Best Buying Guide for a MMA & BJJ Rash Guards
There are tons of guides on how to choose the perfect kimono, or MMA gloves and such, but very few good guides were written on how to choose the perfect rash guard for Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. It might be harder to pinpoint all the different attributes to look at when purchasing a new rash guard, but we will examine the important ones, so your shopping experience will be much easier.
Rash guard sizing
It’s pretty hard to know your rash guard size, as it differs greatly from brand to brand, and some small brands even have inconsistencies in sizes between different rash guards. It’s very important to check the specific size chart of each company and even for each rash guard. Keep in mind that the perfect fit for a rash guard is not too tight nor too snug. Every time you want to buy a new rash guard, read as many reviews for the specific item you want to buy. You’ll quickly learn if its fitting is tighter or baggier than the norm.
The perfect cut and build for rash guards
There are three factors for the ideal build of a rash guard. First, it should be made in the shape of the human body. So a rash guard that has a tighter hip-line and broader shoulders for men, and a rash guard that has a slimmer build and tighter waistline compared to the shoulders and hip are ideal for men and women respectively. A rash guard should not have the same fitting as a rectangular t-shirt, because the human body isn’t shaped like that too.
The second attribute is a wide collar. There is nothing so annoying about rash guards for grappling as a tight collar. It will scratch you, it will choke you, and will bother you every second of rolling. Make sure that the reviews of your desired rash guard mention a wide enough collar, or are devoid of comments about a tight one.
Third is stitches and stitching: A rash guard that has to withstand harsh pulls and grabs and mat friction, needs to have as few weak points as possible, and every stitch is a weak point. Also, your skin will thank you for less stitches as they are rougher and can potentially leave marks. Also, the stitches themselves need to be tough and flat. So four-needle and flat-lock stitching is preferred.
An additional feature is a silicon gel panel/band in the lower fringes of the rash guard. It’s not a must have, but it’s a very nice addition. It will prevent the rash guard from rolling up while training and many MMA and BJJ gear stores started to add this feature to their rashguards.
Ideal composition of a BJJ/MMA Rash Guards
Rash guards should prevent mat burns and create a barrier between the skin and mat or opponents’ skin, thus minimizing the risk of infections or rashes. So it needs to be tough to withstand hundreds of hours of rough training. However, it also needs to have extreme sweat wicking qualities. The ideal mix is 85% polyester – which is pleasant to wear and sweat repelling, and 15% spandex, also called lycra, for stretchability and durability. The best thickness is between 220-250 gsm (grams per square meter), and anything in this range will be durable enough but not too thick or too thin.
This composition will also ensure that the rash guard will also regulate your temperature and create enough compression to help in injury prevention. It will also be stretchy enough not to restrict your movement which is perhaps the most important feature.
Is brand important when choosing a rash guard?
I’d argue that it shouldn’t be a major factor but there are some benefits to choosing a branded rash guard, and paying a little extra for it. A reputable brand will always try to maintain a high standard and won’t cut any corners in manufacturing, cheap materials, shipping, and designs. So when you buy a quality brand you know that you’ll get your money’s worth. Anything discussed here that the manufacturer can control – design, stitching, fitting, etc. will be kept at high standard, and you won’t be hitting or missing when purchasing your rash guard. However, with careful research, you can buy a non-branded compression shirt and it will most likely be fine.
What is the best color and design for BJJ and MMA Rash Guards?
There is no definite answer to that as these preferences are mostly subjective. However, there are two key points to know and take into consideration:
Do you have academy/gym requirements? Some gyms require you to wear a single color rash guard, usually black. Also, a lot of gyms require that you’ll buy their own branded RG.
Competition – what are the competition requirements you’ll need to take into account? Some organizations don’t have any restrictions on the designs you can wear, but some do. For instance, IBJJF had strict rules on the allowed uniform, like colors, percentage of your rank color to be featured on your rash guard, and more.
If you do need to answer to these requirements, you have a very clear idea of what your future rash guard will look like. However, if you have no such requirements, you’re a lucky grappler, and could choose any design that you can think of. It’s a great privilege as many companies take great freedom in designing their rash guard collections. As they are restricted in their Kimono designs, this is their canvas for practicing their creativity. One thing you need to make sure is that the design is fully sublimated, so it won’t crack or fade over time, and won’t restrict the ability of your rash guard to stretch in all directions.
Follow this guide and we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. Buying multiple rashguards with several designs is practical and fun, as they’re much cheaper than GIs, and far more accessible, you can buy the more traditional, color ranked designs, and another crazy and unique one for open mats and occasions that allow it.