How to find a comfortable, durable and stylish rash guard for jiu jitsu.
A great rash guard for BJJ should fit well and let you drill, roll and compete comfortably. At the time of writing there are over 155 BJJ gi brands, almost all of which sell rash guards, so this guide will help you decide which deserves your investment.
January 2023 Update: We re-ran our analysis to update this guide for 2023.
Best BJJ rash guards summary
- Best overall rash guards: Phalanx Metric Rashguard, Hayabusa Geo and Scramble Tactic
- Best cheap rash guards: Sanabul Essentials Compression Rashguard and Elite Standard Rashguard
- Best for creative artworks: Raven Fightwear Nordic, Half Sumo Coin Up and Tatami Thinker Monkey
- Best for IBJJF legal ranked rash guards: Gold Foundation and Fuji Baseline
- Best for personalization: Future Under Dawg 2.0
Why you can trust this list
This list of BJJ rash guards and the information below is the result of over 15 hours of research across 104 brands. We analyzed current rash guards on offer which fit our criteria and also researched user reviews on sites like Amazon and BJJ Fight Gear. We also took into account user opinions on Reddit, and filtered products through Fakespot to exclude products with suspicious reviews.
The best BJJ rash guards
Best overall rash guards
Phalanx Metric Rashguard
Phalanx has a popular line up of rash guards known for fitting well and being comfortable and durable. Its rash guards are built to order and are made in the USA.
The Metric Rash Guard has a simple black design with a geometric pattern on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and Phalanx logos on the chest, sleeve and back.
It has flatlock stitching for durability and comfort, and the design is sublimated to prevent cracking, peeling and fading. This rash guard is also SPF 50 in case you want to wear it outside and still be protected from the sun.
Hayabusa Geo Rash Guard
The Hayabusa Geo is a subtle but great looking rash guard with Hayabusa’s usual high standard of features. It comes in both short and long sleeve versions, and your choice of three colours including blue, grey and red.
The Geo rashguard has a silicone waistband to stop it riding up during training, flatlock stitching for extra durability and comfort, and 4-way stretch fabric to enable you to move comfortably.
User reviews comment on its comfort, quality construction and durability.
Scramble Tactic Rash Guard
The Scramble Tactic Rash Guard has a minimalist design featuring a tasteful camo design and Scramble logos. It’s short sleeve and is made from 80% polyester and 20% elastane (lycra).
Scramble rash guards are popular among many jiu jitsu practitioners, with many commenting on the superior fit and feel.
Best cheap rash guards
Sanabul Essentials Compression Rash Guard
Sanabul’s Essentials Rash Guard has a basic but stylish design with sleeves available in rank colors as well as red.
It features mesh fabric on the armpit areas to enhance cooling, and is made from four-way stretch material to be comfortable when rolling.
It’s also SPF 50, so you can wear this rash guard outside and be protected from the sun.
User reviews of this product are very positive, with many commenting on the great value for money at under $20 USD for the short sleeve model, and how comfortable it is to wear.
Elite Standard Long Sleeve Rash Guard
The Elite Standard Long Sleeve Rash Guard is a basic rash guard which has rank colored sleeves in addition to also being available in red or gray.
It features a large Elite logo on the front, which is sublimated so it won’t fade substantially or peel off like with other methods. Flatlock stitching is also used on this rash guard to enhance durability and comfort.
Elite has also treated these rash guards to make them antimicrobial and antifungal, which can help protect from skin conditions when on the mat.
Another great feature of this rash guard are the bands that run along the bottom of the rash guard which stop it from rolling up.
User reviews of the Elite Standard are overall very positive, with customers loving the large range of sizes, the way it stays put and doesn’t ride up during drilling or rolling, and the low sub-$20 USD price tag.
Best for creative artworks
Raven Fightwear Nordic
Raven Fightwear is an Australian company that sells a range of gis and rash guards. Its Nordic rash guard is IBJJF approved and has a subtle but appealing norse artwork across the front and back.
