Grappling for sport is a great way to develop rashes and even lacerations on your skin. For practicality, safety and hygienic reasons, BJJ rash guards were developed to protect Jiu-Jitsu players from irritation and infection. They’re designed to be comfortable, fit the proper fighting style and be moisture absorbent.
Of all of the best BJJ rash guards that we’ve included on this list, the Anthem Athletics HELO-X stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s by far the most affordable and accommodating rash guard that’s specifically designed for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The materials used, including the sublimated graphics, are made for quality and durability during use. They’ve maintained quality while also finding ways to reduce price, and offer five different sizes for adult BJJ artists. It’s not just the price that makes it so attractive, but the fact that it covers all of the basic comfort and durability features as well.
How to Pick the Best BJJ Rash Guard
Damaging your skin on the mat is not uncomfortable in regular life, but can seriously limit your training capacity. We’ve compiled this list of the best BJJ rash guards to find what works best for each fighter.
Durability is Key
It’s easy to test the strength of a rash guard. The first method is to tug the collar and check if it’s easy to tear. If it’s elastic, flexible and reflexive, that’s a good sign.
The material itself is as important as the quality of the flatlock stitch. It should be absorbent and quick drying, because moisture can cause mold and other issues.
If your rash guards feature printed graphics, they shouldn’t be something that wears off easily. It looks unprofessional, and if colors are associated with your BJJ rank, you want them represented properly.
Getting the Right Fit for Comfort and Practicality
The best BJJ rash guard, in terms of your personal comfort, will be snug but not tight. It should provide full versatility in movement, and specifically designed for the correct gender.
Another major issue to watch out for is the rash guard riding up your groin. You don’t want to be that one person touching their butt every two minutes to adjust their shorts. Rash guards made specifically for BJJ will often have a rubber band to prevent it rolling up.
However, some fighters prefer full sleeves that taper off, or simply tucking them into their shorts or shirt. Going for full sleeves is a good idea regardless of your preference. The less contact your skin has with the mat and your opponent, the greater protection from rashes and infections.
How to Care for Your Rash Guards and Get a Serious Look
You down want something that will stretch or tear in the wash. Your rash guards should be free from loose threads and able to wash without damaging them.
In terms of appearance, there are specific rules and traditions in terms of rank. If your rank color is featured on your rash guard, they still have to be 90% a neutral color. While this isn’t a real issue of quality, if you can’t wear them in real training and exhibitions, there’s no point in owning them.
Do You Really Save Money by Choosing Cheaper Rash Guards?
Going for well-known brand names might seem like a needless expense. Especially with a limited budget, going low cost might be your only option at the time. However, many of these companies specialize in making BJJ rash guards, and you’ll often get more of your money’s worth going in that direction.
As Neil Melanson explains in this video, going for quality will ultimately save you money in the end. BJJ is a full-contact sport that will test your equipment. As he points out, a great set of rash guards can last for years, while a cheap pair might need to be replaced after on spar on the mat.
Strong and anti-microbial. Being designed specifically for BJJ, you get the appropriate fit; nice and snug, but not constricting. Although it only comes in one standard size, its stitching is strong and durable. It’s not only fast drying, but also prevents microbial growth between use and washing.
IBJJF approved. A lot of BJJ rash guards are rated for practice and regular use. However, the official ranking International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation means that it’s recommended for official tournament use. It’s specifically rated for no-gi Jiu-Jitsu, where opponents are not allowed to use each other’s clothing to win in submission.
Full color assortment. Fuji Sports provides this rash guard in colors to match the belt of each rank. It’s also specifically designed to meet tournament regulation standards for shorts and shirts.
High prices. Fuji Sports actually produces full-sleeve rash guards at a higher price. However, we’re comfortable recommending this option because it’s a legitimate quality brand. They offer this as an alternative to their more expensive options.
Pros: High quality, great value for money
Cons: Limited availability for medium to large sizes, not available in belt colors
Strong and flexible. It’s smooth yet durable fabric is meant to be able to stretch in any direction without tearing. It also features a fortified flatlock stitch, which is crucial for any rash guard. Being designed specifically for Jiu-Jitsu, it has a comfortable and practical fit.
Multiple sizes. Beyond just the small, medium and large options, it actually comes in five different sizes. Although it’s another men’s rash guard, if you’re struggling to find one that fits one, it’s a good choice for that. While it only comes in blue, gray and red, it does offer that neutral option in case it doesn’t match your belt color. It uses a dry-print combination, which will help maintain its original visual design.
