In the past few years “compression wear” (a rash guard falls into this category) for athletes has been heavily researched and, well, to avoid a bunch of statistics and charts, we can tell you that results show they are pretty damn awesome and provide many different benefits for athletes and fighters alike.
This has spurred companies and BJJ schools to constantly design newer, better and flashier rash guards for BJJ each year.
For this reason we’ve compiled a list for you featuring only the very best BJJ rash guards you can find in 2016. We don’t want you to get lost in the avalanche of new products.
- Hayabusa Metaru 47 Rash Guard
- RVCA VA Reflect Rash Guard
- Hypnotik Stereostar Rash Guard
- Fuji Freestyle IBJJF Approved Ranked Short Sleeve Rash Guard
- Venum Challenger Rash Guard
- Newaza Turtleguard Ranked Rash Guard
- Samurai Panda Rash Guard
- Scramble Ranked Rash Guard V2.0
- Under Armour Men’s Alter Ego Compression Shirt
- Bad Boy Men’s Sphere Rash Guard
- Closing Thoughts
Before we present out recommendations, let’s discuss why you would want to wear a rash guard in the first place when you have a perfectly good gi.
The rash guard is typically worn under your gi, and helps with the following:
- Injury Prevention
Apart from looking really cool rash guards and other compression wear are engineered to strategically compress your muscles, which in turn helps prevent injury and speed up muscle recovery.
They are made to “hug” areas of your upper body with softer tissue which are more likely to be worn and torn during intense workout sessions and sparring.
Studies show that a rash guard can greatly speed up recovery after a hard rolling session.
- Moisture Control
Rash guards are made with fabrics that absorb more sweat. With just a Gi you will find yourself re-tying it every round or so. You’ll sweat more, then touch yourself, and transfer that moisture to your hands.
Wet hands are not good for maintaining a good grip. A rash guard will help keep things dry.
- Prevents Rashes (Duh!) & Burning
This is obvious but preventing mat burns and rashes is the biggest purpose of any good rash guard.
Whether you are rolling with or without a Gi it is very common to get burns from the friction that is created during an intense roll.
Gis are built to be strong and durable, and the stitching can often cause too much friction. They also tend to come loose and open, letting your opponent manipulate you during a roll.
Then you have your bare back on the mat, and can’t avoid the pain.
On the other hand, many BJJ practitioners say that a rash guard protects their chest hair from burns.
So, if you want to be safer from friction and more comfortable, wear a rash guard.
- Bacteria & Hygiene
I’m sure your dojo is great and the mats are sparkling clean.
But it goes without saying that even the cleanest mat has been trampled on quite a bit and humans tend to transfer bacteria.
When you are gripping your opponent and Gis open up, you will, inevitably make contact with their chest, legs, and back.
A rash guard can help keep that bacteria at bay.
Those are all the reasons why rash guards are awesome and why you should invest in one. If all of the above wasn’t enough, most rash guards look really cool.
Some say a rash guard makes you feel restricted, but that’s about it for negatives, and I think the benefits greatly out-weigh this “downfall”.
Keep in mind- IBJJF and Naga competitions do not allow fighters to wear a rash guard under their Gi.
Now on to our list of the best BJJ rash guards in 2016:
Hayabusa Metaru 47 Rash Guard
The Metaru 47 rash guard features AGTM Compression fabric for extra comfort and flexibility. The advanced stitching and fiber-fused graphics give it increased durability and prevent stretching and tearing.
The rash guard also has a special anti-microbial technology built in, giving it an amazing anti-odor performance for the rash guard’s lifetime.
The rash guard looks aggressive and clean, and comes in a number of color combinations.
The rash guard is on the more expensive side.
Although it is a little pricey, the advanced engineering and superior quality of the rash guard makes it a great investment.
Hayabusa is also a well-respected, innovative brand, so you know you are getting your money’s worth.
RVCA VA Reflect Rash Guard
The VA Reflect rash guard is an upgraded version of RVCA’s hugely popular VA Sport rash guard.
It’s a fast-drying raglan long-sleeve rash guard and so, great for moisture absorption.
The rash guard is also extremely durable featuring a slight mock-neck with flat lock seams.
Wearers review that the rash guard has an amazingly comfortable fit.
The design of the rash guard is rather plain with a simple VA logo across the chest. Not for those looking for a crazy, flashy rash guard.
This rash guard offers superior quality for a very low price.
RVCA is also a great company and is known for the comfort and durability of their rash guards. Last year’s Sport rash guard was a best seller, and Reflect is doing just as well.
Go get yours now!
Hypnotik Stereostar Rash Guard
The design of the Stereostar rash guard is amazing. It has cool logos and patches on the sleeves and a unique blue and red universe design.
The rash guard uses a special anti-microbial technology to prevent bacteria and fungi.
It is made with extremely resilient fabric and provides increased moisture control, wicking away sweat instantly. Custom fit Flatlock stitching make the seams flexible and more durable.
Wearers report the fit and seams can be a little too tight. Yet it’s a little pricier than other equally good rash guards.
All and all the Stereostar rash guard is a winner and one of the best BJJ rash guards in 2016.
Hypnotik is a solid company and make many cool rash guards with innovative technology.
Plus, the design is “universally” cool.
Fuji Freestyle IBJJF Approved Ranked Short Sleeve Rash Guard
Okay, I’m a sucker for anything Japanese, so the “Japanese-like” design of this rash guard is a huge winner.
