Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in 2020

In this article, I’ll cover everything from the intricate details of choosing resilient rash guards to the most attractive BJJ shirts that are available for purchase.

Rash guards have been an invaluable piece of attire for most BJJ athletes – and for a reason! Not only do they look badass, but they directly improve your performance. 

A well-made rash guard will serve as a safeguard from the not-so-pleasant aspects of BJJ like mat burns – but picking the best value shirt is no trivial business.

Whether you are just starting your journey or already a seasoned professional, a BJJ rash guard is destined to become a useful addition to your inventory. 

The 5 Best BJJ and MMA Rash Guards for Men

Hayabusa Metaru Long Sleeve Jiu Jitsu Rashguard

Hayabusa Metaru Long Sleeve Jiu Jitsu Rashguard

Combining comfort with durability, this effectively developed rash guard is tailored for the most demanding use. The focus lies in the muscle warmth and ensuring they are functional while also managing body temperature, as Hayabusa employs a first-rate technology to wick away the sweat. A short sleeve version is also available.

This multifaceted rash guard is fully IBJJF compliant and comes in all the needed colors to match your BJJ belt. As for quality, Hayabusa chooses to combine Estane with Polyester to achieve the highest grade of performance.

The design comes in two forms: Compression fit and Regular fit. The former provides a tight grip on your muscles and allows for better blood circulation. It feels like a second skin, and it will help you achieve a full range of control over your body.

Regular fit is a functional choice that goes one size up. It protects your skin and doesn’t slip, maintaining the best balance between convenience and performance. 

Some reviewers advise buying one size up if you want a Compression fit and two sizes up for Regular fit.

Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

Pros

  • Top-tier fabric 
  • Effective compression technology
  • Firmly sits on the body due to stitched rubber band
Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

Cons

  • Runs small

Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Rash Guard

This excellent rash guard boasts an advanced mechanism of graduated compression. It provides effortless airflow and is conducive to all kinds of movement, which makes the rash guard an excellent shirt for a wide array of pursuits, from MMA to other sports like surfing and swimming.

It’s one of the rare examples of rash guards that are both universal and resilient: you can put it on at the beach or use it in a professional training session – it will still feel comfortable. A short sleeve version is also available.

As a testament to Sanabul’s prowess, the most prominent BJJ personalities have been choosing this rash guard. John Danaher, the world-renowned Jiu-Jitsu coach, is famous for wearing it almost every day. It’s a premium rashguard that comes at an affordable price.

Mesh underarms wick away the sweat, but the icing on the cake is the sunburn and UV light protection and the invaluable anti-odor fabric treatment.

Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

Pros

  • Available in 6 color options
  • Durable
  • Underarm mesh grid
  • IBJJF certified
Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

Cons

  • The part around neck is a bit delicate

Hawk Sports Compression Shirt

Hawk Sports Compression Shirt

This BJJ rash guard is an excellent choice for both demanding gym usage and recreational activities. It wicks away the nasty moisture and lets your body breathe thanks to the micro-mesh underarm panels. The smell? Non-existent. 

Not all rash guards are capable of protecting you against the UV light, but Hawk boasts an impressive UPF 50+ rating which makes wearing the rash guard for the whole day a no-brainer. It dries quickly – comfort is key.

The Hawk rash guard is available in a wide range of colors to suit any belt. As for demanding usage, the fabric quality is top-notch, which is combined with top-of-the-line reinforced stitching. The latter can make it or break it for rash guards, but the overlock-stitching technology here shows the uncompromising focus on quality. 

Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable
  • Quality fabric
Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

Cons

  • Sub-optimal for hot days

Gold BJJ Jiu-jitsu Rashguard

Gold BJJ Jiu-jitsu Rashguard

Combining quality with admirable company values, Gold might be the manufacturer providing the best rash guard options out there. Well-suited for a plethora of sports categories like MMA and BJJ, it is also a great choice for surfing as it employs a flatlock stitching technology that feels like part of the fabric.

