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Inside Coolibar What our customers say

A letter from a new Coolibar customer

April 26, 2013

Dear Coolibar,

I’ve never felt like writing a fan letter to a company before, but I do now.

Recently, when preparing for a Maui vacation, I entered panic city—I hadn’t been to Hawaii in 20 years and the thought of wearing a bathing suit suddenly horrified me! Local stores offered only boxy board shorts and blah rash guards as alternatives to the ubiquitous skimpy suits. I’d never shopped online for clothes before, but I was desperate!

Quickly, I discovered that only two sites, HyrdoChic and Coolibar, might fit my needs. I came across criticism about Coolibar in a few places, so I tried HydroChic first. I chose five items, though apprehensive about the ones on sale being nonreturnable. The $19 shipping fee was a shock, especially so when the items arrived, 5 days after ordering, stuffed in an envelope that barely survived intact. Unfortunately, none of the pants fit correctly (mainly because of the lack of drawstrings) but I didn’t return them immediately because at that point I had no alternatives. When I was ready to return them I realized they give you only 14 days from the date they were shipped to return them for a refund—my 11 days had long passed!

I decided to give Coolibar a try—and I’m so glad I did! I found none of the criticism I’d read to be true, save one—the fact that you don’t offer swim bras! Otherwise, I found Coolibar to be superior in every way! My 9 items were packed with care and shipped for free (they arrived 8 days after ordering; for my following order of 6 items, I opted to pay the $12.95 for 2nd day air.) All items were of the highest quality, the pants thankfully had drawstrings and the shirts had internal gripper strips as an extra feature. Also, I was amazed to find how the outfits totally withstood the abuse I subjected them to, with all the snorkeling I did and the many times I got smashed around into the powerful shore breaks and ground into the sand (I saw people in regular bathing suits practically stripped naked.)

My favorite outfit was the Ruche Swim Shirt worn with the Swim Tights (which I found versatile because with the legs pulled up they could be worn as capris.) Also, I was thrilled to find I could go swimming and then go straight to any store or restaurant (if still a bit damp it didn’t show, buy they dried fast!) It helped make my trip more carefree and easy.

Of course, your clothing’s most important feature is sun protection (having had melanoma I learned the importance of that the hard way.) It was great to only have to apply sunscreen to my face, neck, hands and feet, and never get burned. My travel companions went through bottles of sunscreen, and still got sunburned. Also, I learned on my trip that sunscreen is a source of pollution, that there are even days when the water in places like Molokini Crater are covered with oil slicks from their use!

Since I bought multiple sizes (being unsure how they’d fit) I’m very thankful that you have a customer-friendly, REALISTIC, return policy! And, it was great being able to wait until after my trip, when I was certain of what I wanted to keep, to return my unused items!

Thanks for everything, I’ll be ordering again!

Sincerely,

Deborah

Deborah in her UPF 50+ Coolibar Ruched Swim Shirt Deborah in her UPF 50+ Coolibar Ruched Swim Shirt
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Chad Grigsby Partner Athletes

Pro Angler Chad Grigsby & family reviews Coolibar

Well, this weather has been crazy. My last tournament at Beaver Lake in Arkansas took place the second week of April and there was snow flurries the first morning of the event. After that miserableness, I needed to get out of town because where I live in Minnesota there wasn’t just snow flurries, there was snow still on the ground! So, the family and I headed to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for some fun in the sun.

The first full day we got there we were able to go to the ocean. It was my youngest daughter Avrey’s first time and Isabelle’s second (though her first was when she was one and I don’t believe she really remembers it, but you never know!). They loved it! Boogie boards were bought along with noodles and they lived in the water for a week straight. Thank goodness for their Coolibar swim shirts and hats, according to my wife Bridget they were a “lifesaver.”

You see, Avrey had surgery about a month ago that has left a minor scar on her eyebrow that needs to be out of the sun at all times so the scar can heal. Historically, she has not been the most cooperative when it comes to wearing sun hats, but with the Surfs Up All Sport Hats and Reversible Bucket Hats she and Izzy were dolls and wore a hat at all times in the sun.

