best rash guards for men

Surfs Up: 15 Rash Guards To Keep Your Skin Protected

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Whether you are going to the beach for the weekend with your family or you plan on hitting the waves hard, a quality rash guard will protect you from the harsh elements that mother nature will inevitably throw at you.

Typically constructed from highly effective synthetic materials, rash guards not only wick away excess moisture that rests on the surface of your skin (which left untreated could cause uncomfortable chaffing under your arms), but also provides ample protection from the sun.

While the re-application of sunscreen can be quite laborious (especially if you are by yourself sans spray sunscreen), many of the top rash guards we rounded-up below contain some form of sun protection.

In fact, you can find highly sought after brands like the Kanu Surf Men’s Long Sleeve and the Laguna Men’s Lifeguard tee both offer an incredible UPF 50+ protection.

So, what’s the deal with UPF?

…and why you should care:

A Quick Look At UPF Protection

Many men reading are likely scratching their heads over the difference between UPF and UVA/UVB rays (don’t worry we were too when we were researching rash guards).

Here’s the quick run down:

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor.

This designation is specifically geared for clothing.  Like many of the rash guard’s featured in this article, a UPF rating stated by the manufacturer designates that the clothing was constructed in a way to prohibit the sun’s rays from hitting your skin.

The rating directly correlates to the ratio of ultraviolet rays that will be blocked when the clothing is worn.

For example:

A designation of UPF 25 means that 1 out of every 25 rays of the sun will pass through the clothing (i.e. 4%).

Therefore, a rating of UPF 50 means that a rash guard will be able to ward off approximately 98% of the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun.

To put it simply – the higher the UPF rating, the better protection you will get from the sun.

Is Over Heating A Concern?

Surely if this fabric can block out 98% of the suns rays, it’s gotta feel like you are wearing a lead vest right?


Not exactly.

In fact just the opposite is true.

Rash guards are designed for summer use, and therefore are incredibly light and airy.

As you can often see in many reviews of the rash guards we linked to below, many men have exclaimed that these shirts felt unbelievably lightweight.

So even if you sweat so much that it looks like someone just opened up a hose on you after sitting out in the sun for only a few minutes, don’t fret.

The material in these rash guards will pull the moisture from your skin making you feel incredibly cool.

But it gets better…

Nearly all of the rash guards we rounded up don’t leave sweat marks either.  Therefore, you don’t have to worry about any embarrassing rings under your arms, chest, or back as those long summer days at the beach wane on.

Trust us, once you put that rash guard on, you will never want to go to the beach without it.

So without further ado:

The 15 Best Rash Guards For Men

1. Adidas Men’s UPF 30+ Short Sleeve Swim Tee

Adidas active wear never disappoints when it comes to performance. Their short sleeve swim tee is a perfect addition to any active wardrobe because of its multipurpose applications and the cool dry fit that it gives.

This short-sleeved tee is designed for wear in the water, ensuring that your torso is covered and protected from hard impact and abrasions from rocks and sand that you encounter while out in the water. It is a looser fitting tee, giving you maximum mobility while keeping you protected from the elements. While it is a rash guard, the loose fit makes it a little more complicated to put under a wet suit. However, wearing this article by itself shouldn’t pose an issue. Made from nylon and elastane.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

2. Baleaf Men’s Short Sleeve Solid Sun Protection Rash Guard

This rash guard fits like a regular t-shirt, but it has a host of other benefits besides just looking good. This t-shirt is made from 100% polyester, making it nice and lightweight while also being a quick drying material.

The breathable material is cool to wear, and provides protection against the sun. This tee also has a hem loop to connect the bottom of the shirt to the top of your board shorts, preventing the shirt from riding up in the water.

As the shirt is a very loose fitting article, not securing it could cause the hem to fly up. The solid color makes it easy to wear with any kind of board short, and the fit enables you to experience a full range of motion.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

3. Billabong Men’s Chronicle Regular Fit Rash Guard

This rash guard employs nylon and spandex to create a snug fitting top to help protect against the sun, the sand, and other hazards from being outside. Rash guards are typically used by surfers and jet-skiers to minimize the damage done by scraping against surfboards and sand, which makes them ideal for outdoor activities.

