The 8 Best Rash Guards of 2021

Enjoy the beach this summer with maximum skin protection

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Our Top Picks
Strategically-placed seams reduce your risk of chafing.
The polyester and spandex fabric is quick-drying and breathable.
Your skin will be protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
Ideal for surfers looking for a sleek and stylish rash guard.
Best for days at the beach when you’re in and out of the water a lot.
Gets the seal of approval from The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Best for Scuba Diving:
Scubapro Men's Rash Guard at Amazon
Has a form-fitting design that’s comfortable and easy to layer.
Durable in repeated exposure to sun, salt, and chlorine.

Best Overall for Men: O'Neill Men's Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard

For the best in comfort, style, and performance, you can’t go wrong with this men’s long sleeve rash guard from the top trusted name in surfing apparel: O’Neill. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this top comes with UPF 50+ protection to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays. It features four-way stretch fabric so it won’t ride up or shift when you’re in the water. The flat-lock stitching and strategically-placed seams enhance the overall comfort and reduce your risk of chafing.

This surf-ready shirt is made of a polyester and spandex fabric, so it dries quickly and is extremely durable. It’s also breathable and wicks away sweat, so it will help you stay cool and dry when you're walking on the beach, too. You can choose from numerous solids and color combos, all of which feature the O’Neill logo.

To keep uncomfortable friction at bay, check out our favorite chafing creams.

Best Overall for Women: Kanu Surf Women's Keri Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard

Known for their quality apparel as well as exceptional fit and functionality, Kanu Surf designed this long-sleeve rash guard shirt with women’s needs in mind. It features a flattering, slim fit and UPF 50+ UV protection, which blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays and helps you avoid a painful sunburn.

The extremely soft, polyester/spandex fabric is quick-drying and breathable, so this shirt works well for both land and water activities. Take your pick of 10 different colors, from basic white to pretty coral or aqua. All include the stylish, screen-printed Kanu logo on the chest. With such a reasonable price tag, you may decide you need multiple colors, so you can still stay protected when one shirt is in the laundry pile.

Need more gear for fun in the sun? Get our picks for the best products to protect your skin during outdoor exercise.

Best Budget: DRSKIN UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Top

With the durability and comfort of similar higher-end rash guard shirts, DRSKIN’s long sleeve top is an excellent value for the money. Your skin will be protected from irritating rashes, as well as the sun’s harmful rays, thanks to the UPF 50+ protection. The quick-dry material makes it a good choice for both water and land sports, and also helps you avoid the mistake of taking it off to dry and then discovering (painfully) that you waited too long to put it back on.

It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, which is always a plus for inexpensive shirts when you may want to stock up. Users note that these shirts are very form-fitting, so order two sizes up if you prefer a looser fit.

Want protection for your feet, too? Take a look at the best water shoes for women and the best water shoes for men.

Best for Surfing: Quiksilver All Time Long Sleeve Rashguard Swim Shirt UPF 50+

Surfers who love riding waves for hours at a time need a rash guard with exceptional sun protection as well as good compression to keep their muscles warm. Quiksilver, an iconic brand in the world of surfing, delivers on those features and more with this long-sleeve rash guard. It feels like a second skin, and dries super quickly once you’re out of the water.

The board short loop fastener helps prevent it from shifting and riding up, so you’re protected from uncomfortable friction between your skin and the board. It’s ideal for surfers looking for a quality, sleek, and stylish rash guard that will keep them protected and comfortable for extended periods on the water.

Stand up paddleboarding more your style? Check out the best SUP boards on the market.

Best Quick Drying: Hurley Men's Nike Dri-fit Long Sleeve Sun Protection +50 UPF Rashguard

On seriously hot days, you need a lightweight, breathable rash guard that will keep you comfortable as well as protected. This long sleeve from Hurley is thin enough to feel like you’re not even wearing a shirt, while still providing the UPF 50+ sun protection you need. It dries extremely fast and excels at wicking away sweat when you’re on land.

While it’s not the most technical shirt on our list, it’s ideal for days at the beach when you’re in and out of the water a lot and you want to keep your skin covered. Hurley also makes a similar women’s version that’s just as comfortable and reliable.

Best for Kids: O'Neill Wetsuits Youth Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

If your water-loving kid gives you a hard time with reapplying sunscreen every 80 minutes, it’s nice to have an extra layer of sun protection. Another high-quality product from O’Neill, this rash guard gets the seal of approval from The Skin Cancer Foundation and offers UPF 50+.

Whether your kids are into surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, or playing in the sand, this durable shirt will keep them comfortable and safe. They can also avoid painful rashes and chafing, thanks to the shirt’s minimal seam placement. Suitable for both boys and girls, these rash guards come in a rainbow of colors and are available in sizes 4 to 16.

Best for Scuba Diving: Scubapro Men's Rash Guard

While many rash guards work underneath a wetsuit, this one from Scubapro is designed specifically for diving. Made from high-quality, durable polyester fabric, it has a form-fitting design that’s both comfortable and easy to layer. With UPF 50 sun protection and multiple color options, this versatile and stylish shirt can also be worn alone when you’re doing other water sports. The quick-drying fabric also makes it a perfect shirt for transitioning from water to land.

Best Short Sleeve: Speedo Men's UV Swim Shirt Short Sleeve Longview Tee

If you feel like long-sleeve rash guards are too constricting or warm, you might like this short sleeve one from Speedo, a long-time leader in swim and surf attire. The shirt’s soft, lightweight material and flatlock seams make it feel like you’re not wearing anything, although you’re still getting excellent protection against the sun and abrasive surfaces.

Extremely durable, this shirt holds up well despite repeated exposure to sun, salt, sand, and chlorine. It’s a nice option for water or land sports, especially on extremely hot days when long sleeves might feel too oppressive. We love that it’s machine-washable, so it’s easy to clean after a long day at the beach. Speedo also makes a women’s version that’s perfect for water sports and outdoor activities.

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