Rash Guards: What Are They & How to Choose | UVwise Clothing

Rash Guards: What Are They & How to Choose

3 minutes read

The name seems fairly explanatory: rash guards protect surfers and body-boarders from board chafing, creating a barrier that protects their core. However, once you start looking, you’ll find that rash guards can be so much more. There are many variations of rash guards, with different options to choose from based on activity and style.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what a rash guard is. We’ll go over how to choose the right option for you, and why UVwise offers the best rash guards in Canada. Let’s get started!

What is a Rash Guard?

Rash guards are a water-use athletic shirt made of nylon, spandex (elastane) and/or polyester. They’re so much more than a shirt though, with added benefits including:

  • A snug fit to help to keep your core warm and easily move through the water.
  • Protection from UV ray exposure and sun burns.
  • Protection from sand and board abrasions.
  • Protection from ocean debris, jellyfish and anemone stings.
  • Quick-drying fabric to keep your core warm out of the water.
  • Insulating fabric to keep your muscles warm in the water, which also helps to prevent cramps and fatigue. 

In addition to creating a barrier from the sun, today’s rash guards have the extra benefit of being constructed with advanced technology fabrics. 

Sun Protective Fabrics

father and son wearing a rashguard, building a sandcastle on the beach

Regular fabrics like cotton have looser weaves that allow UV rays to pass through. This means less protection for your skin, especially when the fabric is wet or stretched.

This is where high UPF fabrics have the advantage. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a numerical rating that indicates how effective a fabric is at protecting you from UV exposure. A cotton shirt, for example, has a UPF of approximately 5. UPF 30 is considered good, while UPF 50+ is excellent. These fabrics feature tighter weaves and mineral ingredients to help form a barrier from the sun’s rays.

Sun protective clothing is your best protection when enjoying outdoor activities. In addition to seeking shade and re-applying sunscreen, taking precautionary measures to protect your skin can make all the difference in preventing sunburns and skin cancers. 

How to Choose Your Sun Protection

UVwise offers a large selection of UPF50+ clothing for the whole family. Choosing the right sun protection largely depends on what activities you plan on enjoying. 

For example, a UPF50+ sun shirt is a great choice if you’ll be cycling around town or playing a round of golf. If you’ll be in and out of the water, a swim shirt is the ideal go-between. To learn more about these options, be sure to check out our blog post Swim Shirts vs. Sun Shirts: What's the Difference?

However, if water sports are your main activity, a rash guard will be your best bet. 

Finding Quality Rash Guards in Canada

Not all rash guards are created equal, so it’s important to look for quality garments. This includes:

  • Ensuring that the stitching lies flat, as flatlock seams will help to prevent chafing when you’re on your board paddling.
  • Making sure that you’ve got the right fit; for high-intensity water sports, rash guards should be snug. If you’re planning on transitioning between leisure and activity, a looser fit will be more comfortable.
  • Choosing high-quality fabrics, such as quick-drying UPF 50+ fabrics that are chlorine and saltwater resistant. 

With UVwise, you never have to wonder. All of our rash guards are made with the highest-quality UPF 50+ fabrics. Whether you’re preparing for a Canadian summer or a vacation abroad, you’re in good hands. 

To help you get started, we’ve put together some of our most popular options for the whole family.


Rash Guards for Women


Rash Guards for Men


Kids Rash Guards

Boys Rash Guards

Girls Rash Guards

Toddler Rash Guards


Rash Guards for Baby


While these are a few of our most popular rash guards, there’s plenty more to explore in our catalog. Once you’ve got your upper body covered, learn more about protecting your lower half in From Head to Toe: Lower Body Sun Protection.

Enjoying the sun wisely means more fun for everyone. See you out there! 

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