It comes in all rank colors, and is made from four-way stretch fabric for comfort. It also has a rubber band alongside the waist to stop it from riding up during training.
This rash guard is also sublimated, so the artwork won’t fade away or peel off after repeated washes. It also has reinforced flatlock stitching so that it’s comfortable and durable.
If you buy this rash guard directly from Raven you can even customize it, deciding whether or not you want the rubber band, and you can even upload custom graphics and logos for an extra fee.
Raven Fightwear sells a large range of artistic rash guards featuring not only norse-inspired designs of mythical beasts like the kraken but also other mythical gods and fictional creatures.
Half Sumo Coin Up
Half Sumo is a New York based BJJ brand with some fresh gi and rash guard designs. Its Coin Up rash guard features an interesting retro arcade theme, with an awesome set of illustrations on the back showing various submissions in a Streetfighter combo style.
This rash guard is sublimated, so the excellent artwork won’t fade significantly with time. It also has perforated side panels to allow for extra cooling.
Half Sumo also has many other impressive rash guard designs featuring Japanese-inspired artworks.
Tatami Thinker Monkey Rash Guard
This unique rash guard from Tatami features a monkey deep in thought during a roll by artist Chris Burns. It blends the monkey imagery often found in BJJ with the technical thoughts that often rush through your mind when rolling. Tatami’s rash guards are well known to be of high quality and the artwork is sublimated, so it shouldn’t peel or fade significantly.
This rash guard has many positive user reviews which comment about the great fit, unique design and how comfortable it is to wear.
Tatami has a large range of other rash guards too, including rank colour rash guards, plain designs and artworks (last year’s pick was also a monkey-themed rashguard from Tatami).
Best for IBJJF legal ranked rash guards
Gold Foundation Rash Guard
Gold is a San Diego based BJJ brand selling gis and other innovative products including training bags and supplements.
Its Foundation Rash Guard is IBJJF legal and comes in short and long sleeve versions. It has a simple design with the Gold logo across the chest and a sleeve/shoulder with the Gold tagline on it.
Like many of Gold’s products it features many industry-standard features such as sublimated graphics to avoid any fading or peeling as you wear and wash it. It also has flatlock stitching so that the seams of the rash guard don’t become uncomfortable when rolling. Finally it’s also cut slightly longer to stop it rolling up during use, and has mesh fabric around the armpit areas to help with ventilation and cooling.
Gold also offers a guarantee to replace or refund your order if you don’t love this rash guard.
User reviews frequently comment on how comfortable this rash guard is and its durability.
Fuji Baseline Ranked Rash Guard
Fuji is well known for making quality BJJ and Judo gear, and its selection of rash guards doesn’t disappoint.
The Baseline is a simple ranked rash guard with a single Fuji logo on the chest. It also features sublimated graphics which won’t peel or fade with frequent use and washing, and has softer underarm fabric panels for extra comfort.
Best for personalization
Future Under Dawg 2.0
Future is a BJJ brand with many great rash guard designs. In addition to its designs, it also allows a large degree of personalization and customization.
The Under Dawg 2.0 is an improved version of the excellent first generation Under Dawg with even more customization options. It’s an attractive rash guard which comes in short and long sleeves in ranked colours. You can now choose from 21 different patterns (up from 9) for the colored sleeves of the rash guard including tiger stripes, skulls and roses and more abstract patterns like the contour design.
It has four personalization options, allowing you to choose a country flag and city name on the chest, put your surname on the back, and even add your instagram handle.
To add to the list of features these rash guards use nano-silver coated fabric which may give the rash guard antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and have smooth seams for extra durability.
How we picked these rash guards: our methodology explained
- We compared rash guards from 104 brands.
- We read and analyzed a large number of customer reviews on Amazon, popular online BJJ stores, Reddit and the brands’ own websites to create a list of popular rash guards.
- We evaluated the rash guards based not only on user reviews but also features, fabrics and creativity.