We all had a great time, saw dolphins, swam in the pool, hung out on the beach and, of course ate too much! I gotta say, I lived in the Pipeline Board Shorts and the short and long sleeved Aqua T-Shirt. Bridget loves the Ruche Swim Shirt, Vera Ruched Hoodie and Summer Wrap. We all can’t wait for the sun to finally shine in Minnesota to get to wear it again! I am off to Oklahoma this week for some practice then on to Lake Eufala in Alabama for a tournament next week. Sun is supposed to be shinning, let’s hope so!!

Chad Grigsby
LFW Pro Angler
www.chadgrigsby.com

Chad Grigsby received free sun protective product for the purpose of this review.

Chad with his daughters Avrey (purple) and Izzy (pink)

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New Products What's Hot

Vera SUNTECT® Review

Can sun protective clothing look and feel luxurious?

I was a big skeptic too, until now.

I work in Yorkville, one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Toronto. For American readers, Yorkville is like the Soho of New York. So looking stylish is important, but so is protecting my skin from the aging effects of the sun—without looking like I live in Boca Raton.

Every week I swing by the swish clinic owned by cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, who is our medical advisor on The Skiny.com to see what’s new in the world of skin care.

Preserving youthful, healthy skin is a top priority at Dr. Kellett’s clinic. That’s why she sells not only sunscreen but also chic black sun hats at the front desk. Dr. Kellett has a 360 degree approach to sun protection, “The best way to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging is to use an SPF 30 or higher daily, which covers both UVA and UVB rays. Also a hat, sun protective clothing and using behavioral techniques such as avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 and 4 pm and seeking shade are useful,” advises Dr. Kellett. 

Coolibar has made my life easier by offering stylish hats and anti-sun clothing that you’re not embarrassed to wear.  Honestly speaking, most companies using UPF 50+ fabrics are more about function than fashion.

Helen Vong in Coolibar’s Vera Resort T

I became smitten with Coolibar’s quality products last summer when I reviewed their Boyfriend Shirt—which was surprisingly beautifully cut—and wide brimmed hat (so glamorous!). So when Coolibar asked me to review some pieces from their new vera SUNTECT® line, I jumped at the chance.

I chose two tops in orange (Tango), their boldest color, for spring. When the shirts arrived, I did not expect them to feel as nice as some of my designer shirts. I spent the week experimenting with different looks, from work to play.

Somehow, through some magical melding of tightly woven beach wood fibers and spandex, these shirts are soft like cashmere and cut to drape your body beautifully so you can dress them up or down. And how they have managed to retain the high sun protection factor eludes me! My closet—and skin— thanks you, Coolibar for making this truly innovative fabric. Add some anti-aging power to your wardrobe with some vera pieces. 

Helen reviewed the Vera Plaza Polo and the Vera Resort T-Shirt. Shop all vera SUNTECT® products.

About Helen: Helen Vong is the Editor-In-Chief at theskinY.com, a Canadian lifestyle site focused on aging beautifully by taking care of your skin. Helen comes from the print world. She spent five years as an editor for Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine, and as a freelance writer for Elevate, Canada’s anti-aging magazine. Fittingly, her motto in life is “Work hard, play hard – but see a good dermatologist so you don’t age prematurely!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inside Coolibar What our customers say

Sun Protection Travel Wear

Coolibar Customer Cory H.

We recently received some great feedback from a new Coolibar customer after his trip to Taiwan. Cory expressed what we try to convey, he just does it much better. Cory’s note is below.

 

 

 

 

“I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased an XXL Blue Sky Sun Shirt on the recommendation of Tim Ferriss.  I got it right before a trip to Taiwan.  It was perfect.

 I wore it during the hot, humid day to keep cool and protected from the sun. 

I wore it to a semi-formal meeting where it fit in just fine.

I wore it on a boat between scuba dives.

I wore it on a scooter around the island of Lanyu after I got a little too much sun one day. 

I wore it on the plane ride home because I was so comfy. 

I never write letters about products, but I was compelled after the experience I had with this shirt.  Thanks for making a great product.”

Cory H.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Washington DC

About Cory                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Originally from Kentucky, Cory is an entrepreneur, a former officer in the Air Force and a high school basketball coach.  He loves to travel! He once rode a bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. He is always up for a good old fashioned road trip in his truck…he lived out of it for two years while exploring the U.S. He also writes about music on his blog yobigbro.com.

