Alongside the Gi, the rash guard is one of the most recognizable and important pieces of equipment for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
A rash guard is important for both protection and performance. Rash guards help prevent lacerations and rashes on the skin, as well as keeping sweat, moisture and odor-causing bacteria away from the skin.
Rash guards also improve your performance, with compression technology that aids blood flow and muscle recovery.
You’ll usually wear a rash guards for BJJ No-Gi training and competition. It’s also common to wear rash guards when training in the Gi, for added comfort and protection under your jacket.
Wearing a rash guard is common for MMA training as well – so you can often find yourself needing a rotation of several high-quality rash guards, if you regularly train BJJ and MMA.
In this post, we’ll review some of the best BJJ rash guards – our team’s personal favorites – in the market today, and help you add another awesome rash guard or two to your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gear bag.
What is a Rash Guard?
A rash guard is a close-fitting top (can have long sleeves or short sleeves), commonly used for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and martial arts.
Most commonly, a rash guard is made from polyester and spandex, which clings to the skin tightly. Some can also have muscle compression technology, which make them fit even tighter.
Jiu Jitsu is most common for a combat sport rash guard, but you can also find them worn in mma. Rash guards, as the name suggests, help protect from rashes caused by mat burn and other friction-related injuries.
The rash guard looks a lot like what you’d wear to go swimming or surfing, and indeed a lot of rash guards can double as outdoors gear (many feature SPF 50 UV protection).
You’ll want a rash guard if you train No-Gi BJJ, while wearing a rash guard is generally optional in Gi Jiu Jitsu.
Best BJJ Rash Guards on Amazon
If you shop on Amazon (who doesn’t, right?), there are a ton of awesome rash guard options available. Some of our favorite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gear brands (Gold BJJ, Sanabul) are on Amazon, and their range includes some of the best rash guards we’ve tried.
Here are our top rash guard picks from Amazon:
- Six sizes to choose from, from XS to XXL
- Long and short sleeve options
- Ranked colors
The trademark of this rash guard is minimal fuss, but maximum performance.
Instead of a flashy design, the Gold BJJ Foundation rash guard is made to feel great when you’re rolling, and last a long time.
The rash guard features flatlock stitching that won’t irritate you in any way. At the same time, it offers durability, so you won’t have to worry about the seams coming apart.
Mesh underarms give added breathability, while one of the best parts is the long cut – meaning it won’t ride halfway up your chest when you’re in the middle of a roll.
And while the design is not as extravagant as others, I quite like the simplicity of this rash gaurd. A simple “gold” across the chest reminds you and everyone else what you’re competing for. The Gold BJJ rash guard features sublimated graphics, which won’t peel easily, even with constant use.
The Gold BJJ is probably the best BJJ rash guard for competition – ranked colors, as well as plain white and black options – means there’s no chance you’re going to have problems with IBJJF rules..
There’s also no reason this rash guard can’t double as a cross training outfit, or even an outfit for the beach. It’s a real all-rounder.
- Durable and multi-purpose design
- Several color variations
- Flexible material
This Sanabul rash guard features the hallmark of all of their gear – awesome value, nice design, top performance.
One selling point of this long sleeve rash guard is its anti-microbial properties. Nothing’s worse than skin infections, so you want a rash guard that does its part to fend off bacteria.
These properties also help the rash guard stand up to the test of time, rather than breaking down and losing its quality with heavy use.
This rash guard features SPF 50 UV protection. It’s designed, not just for BJJ, but as a solid choice for cross-training. So whether you plan to use it when you run, bike, surf, or fight, this one’s for you.
Flatlock stitching ensures the rash guard is strong and durable. The material is elastic enough so you can tug it in different directions without tearing.
The design of this rash guard is a modern, neon style, available in a couple of color options. For me, it’s a great middle ground between a simple training rash guard and some of the more extravagant designs out there.
If you prefer ranked colors, Sanabul has you covered there as well. Check out the Sanabul Essentials Rash Guard here.
