenious is that? This lightweight, breathable jacket provides all the sun protection I’ve come to know with Coolibar with the same fitness savvy details you find in more expensive brands.
_ I also wore the black ZnO Long Sleeve T-Shirt for the Lupus Walk for Hope in Duluth, MN. I like this T-shirt because it has a sturdier cotton/spandex construction perfect for a cooler yet sunny day. Again, the ZnO is another great layering staple. I needed to be comfortable for the two-plus hour ride to Duluth, so I wore the ZnO Long Sleeve T-shirt paired with the ZnO Beach Pants. I like to be comfortable when I travel but still feel put-together. As you can see, these beach pants are also great for doing the elliptical at the gym too! You can wear them for virtually anything. They really are an everyday pant, not just for the beach.
My husband Patrick does not have lupus but has very fair skin and burns easily. I encouraged him to try Coolibar as well, so he wore a few pieces to each walk. To give you an idea of his stature, he is 6’1”, about 220 pounds and mostly wears extra-large. He is tall with broad shoulders and long arms. He finds Coolibar fits his frame perfectly with a little extra “give” where he needs it. He really liked the Men’s Fitness Jacket in Limelight/Iron and the XL fit him great. The sporty colors combined with the functionality and design of the jacket made it perfect for layering up or down. There is a zippered pocket on the sleeve that conveniently held his cell phone and zippered pockets on the front that held our car keys and some money. Lightweight, breathable 3D dri SUNTECT® fabric makes this jacket sun-protective and the surface grid wicks moisture for quick-dry performance. He wears this to the gym all of the time.
I welcome any comments or questions you may have about the items I mentioned. I also want to extend my gratitude to the wonderful people of Coolibar and the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota who opened my eyes to sun protection clothing. I wish you all the very best of health!
LFM Ambassador Chris Cronick received free sun protective product for the purpose of this review.
The 7th annual “Win-The-Fight” SavageMan Triathlon Festival at the Deep Creek Lake State Park in western Maryland attracted nearly 1100 elite athletes from 30 states and several countries including Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand on September 14, 2013. Athletes competed for more than a medal as the event raised vital funds for the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, a voice for melanoma prevention, detection, care and cure.
According to the Foundation’s President, Greg Safko, “The ‘Win-The-Fight’ SavageMan Triathlon Festival has garnered much international attention as arguably the world’s toughest and most savage triathlon at the half Ironman distance.” Besides attracting the world’s most accomplished triathletes to test themselves and compete in the “#1 Hardest Race on Earth!” as rated by Triathlete magazine, the event also informed athletes, spectators and donors that melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer among young adults ages 25 to 29, and if not prevented or detected early, is extremely formidable. “We’re very proud that our signature “Win-The-Fight” fundraising event for the Foundation is supported by a multitude of athletes, team members and sponsors such as Coolibar, to further the JMNMF mission of melanoma education, advocacy and research,” said Safko.
The SavageMan 70.0 race features a 1.2-mile swim in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, followed by the crown jewel bike stage featuring an over 6,000 foot vertical climb including the most savage ascent in all of triathlon – the Westernport “Wall”. After a 55.6 mile bike-ride, competitors run 13.1 miles on a lakeside trail and end the race with a panoramic lake finish.
Coolibar Athlete Sevve Stember is a natural born climber, always seeking the next mountain to climb. This summer, he and his wife, Andrea, moved from Minnesota to Colorado to pursue new opportunities and climbing routes. Sevve shares why climbing is important to him and journals his favorite moments during his first summer in the Rocky Mountains.
I often ask myself, “Why climbing? Why do I care about it so much? Is it significant?” I am very aware of the priority that I place on climbing in my life, so it’s important for me to grapple with these questions. I’ve distilled my reflection down to these three themes:
1. Human connection
We all seek to belong to something and to be understood. In climbing, I’ve found more like-minded people that I can connect with on many levels than I could’ve ever imagined. The journal entries below are all really special days in my life that I will look back on with fond memories and good times. Despite the obvious individual aspects of climbing, there are many profound implications that climbing has on the people that share it together. Trust, sacrifice, failure, success and frustration…these feelings are shared with my climbing partners through a common love of being outdoors and challenging oneself.
2. The Bigger Picture
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal the body and soul alike.” -John Muir
When working in Yosemite National Park, I used to share this quote with visitors as an eloquent way of getting at the significance wilderness has to a person. There are many different belief systems about how the world came to be. For instance, as a science teacher, I believe the world is very old and has been slowly changing for billions of years. When climbing, I can connect with the many different processes that occurred before I could enjoy its continuous crack system or perfectly sculpted pockets. Being in nature helps humans tap into a state-of-mind that is hard to come by elsewhere, it helps us connect with our beliefs—whatever they might be.
3. Progression, Goals, and Self-betterment
Climbing routes are graded by difficulty, providing climbers with data to see personal improvements. Personal growth is something that drives me in all aspects of my life. The motivation I receive from trying to climb harder routes spills over into other aspects of my life, such as being a better teacher or learning how to be a more supportive husband. This matters because it helps me be a more productive, efficient and passionate member of society.