Conducive to amazing airflow due to underarm vents, it combines premium quality with an 80/20 polyester blend, creating a highly resilient fabric. As a nice bonus, the extended trim of the rash guard and the slightly longer sleeves elevate the convenience even higher.

Gold BJJ rash guard boasts an extraordinary customer-oriented customer service. The company is ready to replace or refund an order if you aren’t satisfied with the purchase, regardless of the reason.

Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

Pros

  • Sublimation printing technology
  • Great money-back guarantee
  • Top-tier quality
Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

Cons

    Fuji Baseline Ranked

    Fuji Baseline Ranked Rash Guard

    Fuji employs an advanced anti-microbial fabric to prevent any bacterial trouble from intervening with your process. It’s a comfortable rash guard with a minimalist style. 

    Combined with good quality stitching, Fuji offers a long-lasting and flexible shirt for both gi and no-gi BJJ. This Fuji shirt is versatile: certainly among the most resilient IBJJF certified rash guards tailored for a professional setting. 

    Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

    Pros

    • High-quality sublimated graphics
    • Easy to take off and all-round comfortable
    • IBJJF certified
    Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

    Cons

    • It’s thin (almost see-through)
    • Runs small (pick one size up)

    Venum Giant Short Sleeve

    venum cheap bjj rashguard

    Venum’s rash guard aims to cater to seasoned sportsmen and amateurs alike. The core design applies modern principles and the focus on ease of use, with an elastic band at the bottom for a firm grip. It’s among the most lightweight BJJ rash guards, boasting the invaluable attribute of being resilient in demanding environments.

    The fabric composition is 90/10 Spandex/Elastane, which, combined with unrestricted stretch and impressive anti-sweat qualities is the reason Venum BJJ rash guards excel when it comes to breathability and durability. 

    A similar long sleeve model, Venum Gladiator 3.0 Long Sleeve Rashguard, is a BJJ-focused shirt tailored for better blood circulation. It boasts an impressive silicone waistband and improves your control of body heat – a solid choice for high performance.

    Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 1

    Pros

    • Sublimation print
    • Durable yet soft and stretchy.
    • Wicks moisture
    • Amazing style
    Best Rash Guards for BJJ and MMA in [year] 3

    Cons

    • Runs small
    • Not many unpopular sizes

    How to Pick a Proper Rash Guard?

    The pursuits of the best BJJ rash guard tend to transform into complicated endeavors. The abundance of all-round options on the current market can easily lead to decision paralysis. 

    Thankfully, it’s quite easy to pick a rashguard for a specific use case if you understand the key things – and if you thoroughly scan the reviews, of course.

    IBJJF Certification

    If you’re part of the no-gi community and your long-term aspiration is to take part in established competitions, an IBJJF-certified rashguard is an essential purchase. 

    The certification includes several things. The background must white or black. At least 10% of your rash guard must be of the same color as your belt. Don’t let your colorblind friend pick the rash guard if it’s your intention to be among the contenders in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tourney. 

    Secondly, IBJJF prohibits fancy and extravagant designs: the shirt must be minimalist and simple. 

    Which Sleeve Length Should You Pick?

    Short sleeves lessen the area which your opponents can grip on to. Although most respectable rash guards BJJ allow for exceptional breathability, short-sleeved shirts are even more breathable – for obvious reasons. 

    Long sleeves and cold seasons make for a reasonable tandem, but they also prevent mat burns on your elbows and hands. 

    Overall, it’s a matter of individual preference, as neither option will make you much less likely to win the match.

    Material

    You’ll see various mixes of Polyester, Spandex, Lycra, Nylon, and Elastane. Companies aim to find the perfect combination of stiff clothing and flexible movement, so there isn’t one perfect ratio.

    Among the numerous types of stitching, the good options are overlock and flatlock stitching. They firmly grip the shirt material and are long-lasting. Reinforced stitching is basically invisible on the fabric while also maintaining a high-quality standard.

