If you’ve been into MMA or Jiu-Jitsu, then you’ll know the benefits of a rash guard.
Originally these skin tight short- or long-sleeved shirts were designed solely for surfers to protect them from the constant pummeling that their body would experience from surf and surfboard.
These vests prevented excess chafing and rashes that you might experience from hours and hours of intense surface contact.
You can get rash guards to fit all different body shapes, they come in a variety of colorful and tasteful designs that promote free movement and reduce the amount of sweat that accumulates on the body when it’s subjected to intense physical exertion.
When grappling one body to another, rashes and burns can occur on the skin. When you’re wearing a rash guard, then these are significantly reduced, allowing you to fight or wrestle for a lot longer, which in turn will help you improve your skills.
Rashguards help preserve muscle tension and reduce the injuries that come with muscle compression, in much the same way as knee compressors help prevent injury to the knee from repeated rolling.
Rashguards also prevent mat burns, bacterial growth and absorb moisture so that you can perform better grips.
Overall, rash guards give you far more support than regular loose-fitting cotton T-shirts, as well as more confidence on the mat. They prevent strangulation and tripping that can also occur when wearing loose clothing.
But where can you get the best rash guards? What features and materials should a rash guard have to give you the most in terms of performance and protection? How much can you expect to pay for a decent rash guard?
Well, MMA fighters and boxers need not worry about their skin being chapped any further, as we’ve compiled an extensive list of some of the best men’s rash guards currently available on the market.
We’ve also compiled a buyer’s guide that will help you when you’re next shopping for a rash guard, as well as some frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first rash guard is one that has been rated the very best, constructed from lightweight, ultra-strong material that is also extremely breathable.
If you ask most MMA fighters, then they’ll tell you that this is one of the best in terms of durability and support - introducing the Gold BJJ Foundation Rash Guard.
The moisture-wicking properties of this rashguard will ensure that your creases won’t experience any chafing, hugging you tight to the body and supporting you during those complex moves. It has mesh in the underarm, making a usually very hot and sticky area much more breathable.
This rash guard is ideal for MMA, Jiu-Jitsu and a host of other contact sports. If you expect to come into contact with bodies at high velocity, we would certainly recommend that you splash out on this product.
The front design is very minimal and stylish, with a sublimated printing that won’t peel or crack even after multiple washes.
- If you’re at a competition level, you’ll want a rash guard that won’t wear out after multiple rounds or tear when you’re on the mat - this model of rashguard is an industry leader.
- The construction of this rash guard is very durable, with a flexible and elastic mesh material that will cling tightly to your arms and legs, supporting you during those tricky holds, punches and kicks.
- The manufacturer has isolated the key areas where sweat accumulates, especially with the ventilation under the arms.
- You can get this in both a long and short-sleeve, depending on the intensity of the workout you plan on doing.
- This vest will fit you extremely tightly, so do not purchase if you want some breathing room.
This next rash vest is often overlooked in some of these best-of lists, although this might be because they keep their celebrity endorsements to a minimum to save on their overall spending.
But they certainly are of excellent quality, coming in a lightweight, moisture-wicking material that is super-strong and well-ventilated - introducing the Anthem Athletics Helo-X Men’s Wrestling Singlet.
The logos on this vest will not disintegrate in the wash, meaning that you’ll be looking professional for every bout or training session.
The graphics and logos are very important for conveying that sense of togetherness - an opponent surely won’t feel daunted about tussling with a person who has a cracked logo.
With both long and short sleeve options available to you, you can adapt them to whatever level of exercise that you’re doing.
With a short sleeve rash vest, you’ll be a lot cooler, which will hopefully keep you on the mat for a lot longer.
- The price - this is one of the cheaper rash guards on this list, making it the perfect option for those looking to start boxing or MMA fighting.
- Despite not being as well known as some of the other brands on this list, this up-and-coming clothing line has certainly proved itself on the market, with plenty of top ratings on Amazon.
- The moisture-wicking properties of this rash vest will ensure that the level of sweat on your body remains very low, keeping you on the mat for longer and decreasing the amount of sweat on your body.
- You can easily wrestle, fight, kick and punch in these vests, the material will compress and support your muscles, preventing injuries such as dislocation and sprains.
- Some users have complained that this rash vest is too small for their frame.
Our next rash guard is one that comes in a simple yet elegant design, with anti-microbial and odor-resistant material that will ensure you a sweat-free and hygienic training, sparring or competition.
This rash guard will allow you to show your Jiu-Jitsu rank and will alow match with the rest of your apparel - introducing the Sanabul Essentials Compression Rash Guard.
This rash guard has plenty of properties that will enable the reduction of moisture, especially the breathable mesh located under the arm.
Breathable materials such as this will certainly help you to disperse the heat and improve the blood flow to those much-needed areas during exercise.
When it comes to having free movement in your limbs while also providing you with ample support, this rash guard is one of the best.
The material is the right level of stretchy, allowing you to move without restriction, but also giving you enough muscle compression to avoid injury.
- The stretch of the material is balanced just right, providing both support and unrestricted movement to the arms - you can be sure that you won’t feel impeded in any way when wearing this vest.
- This vest has anti-microbial properties, which will give you and your opponent the assurance that bacteria won’t spread, which is very common during intense contact sports.
- The mesh underarms will ensure you are cool during your match, which is very important, as you want to avoid as many distractions as possible when grappling.
- The material won’t restrict blood flow to key areas, which can be a problem with less flexible clothing such as cotton.
- Some users have also complained that this vest wears slightly small and cuts underneath the arms. This is definitely not a vest for taller stature MMA fighters or boxers.
