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Best Rash Guards For BJJ and MMA (2021 reviews)

Looking for a new rash guard for grappling or MMA? There are seemingly endless options available online, so choosing the right one can be tough.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve researched all of the best rash guards for BJJ on the market, ranked them, and found the top 5 picks that won’t break the budget below.

The 5 Best Rash Guard For BJJ and MMA

Here are 5 rash guards that won’t let you down for BJJ and MMA training. We’ve looked at hundreds on the market, and while there are many good options, the following 5 are customer favorites.

1. Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Compression – Top pick

Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Compression

Specifications

  • 85% polyester, 15% spandex

  • UPF 50
  • All-purpose
  • Long sleeves 

I love this rash guard personally as it features such a simple yet elegant design with a feel of premium quality. This rash guard features some stand-out perks that truly makes a highlight within this list.

The first thing to notice is the four-way stretch material that brings adequate compression, as well as the fact that the rash guard is fairly lightweight. The rash guard design by itself has slight compression in the arms and upper torso so that it stimulates better blood flow through the body. The material feels smooth and does not make your skin rash like some compression fabrics do.

An interesting feature it has is the ventilated wire mesh that serves to disperse the heat and therefore reduces body heat during intensive activity. Also, the underarm mesh should help with releasing moisture away from the body and keep the rash guard dry.

The less sweat and moisture means the better grip you will have on your opponent as it will keep your hands dry. Another really good feature is that it has been specially treated with anti-microbial to prevent the spread of bacteria and fungus on the rash guard when rolling with other people, as it is very easy for bacteria and other microbes to spread from one player to the other.

The last feature that makes this an outstanding rash guard is the added UV SPF 50 protection. This allows you to have a much wider range of uses for this rash guard if you decide to use it besides BJJ and grappling – something that makes it one of the best rash guards on the market.

Who was it made for?

The Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Compression rash guard is both a product for indoor and outdoor activities. The best use for it is on the mats, so it will mostly benefit BJJ and grappling people. I would recommend it to anyone as you get a lot of quality for an affordable price. One of the best BJJ rash guards out there.

2. Optimal Human BJJ Jiu Jitsu Long Rashguard – Best Value for Money

Optimal Human BJJ Jiu Jitsu Long Rashguard - No Gi Rash Guard - for Grappling, MMA, Wrestlng | IBJJF Approved

Specifications

  • 85% polyester, 15% spandex 

  • UPF 50+
  • All-purpose
  • Long sleeves 
  • IBJJF Approved

The people at Optimal Human certainly brought their A-game with this rash guard for BJJ and mixed martial arts. They admittedly didn’t pay attention to the rash guard design that much, it is quite simple, but fear not, this is still a Brazilian jiu-jitsu rashguard of the highest quality. The rash guard is made so that it molds to your body like a second skin, and yet feels extremely smooth and comfortable.

The designers took the extra time to create a rash guard with flat-lock stitching work that can withstand heavy action. The neckline, sleeves, and waist all have reinforced stitching, a feature most of the cheaper BJJ rash guards out there lack. The engineering and the ventilation with the mesh panel beneath the armpits help a lot with ventilation and cooling of the body.

The whole point of the high quality design is to have an optimized compression that is going to boost your overall body functions so that you can perform better and overall, Optimal Human managed to do that to a very high standard with this rash guard.

The material is 85% polyester, 15% spandex, and it has been treated to have the longest life span possible. One thing that is interesting about the design is that they left an extra torso length so that people of all different physiques can find it comfortable. The rash guard also has UV 50+ protection, so it is ideal for outdoor activities. 

On top of that, this jiu jitsu rash guard is IBJJF approved, meaning it has been given the thumbs up from the leading authorities within the world of BJJ.

Who was it made for?

The Optimum Human BJJ rash guard is just designed for an athlete that wants their gear to be of high quality. It can be utilized by grapplers in general, and that includes martial arts such as BJJ, wrestling, MMA. Apart from that, you can use it for other activities when working out or just jogging and riding a bike, making it a highly recommended rash guard for pros and amateurs alike. 

3. LAFROI Men’s Long Sleeve Rash Guard – Best Design

LAFROI Men's Long Sleeve UPF 50+ Baselayer Skins Performance Fit Compression Rash Guard

Specifications

  • 80% nylon, 20% spandex

  • UPF 50+
  • All-purpose
  • Long Sleeves

If you’re hoping to look cool on the mat and rock a rash guard with some sweet design, LAFROI rash guards are the best place to begin! As somebody that likes to feel comfortable and look good at the same time, these rash guards always hit the spot.

