Best Rash Guard for Men and Women

Samuel Blake
Written by Samuel Blake

I clearly remember the first time that I went surfing. It was not just that exhilarating feeling of finally being able to balance on a board or surfing my first wave. What is as clear in my mind as the overall experience is the patches of skin that were rubbed raw due to the contact with the surfboard. That taught me a painful yet vital lesson – never go surfing without the best rash guard for men or women.

Rash guards are now popular with those who don’t even surf, however. This is because these shirts help to protect you from the sun and add a layer of warmth against cooler waters. Let’s take a look at some of the options available to you, whether you are male or female:

Best Rash Guard 2018

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For Men

There are several things that you are looking for in a rash guard that you will want to wear. These include the right fit, a good style, and high quality. See how these expectations are made with these rash guards:

Anthem Athletics Helo-X Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Perhaps the first thing that you should know about this Anthem Athletics rash guard is that it is not actually created specifically for being in the water. It has been designed for mixed martial arts and other exercise-related activities on land. Nonetheless, it works just as well in the water as it does on land. What I value this rash guard most for is its durability.

It is made from a poly spandex blend, which is not only incredibly strong, it is also very lightweight. The rash guard consists of multiple panels which assist with movement. The stitching holding all of these panels together is quite excellent. It is high density, flat lock stitching.

This allows you to get a lot of use out of this rash guard and it can certainly take a considerable amount of wear and tear. Not that it is all that important but I also like the camo design.

The graphics and the logos are fully sublimated. This way, you don’t have to worry about the graphics cracking or peeling even with continuous use. This is a long sleeved rash guard so it does offer a certain amount of protection against the cold and the sun. However, it does not have UV-protection which does dock a couple of points off, in my opinion.

Specs:

  • Poly spandex blend
  • Flat lock stitching
  • Fully sublimated graphics
Sale
Anthem Athletics NEW! 10+ Styles HELO-X Long Sleeve Rash Guard Compression Shirt - BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai
52 Reviews
Anthem Athletics NEW! 10+ Styles HELO-X Long Sleeve Rash Guard Compression Shirt - BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai
  • Made from lightweight, ultra-strong, moisture-wicking, compression material
  • Multi-panel construction, high-density flat-lock stitching for optimal fit and durability
  • Fully-sublimated graphics and logos that will never crack or peel
  • Optimized for the highest level of athletic performance in BJJ (line camo color options IBJJF approved), MMA, catch...
  • Want the right fit? Follow our product specific sizing chart (last product image) for sizing and fit guidance.

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Speedo Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Speedo long sleeve rash guard is a looser version of the rash guard. The fit around the arms, the shoulders, and the waist are large. This is actually good for a couple of reasons.

First off, tighter fits can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you are swimming or surfing in a warm climate. It could just cause you to sweat more.

The other reason for this rash guard being loose is due to the UPF features on the rash guard.

As it does not fit tightly over the body, the fabric is less likely to be compromised. The best thing about this rash guard is its extreme sun protection. It is made from hundred percent polyester.

Wearing this guard, you are assured that you will not have to deal with the harsh rays of the sun. This is due to the UPF 50+ fabric. The long sleeves on the rash guard further help to make sure that you don’t get burned. I would recommend this guard with people who have skin that is quite sensitive to the sun.

It comes in sizes ranging from S to XXL.

You can also get it in a range of colors.

Specs:

  • 100 percent polyester
  • UPF 50+ features
  • Improved sizing
Sale
Speedo Men's UPF 50+ Easy Long Sleeve Rashguard Swim Tee
11 Reviews
Speedo Men's UPF 50+ Easy Long Sleeve Rashguard Swim Tee
  • UV block the burn with UPF 50+ protective fabric
  • Dries quickly
  • Long-sleeve solid loose-fitting swim shirt

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

O’Neill Basic Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The O’Neill rash guard is the one that I would recommend to those who are quite sporty or are going to be quite active while wearing it.

Here, the tight fit of the rash guard is going to come in quite handy. Also, it is great if you just want something to wear under your wetsuit.

This rash guard fits every nook and cranny on your body to enhance movement. Nonetheless, it does have flatloc stitching to make sure that your skin is not irritated as the material moves over your skin.

The rash guard is made from a polyester and spandex blend. It also boats 50+ UV protection which makes it great if you are going to be spending hours out in the sun. The paneling on this rash guard is very purposeful. It has been designed so that you have a wide range of movement which is particularly useful for paddle boarding and similar activities. As mentioned this is quite a tight rash guard. Therefore, it is always best to order a size up than what you typically wear to make that it fits properly.