On quality, the rash guard has reinforced stitching, made of an anti-microbial fabric and is approved for no-Gi competitions.
The rash guard also comes in a few different color combinations and has a wide range of different sizes, up to 3XL, for bigger fighters.
You can also match your rash guard to your rank, as it’s available in white, blue, purple, brown, and black.
Short sleeves aren’t for everyone, so search for Fuji long-sleeve rash guards if this isn’t your thing.
Fuji is one of the oldest and most respected brands in martial arts.
Their gear is worn worldwide by both amateur and professional fighters and for this reason alone you can be sure that choosing the Fuji Approved Ranked rash guard will not disappoint you.
Venum Challenger Rash Guard
The rash guard features compression fiber technology which improves blood flow and muscle recovery.
The fabric is equip with an anti-odor technology and infused with microfibers, making the rash guard extremely durable.
The graphics are sublimated so won’t peel off and, Venum’s badass snake on the rash guard’s chest make the design awesome.
Silicone bands have been embedded around the waist to stop the rash guard riding up your abdominal area and the fabric is engineered to draw moisture away from your skin.
That’s Venum technology for you!
Even for Venum standards, the rash guard is very small and doesn’t fit well.
We recommend ordering a size bigger and reading a few reviews before placing an order. If you can, try it on before purchasing.
Anyone with some experience in the world of martial arts has heard of Venum.
The company is renowned for being modern and innovative, constantly utilizing the latest technologies in order to improve their products.
They make Gis, shorts, and anything else you can think of. Their rash guards are right up there with their best products.
The Venum Challenger is highly recommend, just be careful with the size!
Newaza Turtleguard Ranked Rash Guard
- Advanced moisture wicking technology.
- Features flexible and durable Flatlock seams.
- It’s a sublimated full color rash guard.
- Like the Fuji rash guard, comes in colours to match your rank.
- … It’s the coolest design ever!
Personally, even if the quality wasn’t great, I would still buy this rash guard simply for the design. Everyone loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and now you can fight dressed as one.
Wearers have said the fitting chart is all wrong and an extra-large fits like a medium would.
Read up on reviews before purchasing.
Newaza also takes advantage of the awesome design.
Newaza is great apparel company with a special focus on fight wear.
Their rash guards are right up there with the best and you can rest assured you will be getting quality for your money.
The design is very cool but you could buy an equally good rash guard for the same price.
If you can’t be without this design though, hurry out and buy one!
Samurai Panda Rash Guard
Tatami, makers of the popular Gorilla Chess rash guard, the Thinking Money rash guard, and many other animal themed rash guards, have brought us the Samurai Panda rash guard.
The design is beautiful and fun, and great for fans of Kung Fu Panda. The colour scheme features red, yellow and brown, with the Tamami logo on the back and sleeves.
The quality is on par with all Tatami products. The whole rash guard is sublimated which prevents the graphics from peeling or fading, making the rash guard last.
The rash guard also features Flatlock flexible seams.
The artwork was made by Chris Evans, the artist who makes all of Tamami’s animal-themed rash guards.
The rash guard isn’t known to fit well and, like all of Tatami’s animal-themed rash guards, is quite expensive.
Tatami is a great brand and very popular, up there with the likes of Fuji and Venum.
The rash guard is funny and cartoon-like, and great for those with a good sense of humor.
The price is the main drawback as many even higher quality rash guards can be found at a much lower price, so the final decision will depend on whether you love the design or not.
Scramble Ranked Rash Guard V2.0
The Scramble Ranked rash guard is made from a moisture wicking polyester blend and features a mix of internal and external stitching for increased durability and comfort.
The rash guard has a very appealing, plain look to it, and comes in rank colours.
The rash guard is high quality, however, lacks many of the innovative features of rash guards of the same price.
If you are looking for a plain, clean design and a strong, sturdy rash guard, this will more than meet your needs.
Under Armour Men’s Alter Ego Compression Shirt
Okay, so we have focused on rash guards as opposed to compression shirts as we feel the latter is much better for BJJ. However, this specific one by Under Armour is an exception you shouldn’t overlook.
The shirt offers a moisture transport system that wicks sweat away, the latest anti-odor technology and 4-way stretch fabric for increased mobility.
Plus, it features the superhero logos of Spiderman, Superman, Captain America or Batman!
6-way fabric is better and sturdier for BJJ.
If you love Batman or other superheroes then this compression shirt is for you.
If, however, you are competing in a no-Gi competition we recommend a rash guard specifically made for BJJ.
Bad Boy Men’s Sphere Rash Guard
This great rash guard by Bad Boy features a rubber grip in the bottom seam which prevents it from rolling up and a stay-cool mesh panel in the back to keep you cool and let the rash guard breathe during training.
Reinforced stitching offers increased durability and reflective panels allow outdoor training.
The rash guard is quite expensive, and as you’ve seen on this list, there are cheaper, equally high-quality rash guards out there.
If you like the bad boy design then go for it. It is a great rash guard!
So there you have it, those are our picks for the best BJJ rash guards this year.
As we always recommend, be a smart shopper and research all your favourites before choosing and ordering.
If you want a rash guard that isn’t on the list make sure the quality is on point, the design won’t peel, and that it’s meant to be used in BJJ.
Take it easy!