The 10 Best Rashguards

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in July of 2020. A staple for most surfers, rash guards help to protect the wearer from board wax irritation and sunburn. Often made from nylon or polyester with a bit of spandex, they're lightweight, stretchy, and typically cut to fit very close to the body, so they won't ride up when wet. Some versions are also made to wick away perspiration, making them a good choice for many outdoor activities. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. O'Neill Men's Basic Skins

2. Body Glove Women's Smoothies Sleek

3. Upandfast Baby Sunsuit

Editor's Notes

July 28, 2020:

While originally designed for surfers, rash guards have become a favorite sun screen and cover-up option for beach-goers, kayakers, and other outdoor athletes alike. They're comfortable, lightweight, and easily transition from water to land and back again. When choosing which picks to select for this list, we paid close attention to the quality of the fabric and stitching, and included various fits and sleeve lengths.

As far as classic, long-sleeved models go, we were impressed by the O'Neill Men's Basic Skins, which fits very close to the body, boasts the same irritation-reducing seams found in wetsuits, and delivers an attractive style. We also loved the Body Glove Women's Smoothies Sleek, another traditional design with a low, stand-up collar. Both these are from some of the most trusted brands in surfing, which was also an important factor to consider.

For kids, we were looking for picks that were durable, effective, and colorfast. The Madcap Girls' Surf Shirt fit the bill, plus comes in bright colors that are easy to spot against sand and surf. For babies and toddlers, we liked the full-body protection offered by the Upandfast Baby Sunsuit, which also comes with a UPF 50 rated hat.

While this particular type of clothing tends not to be flashy, we did want to include a few options with a little flair, like the Hurley Short Sleeve Hanoi Floral, which, besides being an excellently crafted shirt, also includes an eye-catching bird-of-paradise print, and the Lafroi Men's Baselayer, which features bold pattern details on the arm and is equally suitable for working out at the gym.

If you're a year-round surfer looking to keep warm off season, we also recommend checking out our wetsuit rankings for adults and kids. Or, if keeping UV rays off your back is your main concern, our men's sun shirts ranking might also be of interest.

Special Honors

Athleta Pacifica Tank Constructed with hot weather in mind, the Athleta Pacifica Tank offers just enough coverage to protect against the elements without trapping too much sweat. Made from recycled polyester sourced from post-consumer plastic bottles, it's a bit more eco-friendly than other options.

Quicksilver Rashguard Shorts For men looking to prevent chaffing on their legs, the Quicksilver Rashguard Shorts are a great solution. They combine the convenience of a swimsuit with the function and fit of a wetsuit to create one convenient piece of water sports clothing.

4. Hurley Short Sleeve Hanoi Floral

5. Hurley Pro Light Long

6. Speedo Men's Swim Shirt Regular

7. Roxy Essentials Zip-Up

8. Madcap Girls' Surf Shirt

9. Axesea Long Sleeve Swimsuit

10. Lafroi Men's Baselayer

Brittany Miller
Last updated by Brittany Miller

Brittany Miller is a writer, mother, and book nerd based in Los Angeles. Her eclectic professional experience includes writing product copy, managing editorial processes, teaching Literature, Rhetoric, and Creative Writing, and working as a television writer. She holds a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, a MA in English from New York University, and for a brief time was a PhD Provost Scholar at the University of Southern California. When she’s not at her keyboard, Brittany enjoys running, paddle boarding, decorating (and re-decorating) her apartment, and playing with her son. Throughout her career and personal life, she’s developed expertise in literature, textbooks, automotive gear, office supplies, exercise equipment, home decor, baby products, and children’s toys.

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