This model uses a 91% nylon and 9% spandex blend to create the ideal composition of protection and comfort, giving you some coverage against the sun and the water. It has a regular fit, meaning it’s designed to be snug around the chest and waist for maximum coverage. It does fit a little looser than other rash guards, which may present a challenge underneath tighter clothes.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

4. Columbia Men’s Long Sleeve Sunset Stream UPF 50 Swim Tee

This long sleeved t-shirt from Columbia acts as a rash guard against the elements. It is a loose fitting top that gives you greater mobility than the skin-tight guards on the market today. The long sleeves help to protect you against the sun, allowing you to stay outside for longer.

The material is 100% polyester, making it ideal for in and out of the water. It is a breathable material, but you may experience higher temperatures. Polyester does trap heat, but it wicks away moisture. In colder temperatures, the added layer is a huge bonus. Machine washable, quick dry, and the shirt comes in a wide variety of colors to suit you.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

5. DRSKIN UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Rash Guard

This rash guard gives 98.8% UV protection in the sun, which is great for spending long hours outside in the water. It goes on snug, but fits fantastically under clothes to keep you protected.

It’s also exceptionally comfortable, utilizing compression technology to stay on where you need it. This rash guard is used in most sports, such as for soccer, football, baseball, surfing, or skiing, because it is also made from a quick-dry material that helps to wick away moisture. It’s exceptionally durable and lightweight, but it does add another layer to your outfit, so it may cause you to feel warmer. This is not so much the case in cold weather, but during the summer it is more prevalent.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

6. Hanes Men’s Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt

These long sleeved t-shirts come in packs of 2, and are extremely useful for being active outside. Their primary use is as a rash guard, which helps protect against abrasions caused by sand and rocks, or by rubbing against hard surfaces.

However, many people choose to wear these as active wear as they are phenomenal at wicking away moisture during and after a workout. Hanes is a trusted brand when it comes to clothing, and these polyester shirts have that same quality many people have come to love. These shirts are long sleeved and exhibit a regular cut; they are relatively loose fitting around the chest, and that width continues all the way down to the waist. Perfect for letting you move freely.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

7. Kanu Surf Men’s Long Sleeve Platinum UPF 50+ Rash Guard

The Kanu Surf rash guard is made from a combination of polyester and spandex, two materials that work so well together when it comes to active wear. The polyester ensures that the material is soft, airy, and fast drying, while the spandex lets the fabric stretch according to what you need.

The shirt is form fitting, making it a suitable addition to underneath clothing or a wet suit, and it adds extra insulation for colder weather.

The fabric is lightweight, but it is extremely effective at blocking UV rays while you are outside. This is a fantastic shirt at a great deal, and according to reviewers, it works fantastically.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

8. Laguna Men’s UPF 50+ Lifeguard Loose-fit Rash Guard

This shirt is a short sleeved active shirt from Laguna, which is designed to reduce moisture and keep you drier for longer while you work out. It is a loose-fitting top that grants you your full range of motion, giving you a greater edge while you are out on the water or in the gym.

This shirt is available in bright colors, giving you greater visibility outside, and it also reduces the appearance of sweat. It’s also incredibly stylish, and looks great no matter what activity you partake in. This shirt is made of 100% polyester, making it cool dry and easy to care for. Lightweight, easy to wear, and incredibly simple to wash, this should be a staple in any active man’s wardrobe.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

9. O’Neill Wetsuits UV Sun Protection Men’s Basic Rash Guard

This elastane and nylon shirt is designed to fit your body in such a way that it will not restrict your movement. It’s not a snug shirt, and feels very breezy when you wear it, which is ideal for working out to promote airflow.

It offers UV protection in the weave, which will keep you safe while out in the sun, and the quick dry material helps you stay fresh all throughout your workout.