Cory at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial – Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coolibar Athletes

Windsurfer Marion Reviews Coolibar Stash Pocket Swim Shirt

Marion Lepert, windsurfer and Coolibar athlete, spends almost 10 hours a day in the sun. She recently returned from the US Nationals in Hood River, OR where she became the 2012 US National Women Overall Champion. While there, she used her Coolibar Stash Pocket Swim Shirt on the water. Now she shares her thoughts on its on-course performance.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?
This is a terrific shirt to wear for water activities. I have tried many sun protection swim shirts over the years, but this one is my favorite. It is light, comfortable, and practical. I also like that it is not just a swim shirt, but can also be easily worn off the water.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?
I wear this shirt when I go windsurfing in the summer.

What are your favorite features?
My favorite feature is the fabric because of how it handles water. I also like the cut and the shirt’s special features: the thumbhole sleeves and the stash pocket. When I do not have my Coolibar gloves handy, I put on my thumbhole sleeves and know that my hands will stay protected from the sun. I also like the stash pocket because it is a great way to keep keys or sun protection lip balm on me.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?
I think the fabric is what distinguishes this shirt most from other swim shirts I have tried. Unlike other shirts, this shirt does not feel heavy or sticky after I fall in the water. It stays light and dries fast.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?
The fabric exceeded my expectations!

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?
The shirt does keep me cool. This is true even when I am in the hot sun and still dry on my windsurfing board.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?
No, the fabric did not stick to my skin.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?
This is a must have for anybody spending time in the water. With sunscreens not working well in the water, this shirt offers a more reliable way of staying protected from the sun. It is light and comfortable and makes being in the water enjoyable without having to worry about the sun. I definitely recommend it!

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Molly Baross Travels Coolibar Style in Europe

What a gift to receive my Coolibar clothing as I was packing for my two month trip to Europe to compete in the World’s Master’s Synchronized Swimming competition in Riccione, Italy and attend my friend’s daughter’s wedding in France. Needless to say, I couldn’t take everything with me as I was going to be traipsing through the train stations in Italy and the metro system in France, so I had to travel light. 

While in Europe, I found I loved Coolibar hats! I wore the Santa Cruz Reversible Bucket Hat in navy and white as those are my team colors and I could accomplish being sun-protected as well as team identifiable!

I absolutely “lived” in the Sunblock Hoodie in bleached coral. The color went with so many of my other outfits that I wore it constantly. In the evening and afternoon I would tie it around my shoulders for additional warmth too. I love the fabric as it doesn’t wrinkle!

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt? 

I wore my Sunblock Hoodie all over France for a whole month.  It’s also a great cover up for the sun. When it isn’t needed it folds up very small and can be put in my purse or bag.  I absolutely love it and am looking at the other colors it is offered in!

What are your favorite features? 

I loved that it snaps easily if you want more sun protection during the day or warmth in the evening. No bulky buttons or zippers, just cute little snaps.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric? 

The fabric is amazing!  It’s light yet protective, and also warm (versatile). It washes like a dream!

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

The fabric more than satisfied my expectations!

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool? 

The fabric kept me warm in the early morning, cool in the afternoon sun, and comfortable in the evening!

Did the fabric stick to your skin? 

The fabric does not stick to the skin. It’s totally comfortable!

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

I would like your customers to know that this fabric is very comfortable, and breathable. I didn’t realize I had it on sometimes, it was that comfortable. Sometimes I needed to be a bit dressier than a tee-shirt and the Sunblock Hoodie looks smart and always fresh! I hope you can tell that I really loved it!

Thank you Coolibar,

Molly Baross

P.S. Wanted to let everyone know I won two gold medals at the Worlds Masters championship in Italy!

 

Molly displays her Gold Medal, Wearing Coolibar Santa Cruz Reversible Bucket Hat

 

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Coolibar Athletes

Peter Urban Reviews the Coolibar Sunblock Jacket

Coolibar Athlete Peter Urban plays tennis competively as often as he can. He’s done so for about 30 years now! Even though he’s had an encounter with skin cancer, he still pushes his outdoor game forward. Now he sports Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear and wishes to share his thoughts with you. Read Peter’s review of the Coolibar Sunblock Jacket.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?

When Coolibar suggested that I try out the Sunblock Jacket, I was reluctant as I am used to hoodies and jackets being heavy, and not “breathing”. However, I was very surprised by the lightweight, breathable material.  I cannot believe that it is UPF 50! It is also quite compact in that I could pack it down to almost fit in the space between my palms cupped together. I also really like the shade of blue. I like being able to put the hood up to protect my head from the sun too.

