You’ve probably noticed the athletic-style shirts on people at the beach or pool and wondered what it’s for. So what is a rash guard? Its purpose is so much more than just a functional piece of clothing to wear around water and protect you from the sun.
You might be wondering why it is called a rash guard in the first place. Rash guards are shirts that were originally developed for surfers who experienced irritation to the skin from sand and residue on their surfboards. They continue to be a popular choice for surfers and lifeguards due to their comfort and high performance.
Explore our wide selection of sun protection products to help keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors.
What Are Rash Guards For?
Rash guards are no longer just for surfers. They are a versatile piece of clothing for all family members, whether boating, swimming, or just hanging out in the sand and sun. Below are three top benefits they provide.
- Rash Protection: no need to worry about chafing and rashes, as the tight-fitting rash guard is an extra layer of protection for your skin
- Sun Protection: they offer coverage from the sun, so your skin will be protected from harmful UV rays
- Breathability: they are made with a combination of fabrics, providing comfort, breathability, and ease of movement
Best Rash Guard for Every Person In Your Life
Rash guards are versatile pieces of clothing for any outdoor occasion. Maybe you love to snorkel or just enjoy spending time on the beach reading a book. Whatever activities you prefer, extra protection and comfort will keep you and your family looking and feeling your best.
Best Rash Guard for Women
Rash guards provide fierce protection and functionality. They make a wonderful gift, and with a range of beautiful colors and prints, you really can’t go wrong! Read about free diver Ashleigh Baird’s review of our Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard, and see more of our women’s rash guard styles below.
- Women’s Freestyle Short Sleeve RG UPF 50+
- Women’s Freestyle Long Sleeve RG UPF 50+
- Women’s Escalante Zip RG UPF 50+
Best Rash Guard for Men
Whether you are a water sports fanatic or just spend a lot of time outdoors, rash guards are the best outdoor clothing choice for men. They are perfect for long days outside spent working on the lawn or leisure activities like playing a round of golf.
The sporty designs feature high performance in cooling and sweating-wicking properties. We offer a variety of colors and styles for men. Here are some of our favorites:
- Men’s Ultimate Short Sleeve RG UPF 50+
- Men’s Tulum Long Sleeve Surf RG UPF 50+
- Men’s Nocona Zip RG UPF 50+
Best Rash Guard for Kids
Rash guards are especially great for kids because of the sun coverage and protection. There is no need to worry about keeping their entire bodies lathered up with sunscreen when they’re in and out of the water.
A long sleeve guard reduces exposed skin to the elements. Your children will also love the range of bright colors and prints. Shop some of our top kids’ styles at the links below.
- Kids Sunray 360 Coverage RG UPF 50+
- Girl’s Sea Island Ruffle RG UPF 50+
- Boy’s Ultimate Long Sleeve RG UPF 50+
When Should Rash Guards Be Worn?
Since the purpose of rash guards is so varied, there is really no limit to when one should be worn. Their protection from sun, sand, and rashes makes them an excellent addition to any beach day. Some activities that are especially great for wearing this protective layer are:
- Water Sports: they are perfect for wearing out on the water for activities like water skiing, tubing, surfing, and wakeboarding. Not only will you be protected from sun damage and skin irritation, but you will be protecting yourself from skin irritation while staying sun safe.
- Beach Sports: long days on the sand playing beach volleyball or other beach sports can wreak havoc on your skin. Be prepared by wearing a beach rash guard to defend against damaging UV rays and irritation from the sand. Their sweat-wicking properties make them the ideal gear for all beach sports.
- Other Sports: if you spend extended amounts of time doing other outdoor sports like running, golfing, or biking, rash guards may be a solution you might not have considered. Their sun protection and sweat-wicking properties will keep you safe and comfortable.
- Yard Work: this is another excellent solution for anyone who does a lot of outdoor work. Even just regularly mowing the lawn can cause damage to your skin. Getting in the habit of wearing your rash guard for doing work outside can significantly impact your overall skin health.
Other Common Questions Around Rash Guards
Before we dive into the best rash guards for everyone in the family, let’s tackle some common questions that come up.
Does a rash guard protect you from the sun?
Getting a sunburn at the beach is never fun, but there are plenty of ways to prevent sunburn. Rash guard clothing from Coolibar provides a physical barrier from the sun and comes with the added benefit of having UPF protection built into the fabric. At Coolibar, our world-leading fabric offers the highest level of UPF protection and is guaranteed to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays.
Are rash guard shirts hot?
Unlike wetsuits, rash guards are not meant to keep your body warm. They are not as thick as wetsuits, so they do not trap body heat as well. They actually can have a cooling effect on the body because of their material and how tight they lay on your skin.
What are rash guard shirts made of?
Since the purpose of rash guard shirts is to prevent rashes and protect you from the sun, they are generally made of athletic fabrics like polyester, nylon, lycra, and spandex. These materials are soft, durable, and lightweight while allowing for breathability and stretch to maximize your comfort.
What do you wear with a rash guard?
What to wear with a rash guard is most often a matter of personal preference. However, since they’re generally worn during outdoor activities, we recommend pairing it with other UPF clothing items to ensure maximum sun protection, such as:
- Women’s UPF 50+ Swim Shorts or Board Shorts
- Men’s UPF 50+ Swim Trunks or Sport Shorts
- Kids UPF 50+ Sun Hats or Swim Shorts (Boys and Girls)
Explore Rash Guards And Sun Protection Clothing From Coolibar
Long gone are the days when rash guards were only worn by surfers, and for good reason! They keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun’s harmful rays so you can make the most of your time outdoors.
Check out our blog for more helpful sun protection tips, and read about some of our favorite styles for spring!