Our next rash vest is one that has already been tested numerous times by some of the best fighters in the world.
It is perfect for not just MMA fighting and boxing, but also surfing and cross-training, with a lightweight material that won’t restrict blood flow during exercise - introducing the Elite Sports BJJ Rash Guards.
This rash guard is very unique as it comes with a flatlock stitching that is made from a combination of both spandex and polyester, which makes it both anti-microbial and anti-fungal.
When you are on the mat, you’ll want to reduce the risk of bacterial infection, for the health of both you and your sparring partner.
It has a patented honeycomb design under the arm and on the back for added ventilation and strength.
When you are engaging in intense physical contact, it’s very important that your supportive clothing does not rip, as this can lead to trip hazards and the match being called off.
- This comes from a very reputable sports manufacturer, with plenty of top-rated reviews on Amazon that will testify to this product’s great performance.
- With cool graphics that are 100% machine washable, you can be certain of looking and feeling confident when facing your next opponent.
- This rash guard is perfectly adapted for increased blood flow - you won’t have to worry about cramping when wearing this item.
- The honeycomb material under the arms and on the back makes this the most breathable and resilient vest on this list.
- Some users have complained that this vest is not as durable as some of the others they’ve worn during competitions.
Our final rash guard is one that has been manufactured by a company that specializes in traditional sporting gear, motorbike safety equipment and mixed martial arts apparel.
Hawk has managed to keep their prices low while maintaining a high standard for their gear, with this multifunctional vest being no exception - introducing Hawk Sports Men’s BJJ Rash Guard.
You can easily use this rash vest with weightlifting, running or surfing, the stretchy mesh material will survive both intense bodily contact, hard water impact and impact on rough water surfaces.
You can grapple hard wearing these rash guards, as they have a high tensile rating that is also fast drying.
The seams on this rash guard are also reinforced, which means that they won’t come apart when pulled.
It has a high compression rate that will keep your muscles supported and prevent muscle compression, although be sure to buy a size larger than your body frame if you want a little wriggle-room.
- The combination of lycra with reinforced seams makes this one of the strongest units on this list. You can expect it to last for months, even years, of repeated abuse.
- The versatility - you can use this for as many intensive contact sports that you can try your hand at.
- The material of this vest is very fast-drying, so you won’t have to worry about the fibers of your clothing perishing from prolonged exposure to sweat.
- There are stretch panels sewn into this rash guard, allowing for enhanced mobility, which might just give you that added advantage you need over your opponent.
- The price - this is one of the cheapest units on our list and, considering the range of features that it has to offer, you be a fool not to take advantage of it.
- Some users have complained that this rash guard is a bit too restrictive for a larger framed person.
Best Mens Rash Guard Buying Guide
There are many reasons why intensive sports enthusiasts might want to don a rash vest, one of the main ones being, most obviously, to avoid rashes and chafing.
Whether you are simply training or you want a vest to use in competitions, there are some basic features and materials that your rash vest should have to give you the optimum protection.
Here are a few of the things you should be looking for in your ideal rash vest:
Does Your Vest Compress The Muscles?
Having a vest made out of tight-fitting, stretchy material is one of the best ways to protect the muscles from compression.
They should give ample support around the arms, chest, and torso, reducing the number of injuries sustained from repeating rolling.
Think of your rash vest as much the same as a compression band that you might buy for your knee, wrist or ankle, except that it covers the entire upper half of your torso.
Does Your Vest Reduce The Spread Of Bacteria?
When performing the more intense moves, your opponent’s body will often be exposed and skin-on-skin contact is unavoidable. This makes you more prone to the transmission of bacteria through sweat.
To avoid this transference, you’ll want a rash vest that has moisture-wicking properties, as well as anti-microbial capabilities that reduce sweat and the spread of infection.
Does Your Vest Give You A Better Grip?
When you are on the mat, you’ll be sweating a lot through exertion. As a result, your apparel will slip off you, which could lead to tripping hazards as well as posing a general risk to your ability to fight.
After training or sparring for hours, sweat will also start running down your arm and onto your hands, which will affect your grip. The grip is one of the most important parts of full-contact sports, once your grip is compromised, then you can expect your opponent to quickly overpower you.
If you have a rash vest that can absorb most of this excess sweat, then you can preserve your grip and concentrate on besting your opponent.
Does Your Vest Prevent Mat Burn?
This is the original purpose of wearing a rash guard, to avoid the burns you can get from other people’s skin and your mat. If you hit even the smoothest mat at a high enough velocity, then you will experience mat burn.
Elbow passes and high speed, high contact moves will result in burns on your skin, so you’ll want to make sure there is as much material between you and your opponent as possible without hindering your movement. You can avoid a lot of skin friction with a rash vest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference between Rash Guards and Compression Vests?
It often surprises people when they discover that rash guards and compression vests are not always the same thing, although rash vests can possess some compression capabilities.
The difference between compression shirts is that they are made of four panels and are not conventionally designed for contact and friction, more keeping the muscle supported and encouraging blood flow during increased movement.
A compression shirt will more than likely roll up your torso and impede your movement if worn during contact sport.
Compression vests are commonly used in sports such as running or surfing, where very little body-to-body contact occurs.
Rash vests, on the other hand, are much better suited for contact, with a minimum of six panels and reinforced stitching to prevent the seams from being ripped during intense grappling. Rash guards are much more resilient and are designed to resist sleeve pulls and stretches.
Why Should You Buy The Correct Color Rash Guard?
There are often color themes in a lot of Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, and it is required that you wear your requisite BJJ belt ranking color on your rash vest when competing.
You will want to wear a rash guard that is at least 10% of your ranking color.