Specs:

  • Polyester and spandex blend
  • 50+ UV protection
  • Multiple paneling
Sale
O'Neill Wetsuits UV Sun Protection Mens Basic Skins Long Sleeve Crew Sun Shirt Rash Guard
1 Reviews
O'Neill Wetsuits UV Sun Protection Mens Basic Skins Long Sleeve Crew Sun Shirt Rash Guard
  • 6oz. Polyester/Spandex Rashguard Crew - Quick Dry, 4-way stretch
  • 50+ UV Protection Factor
  • Performance Fit: Form fitting tight layer fits like a second skin. Flatloc Stitched - To avoid skin irritation.
  • Strategic Seamless Paddle Zones
  • verify specification sheet for sizing details

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Legend Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Legend rash guard is a multipurpose one. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting a workout on land or underwater, the results are the same. If your main concern is durability then I would recommend this rash guard to you. It is made from a nylon and spandex blend.

This makes the rash guard that much softer and that much pliable. It is held together with flat lock stitching to ensure that your guard will not be experiencing rips and tears anytime soon.

You can also tell that Legend stands by their claims of quality – they offer a lifetime warranty for their rash guards.

It is also made from sweat wicking material. This means that instead of staying on your skin and leading to chaffing, the sweat is pulled away.

That’s not all, the rash guard also provides you with 50+ UV protection. You can stay in the sun all day long and be perfectly safe.

To top all of this off, the price for this rash guard is actually quite reasonable. Especially considering the investment that you are making with it. This is meant to be a tight fitting rash guard so you should be careful about the sizes before making a purchase.

Specs:

  • Nylon and spandex blend
  • 50+ UV protection
  • Sweat wicking
Sale
Legend Rash Guards Rash Guard For Men Compression & Base Layer Shirt
263 Reviews
Legend Rash Guards Rash Guard For Men Compression & Base Layer Shirt
  • 100% ALL DAY NO SUN BURN GUARANTEE - LEGEND RASH GUARDS FORM FITTING LONG SLEEVE SWIM SHIRTS FOR MEN Offers An Unmatched...
  • THE ABSOLUTE MOST COMFORTABLE SWIMMING SHIRT FOR EVERYDAY OUTDOOR WATER SPORTS & FUN - Our Rash Guard Swim Shirts Are...
  • EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT YET DURABLE FABRIC MAKES THIS BETTER TO TRAVEL WITH THAN ANY OTHER RASH GUARD SWIM T-SHIRT - Our...
  • DRIES IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES WHILE STANDING IN THE SUN - Our NEW ADVANCED FAST DRYING FABRIC Makes This Swim Shirt...
  • DID WE MENTION LEGEND RASH GUARDS OFFERS A 100% LIFETIME WARRANTY ON ALL OUR PRODUCTS & IS MADE IN THE USA? Every Single...

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

O’Neill Basic Short Sleeved Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do you like the O’Neil brand but don’t want long sleeves getting in the way of your surfing or swimming? Well, then you are certainly going to prefer the O’Neill Basic Short Sleeved rash guard.

It is also looser, and therefore a much more forgiving fit. Despite this, it still has many of the same features as the O’Neill’s discussed above. For instance, it offers you the same UPF protection – 50+.

However, you do have to remember that your arms will not be as protected. The rash guard is made from a mix of polyester and spandex. The guard also uses flatloc stitching at the seams.

This ensures not only durability but also that your skin will not be irritated by raised stitching. You can comfortably wear it for long periods of time without feeling as though you are restricted.

Another selling point for this rash guard is that it dries quite quickly. Therefore, you can use it on consecutive days without a problem.

Specs:

  • UPF protection 50+
  • Quick Drying
  • Polyester and spandex blend

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For Women

If you are looking for a stylish rash guard that will protect you from the sun, prevent rashes or scrapes, and keep you comfortable, check out these options:

DRSKIN Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-04-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The DRSKIN rash guard is actually for both women and men, it is unisex. This is definitely for someone who is performance driven and looking to push their body to the limit.

This rash guard actually doubles up as a compression shirt as well. This means that even while your muscles are working their hardest, you won’t necessarily feel it as badly later on.

After a long day of surfing, you may be less likely to experience soreness the next day. This rash guard is mostly made from polyester, with just two percent of it made from spandex.

This material works well to make sure that sweat is moved away from your body and through the shirt. It is also quick drying.

You don’t have to worry about bacteria growing or a weird smell emanating from the rash guard – there are features that keep such things in check.

In addition to all of this, it also blocks 98.8 percent of the UV rays directed towards you.

Last but not least, the rash guard is great at regulating temperature. It keeps you cool in warm weather and warm in cooler temperatures.