You can choose from various designs and almost all of them look amazing. Apart from the cool designs, these rash guards hold some quality standards. The material is solid and at the same time smooth, comfortable to wear.

The main feature, except for the fine artwork, is the “Burst” series spandex that serves to empower the compression while you are doing intense sessions. It gives the rash guard a little bit more elasticity and compression of the muscles.

The rash guard fabric by itself is light and dries quickly. The flatlock sewing prevents the fabric rub against the skin and the UV protection helps you when you are exposed to the sun for longer periods of time. Overall you get a nice design with some cool artwork and solid quality.  

Who was it made for?

The design as well as versatility makes this rash guard perfect for outdoor activities as well as on the mats. You can use it while rolling, swimming with jellyfish, or when you are just working out. If you like your rash guard to have that artistic touch, this is the rash guard for you.  

4. Pressure Grappling Women’s Premium BJJ – Best for Women

Pressure Grappling Women's Premium BJJ Short Sleeve Belt Rank Rash Guards with Lockdown Band

Specifications

  • 80% nylon, 20% spandex

  • UPF 50+
  • All-purpose
  • Short Sleeve

Finding a high-quality female rash guard is not so easy. The Pressure Grappling Women’s Premium BJJ rash guard is a little bit on the pricey side, but you get a lot for the money you have invested.

The design looks cool and simple with some nice artwork, nothing too crazy. You can choose a bunch of color patterns that are flatlock stitched and durable. The rash guard features a premium WikPRO moisture fabric that keeps the body dry and releases heat.

The 4-way stretch 80% nylon, 20% spandex material makes it fit the body quite nicely.  The whole point of the WikPRO fabric is so that it can accommodate many different body types. It provides great awesome stretch capabilities so it can fit ladies of all physiques. 

One of the many cool features this rash guard has is the silicone LOCKDOWN band. The band is at the waist to prevent movement and ride up while you are rolling. Along with the nice features you also get UV protection that allows you to train outdoors on sunny days.

Who was it made for?

For all the ladies get yourself one of these rash guards so that you can look amazing on, and off the mats. It isn’t one of the cheaper out there but it is an all-purpose rash guard, and the quality with the features make it worthwhile. You can use it for various activities, and I would recommend it to all the females that involve themselves in any kind of physical activity, especially BJJ and mixed martial arts. 

5. Hawk Sports Men’s Compression Shirts

Hawk Sports Mens Compression Shirts Base Layer Athletic Gym MMA BJJ Rash Guard No Gi Full Long Sleeve Rashguard Shirt for Men

Specifications

  • 85% polyester, 15% spandex

  • UPF 50+
  • All-purpose
  • Long Sleeve

The Hawk Sports Men’s Compression rash guard has everything that a new practitioner of BJJ could need. As you want your rash guards to feel like a second skin, this rash guard will hit that requirement quite nicely.

It is perfect for training or competition use. It is simple with a basic clean Y- Vent design and a range of colors you can pick from. The material is a mix of polyester and spandex, and with the over-lock stitching, it provides good quality for extended use.

The macro stretch fabric gives the rash guard that tight feel and comfort when put on. A nice feature is that the fabric has been treated with anti-microbial technology that prevents the spread and growth of microbes.

The rash guard also has the UPF 50+ protection factor, so it is good to use for outdoor training as well. You can wear it for all kinds of activities as the rash guard is comfortable and breathable.

Who was it made for?

Overall, this is one of the best BJJ rash guards for beginners who don’t need anything fancy and are working on a budget. It can be good to have it in your closet even as someone who has been training for longer, as the rash guard has all the qualities you would need from a solid rash guard when doing BJJ and mixed martial arts. 

Having the best BJJ rash guard possible not only provides protection, but it also allows you to express your artistic self.

How to choose a good Rash Guard for BJJ and MMA

It is very important to pay attention to several things when looking for the best BJJ rash guard. As a white belt when I was starting it didn’t matter so much, but later on in my BJJ journey, I discovered that it is a truly crucial component of training. Just like a good Gi will make you roll confidently, so will a good rash guard!