Finally, we need to mention that this rash guard is amazing value. For those who don’t want to shell out $50 on a rash guard, look no further than the Sanabul Myo, which has got to the best BJJ rash guard in terms of value for money.
- Blue, grey, red options
- Five sizes – S to XXL
- Breathable material
- Short and long sleeve options
- One of the best BJJ gear brands out there
With Hayabusa, you know you’re getting the best BJJ gear. It might come at a little extra cost, but if you consider how long this rash guard is going to last you, is $10-20 extra really an issue?
You’ll feel the quality of this when you’re rolling. It’s equal parts durable and comfortable. The fabric is breathable, helping to keep your body temperature down, even when you’re in difficult positions. Flat lock stitching gives it an added layer of durability, without having to worry about chafing or irritation from the seams.
The design is pretty neat, as it is with most gear from Hayabusa. The subtle geometric patterns along the chest and arms do just enough to stand out, but not enough to make it overbearing. You get three color variations to choose from – red, grey and blue (unfortunately no dedicated ranked colors).
- Durable and anti-microbial fabric
- IBJJF approved, ranked colors
- Minimalist design with sublimated graphics
- Fuji brand is a long-standing BJJ/Jiu Jitsu/Martial Arts leader
We love this rash guard because it’s durable, and features antimicrobial and antifungal defense. These are a couple of the most important features in a Jiu Jitsu rash guard.
Fuji is a classic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brand with a classic style, which shows in this rash guard. There’s nothing crazy going on with the design. Just something simple, with the Fuji logo in the middle, which has a classic traditional martal arts feel.
Fuji products are made to last. I’ve had a pair of Fuji shorts since I first started BJJ, which are still going strong. Other shorts I bought have already started to come apart in places, but with Fuji you’re confident that your gear will last a long time.
This rash guard is comfortable and functional, giving you no worries about anything getting in the way of your rolls.
There are seven (7!) sizes available, all the way from XS to 3XL. Sizing runs a little small, so you might want buy a slightly larger size than you’re used to.
Final point, you can get the Fuji Baseline in all ranked colors, making it an excellent competition rash guard for BJJ practitioners.
- Great quality Under Armour design
- Vendilated mesh underarm panel
- Four-way stretch construction
- Wicks sweat and dries fast
This is not a typical rash guard for BJJ, but the Under Armour long-sleeve compression shirt ticks all the boxes.
This is actually one of my favorite rash guards to wear. I’ve had one for over five years now, and it’s still serving me well.
This compression shirt feels great, with moisture-wicking technology that helps regulate your body temperature. It feels super light as well, and provides better mobility than any other rash guard I’ve worn, due to multi-panel four-way stretch construction.
The design is plain and simple, which may be unfortunate for those who value style as #1. But there are multiple color options to allow for a bit of expression.
If you want to compete, get a color that fits with IBJJF rules. The black and white options should be legal in any belt level, while there’s also blue and purple, if you’re in either of these divisions.
Tatami Rash Guards – Best Designs, Hands Down
If you were to only buy rash guards from Tatami, you could still collect enough designs to wear a different one every day of the month.
Tatami has some of the best rash guards, particularly in terms of design, out there. People around the world love their rash guards and gear for BJJ, MMA and other martial arts. Once you start buying Tatami products, you’ll become addicted, I promise.
It’s not easy dealing with compliments and being known as the person with the coolest rash guards… but you’ll get used to it.
The best thing about Tatami rash guards is they aren’t just good to look at. Their gear is battle tested, worn by black belts and professionals all over the world. These rash guards feel great, and stand up to punishment. They’re even pretty good value, with most rash guards coming in under $50.
Tatami has short and long sleeve rash guards available (though not all designs are made in both short sleeve and long sleeve).
Here are a few of my favorite Tatami rash guards:
We often say BJJ is like a chess match. This rash guard visualizes that. Picture the power of a silverback gorilla… and the intellect of a chess professional.
This rash guard design just exemplifies what Jiu Jitsu is all about – the combination of strength and intelligence. I think that’s why it’s my favorite Tatami design. One of the best looking rash guard designs out there.