What are your favorite features?

Lightweight, breathable fabric. Athletic tailoring that doesn’t leave a ton of extra fabric in the abdomen. Hoodie – breathable and light; I prefer wearing it to a hat because the hoodie is looser fitting and more comfortable than a hat.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Feather-light, soft and breathable. Nice top that doesn’t wrinkle.  Hoodie is tailored nicely so that it doesn’t have extra material that makes hoodies look sloppy.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

It exceeded my expectations!

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes. Fabric breathes well and is lightweight.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

No.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

The hoodie is versatile. You can wear it during the day, and even though it has long sleeves, it does not make you hot because the material breathes. You can put the hood up and down as needed. As a bonus, the hoodie is good for sporting events because unlike a hat, it won’t obstruct the view of people behind you. The hoodie is great at night as well as a lightweight way to take the chill off, even if you don’t leverage the UPF 50 protection.  

Do you have any tips to stay comfortable and safe out in the sun?

I suggest UPF clothing. It allows you to play sports without having to worry about putting sunscreen on your torso, including your back, which is the most difficult to reach spot. In fact, the back is where most melanomas are found on men. A regular cotton t-shirt provides inadequate protection at UPF 5. My dermatologist recommended a minimum of UPF 50 in order to stay safe in the sun.

Get the Coolibar Sunblock Jacket.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Kristie Cranford Reviews Coolibar Fitness Shirt

Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford is a certified personal trainer, coach, marathoner, health blogger, mother and melanoma survivor. Her active, seven days a week lifestyle has prompted Kristie to try just about every active apparel brand on the market. Because of her battle with skin cancer, Kristie also understands the importance of protecting her skin. She put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares her thoughts on its technical performance. Read Kristie’s review of the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

The Coolibar Fitness Shirt is fashionable, functional, and durable. The shirt is classic, has a flattering fit and is easy to care for.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

I have worn it to the gym, running, and casually out to dinner. 

What are your favorite features?

The textured fabric was unexpected giving it visual appeal. I wore it in direct sun, 106 degree heat and could not feel the sun’s searing heat. I felt protected. 

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Soft, easy to care for, holds the shape. Again, love the texture, unexpected. 

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Exceeded. Very high quality. I have tried almost every “fitness” brand. This fabric is durable, easy to care for, and soft. 

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

YES! I was in 106 degree sun, running in the desert. I was amazed! 

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

No, I was sweating and it wicked away moisture. It was comfortable to wear and not heavy when it was sweat soaked. 

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

In the running world there are “known” fitness brands. I’ve tried almost all of them. This shirt will be my go-to long sleeve fitness shirt.  It is comfortable, functional and attractive. 

Please provide any additional comments you would like to share with us!

I have worn the shirt with jeans, and layered under a suit. Versatile shirt.

Wish it came in a short sleeve option too. (Coming soon)

 

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

There is no room for debate when it comes to sun protection, tough love here. I am a Melanoma survivor and sun protection should be automatic, like breathing. Sunscreen should be put on every day just like you put on clothes.  I use Raw Elements’ Eco Stick. It fits in my purse, my running shorts and in the built in pocket in all the Coolibar swim bottoms

I recently ran a half marathon where the starting temperature was 95 degrees. We were under the baking sun for the duration of the race. I carried my Eco Stick and reapplied during the race. It goes on underwater, so of course it goes on over sweat. No excuse not to protect yourself from the sun.

Do your best to avoid the sun during the peak part of the day, and if you cannot, look for shade, wear UV protective sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen (don’t forget to reapply) and UV protective clothing. 

Get the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Tania Prymak reviews Coolibar Water Jacket and Bike Gloves

Coolibar Athlete Tania Prymak competes in ski cross by winter, but in the summer, she builds her endurance by biking 20 miles every day. Despite having kidney disease, Tania pushes herself hard in hopes of qualifying for an Olympic spot on the U.S. ski cross team. She also knows that whether she’s biking on the pavement, or rushing down the snowy slopes, she needs to keep UV rays at bay. Now, after wearing Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear during her training, she shares her thoughts on the Coolibar Water Jacket and Bike Gloves.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?

Very practical and comfortable activity shirt! Its fabric makes the shirt extremely light and is soft on the skin. The gloves fit very well and the padding on the palms prevent my hands from hurting when I bike.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

I use the jacket and bike gloves when I bike 20 miles every day.