Breathable and stationary. It features the coveted elastic band to keep it from riding up while you’re grappling. However, instead of being made of the typical rubber material, it’s actually made of silicone. This makes it even more reliable, because it’s less likely to stretch out and lose grip over time. Although it’s not specially made for moisture, it’s breathable to help prevent sweat, without cooling you down too much.
Pros: High quality, silicone waistband, conforming fit.
Cons: Limited color availability, high priced, not anti-microbial.
Multi purposed and durable. Part of the quality of the material is being anti-microbial. Get it as wet as you want, and as long as you wash and dry it properly it’s designed to last. One unique feature is its UV protection, which means that it can double as a surf rash guard in the open sun.
Three color choices. This rash guard definitely doesn’t provide all of the belt color options, as it comes in green, orange and gray. The good news is that it does have a neutral color option, so you can use it in official tournaments. The graphics are also sublimated into the fabric, which is great for long-term appearance quality.
Flexible and snug. Aside from the flatlock stitching that you’d come to expect, it’s also elastic enough to not tear when tugged on. While it doesn’t have an elastic waistband, it has multiple panels of fabric for a free flow of movement.
Pros: Lower priced than other models, four size options, quality fabric and stitching.
Cons: Not specifically designed for BJJ, no rubber waistband, limited color choice.
Five different sizes. It comes with a standard long-sleeve option, which is crucial for protecting the skin on your arms. It comes with a rubber waistband to prevent it from pulling up from the waist. It’s definitely better than not having one. Long sleeve, rubber waistband, three panels, including a custom under arm panel.
Limited color choice. It only has two color choices available, which are orange and burgundy. While they’re not designed for color regulation, it has a distinctive design made with sublimated printing. This means that it’s a dyed-in color, rather than a printed-on graphic that will rub off and wear with use.
Durable polyester-spandex. While featuring the usual flatlock stitching pattern, it’s also made of a polyester-spandex fabric. It’s durable and flexible, so there’s no worries about tearing or mobility restrictions in your grappling ability. The material itself isn’t especially breathable, however it does prevent moisture from soaking in, allowing you to safely and effectively grapple without you or your opponent getting wet.
Decent price. The Contour Long Sleeve isn’t as cheap as some of Tanami’s other offerings. However, it’s in about the same price range or less expensive as other options in its quality class.
Five size options. These size options range from small to XX-large, so it’s not like one of its sizes are specifically for children. Perfect for the adult BJJ artist. It also has 16 different color and style options, which is far and above most other IFBJJ-quality rash guards. Not to mention the fact that its graphics are fully sublimated, so they won’t rub off during use or in the wash.
Justifiably affordable. This rash guard cost significantly less than the other options on this list, and for good reason. Using their unique designs, they’re spending less money on celebrity endorsement.
Comfortable and durable. We already know that Anthem Athletics dedicates a lot of time and attention to original styles and the perfect fit. They also aren’t cutting corners to get there. Flatlock stitching, moisture-resistant material and multiple panels of material are used to keep its quality consistent.
Pros: Extremely affordable, five adult sizes and enormous variety of styles.
Six size options. While the sixth size option is an X-small for children, it still makes it to the top of the list in this category. The downside is that it only has two color and style options; white camo and black camo. This is far and away from including all belt colors, however they’re both compatible and approved for tournament use.
Optimized flatlock stitching. This BJJ rash guard is literally a cut above the rest. To the credit of other products, they’re built for durability and preventing loose threads from ruining the material. However, Gold BJJ has taken the time to design a flatlock stitching pattern that’s seamless, so it doesn’t have ridges that rub against your skin while you’re grappling.
Specially designed for BJJ and martial arts. Most companies are willing to work with you to find the right size, but they don’t take it to the level that Gold BJJ does. They offer a 100% money back personal satisfaction guarantee, because they have full confidence that it’ll not only meet your size requirements, but actually provide a perfect fit for your martial arts.
Quality materials. This BJJ rash guard uses 80% cotton and 20% polyester, which is light and strong. It’s moisture resistant and features a ventilated under arm panel to keep things dry without being cold. Also, while it doesn’t feature a rubber waistband, it does have an extended length, so you can tuck the rash guard into your shorts to prevent it from pulling up while grappling.
Pros: Very affordable, designed for BJJ, specialized flatlock stitching.
Cons: Limited size and color options, no waistband.