This one is a vastly different style to the chess gorilla rash guard, and indeed many of Tatami’s rash guard designs. It’s kind of a retro look – and gives the impression that you’re here for business, not pleasure.
It features a snake and arrow along the sleeves and on the back, in the most extravagant part of the design. The rest is clean and simple, with a contrasting navy and yellow color.
There are also matching shorts and spats in this design, letting you complete a sleek, matching outfit.
Another one for those who love simplicity. There’s nothing crazy going on here. A lot of space on the front, and the back features a vertical window to an idyllic scene of tropical palm trees.
I love the mix of black, white and orange in the color scheme, as well as the traditional Asian lettering on the front. This design really makes you feel like a martial artist.
Raven Fightwear – More Great Designs
They’re not as much of a household name as Tatami yet, but Raven Fightwear is a brand that’s responsible for some of the craziest and most badass designs out there right now.
The price is a bit of a premium, as you’d expect, but all the products are super high-quality, and the designs from Raven Fightwear are nuts.
Here are some of my favorite Raven BJJ rash guards:
Origin USA Rash Guards – Premium BJJ Gear
Origin is one of the top names in premium, super high-quality BJJ gear. While their Gis stand out, they also make amazing No-Gi gear.
They have a few really good designs, including a few USA-themed designs, to bring out the patriot in you. Their gear is all made locally in the US as well, for those who want to support US-based manufacturing.
You can read more about Origin gear, and their brand in general, in our full brand review.
While all of Origin’s rash guards are badass, the Origin DNA is my favorite. I love the simple mustard and black color scheme, and the trademark Origin design.
Even better, this is a high-quality rash guard. It performs great. It’s moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, holds up against abrasion, and stretches or compresses to fit your body perfectly.
The only downsides to Origin gear are the price (a little more expensive than anything you’re going to find on Amazon) and shipping time. Keep in mind, as all gear is made to order, it takes about 4-6 weeks to arrive. But if you want the best gear (including rash guards and other No-Gi gear), Origin is for you.
Elite Sports – Great Value Ranked Rash Guards
Elite Sports is one of the best places to go for cheap, good value BJJ gear. Their products are simple, but work fine if you need something no-frills, that performs well.
Elite Sports gives you possible the best value rash guard out there. For less than $20, you get a quality, lightweight rash guard, designed for the rigors of BJJ and other combat sports.
The design is super simple, which will appeal to some people, who don’t necessarily need a flashy look. This makes them perfect for competition wear. I have a feeling that’s what Elite Sports had in mind, as they offer ranked rash guards for all belt levels, in both long and short sleeved versions.
Why Should You Wear a Rash Guard?
Let’s clear this up. Is wearing a rash guard for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu essential? Can you substitute a rash guard for a simple t-shirt or tank top?
You could wear regular cotton t-shirts, or other kind of activewear. It’s not ideal though. BJJ rash guards are not just for a fashion statement, they serve a functional purpose too.
Here’s why you should wear rash guards for BJJ.
Prevent Skin Injuries and Infections
Wearing a rash guard helps prevent skin injuries, which really suck. Friction is a killer in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Your skin is rubbing against other training partners, the mats, your Gi, and more. It’s easy to wind up with rashes or broken skin, and mat burn, which hurts A LOT.
These skin injuries are annoying and uncomfortable in the first place. But the worst thing is broken skin opens the door for bacteria to enter the body, leading to skin infections like ringworm and staph.
A rash guard helps protect the skin, as well as protecting against common bacteria and infections. Strong moisture-wicking qualities reduce the amount of sweat and bacteria around, reducing the risk of infections.
Reduce Snags (and Related Injuries)
The biggest reason to wear a proper BJJ rash guard over a t-shit or tank top is to avoid getting fingers, toes etc caught up in fabric. With loose-fitting shirts, this is easy, when two people are grappling and moving at a high pace. It just takes a second, and your finger or toe gets caught, leading to a nasty sprain.