Specs:

  • Polyester, spandex mix
  • Quick drying
  • 98.8 percent UV protection
  • Compression capabilities
  • Temperature regulation
Sale
DRSKIN UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Top Shirts Skins Tee Rash Guard Compression Base Layer UPF 50+
1 Reviews
DRSKIN UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Top Shirts Skins Tee Rash Guard Compression Base Layer UPF 50+
  • This Rash Guard is well known for a tighter fit, quick dry, comfortable and durable for long time use
  • Fabric- Water Diffusivity laer/Water metastases layer/Water absorption layer
  • Long Sleeve / Machine wash
  • UV BLOCKING 98.8%
  • Designed for all seasons(training, baseball, basketball, soccer, American football, NFL, Squat, weight training, cycle,...

Last update on 2018-04-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

O’Neill Basic Rashguard Top

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have skin that is easily burned by the sun, I would suggest the O’Neill Basic Rashguard Top.

This is because it is excellent at keeping those harmful UV rays away. This rash guard offers up UPF 50+ protection from the sun. It has even been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Also, because it has long sleeves, you can be reassured that the most of your upper torso will be covered by the rash guard. The rash guard is made from five ounce polyester and four way spandex.

The seams are all held together by flatloc stitching for added comfort and ensured durability. This particular version comes in a lot of bright colors.

Fortunately, the quality holds up so you don’t have to worry about the color fading out on you, even after a bit of use.

As mentioned, this is largely made polyester – this means that you can’t expect it to stretch too much. Therefore, you will need to carefully consider the sizes that you will be buying.

Specs:

  • Polyester, spandex blend
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Flatloc stitching
Sale
O'Neill UV Sun Protection Women's Basic Skins Long-Sleeve Rashguard Top
34 Reviews
O'Neill UV Sun Protection Women's Basic Skins Long-Sleeve Rashguard Top
  • Crew-neck rashguard top featuring long sleeves and screenprint logo on chest
  • UPF 50+

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kanu Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Looking for protection from the sun and the elements but don’t want your rash guard clinging to you? In this case, the Kanu long sleeved rash guard will work well for you.

Though long sleeved and full-length, this rash guard hangs loosely on your body. This can make it a lot more comfortable. It is made from 86 percent polyester, 14 percent spandex. As a result, it also has a lot more give – this allows you a bit more freedom when choosing sizes.

Now the long sleeves aren’t the only that protects you from the sun’s harmful rays. This rash guard also boasts UPF 50+ protection.

If you don’t really like having to go through additional pains of caring for your rash guard, you will be quite happy that this one is machine washable. This is quite a unique feature and does make things a lot easier.

The loose fit on this rash guard does come with a bit of disadvantage – the sleeves.

The sleeves can be a little difficult to contend with if you are planning on wearing the guard during activities such as swimming. For surfing and other watersports, however, there should be no problem.

Specs:

  • Polyester and spandex blend
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Machine washable
Sale
Kanu Surf Women's Keri Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard
1,164 Reviews
Kanu Surf Women's Keri Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard
  • Long raglan seam-sleeve rashguard featuring banded crew neckline and contrast logo screenprint
  • UPF 50+ rating to block sun's harmful rays

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kanu Short Sleeved Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a rash guard that looks a little more interesting, you will find that this Kanu Short Sleeved rash guard is the one.

It has got some pretty detailing on the side which does help to set it apart from the rest. Although stylish, this rash guard is mainly for function.

It is still quite heavy duty, made from polyester and spandex. Also, this is a great rash guard for those looking for sun protection. It has UPF 50+ protection.

One of the standout features of this rash guard is that it dries very quickly.

Therefore, if you want to wear it on consecutive days, you will not find yourself disappointed. To make things even easier, the rash guard is machine washable.

You can be reassured that the fit, the quality, and the color will be maintained despite it not being hand washed. This also happens to be one of the cheaper options on this list.

Specs:

  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Machine washable
  • Polyester and spandex mix
Sale
Kanu Surf Women's Breeze ii Rashguard
739 Reviews
Kanu Surf Women's Breeze ii Rashguard
  • Short-sleeve swim tee with raglan seams and screen print at side waist
  • UPF 50+

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

O’Neill Basic Skins Rash Guard

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The O’Neill Basic Skins rash guard is for those who are all about performance. Whether you are swimming, surfing, or paddle boarding, this rash guard is going to come in handy.

This is largely due to the tight fit. As it clings to you like a second skin, you can be sure that it will not be restricting your movement in the least.

At the same time, you don’t have to worry about any excess material getting in the way or snagging on anything. The rash guard is made from polyester and spandex, so you can expect that you will be able to move around in it with ease.