There is also the addition of spandex which lets the material stretch with your body as you move. It is a slim fit, so if you require more room in the shoulders or chest, you may need to move a size up.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

10. Quicksilver Men’s All Time Long Sleeve Rash Guard

This slim-fitting shirt is great for hiding under a wet suit or other clothing. It is designed to protect you from the elements, such as the cold, and also gives you extraordinary sun protection.

The quick dry material allows you to feel dry even after being in the water or after a hard workout, making this shirt even more comfortable. The shirt is made from 92% polyester and 8% elastane, which gives it stretch so that it fits around your body snug, but not tight.

The long sleeves are also very snug, keeping them at your wrists without riding up. For being out on the water or just by itself, this shirt is a must have to protect your torso.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

11. Rash Guard For Men Compression and Base Layer Shirt

This shirt from Legend Rash Guards is made in the USA to bring you a high quality garment that lasts long and does exactly what you expect it to. It is made from soft fibers that help keep UV rays off of your torso as well as protecting you from scrapes and abrasions while you are outside. It is a quick dry material for when you are working out, and allows you to move with a wide range of motion despite fitting snugly across the body.

Perfect for all sorts of physical activity such as surfing, cycling, swimming, and running. This shirt is designed to last through all sorts of rough wear, and many reviewers love the way it stands up to hard work.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

12. RVCA Men’s VA Rash Guard

Rash guards are phenomenal pieces of outdoor clothing to help negate the effects of abrasions while out in the water. They are typically meant for surfers and water-goers, but anyone can slip into this comfortable top for a wide variety of activities as well.

This top by RCVA protects you using a 91% nylon and 9% spandex weave, giving you exceptional stretch and compression without being tight throughout the body. It fits nice and snug, staying put while you are out in the water, and the long sleeves are great for fighting off the sun. It comes in two colors – black or red – and reviewers love the way this comfortable top moves and works with them.

Overall, a great top to have.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

13. Speedo Men’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard

This loose fitting rash guard allows you to move and breathe just as naturally as if you were wearing a regular tee shirt. The long sleeves protect your arms from the sun, and the longer cut of the top ensures that when you move, the shirt does not ride up with you.

The lightweight and breathable material keeps you cool and dry, whether you are on land, in the gym, or out on the water. The fabric is made from tight-knit polyester, keeping the sun off of your skin and allowing the shirt to dry faster.

This shirt has a regular cut, meaning it has a looser fit throughout the torso. If you want a snug shirt, order a size down.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

14. Tesla Men’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Tesla’s addition to the sporting world is this handsomely crafted rash guard, designed to fit flush with your body to fit under a wide array of clothing and accessories. It was made specifically with water sports in mind, such as swimming, diving, and surfing.

The addition of a rash guard underneath your wet suit minimizes the effect that minor abrasions have on your skin. Rubbing up against sand, rocks, and other objects won’t leave as drastic of a mark on your body with this added layer of protection.

As well, it adds a layer of insulation for chillier weather. Tough fabric that dries quickly is what makes this product so nice to own, and the different colors available ensure that there is a style that suits you.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

15. Vapor Apparel Men’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve T-Shirt

This rash guard is made from 100% microfiber and provides sun protection for the torso and arms. This fabric is incredibly effective at keeping your skin safe from UV rays, ensuring that your skin stays healthier longer, and you are at less of a risk for developing skin cancers caused by sun exposure.

This long-sleeved t-shirt utilizes water-wicking technology to quickly dry the shirt while you are out of the water, or even after a work-out. Because of this, this particular brand of rash guard is suitable for all sorts of activities both in and out of the water. The shirt is lightweight and exceptionally breathable, and fits loose around the chest, arms, and waist to keep you cooler longer.

Read hundreds of other reviews here on Amazon.

About The Author

Shawn Burns

Shawn is the founder and senior editor at Tools of Men, the leading style and grooming source trusted by men in 187 countries. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. He is an expert in all things men's grooming related. His work has been mentioned on countless sites including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, AskMen, Vice, WikiHow, and the New York Times.

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