What is a Rash Guard?

What is a Rash Guard?

Are you prepared for countless hours in the sun and water this season? Just be sure to factor in protection from harmful UV rays, sand, and rough waves. A rash guard may be the solution you’re looking for. It is an athletic shirt, originally designed for surfers, made of spandex, nylon, or polyester that protects the wearer's skin while swimming, including damage from rashes, chafing, and scrapes. Rash guards are sometimes referred to as water shirts, swim shirts, surfing shirts, or sun shirts because it is a great way to protect yourself from sunburn and can double as a coverup over your swimsuit. Here are some answers to the most common questions about our rash guards as well as why you should add one to your swim wardrobe this summer.

How Should a Rash Guard Fit?

Comfort and functionality are key features to look for when selecting a rash guard or sun shirt. The right fit can vary depending on the activity you’re participating in. If you are wearing your rash guard or swim shirt for exercise or outdoor summer activities, make sure it isn't so tight that it will restrict your movement when you run and play. You don't want men's swim shirts to be loose either, though, or you might find fabric getting caught on things, especially if you are wearing your rash guard on a hike or camping trip. Just like with other types of swimsuits, it is important to try your rash guard options on before you pick one (or two, it can be nice to switch things up sometimes) for the summer swimming season.

How to Wear a Rash Guard

Rash Guards and swim shirts are known for the excellent skin protection they provide for water sports, beach activities, and sun exposure. However, rash guards can be useful for far more instances than just the beach. Here are some of our favorite ideas for your rash guard.

  • For water or beach sports: The rash guard is the gold standard for surfing. It protects your skin from the harsh waves, from scrapes and cuts if you wipe out, and from the harmful UV rays. It’s also a great option for beach sports like jogging, volleyball, or swimming laps.
  • As a swimsuit cover-up: If you are spending the day lounging on the beach, the rash guard shirt can be a great article of clothing to keep on hand when you want to come in from the beach. It’s quick-drying, so you won’t have those pesky water marks from your swimsuit underneath, and you can choose great designs so that it looks just like a regular t-shirt while you are strolling down the boardwalk or stopping for lunch.
  • Gardening or Lawn Work: Spending any time outside can increase your risk for sun exposure. Instead of having to lather up in sunscreen throughout the day, if you are intending on spending the day outside working on your garden or mowing the lawn, throwing your rash guard or men's swim shirt over a pair of shorts will protect your skin from the sun or scratches from plants while you are working in your garden.
  • Hiking: On a hike, a rash guard can be used as a layering piece, to protect you from the sun, or worn on its own with your regular hiking gear. The quick-drying, wicking fabric prevents chaffing and keeps you comfortable on the hottest and sweatiest of days. The extra fabric coverage and UV protection fabric of swim shirts for men give you additional protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Because it is made out of thicker fabric, your rash guard also protects your skin against scrapes and cuts from branches or rocks.

Let Us Help You

Here at Lands' End, we know how important safety and comfort are when enjoying the summer weather. That's why we have a wide variety of rash guards and swim shirts in various styles and sizes. We offer rashguards for men and women that are stylish and unique, as well as kids' rash guards and rash guards for babies. Protective swimwear shouldn’t cramp your style. Find the perfect piece to complement your swimsuit.

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