Skip to Content

How Do I Choose a BJJ Rashguard? (Top+ 10 Factors to Consider)

how to choose a rashguard

Choosing the right bjj rashguard can be difficult since there’s so many options out there. In this post we have our top factors to consider as well as some questions to ask yourself before going out and buying your next favorite rash guard.


If you’re looking for the ideal rashguard for BJJ you should choose a rashguard that meets your gym’s requirements (if they have any), that has your preferred look and design, and is made from moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry with a snug fit without limiting your range of motion.


Key Takeaways

  • In reality, many rash guards will be very similar in terms of quality – so we recommend focusing on finding ones with your preferred design and fit
  • Rashguards serve three main purposes:
    • to not get in the way of training
    • to be moisture wicking
    • to denote your rank (if required by your gym or organized competitive event – like those held by the IBJJF)

Factors you should consider when buying a rash guard are

  1. Gym Requirements
  2. Fit
  3. Design
  4. Comfort
  5. Brand Reputation
  6. Price
  7. Material
  8. Durability
  9. Sleeve Length
  10. Ranked/IBJJF Legal

Top Ten Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Rashguard

1. Gym Requirements

Some BJJ gyms may require you to wear a their own gym’s rash guard, a specific brand, or require you to wear a rash guard that includes your rank (belt) color.

While most gyms do not have this requirement, its always a good idea to check since this will likely be one of the biggest if not the biggest factor that determines what rash guard you buy.

My gym, 10th Planet San Diego, doesn’t require us to wear any specific brand or rank color and even allows us to train in T-shirts. However, for the competition classes we are required to wear a rash guard that represnts our belt rank.

Howeve, some gyms do require your to wear their brand of rash guards such as Atos and Gracie Barra.

2. Fit

A well-fitting rashguard should be snug enough to prevent shifting and bunching during movement but not so tight that it restricts circulation or mobility. My preference is a rash guard that is tight around the chest and shoulders but looser around the mid section.

It should accommodate the unique demands of grappling, allowing for a full range of motion in the arms and shoulders. A rash guard that is too loose can ride up, catch fingers and limbs, potentially causing injury or discomfort.

As always you should refer to the brand’s size chart and consider trying on different sizes to find the perfect fit for your body type since some brands run small or large.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Is it tight around the chest and shoulder?
  • How tight is the neckline?
  • How tight is it under your armpits?
  • Is it looser around the midsection?
  • Is it too restrictive?
  • Does it effect your movement or breathing?
  • Does the brand run small?

3. Design

Nation Athletics

Honestly, a lot of rash guards in the same price range will be of the same quality and fit – so it may often come down to whether or not you like the design.

The design of a rash guard can be a personal expression within the BJJ community. Some brands like Xmartial or Fusion focus on standout, colorful desgins while others like Fuji or Sanabul have a simpler aesthetic.

While aesthetics like color, patterns, and graphics are a matter of individual taste, they can also serve practical purposes. Some designs incorporate strategically placed panels to enhance movement or breathability.

Additionally, certain competitions may have regulations regarding rash guard designs, such as requiring a belt rank indicator (check out the #9).

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Does your bjj gym only allow certain colors?
  • Does your bjj gym require you to only wear your rank?
  • Do you prefer bright colors and designs?
  • Do you want your rash guard to reference other media like movies or tv shows?

4. Comfort

Level Black

Comfort may be the biggest factor when buying your rashguard – regardless of price, some are just more comfortable than others.

Look for features that reduce irritation, such as flatlock seams that prevent chafing and a soft, stretchy fabric that moves with your body. The neckline should be non-restrictive, and the overall garment should not cause overheating or excessive sweating. A comfortable rash guard should help you focus on your training rather be a constant remind as to how uncomfortbale you are.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Does it help wick sweat away?
  • Is it tight but not too tight?

5. Brand Reputation

Hyperfly
Gold BJJ

A reputable brand is more likely to stand behind their products, offering warranties or satisfaction guarantees.

The reputation of the brand from which you purchase a BJJ rash guard can be indicative of the quality and performance of their products.

Established brands are often more reliable, providing consistent sizing, high-quality materials, and customer service if issues arise. Researching brand reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow practitioners can guide you to companies with a proven track record in the BJJ community.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • What’s their return policy?
  • Do they offer easy to use product support?
  • Where Is It Made?
  • Are reviews of the brand generally positive?

6. Price

Future Kimonos (High End)
Sanabul (More Affordable)

Price is an important consideration when buying a BJJ rash guard since some rashguards can cost as much at $80 dollars.

Plus price often correlates with quality. Do you want to buy a cheaper rashguard that you have to replace or do you want to buy a quality rashguard that you buy once?

While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper option, investing in a higher-priced rash guard from a reputable brand can lead to better performance and longevity, ultimately offering better value for money. Consider your budget and how often you train

Some Questions to Consider:

  • How much does it cost? (and is it worth it?)
  • Consider how often you train and how much use you’ll get out of it
  • If its higher end, is the quality noticeable or are you better off going with a cheaper rashguard?

