Patagonia capilene UPF recall tag

Patagonia Issues Voluntary Recall of UPF Apparel for Falling Short of ‘Highest Level of Sun Protection’

Patagonia said its Capilene Cool Daily and Tropic Comfort lines average a UPF rating of 34, short of its advertised 50.

Patagonia today issued a voluntary recall of two apparel lines — its performance Capilene and Tropic Comfort lifestyle shirts — after its independent testing revealed the products offer an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) ranging from 17 to 45. Both lines advertise a UPF 50 rating.

“The good news is that even at 17 UPF, the products block 92% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays,” the brand told GearJunkie in an email. “The bad news is that we didn’t deliver on our goal to offer you the highest level of sun protection. We’ve pulled our existing inventory and halted distribution of the affected styles until we can fix the problem.”

This is not a safety or mandatory recall. Patagonia said users are free to continue wearing the shirts. But, anyone who’d like to make a return can do so.

To help customers identify affected products, Patagonia published a list of FAQs and product numbers here. Note: Product numbers are listed on the garment tag.

Patagonia capilene UPF recall tag

Patagonia Recall: UPF Apparel

In its recall, Patagonia said prior to launching the lines in 2019, testing showed a UPF rating that reached 70. This testing was performed during the material development process. But it wasn’t until May 2021, after the products left the factory, that Patagonia independently tested the finished garments and found the much lower UPF ratings.

“We are changing our process so this doesn’t happen again,” the brand said.

For those who wish to return the product for a refund, Patagonia will accept recalled garments at retail locations and online — with the order number from the original purchase (for those who have it) or without the order number.

Patagonia asks that those who do not have their order number wait to ship the item back until July 8, although they can start the return process now.

Patagonia said it will either retag returned garments appropriately, recycle them, or repurpose them through its Worn Wear program.

“Rest assured,” the brand said, “the landfill is not an option.”

Learn more about the recall here.

Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.