What are your favorite features?

The light feeling of the jacket is my favorite feature and the padding on the bike gloves.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

The fabric on the jacket is great; it’s light and breathable. The bike gloves are much thicker and do not allow the skin on the hands to breathe as much.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

The fabric exceeded my expectations. I would like if the bike gloves were made of the same fabric as the jacket, lighter fabric.

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes, it did a great job allowing me to stay cool even though I was sweating.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

The fabric did not stick to my skin at all.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

It is an amazing and practical shirt for active women who want to protect their skin from sunburn and look great at the same time!

Any additional comments you would like to share with us?

The shirt is really great, it fits well and I love wearing it. I constantly use the bike gloves so I have a few comments on them. The fabric is okay, but it would be nice if it were made of the same fabric as the jacket. Also instead of bike gloves that cover the entire hand, maybe have bike gloves that cut off at the knuckles and leave the finger tips exposed. It would also be nice if the bike gloves cut off at the wrist instead of coming down the forearm.

On the same subject, has Coolibar ever considered creating bike jerseys? I think it would be a great idea and I can think of many friends of mine who would love to use it!  It would also allow sponsored athletes like me to get Coolibar’s name out there! What if you did some promotional bike jerseys with the Coolibar logo/advertisement? I know I would wear it numerous times a week.

For hotter days, short sleeve or no sleeves would be great, and for cooler bike days long sleeves with light fabric.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

If you’re blonde and fair skinned like me, you cannot risk being severely sunburned while playing your favorite sport. Coolibar products allow you to stay cool and be safe at the same time no matter what you’re doing!

 

Tania Prymak Biking in Coolibar Water Jacket

 

Get the Coolibar Water Jacket.

Get Coolibar Gloves.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete John Barker Reviews Coolibar Fitness Shirt

Triathlete and Coolibar Athlete John Barker spent the last year training for the Life Time Triathlon in Minneapolis held on July 14th, which is the first race he’s successfully completed since donating his kidney to a stranger in 2010. While training, John knew he not only had to watch his diet and stick with a strict training schedule, but also had to use sun protection as part of his healthier living routine. He put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares his thoughts. Read John’s review of the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

What are your overall thoughts on the shirt? 

I am very impressed with the performance of the athletic shirt. I have been wearing these shirts for two months for indoor and outdoor training sessions and can say these are the best shirts I’ve worn. Not only do they protect me from the sun, but they actually keep me cooler, which is very important to having a good training session.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt? 

I use the athletic shirts for running and biking.

What are your favorite features? 

I like the fit and the feel of the fabric. Other shirts I own have difficulty keeping me dry. The athletic shirts wick the moisture away from my body, allowing me to stay cooler and not feel like I’m swimming in my own perspiration. 

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric? 

I like the feel of the fabric, and after two months of wearing and washing these shirts they have maintained their shape. They have been very durable shirts.

Did the fabric meet your expectations? 

Yes, it actually exceeded my expectations. I’ve worn Coolibar shirts in the past so I knew they would keep me cooler. I was pleasantly surprised to discover they actually keep me drier as well.   

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool? 

Yes. Compared to other shirts that I’ve worn in the past, the athletic shirt is more comfortable.

Did the fabric stick to your skin? 

No. Even during high intensity training sessions where I am perspiring excessively, the shirt never feels like it is sticking to me. One of the issues my other shirts have is that they cause chafing when they start to get wet. The athletic shirts have not had this problem, which is why I continue to wear these shirts daily.

What do you want others to know about this shirt? 

If folks are looking for a comfortable work-out shirt, outdoors or indoors, this is a great fitting shirt. The fabric keeps you cooler and dryer and won’t chafe your skin.

Do you have any additional comments? 

Since I wear the athletic shirt biking, it would be nice to have a couple of pockets on the backside of the shirt (like a cycling shirt) for storing energy bars and such for long endurance rides. I know Coolibar had “biking” clothes in the past, however these shirts are actually a better cycling shirt if they had some pockets!  Cyclists like to be aero dynamic, so loose fitting clothes aren’t going to attract attention. These shirts are a great option for cyclists.

 

John and his family wearing Coolibar Fitness Shirts for a 5K

Get the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

Also, watch John’s interview from the day of the Life Time Triathlon in Minneapolis.

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