- We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages for each rash guard using user reviews. Information was collected in January 2023. Fakespot was used to analyze and exclude products on Amazon with suspicious reviews.
Table of contents
- What’s a BJJ rash guard?
- What features do the best rash guards have?
- What’s the difference between a compression top and a rash guard?
- Frequently asked questions
What’s a BJJ rash guard?
A rash guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu refers to a fitted athletic shirt, usually made from a blend of stretchy polyester and spandex. A rash guard is worn in no gi jiu jitsu in place of a t-shirt, and it can also be worn underneath a gi jacket. It’s main purpose is to prevent the wearer from getting mat burn or scratched and cut when rolling, and is preferred over a t-shirt because of its snug fit and quick drying properties.
BJJ rash guards come in both short and long sleeve versions, and may feature your rank color, artworks, or both.
What features do the best rash guards have?
High quality BJJ rash guards generally have many of the features below:
Flatlock stitching refers to a type of flat fabric join where there is no fabric bulk at the seams. The inside of a rash guard with flatlock stitching won’t irritate you as you drill and roll, and flatlock stitching can make a rash guard stronger. Stitching on a BJJ rashguard might also be reinforced to make it more durable.
Four-way stretch fabric
High quality rash guards need to be made of a stretchy enough material to last hours of training, during which time it’ll get caught on fingers, rolled up and accidentally tugged on. For this reason most quality rash guards are made from a fabric that stretches both length and widthwise. This is usually a blend of polyester and spandex (or lycra/elastane as it’s known outside in the US). Many high quality rash guards will use a blend of 80% polyester and 20% spandex, but some brands might use different proportions of each.
Sublimation is a special type of printing process which uses heat and pressure to embed ink into a polyester fabric or surface. This means sublimated designs won’t peel or fade, which is perfect for BJJ where your rash guard will be constantly subjected to tough and wet conditions each week.
Rubber or silicone waistband
Many high quality rash guards also have an anti-slip band that runs along the bottom waist portion of the rash guard. These are usually made from silicone or rubber and prevent the rash guard from riding up during drilling or rolling.
Multipanel construction refers to the rash guard being made up of individual panels which are stitched together, rather than a smaller number of larger fabric panels. This makes the rash guard more comfortable when moving.
The best rash guards feature attractive designs or artworks in addition to being functional and durable. Some brands will even work with noted artists to create unique designs.
For those thinking of competing in International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) tournaments, you’ll want a rash guard that is advertised as being IBJJF compliant. This means the rash guard will have at least 10% of your rank colour on it.
Some of the best rash guards also have additional features like mesh fabric around the armpit areas for extra ventilation, limited edition artworks, personalization options or anti-microbial fabric treatments.
What’s the difference between a compression top and a rash guard?
Compression shirts can be very similar to rash guards depending on the type of compression shirt and fabrics used.
The main differences between a compression top and a rash guard is that compression tops may have a tighter fit and may not feature reinforced stitching like a rash guard designed for BJJ or MMA.
In addition, a compression top is aimed at a wide variety of general sports, so won’t usually feature designs related to BJJ.
There are many jiu jitsu practitioners who wear compression tops as an alternative to rash guards. They often recommend brands like Under Armour or cheaper alternatives like the TSLA Compression Shirt, which are both tops made from the same materials as BJJ rash guards.
If you opt for a compression top rather than a rash guard, be sure to check that the fabric is still a blend of polyester and spandex (known as elastane/lycra outside the USA). This will ensure that you don’t buy a top with cotton in it, which will keep moisture in instead of wicking it away.
Frequently asked questions
Do rash guards stretch over time?
Quality rash guards won’t stretch significantly over time, although they will become a little looser with frequent use.
Should a rash guard be tight?
A rash guard for jiu jitsu should generally be tight but comfortable. Looser rash guards can ride up more often and get caught or stretched accidentally when rolling. IBJJF rules specify that rash guards must be skin tight:
Let us know what your favourite rash guard is below!