    Printing Method

    Although overlooked by many, the printing method is an invaluable attribute of a proper rash guard. Low-quality printing will peel off easily or fade in no time. Your gi might suddenly absorb the dye from the shirt, so aim for a rash guard BJJ that employs a technique of sublimation printing.

    Sublimation printers use heat to inject ink into the cloth itself. Other methods are less reliable and resistant. They are also indicators of poor shirt quality overall. A company that is willing to save money on printing is likely to compromise other aspects as well.

    Price & Brands

    Rash guards share similarities with compression shirts, but they are actually different species. The best BJJ-focused rash guard is expected to be sturdy and built for BJJ with its challenges. Thus, BJJ rashguards are slightly less wallet-friendly.

    The guidelines for picking the best price range are pretty standard. A plethora of established brands offers BJJ rashguards. Pick one and you’ll have a rash guard that is guaranteed to be at least decent, but you might end up paying too much – the brand name is like an extra tax these days.

    Alternatively, buying from smaller companies might pose a risk of ending up with a poor-quality product. But if you devote time for thorough research and find what other people say, you’ll have no trouble weeding out the wheat from the chaff. Plus, it can save you some cash!

    Reasons to Wear a Rash Guard

    Seasoned practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu (gi and no-gi types) tend to swear by wearing rash guards. It’s not something that will make you into a champion, but the learning process will definitely become smoother with a proper rashguard.

    The first rule is to wear what’s most convenient for you, be it a simple shirt or a gi with nothing underneath. 

    But in case you like exploring new frontiers, let me introduce you to the key advantages of a decent rash guard:

    • Rash guards for BJJ prevent nasty mat burns. They are even better at it than a regular gi due to skin-tight, frictionless design. Gis are not designed to soften the friction. Even if gi is your day-to-day attire, escaping the nasty burns caused by rolls and falls is impossible due to hard stitches and the loose state of the not-so-perfect gi. 
    • Compression makes muscles tighter and lowers the risk of small injuries, especially during the frequent rolls. See, your body is not just one chunk of muscles. It’s comprised of fat, soft tissue, and various other vulnerable parts. If each of the areas is sturdy and compressed, it is unlikely to get damaged.
    • Rash guards cover your outer skin layer with the fabric specifically tailored to limit bacteria exposure. It’s impossible to count the number of toes and hands that have touched the mat by the time it’s your time to hit the gym, but it’s safe to say that hygiene is not the gym’s top priority.
    • Gripping becomes easier because a rash guard is designed to wick all the sweat. Moisture complicates gripping a fair bit, so the drier the area, the simpler it is to get a firm grip on it.

    Final Thoughts

    The healthy rash guard market provides a myriad of diverse clothing for a wide array of needs. Some are cheaper, others are costly, but regardless of your use case, finding a high-quality shirt within your budget is undoubtedly possible.

    FAQ

    What is a Rash Guard? 

    A rash guard is an athletic shirt that protects an athlete from rashes, sunburns, and mat burns. It is a taut yet flexible shirt that provides unobstructed airflow and dries up the moisture. The best rash guards are made of various combinations of spandex, polyester, nylon, and other materials.

    Why should I wear a Rash Guard? 

    Rash guards significantly reduce the risk of small injuries while rolling, reduce the spread of bacteria, wick the sweat to allow for better gripping, and prevent mat burns.

    How to choose a Rash Guard?

    The best rash guards are durable, breathable, and provide good blood circulation. For tournaments, IBJJF-approved clothing is a must. Look for sublime printing and top-quality stitching. 

    Rash Guard vs Compression Shirt – how do they compare? 

    Rash guards are meant to be abused. They are built to be resilient, while compression shirts are tailored for extra heat and good blood circulation. They both provide good flexibility and wick moisture, but compression shirts may have cotton in them, while rash guards don’t.

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