5 Best Lightweight Kite Flying Apparel: Top Choices for Comfort and Performance

June 26, 2024 7 min read

Kite flying is a delightful outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kite flyer, wearing the right clothing can significantly enhance your experience.

Colorful kites soar against a clear blue sky, while lightweight apparel flutters in the wind. The sun shines brightly, highlighting the joy of kite flying

Choosing the best lightweight apparel ensures that you remain comfortable and agile while flying your kite. This article will guide you through the top picks for clothing that is both practical and fashionable for your next kite flying adventure.

1) O'Neill Men's Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

When it comes to kite flying, staying comfortable and protected from the sun is crucial. The O'Neill Men's Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt is designed for this purpose. Its UPF 50+ rating offers maximum sun protection, which is essential when you're out in the open for extended periods.

This long sleeve shirt is made from a blend of polyester and spandex. The fabric is lightweight, ensuring that you stay cool even on the hottest days. Its quick-dry technology reduces sweat buildup, making it perfect for high-energy activities like kite flying.

You will appreciate the ergonomic seam placement in this shirt. The design minimizes chafing, allowing you to move freely and comfortably. The seamless paddle zones enhance durability and flexibility, making the shirt a reliable choice for active individuals.

The O'Neill Men's Basic Skins Shirt also boasts a snug fit. This feature reduces friction and wind resistance, which can improve your kite flying experience. Additionally, the shirt's slim profile makes it easy to layer under other garments if needed.

Its basic yet stylish aesthetic means you can wear it both on and off the field. Whether you are an experienced kite flyer or a newcomer to the sport, this shirt is a practical addition to your outfit.

2) Columbia Women's PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt

A colorful Columbia Women's PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt billows in the breeze, paired with lightweight kite flying gear, against a bright, sunny sky

The Columbia Women's PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt is designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. Crafted from lightweight, breathable fabric, it provides optimum comfort during extended kite flying sessions.

This shirt boasts Omni-Shade UPF 40 sun protection, shielding your skin from harmful UV rays. The moisture-wicking material keeps you dry, even on hot, sunny days.

Vented back panels offer improved airflow, making sure that you stay cool. The quick-drying fabric is a bonus if you get caught in unexpected rain.

Its antimicrobial treatment helps keep the shirt fresh even after long periods of wear. The relaxed fit and button-up design ensure ease of movement.

Equipped with roll-up sleeves that secure with a tab holder, this shirt offers versatility. You can switch to short sleeves if it gets too warm.

The two chest pockets with hook-and-loop closures provide convenient storage for small items like your phone or keys. Ideal for kite flying, this design ensures what you need is always within reach.

The Columbia Women's PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt balances practicality and style. It comes in a variety of colors to suit your preference. This shirt is a reliable choice for outdoor activities.

3) Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody

A colorful kite soars high in the clear blue sky, while a person in a lightweight hoody watches from below

The Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is an excellent choice for kite flying enthusiasts.

This hoody is made from lightweight, quick-drying material, ensuring you remain comfortable throughout your kite-flying sessions. Its fabric is designed to wick moisture efficiently, keeping you dry in various weather conditions.

The hoody also offers a UPF 50+ rating, providing ample sun protection. Its built-in hood adds extra coverage for your head and neck. The fit is relaxed, allowing unrestricted movement.

Its durable construction can withstand frequent use, making it a valuable addition to your outdoor wardrobe. With its sleek design and functional features, the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is a reliable option for any kite-flying adventure.

4) Under Armour UA Tactical HeatGear Compression T-Shirt

A desert landscape with a clear blue sky, a lone kite flying high in the air, and a folded Under Armour UA Tactical HeatGear Compression T-Shirt resting on the sand

The Under Armour UA Tactical HeatGear Compression T-Shirt offers a sleek design for kite flying in hot weather. Made from a blend of polyester and elastane, it ensures durability and flexibility.

This shirt features HeatGear technology to provide a cooling effect during rigorous activities. The compression fit delivers muscle support while reducing fatigue, meaning you can fly kites longer without discomfort.

Its moisture-wicking fabric efficiently manages sweat, keeping you dry. The anti-odor technology prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes, keeping the shirt fresh throughout your kite flying sessions.

With a lightweight construction, the shirt doesn’t weigh you down. It fits snugly but allows for full range of motion, important for maneuvering your kite. The smooth, chafe-free seams add to the comfort.

Available in various colors, it's easy to match with your preferred kite flying outfit. The Under Armour logo is subtle yet recognizable, adding a touch of style to your gear.

5) REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie

A colorful kite soars high in a clear blue sky, tethered to a figure wearing a vibrant REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie, standing on a grassy hill

The REI Co-op Sahara Shade Hoodie is designed for those who enjoy outdoor activities like kite flying. Lightweight materials ensure you stay cool and comfortable in various weather conditions.

This hoodie offers UPF 50+ sun protection, shielding you from harmful UV rays. Its breathable fabric allows for excellent ventilation, reducing heat buildup.

The material is quick-drying, perfect for unexpected weather changes. Adjustable hood and thumbholes provide extra coverage, ideal for prolonged sun exposure.

With a relaxed fit, it allows a wide range of motion, making it easier to control your kite. The hoodie also includes a zippered pocket to safely store small items.

