Riders Sleeves
7.3Overall Score
Quality7.5
Value5.5
Performance7.5
Comfort9
Aesthetics7

I was lucky enough to win a pair of Riders Sleeves in a Facebook contest, and I’ve been using them regularly since they arrived (a little over a month).

The features of Riders Sleeves are as follows:

– One Size Fits All – stretches up to 24″
– 99% UV-R, UV-A and UV-B protection – protects against sun burns and aging from the sun
– 2% cooler than bare skin – Wet the sleeves for a stronger cooling effect.
– Seamless design for comfort with non-slip elastic bands at the top and bottom of the sleeves – made from Tactel® and Lycra®
– Anti-microbial fabric, absorbs moisture and is fast to dry
– Comes in black, white, pink and sky blue
– Hand wash only cold water.  Do not bleach or iron.  Hang to Dry.

I think that this product is genius.  I love them and highly recommend them, especially to the fair skinned or those with a history of skin cancer in their families.  They are a truly fantastic product.

I love the cooling effect from wetting the sleeves on a hot day.  They feel almost as if you’re personally air conditioned.  It makes a huge difference when it’s over 90 degrees.  My farmer tans have diminished quickly since starting to use these (Yay!) and I can see they work very well at blocking the sun.  From 70 – 85 degrees they are great alone without water.  They are not hot and barely noticeable.

They have become very handy now in September (and will also be awesome in October) for transitional weather.  We are still having 80-95 degree days here in Northern California, but it is cooling down to the 60’s quickly in the evenings.  The sleeves have helped negate any chill from the quick cool down and are great at keeping the wind off.

They are a true one size fits all as the stretch level is pretty amazing.  The fabric is soft and comfortable.  They do slide down however from time to time just a hair.  They absorb sweat and are fast to dry.

I have a couple of issues with them.  The main issue is that they are hand wash only.  I am too lazy for that and often find myself going a whole week without cleaning them (gross).  I also made the mistake of getting white (though we loved the look of the white when they were really white).  I’ve been having some issues getting them back to pure white after wearing them to the barn all day.

I talked to the owner and had it explained to us why you shouldn’t wash these in the washing machine.  The UV protection can be washed out of the fabric if there is any bleach or warm water.  They also will get caught and pulled and possibly tear if put in with anything that snags.   They ran tests that showed that as long as you wash them in cold water by hand, the UV will not diminish.  After 15 Machine Washes, the UV protection will diminish from 99.8% down to 99.5%.  So as long as they are not bleached they will be fine in the wash, but the protection will diminish over time.  Even after all the testing, the UV percentage it’s still higher than many UV shirts or sunblocks out in the market.  So maybe I’ll start throwing mine in the cold cycle and see what happens.

Right now they only come in 4 colors.  I’d love to have some bright purple ones…or royal blue…or hunter green or any number of other colors to go with our different polos for schooling.  I don’t particularly dig pastels, so the sky blue and light pink will not join my closet.  I will however be picking up a pair of these in black and maybe another white once spring rolls around.  I cannot imagine going through a summer without them now.

What colors would you like to see?

I’ve also found similar products from other (non-horse) companies that sell for less and are almost exactly the same, so the value on these are a little lower.

 

June 2015 Update – my Rider Sleeves died!  They probably would have lasted a bit longer if I hadn’t started washing them in the washing machine, but they started to go threadbare and fall apart in early May.  They quickly became unusable with the elastic failing.  They lasted approximately through 7 months of wear, using them 3 days a week.