This rash guard does offer up UPF 50+ protection. You should keep in mind that as it is short sleeved, it will offer only minimal protection.

This rash guard is quick to dry once you are no longer in the water. Being a skins rash guard, this guard will fit tightly to you.

This is why most people have found greater success, buying the guard in a size that is a little larger than what they typically wear.

Specs:

  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Polyester and spandex blend
  • Skin fit
  • Quick drying

Last update on 2018-07-18 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What You Need to Know About Buying a Rash Guard

Whether you are a woman or a man looking for a rash guard, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. This will make it a lot easier for you to choose the rash guard that is best for you and your situation:

The Material

The most common type of material for rash guards is polyester. This is because this material is quite breathable, making it more suitable for your skin. Not to mention, it also has sweat wicking properties. This means that instead of clinging to your body, the sweat is transported to the outer portion of the rash guard.

Now, by itself, polyester is not very pliable or stretchable. This can restrict movement a little bit. This is why you will often find that rash guards are made from a polyester blend. It could be combined with materials such as spandex, Lycra, or nylon. Spandex and Lycra have the benefit of adding stretch to the polyester and rash guard, making it more optimal for movement. Nylon helps with a tight fit, to add even more breathability to the material, and also helps the rash guard to dry that much faster.

There are some rash guards that are made from neoprene. These tend to be pricier but do serve a purpose. If you are swimming or surfing in cold water, you will need to wear a rash guard made from neoprene to make sure that you stay warm throughout.

Sun Protection

One of the main reasons that people wear rash guards is to offer up sun protection. With these on, you don’t have to worry about continuously applying sun screen to your skin at intervals. Now, not all rash guards are created the same, in this context. It is important to choose the rash guard with the highest UPF available. If your main goal is sun protection, it is best to have a UPF feature of at least 50+.

The Style and Fit

If you were to categorize the rash guards by style, you would probably split them up by short sleeves and long sleeves. In terms of fit, they would be classified as a loose fit and a tight or skin fit.

This decision is typically based on preference more than anything else. However, there are functional reasons for these labels as well. If you are swimming in cold water, as you can imagine the long sleeves will be more suitable. Conversely, short sleeves will be more comfortable in warmer weather. At the same time, you will need to think about sun protection. For instance, the long sleeve offers up better protection for those who need it.

Speaking of sun protection, if you have skin that burns easily, you might want to think about a rash guard with a high neck. This way, you will be able to avoid the dreaded ‘farmer tan’. At the same time, you can prevent excessive sun burn.

You should also take the type of activity into consideration as well when looking at the style and fit. Do you want to be able to move your arms a lot? If so, short sleeves or long, tight sleeves may be the option for you. If you are swimming for instance, it is best if you stay away from long, loose sleeves for convenience.

Then you must think of comfort. This just doesn’t mean how the material feels against your skin. It refers to just how comfortable you feel in the rash guard that you are wearing. For instance, it should be noted that the tight fit is often extremely revealing which can be quite discomforting for someone who is self-conscious.

Drying Capabilities

The last thing that you want is a rash guard that takes forever to dry. Not only is it not fun to pull on a wet rash guard, one that will not dry is often unhygienic. This leaves the possibility of the guard growing mold or bacteria. This is why the drying time is important. Make sure that the rash guard dries as quickly as possible, regardless of the conditions. This will become especially important if you want to use the rash guard time and time again within short intervals.

Graphics

Most rash guards have at least some graphics on them. This could either be in the form of a logo or be a design on the rash guard. Now, companies can use one of two methods when applying the graphic to the rash guard. They may either rely upon sublimation or heat transfer. Sublimation ensures that the art is actually a part of the rash guard itself. As a result, you don’t have to worry about it peeling or cracking after a couple of uses. However, while it does last longer, such a feature also does come at a higher price. Heat transfer cannot assure the same results as sublimation. It is, nonetheless, more cost effective and easier which is why more companies rely on this method.

With this guide, you are all set to go and get your own rash guard. Whether you choose from this list or decide to venture out on your own, you are now aware of what you need to look for. Happy shopping!

About the author

Samuel Blake

Samuel Blake

My name is Samuel Blake. I am the founder of this scuba blog. I have been a diver for over 5 years. I care about helping you choose and decide on the best diving products.

2 Comments

    • Hi Jessica,

      Yes the rash guards are definitely fine for doing exercise and will offer great sun protection!

      The Kanu Long sleeve or Kanu Short Sleeve would be the ideal option as they are loose fitting rash guards. With the tight fitting rash guards during exercise you will most likely get quite hot, quite fast. Hope this helps 🙂

Leave a Comment