The first is what material was used and how it is going to fall on your skin. Rash guards are made from materials such as nylon, spandex, or polyester (1). Most of them are made by a combination of the two. As these are artificial materials they hold properties some natural materials don’t have and lack some that naturally does have. A quality rash guard should keep the same size after using it and washing it repeatedly.

The second thing is the quality of the stitching. As you are reading this, you are probably planning to involve yourself in disciplines like BJJ and MMA. In these sports, the apparel is required to be tough and sturdy so it doesn’t tear that easily, and flexible and elastic at the same time. Always look for rash guards that have reinforced stitching as a thing that is going to prolong the lifespan of the rash guard.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at the end of the day, is the art of expressing yourself honestly. Every time you put a gi on you can’t lie. –

Long Sleeve Rash Guard vs. Short Sleeve Rash Guard For BJJ

This is a topic many like to discuss and my opinion is simple. You should be wearing a rash guard that suits you best. The only thing to take note of is that a long sleeve rash guard can provide a little bit more protection than short sleeve when rolling with a lot of people.

best rash guard for bjj

The bacteria usually comes in contact with your skin so having a long sleeve outfit can help you with maintaining your hygiene (and this is coming from someone that had ringworm, and let me tell you it is not a nice experience).

CALLOUT: Wearing a rash guard while training MMA or Brazilian jiu-jitsu will reduce the chance of getting a skin infection.

I like short sleeve rash guards better than long sleeve as I like to have more feeling in my forearms and elbows when grappling my opponent. Some gyms have different types of mats so in some situations it can be better to have a rash guard with long sleeves to prevent getting skin burns. 

Benefits Of A Perfect No-Gi Rash Guard

Some people like artwork, some wear them because everybody else is, but for me, I always make sure to prioritize comfort. It is similar to when you are looking to buy an MMA mouth guard. Finding the best no Gi rash guards is like striking gold.

As a BJJ practitioner, I struggled for a long time to find the one that would fit me the way I wanted, something would always bother me. Either it would be too tight or too loose on some parts, or the fabric the rash guard is made of wouldn’t compress around the body properly (2). 

EXPERT QUOTE: “At all cost do whatever means necessary and get a rash guard. There will be no future. There will be no beach. The sun will never see your eyes again. Rash guard.” – Josen Cordiero

When I finally did find the right rash guard, it made my time at the mats so much more enjoyable. A perfect BJJ rash guard not only provides protection and comfort, but it also allows you to perform and focus better on the mats.

With perfection also comes a little bit of a confidence boost, I’m not going to lie. Make sure to experiment and find the one that is going to suit you perfectly, just be careful to not go over the budget, as buying various jiu jitsu rash guards can become a hobby.

Are BJJ Rash Guards Different Than MMA Rash Guards?

There is not one difference. Most of the people that train either BJJ or MMA use the same or similar apparel. Rash guards found their way into both respected disciplines because they make for perfect clothing while doing long rounds of sparring and drilling. 

If you train MMA in any form you are going to do some grappling. That is why people use MMA rash guards, similarly why a person doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu would use it.

Rash guards make for the perfect apparel when training combat sports. They protect the body – all while being fully flexible.

FAQs

Wearing a rash guard is necessary for most BJJ schools even though some places allow their students to train without them. It protects the skin from getting burnt from the mat as well as helping you to keep some level of hygiene when rolling with other people. You can also wear a rash guard beneath your Gi. It makes for perfect BJJ apparel.

The best BJJ rash guards should feel tight on you and not lose with space in between the fabric and the skin. If there is too much space it’s not going to protect you against chafing or jiu-jitsu rash. An uncomfortable rash guard can irritate when grappling or doing different kinds of activities. A danger is that it can get caught up in your opponent’s limbs when rolling or sparring.

As more and more people are getting involved in fitness and sports, so does the demand for high-quality rash guards grow. These are some of the best brands for rash guards out there: Sanabul, Anthem Athletics, Fuji Sports, Tatami Fightwear, Elite Sports, Hayabusa, Venum 

  1. SPANDEX (LYCRA, ELASTANE) VS POLYESTER: DIFFERENCES AND COMPARISON. July 11, 2019. Retrieved from: https://norwaygeographical.com/spandex-lycra-elastane-vs-polyester/
  2. Do I have to wear a rash guard under my Gi? Retrieved from: https://renzogracieacademy.com/faq/do-i-have-to-wear-a-rash-guard-under-my-gi/

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