How to Choose the Best Rash Guards

Selecting the best rash guards for you is determined by a lot of factors such as style, fabric, thickness and function of the rash guard. Rash guards are mainly used in several ocean sports, the most favored being surfing.

Certainly no one wants to return from a surf episode with rash and grazes.

This is where rash guards apply.

Rash guards’ chief purpose is to aid in protecting sensitive parts of the body such as the neck, nipples and armpits from the friction of salt water when surfing on your board. In addition, they also provide sun protection (built-in UPF) and warmth.

There are two ways in which you can dress in rash guards; the first is wearing them under either dry or wet suits and the second option is wearing them by themselves (suitable option in warmer weather).

There are various things you need to look out for when selecting the perfect rash guards for you.

buy from amazon button

buy from amazon button


Product Rating


Cressi Lycra Skin Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Cressi Lycra Skin Long Sleeve Rash Guard

4.9 out of 5 stars buy from amazon button
exceed womens eden rash guard

Exceed Womens Eden Long Sleeve Rash Guard

4.8 out of 5 stars buy from amazon button

Speedo Mens UPF 50+ Short-Sleeve Rash Guard

Speedo Men’s UPF 50+ Short-Sleeve Rash Guard

4.8 out of 5 stars buy from amazon button

Womens lycra dive skin rash guard

Women’s Lycra Dive Skin Rash Guard

4.7 out of 5 stars buy from amazon button

Here is how to select a rash guard with your specified requirements.

Choosing the Best Rash Guards


Most rash guards are made of nylon, neoprene, polyester, Lycra, spandex or a blend of fibers. They each offer various levels of elasticity, breathability and warmth.

  • Neoprene offers both insulation in cooler waters and stretch for flexible movements.
  • Lycra offers breathability with an ideal stretch, that averts chafing and a quick drying.
  • Nylon-Spandex blended rash guards allow the surfer to get stretch, breathability, dry quickly and a tight fit.
  • Polyester rash guards provide optimum sweat wick and breathability. However, the flexibility and stretch of these rash guards don’t compare to those consisted in a Lycra blend.

With all these optional in hand, what matters is the material you find comfortable.

Sun protection

All rash guards offer some degree of sun protection (at least UPF 50) even if it is not indicated. It is important to be protected from damaging UV rays from direct sunlight and those water-reflected during your break.

For the best SPF protection, opt for a full body suit. A great example is the Women’s Lycra Drive Warm Water Heavy Duty Nylon/Lycra that is extremely comfortable and flexible.


Another key element to consider when selecting the best rash guards is the fitting. Rash guards should always be a tight fit to the body in order to prevent intolerable rubbing at the very least and chafing as well. Some styles however are designed with a looser fit for those who are body-image aware.


Thermal rash guards offer greater insulation especially in cold temperatures. They are perfect for chilly water. They usually comprise of thick, sheathe fabric.


For a perfect fit, most rash guards are designed with a six-panel assemblage and flat-lock stitching hence optimum chafing and rash prevention.

Sleeve Length

Rash guards come in a large array of selection;

  • short sleeves
  • long sleeves
  • tanks

Each of them varies in functionality and purpose

The short sleeve rash guards are favorable for heat and sun prevention thereby not only aiding you in evading the heat but also safeguarding you from the UV sun rays. An example is the Speedo Men’s UPF 50+ Easy Short Sleeve Rash guard Swim Tee 100% polyester, is available in white and black, and loose fit.

Long sleeve rash guards are insulated hence warm. They are perfect for chilled waters and cooler temperatures. Moreover, they also protect you from UV sun rays. The Cressi Lycra Skin Long Sleeve Rash Guard is available in a mixture of colors of blue, pink, white and black. Its fabric is a combination of Lycra, nylon and spandex with a comfortable flat-loc stitching.

Exceed Women’s Long Sleeve Rash Guard is another example of a great long sleeve rash guards that comes in red and white color.

Just like the short sleeved rash guards, tanks rash guards are the perfect selection for hot, sunny days. Too much heat makes one uncomfortable. Therefore, sleeve-less tanks will prevent just that while offering you maximum flexibility.

surfer walking

Art and Style

The best way to combine art and style in a rash guard is by heat transfer and sublimation.

Rash guards with heat transfer artwork are cheaper and easier than sublimation; it functionality compares to an iron-on graphics. Its cons however is that its lifespan is far shorter. They tend to fade, peel and crack with time.

Sublimation-crafted rash guards on the other hand are more expensive compared to the heat transfer artwork. This is because the sublimation process performed on the graphics is much more costly and tiresome. The sublimation process implies that the art practically becomes one with the rash guard hence no fading or cracking ever.


You can wear rash guards in place of swim shorts or wet suits to prevent rash and chafing on the lower part of the body. They have a flattened, cozy fit that maintains a tight fit to the body without hindering flexibility and movement. They also offer protection against the sun’s rays.

The Modern Army Combatives Rash Guards provide the top and shorts that are well fitted.


They provide extra warmth and can be worn on their own or underneath a wet suit. Because they have no sleeves, they offer more shoulder movement advantageous to any athletic sport- kayaking, water skiing, canoeing, kite surfing, surfing and wake boarding. However, most oceanic sports utilize full body suits.

Although they provide extra warmth, they are not ideal for extreme cold temperatures especially for extended periods.

There are various factors that attribute to a perfect rash guard but the best rash guards for you is mainly rooted on what you find stylish and perfect for you. Some pointers you should always have in mind is that they ought to be fitting for chafing and rash prevention, and also offer SPF protection against direct sunlight and the sun reflected by the water.


Related Posts For You