It was a summer to remember, to say the least. Seeing new sites, sharing beautiful vistas with friends, sleeping under the stars with my wife, and I continue to learn along the way. Although at times I do have doubts about how I spend my time, I know that finding that thing that drives me to new places: good friends, higher goals, are critical to living a fulfilling life.
Summer 2013 Climbing Journal: My First Summer in the Front Range
After a fantastic evening on my aunt and uncle’s back porch in Rapid City, South Dakota, Andrea and I stopped briefly for a couple climbs in Spearfish canyon. We were closing in on the final leg of our move from Minneapolis, MN to Denver, CO. I hung draws on a route called “Wow!” and climbed it on my next try without falling – very gratifying!
Today I met Matt and Linde, friends of mine from Minnesota, in Boulder, Colorado. We climbed a 4-pitch route (route with four stops) called “Athlete’s Feet”. Towards the top of the route a large thunderstorm rolled in, and we descended just as the first drops hit. Linde met us and we rolled to a different crag (an outcrop of rock) to do some shorter, harder sport climbing routes. Matt is a climber that I looked up to a lot when I lived in Duluth, MN years ago; it was fun to swap leads with him all day and work a route that we both got on our second attempt.
Eldorado Canyon is known as one of America’s premier climbing destinations. I had never been there before today. Frank, a good friend of a friend, and I climbed the classic “Bastille Crack”. It was great to experience a new piece of American climbing history while getting to know a new friend.
Being the patriotic people we are, my friends Garrison, Dan, Frank, Katie and I headed into the heart of the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming to celebrate the 4th of July with some real cowboys. I’ve driven through Tensleep before, but never had the pleasure of climbing there. It was phenomenal to say the least. I set several benchmark onsights (climbing a route first try without any information) and flashes (first try; but with prior information). The trip was complete when we saw a full on cowboy brawl during the street dance. Wyoming must be the most unchanged state over the past 50 years.
My buddy Dommer flew in for the weekend and we headed north towards Estes Park. A good crew of friends were waiting for us upon arrival, and as we waited out an evening storm a double rainbow appeared over the breathtaking view of Longs Peak. The next day, we climbed granite spires and soaked in the sun.
Rifle is one of the most sought after crags in the American sport climbing scene. My wife Andrea had a week off from her residency duties and we took the chance to go check it out. From the parking lot, the approach was about two minutes. Once the sun hit the side of the canyon we were on, we’d walk two minutes to the other side of the canyon. Such good rock! Although Rifle has a reputation of being super challenging, I was encouraged by how I climbed while visiting. We also tagged the summit of Mount Massive, with a not-so-alpine-start, leaving the parking lot at 11am.
Summer draws to a close. Our friends Dan, Bron and their son traveled from Minnesota to visit for a couple days. Dan and I had been getting stoked all summer to climb the face of Longs Peak; a feature called The Diamond. In 2007, while living in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, I became familiar with The Diamond. Since that summer, I had always dreamed of climbing it.
We woke up at 1:30 a.m., slammed coffee and jammed to tunes on the five mile drive to the parking lot. Amidst dozens of peak baggers, we quickly ascended the six mile approach to Chasm View and rappelled onto Broadway ledge, which marks the beginning of the routes on the Diamond. Pitch after pitch went by as we kept a watchful eye to the east. We witnessed many thunderstorms roll in, but to our good fortune, they were always several miles away. I got to lead the crux pitch, which is one of the last pitches on the route so the full day’s toils had definitely taken their toll. I meticulously made my way up the finger crack section, followed by a full on chimney that deposited me onto the final crux bulge. With horrendous rope drag, I managed my way through the crux, and belayed Dan up. An hour later we were on the summit and our luck had run out. Sleet started to fall and we opted to make our way down the Keyhole Route instead of rappelling the Cables Route; which I predicted would have some scrambling on exposed (and recently wet) slabs. We made it back to our car feeling exhausted, but so fulfilled. Dan is embarking on a “50 noteworthy climbs by the time he turns 50 years old” adventure and this was his 1st of 50. I met a personal goal and felt really competent in a complex environment. This was a day to remember the rest of my life.
Living holistically is not easy. Coolibar Athlete Gene Meade, in one day, decided his poor eating habits were over. He traded his quarter-pounder with cheese for a black bean veggie patty with sprouts on top, unaware at the time that his decision would lead to a whole new way of thinking about healthy living. Gene shares his experiences along the path to holistic living.
I have been vegan for three years now. It basically started for me as a good way to eat cleaner and drop some weight, but a funny thing happened along the way.
I had been a vegetarian back in my younger days, mainly as a response to my mother’s horrific cooking, which was primarily based on bacon fat and Velveeta cheese. As the years went by, I gradually fell off the vegetarian wagon and once again became a full time carnivore. Building a career, raising children and living the good life, the pounds slowly crept on as the exercise stopped and the hearty eating went on. I was not back to bacon fat and Velveeta levels, but I was getting close.