Understanding Lightweight Materials For Kite Flying Apparel

A colorful kite soars high in the sky, held by a lightweight, durable string. The kite flying apparel is made of breathable, weather-resistant materials, allowing the kite to glide effortlessly through the air

Choosing the right lightweight materials for kite flying apparel ensures comfort and agility while enjoying your favorite activity. These materials offer breathability, durability, and ease of movement.

Benefits of Lightweight Apparel

Lightweight apparel is crucial for kite flying due to its comfort and functionality. You need fabrics that allow air to flow, keeping you cool during extended periods under the sun. Breathable materials like polyester and nylon wick away sweat, preventing moisture build-up.

Light materials reduce strain, making it easier to move and adjust your position. They also dry quickly if you get splashed with water or sweat, avoiding the discomfort of wet clothes. Durability is another advantage, as these fabrics can withstand the wear and tear typical of outdoor activities, providing you with long-lasting use.

Common Fabrics Used

Polyester and nylon are popular choices for kite flying apparel due to their lightweight and breathable nature. Polyester is resistant to stretching and shrinking, making it a reliable option for active wear. It offers excellent moisture-wicking properties, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Nylon is known for its durability and elasticity, allowing for a wide range of motion. It’s also quick-drying, which is beneficial if you encounter wet conditions. Some kite flying apparel may also include spandex for added stretch and comfort, ensuring a fit that moves with you.

Using materials like mesh panels can enhance ventilation, providing targeted breathability in areas where you need it most.

Features to Look For in Kite Flying Apparel

Bright colored kites soaring in the sky, with lightweight, durable apparel on the ground. Wind-resistant materials, adjustable straps, and vibrant patterns

When choosing kite flying apparel, prioritize breathability, UV protection, and durability. These features ensure comfort, safety, and longevity of the clothing.


Good breathability is essential in kite flying apparel. Look for fabrics such as cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking synthetic materials. These fabrics allow air to circulate, keeping you cool and comfortable.

Mesh panels and ventilation zippers are other key features that enhance breathability. Apparel with these features helps in preventing overheating, especially on sunny days.

Avoid heavy or non-breathable materials that can trap heat and cause discomfort. The goal is to remain cool and dry, enhancing your overall kite flying experience.

UV Protection

When flying kites, exposure to the sun can be significant. Apparel with built-in UV protection is crucial to shield your skin from harmful rays.

Look for UPF-rated fabrics which are designed to block UV radiation.

Long sleeves, wide-brim hats, and neck gaiters are excellent additions to your kit. These items provide additional coverage and protection against sunburn.

Check the labels for UPF ratings of 30 or higher to ensure adequate protection.


Durability ensures that your kite flying apparel can withstand the elements and repeated use. Choose materials that are resistant to tears and abrasions, such as ripstop nylon or heavy-duty polyester.

Reinforced stitching and double-stitched seams add to the longevity of the apparel.

Consider apparel with reinforced knees and elbows if you often fly kites in rugged areas.

Durable apparel ensures your clothing remains functional and effective, even after many kite flying sessions.

Care and Maintenance of Kite Flying Apparel

A colorful kite flying jacket hangs on a hook, while a pair of lightweight gloves and a hat rest on a table nearby. The apparel looks well-maintained and ready for a day of kite flying

Proper care and storage of your kite flying apparel can prolong its lifespan and maintain its functionality. This section will cover specific guidelines on how to wash and store your apparel correctly.

Washing Tips

To keep your kite flying apparel in top condition, it’s crucial to follow these washing tips:

  1. Read the Label: Always check the care label on your clothing for specific washing instructions. This ensures you follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  2. Use Mild Detergent: Opt for mild, non-bleach detergents to avoid damaging the fabric. Harsh chemicals can weaken fibers and reduce clothing durability.
  3. Cold Water Wash: Washing with cold water helps preserve the fabric's elasticity and color, preventing shrinkage or fading.
  4. Gentle Cycle: Use the gentle cycle on your washing machine to reduce wear and tear. Over-agitation can harm delicate materials.
  5. Avoid Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave residue on performance fabrics, affecting their breathability and moisture-wicking properties.
  6. Air Dry: Air drying is preferable to machine drying, which can cause fabric shrinkage and decrease the lifespan of elastic fibers. Lay your apparel flat or hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to prevent color fading.

Storing Your Apparel

Appropriate storage practices are essential to maintain the quality of your kite flying gear:

  1. Clean Before Storing: Ensure your apparel is clean and dry before putting it away. Storing damp or dirty clothes can lead to mold and mildew growth.
  2. Fold or Hang: Depending on the fabric, fold your clothing neatly or hang it to prevent wrinkles and retain its shape. Use padded hangers for items that need to be hung.
  3. Breathable Storage: Store your apparel in breathable containers or garment bags. Avoid plastic bags, which can trap moisture and lead to mildew.
  4. Cool, Dry Place: Keep your clothes in a cool, dry place to prevent fabric degradation. High humidity and heat can weaken fibers and reduce the garment's durability.
  5. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading and fabric degradation. Store your apparel in a shaded area to maintain its color and integrity.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you ensure your lightweight kite flying apparel remains in excellent condition for many flying seasons.