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The Elixir UV Arm Sleeves

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: The Elixir UV Arm Sleeves arm/leg sleeve

The Elixir UV Arm Sleeves provide inexpensive, lightweight protection from sun and bugs, while keeping the wearer cool and comfortable. Worn on a 7-day hike with temperatures reaching the upper-80s, this reviewer was extremely satisfied with the sleeves' performance.

Pros

  • Sun protection
  • Protection from insects
  • Cooler than bare skin
  • Compression
  • Sleeves stay in place
  • Complete coverage of longer arms
  • Price

Cons

  • Durability

The UV Arm Sleeves was an impulse buy, as I used an online gift card given to me at Christmas. Costing $13.99 for a four-pack, I thought of numerous activities this fair-skinned Scot-Irishman might use them for. I started off very skeptical of the claims that these sleeves would be cooler than bare skin, and I became a true believer.

The sleeves were worn on a seven-day backpacking trip through Shawnee National Forest during the last week of May. Daytime highs ranged from 78°F-88°F. Rainy conditions kept mosquito conditions low, but other biting insects were present throughout the week. 

Fit & Comfort: The sleeves were not overly tight, adding just the right amount of compression to the arms. Seamless construction eliminated rub points. The sleeves covered my extra-long arms from above my bicep down to the wrist. The sleeves stayed in place, and I never had adjust them anytime during my trip, even with the constant motion of swinging trekking poles.


IMG_20200528_061854563.jpg

Sun Protection: The Elixir's website rates these at 99.8% UV protection. During my trip I spent hours hiking in direct sunlight, and my arms remained as pasty-white as the rest of me. 

Bug Protection: I was satisfied in two ways. First, as simple arm sleeves, they kept gnats and black flies from getting caught in the hair of my arms and taking a bite. Second, I treated these with permethrin prior to my trip for tick and mosquito protection. The only bug bites I had all week were on my legs from spending a day in shorts. 

Cooling/Breathability/Moisture: As I mentioned I was skeptical on the cooling claims. I assumed these would wick away sweat, much like my shirt, and that would be it. These are, in fact, COOLING sleeves. The sleeves absorb and retain sweat to regulate the speed of evaporation. To cool down, the wearer can soak the sleeves in water or simply wait to start sweating. In 80-degree temps, I tested the concept by hiking while wearing only one sleeve. I could tell an immediate difference. The sleeved arm was significantly cooler than the exposed one, even in the shade. 

Weight: I wore the sleeves every moment of my hike, but at only 1oz (28g) for the pair, throwing these into my pack during the shoulder-seasons is a no-brainer. 

Durability: A 1/2 star reduction on this point. These sleeves will not last forever. I noted thread pulls and snags after two days of hiking. These increased daily. However, by the end of seven days, I felt there was plenty of life left in the pair I used. Package instructions say to hand wash only, but I threw them in the washer with the rest of my gear, and they came out no worse of wear. 


IMG_20200524_064731801.jpgDay 2

IMG_20200525_130343862.jpgDay 7

Background

As mentioned, the sleeves were worn for 7 days, 90 miles on the River-to-River Trail in Shawnee National Forest during the last week of May 2020. High temps ranged from 78°F-88°F. Bugs were plentiful.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $13.99/4-pack

Arm covers to protect you from the sun.

Pros

  • Sun protection
  • Lightweight material

Cons

  • None seen

Sun protection using lightweight arm sleeves that have numerous color choices. In the hot summer, a long sleeved shirt may make you feel too warm. While wearing a short sleeve shirt, the arm covers prevent sunburn and help keep your arms cool. In the shade, take them off it you want. They compress to a baseball size. I have another pair from a bike gear company that costs $30+ and liked them a lot.

I looked online and found lots of black ones that seemed they would be too hot. I came across Elixir brand with 1 size fits all (they do stretch a lot) in different colors. Grey seemed better than white to hide dirt and the price was less than the other pair.

Hiking in the sun with the sleeve covers really prevents sunburn and keeps me cooler.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10

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Specs

Price Reviewers Paid: $10.00-$13.99
Product Details from The Elixir »

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