After returning to running and cycling back in 2008, I began to feel better, but I knew I could not get to where I needed to be health wise without making some major changes in diet and lifestyle as well. So, in 2010, I quit drinking and became a vegan all in the same day. Nothing like subtle change!
I basically became vegan and more focused on diet and lifestyle for selfish reasons. I wanted to take care of ME. But as I navigated my way along my new path, I discovered that I was not only becoming more in tune with my body, but also more in tune with the world and life around me. It was not any one large change but numerous small changes I was making along the way. Reading food labels, shopping at the local farmer’s market, recycling a bit more. I was also reconnecting with nature through trail running.
I was also feeling better than I had felt in a long time! I had increased energy, less colds and felt stronger. I started running ultra marathons in 2011. I enjoyed the physical and mental demands of the sport, and was racing and training all on a plant based diet, which tended to surprise a lot of people!
Becoming vegan not only made me feel better, but also made me become a better person. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to know where my food was coming from, what was done to it along the way and what impact my choices made not just on me but on everything around me. It has also allowed me to meet and work with some great people and organizations, like my friends here at Coolibar. Being Sun aware is another way I stay in touch with the environment and my impact upon it.
Small changes can make a big difference, whether it’s eating healthier or finding an activity you love to stay in shape. Stay aware my friends!
Coolibar Athlete Sarah Gay is a lover of marathons and triathlons. She spends hour each week outdoors, not only training for her next Half Ironman, but doing what she considers most important of all — being an active mother. Throughout her career as a nurse practitioner, she has recognized the importance of sun protection. She also knows moms like her need fashionable, functional clothing that keeps up with a busy lifestyle. That’s why Sarah adores the Coolibar Fitness Jacket. Read Sarah’s review:
What are you overall thoughts on the jacket? This is an excellent jacket; perfect for early morning runs that start before the sun comes up so the reflective detailing was much appreciated. The pockets were great for holding my iPhone and some extra sports nutrition when going long distances. My two recommendations for this jacket would be to add actual “pit zips” for even more ventilation and more color options.
What activities did you partake in when wearing the jacket? I mostly wear this jacket on early morning runs, but it did also get quite a bit of use while I was playing with my kids on the beach during a recent vacation in Florida.
What are your favorite features? The weight of the material, the fact that it “breathes” even while you are working up a good sweat. I also appreciated the deep pockets.
What are your overall thoughts on the fabric? Perfect weight, terrific at wicking moisture keeping you cool and dry.
Did the fabric meet your expectations? Absolutely.
Did the fabric keep you cool? Yes.
Did the fabric stick to your skin? Not at all.
What do you want others to know about this jacket? The other thought I had about this jacket, or the material from which it is made, is that it would be fantastic if turned into a traditional cycling jacket. This material would be perfect for both sun protection and that little extra layer needed for keeping your upper body warm and dry when out riding in weather that is not quite warm enough for just your bike jersey. Triathlon specific gear is difficult to find and even more so if you are looking for apparel that is sun protective. I’d be very excited to see what Coolibar could come up with for tri specific gear!
What advice do you have for other athletes who are debating about using sun protection? Do it! It’s much more fun to participate in your sport when you don’t have to worry about getting sunburned and aren’t in pain because you already are sunburned.
Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun? Hydrate well and at the very least wear a hat! Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
In 2010, Paul Ridley completed his 3000 mile row across the Atlantic Ocean, solo, protected by Coolibar all the way. Why would one endure the pain that comes from 87 days of rowing 12 to 14 hours every day? To raise awareness and research funds for skin cancer.
Our former athlete for a change is still at it, and he’s now teamed up with Advil to talk about pushing through the pain to reach his goal of helping those dealing with skin cancer.
Watch his video, and you may even be inspired to volunteer your resources to a worthy cause.
If you play tennis, you know it’s sometimes difficult to find shade on outdoor courts. So this summer, Twin City Tennis Camp, a local Minnesota business, is taking great strides to educate youth and their parents on the importance of using sun protection both on and off the court.
Since I started the organization in 1999, Twin City Tennis Camp has been committed to providing kids interested in tennis a healthy, fun and athletic atmosphere. Tennis is a lifetime sport, and we want campers to have fun and stay safe!
To promote sun safety on and off the court, I reached out to Coolibar- Sun Protection You Wear to help me educate parents and players on the importance of sun protection. Coolibar is a part of our local community and once I saw the superiority of the different fabrics, I knew we had to work together. I love the 3d dri pro SUNTECT® items for tennis!
This summer, we are providing sunscreen during tournaments and informationa to educate the importance of sun safety. I want to set an example for the kids and show that wearing UPF 50+ items and broad-spectrum sunscreen is not only cool (pun intended), it will keep me safe from the sun. I am excited to begin educating the kids, while still helping them perfect their tennis stroke.
– Dan Nabedrick
“Many have the will to win, but few have the will to PREPARE to win”