Tuga Sunwear
The Premium Snorkeling
Sun Clothing Company

Wearing clothing instead of sunscreen is what most serious snorkelers are choosing now, for their own health, and the health of the reefs.

And Tuga Sunwear in our minds has not only the best quality products, with very unique and useful features for snorkelers, but they are also a wonderful USA based company worth supporting. You pay a bit more, but we definitely think it is worth it.

Tuga Clothing Features:

  • High quality Italian made fabrics that are tested to meet their UPF claims. We still get sun through lower end fabrics.
  • Snorkel line made from recycled plastics.
  • Very comfortable and stretchy.
  • Snorkeling specific features like hoods and thumb hole cuffs that cover your head and hands, and buttons that attach shirts to leggings.
  • A huge range of sizes up to 4XL.
  • Love it or return it 60 day return policy.

Tuga Company:

  • USA based in California. Their snorkel line is sewn in house.
  • 100% solar powered company.
  • They treat their employees well.
Galen & Nicole with John, the owner of Tuga Sunwear.

We like Tuga Sunwear and their products so much we partnered with them. We test new products for them, and they have implemented a few of our improvement suggestions.

We first met the nice folks from Tuga a few years ago at a diving/snorkeling trade show, and we saw what was then a new line of unique snorkeling specific rash guards or sun protective swimwear. But we were not quite ready yet. Then in 2018 at another trade show we connected up again and we thought the product line was really developed and unique and we had a meeting to see if the owner was someone we might get along with.

And we really got along well. John, the owner of Tuga is a really nice guy, who has his heart in the right place. We have since talked often with him, and learned a lot about his company's history and his, and now consider him a friend. We also flew down to California to visit his business to make sure that we wanted to partner. We got a good sense for how he treats his employees, received a tour of his factory and warehouse, and came away really happy we had visited. It was very interesting to see how the sun protective clothing is made, right here in the USA.

We also tested a number of pieces of their clothing in the water on a snorkeling trip, and as expected, loved them. The snorkeling shirts and leggings are extremely practical, good looking, and for the quality, a good value.

John describing to us how the fabric is cut before sewing.
The sewing room in California. His staff is working on a big order of custom sunwear.
Lots of thread colors.
They have a big warehouse of products ready to ship. Although much of what they do is custom order.

Dye Sub machine for printing photo realistic images on sun clothing.
They also do custom silk screening. John said the fellow working this machine was an artist, and had been doing silk screening for John for many years. Nice guy.

Tuga's History

Tuga Sunwear

Walking into Tuga's business we immediately got a sense that this was a place we liked. We were met at the door by his friendly Labrador (he pretty much had us at the dog), there are a couple of cats who also live at the office, and there was fun graphics and colors on the walls, and different offices had lots of personal touches. It felt homey and an easy place to work at.

John's business started in their home years ago. When traveling in Australia they noticed a unique kids' swimwear garment that was not available in the states. And when they came home lots of people wanted it for their kids. And that's how it started. A small family business, making swimwear in their home. It grew over many years, and has remained family owned. John's kids have often been the models for his clothing, from children into adulthood.

They now have grown into five different brands.

  1. Tuga Sunwear
  2. SunBusters - An Australian inspired UPF 50+ kids’ swimwear line with clean lines and pops of color.
  3. Molehill Mountain – Kids’ outerwear and accessories line offering the highest quality gear you can find for kids.
  4. PlayaPup – Pet line offering UV protection apparel and accessories.
  5. LokoSphere – As the founders’ kids grew, so did their interests. Three of the kids play lacrosse and we saw a need for a more functional and effective goggle strap for girls and it’s now a reality! Our full line of active wear and accessories for junior girls just launched!

The Environment - Always in Mind

John is very aware of the issues with sunscreen damaging reefs, and feels strongly that wearing clothing is a better option. But he is also aware of the growing issues of micro-plastics in our waters. In fact the washing instructions for their clothing lines recommends the best methods to reduce this problem. And his snorkeling line is made from either nylon from recycled fish nets or polyester from recycled bottles, so very eco-friendly.

He is also on the board with Ecology Project International, a non-profit educational organization focused on science education and conservation worldwide through field-based student-scientist partnerships. Through projects like their local education programs with youth in Costa Rica, the hunting of sea-turtle eggs has dropped from a human predation rate of 98% rate to less than 1%. We like that!

An Employer With a Conscience

In today's corporate world, we really want to partner with companies who treat their employees well. So that was something we looked into on our visit. And we came away pleased. Tuga pays a good wage, with good benefits, and they really go out of their way to help and protect their employees, many of which have been with the company for lots of years. It is nice to see a USA manufacturing company succeeding with a conscience.

Our Partnership

As our part of the partnership we have been testing Tuga's products and giving feedback for improvements. We are also helping to get the word out to our snorkeling community about Tuga, and receive a commission on sales purchased through links on our website and other publications. We feel Tuga is a great company to support and we plan on helping them grow.

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