That’s why tight-fitting clothes such as rash guards are worn in BJJ, MMA, and other close-quarters martial arts that don’t use the Gi. It’s also why loose-fitting shirts and regular athletic gear are not IBJJF approved for competitions.
Deal With Moisture
We sweat a lot in Jiu Jitsu. A regular t-shirt, not equipped for water sports, will become bogged down and extremely uncomfortable after a hot roll. That’s why you’ll wear surfer-like clothes, which are designed to be able to handle moisture, wicking sweat away from your body and drying quickly.
Compression for Muscle Performance & Recovery
Tight-fitting compression gear is good for the muscles. Compression technology helps aid blood flow and circulation, which improves muscle performance, speeds up recovery, regulates body temperature, and helps prevent injuries. In this sense, a combat sports rash guard can also benefit you in running, weightlifting, crossfit, or any other athletic endeavor.
Choosing the Best BJJ Rash Guards
These are some of the most important factors we took into consideration when picking out our personal favorite BJJ rash guards outlined in this post.
While you’re not supposed to grip and pull on clothing in No-Gi, it’s inevitable that your rash guard is going to take some punishment – whether it’s being pulled accidentally, or getting held on to by the fresh white belt, holding onto anything he can for dear life.
The last thing you want is a rash guard that tears or loses its shape. It feels pretty crummy when your rash guard doesn’t fit right anymore, no longer fitting tight around the torso or long sleeves.
You want high-quality fabric, and reinforced stitching (also known as flatlock stitching) on the seams. Many feature four-way stretch fabric, which allows the rash guard to be pulled and stretched without easily losing shape.
A rash guard is usually made out of a mix of polyester and spandex (in percentage terms 80 polyester and 20 spandex), so beware of anything made from other materials, as it may not be as durable.
Comfort & Mobility
More important than anything, you want your BJJ rash guard to feel comfortable. The annoyance from rash guard that doesn’t feel quite right is enough to throw you off your game, easily.
You want full range of motion. There’s nothing worse than having your movement restricted by a rigid rash guard, that makes you feel like you’re in a strait-jacket. Ventilated mesh underarms are also pretty great at aiding comfort while wearing your rash guard.
Make sure your rash guard is equipped to deal with sweat and moisture. The best rash guards have strong moisture wicking technology built in, meaning they are designed to pull sweat away from your body. This is vital, giving you an anti slip feature that you’ll love during hot and sweaty rolls.
Moisture-wicking technology doesn’t just aid with comfort, it also helps keep your body safe from infections (anti microbial fabric helps with this too). If keeping moisture and bacteria away from your body is important, a long sleeve rash guard is probably best.
Finally, fashion is important. Not for everyone – some people don’t care about how they look, and that’s fine. But for others, No-Gi BJJ is your chance to make a statement and look great.
There are a ton of awesome designs to choose from in BJJ rash guards today. You can build up a hell of a collection, enough to look great with a fresh look every day of the week. There are also short and long sleeve options to fit your preference.
(Choose a rash guard with sublimated graphics to ensure that it stands up and doesn’t start peeling after a couple of rolls).
You might also want to pick up a couple of ranked rash guards for competition as well, as some of the most extravagant designs may not be legal by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) rules.
Want to Choose For Yourself?
We outlined above some of the Find Your Gi team’s personal favorite No-Gi BJJ rash guards. However, if you want to shop for a rash guard yourself, and choose the right design for you, here are some quick links to the best BJJ rash guard brands out there:
We recommend just about any product from the brands above. We’ll leave the style choice, long sleeve or short sleeved, and the price range to you.
Best BJJ Rash Guards Today – In Summary
Whether you’re just starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kicking your training up a notch, or looking to treat yourself and add to your rash guard collection, your search for an awesome rash guard starts and ends here.
We’ve put together a collection of the best BJJ and MMA rash guards, as judged by our team. Ranked colors, short sleeved, long sleeve, bold designs, minimalist, budget, premium… the list above has you covered, no matter what your preference is in rash guards.
Check out our picks, as well as our recommended brands, and find your next favorite rash guard.