7. Material

Fuji

High-quality rash guards are typically made from a blend of polyester and spandex.

Some of my favorite rash guards are the ones that are more lightweight a breathable. I’m particularly fond of my Fuji rash guard which is 100% polyester and probably the most breathable rash guard I’ve ever owned.

Look for materials that are moisture-wicking and quick-drying to keep you comfortable during intense training sessions. Some rash guards also feature antimicrobial technology to inhibit the growth of bacteria and reduce odors. The right fabric should maintain its shape and compression over time, even after multiple washes.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • What fabric is it made of?
  • How breathable is that fabric?
  • Is it moisture-wicking/quick-drying?

8. Durability

example of reinforced stitching/multipanel construction

If your rash guard is more affordable, you can generally assume it is less durable.

Durability is essential for a BJJ rash guard, as the sport involves rigorous grabbing, grappling, and tugging which can test the limits of any garment.

A durable rash guard should have reinforced stitching, particularly in high-stress areas such as the seams around the shoulders and waist. The material itself should be resistant to pilling and abrasion, able to withstand mat friction and the occasional gi burn. A durable rash guard is an investment, saving you from frequent replacements and ensuring it remains functional and presentable over time.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Does it have reinforced stitching?
  • Does it have multipanel constuction?
  • Does it have sublimated graphics?
  • Will it have issues with seams splitting after only a short use?

9. Sleeve Length

Xmartial
Elite

Sleeve length will largely come down to preference or if your gym has a required (which most do not).

Long sleeves offer more coverage, providing an extra layer of protection against mat burns, scratches, and the spread of skin infections. Short sleeves may afford more freedom of movement and can be cooler, which is beneficial in warmer climates.

Some practitioners may choose sleeve length based on their grappling style (do you want your opponent to have a harder or easier time to grip your arms?).

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Do you prefer long or short sleeve?
  • Do you train in a hot or cold climate?
  • Do you frequent run hot during training? (like me)
  • Do you want to further avoid any skin to mat or skin to skin contact?

10. Ranked/IBJJF Approval

IBJJF legal
IBJJF legal
Not* IBJJF Legal

If you’re planning on competing in IBJJF events, you should make sure your rash guard is IBJJF approved.

For a rash guard to be IBJJF approved it must:

  • Be made of elastic material so that is skin tight and not loose
  • Be black or white and include atleast 10% of the rank color of the competitor
  • Shirts can also be 100% of the rank color of the competitor

As always if you are uncertain, you can email them directly to confirm and we strongly recommend bringing a spare rash guard just in case.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Are you planning on competing in IBJJF events?
  • Does your gym require your to wear your rank color to all no gi classes?

11. Maintenance and Care

Some rash guards require more maintenance and care than others – for instance some can be put in the dryer and some cannot

The maintenance and care may be something you consider when buying a rash guard as well as how the vendor recommends washing it. For me personally, I prefer rash guards that I can put in the dryer (as opposed to ones that are reocmmended to be hung out to dry). I just feel that rash guards get a cleaner smell from the dryer.

However, most rash guards more recently generally recommend tumble drying on low.

As always you should check the manufacturers care instructions on their website or sometimes on the rash guard itself.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Is it hard to get the smell out of your rash guard? (I’m looking at your Future Kimonos)
  • Does it have to be hung out to dry only?
  • Can you throw it in the washer?
  • Can you put it in the dryer?

12. Other High Quality Features

Aerated fabrics
waistband liner
Flatlock stitching

Some Questions to Consider:

  • Does it have aerated armpits or other aerated fabrics?
  • Does it have flatlock stitching?
  • Does it have a rubber waistband liner?

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when selecting the right fit for a BJJ rash guard?

One should consider a rash guard that offers a snug fit to prevent it from getting in the way of training, yet it should allow for full range of motion. Materials should also have moisture-wicking properties to keep the wearer dry.

What are the benefits of a loose-fitting rash guard versus a tight one in BJJ?

Loose-fitting rash guards may offer more comfort and breathability for some individuals, but they can hinder performance by getting caught during rolls. Tight rash guards are generally recommended for BJJ as they are less likely to be grabbed by an opponent.

How can I identify the best BJJ rash guards available on the market?

The best BJJ rash guards are typically made from high-quality polyester and spandex for durability and elasticity. Recognized and established BJJ brands and those with positive training partner recommendations can also be indicators of quality. Some of our favorite brands are Nation Atheltics, Gold BJJ, and Fuji.

Can you explain the importance of ranked rash guards in BJJ and how to recognize them?

Ranked rash guards display the color of the practitioner’s BJJ belt level and are often used in competitions like those held by the IBJJF to signify rank. Recognizing them requires familiarity with the belt color progression in BJJ: white, blue, purple, brown, and black.

    About the Author:

    Zack Nicholas

    Zack Nicholas:

    Zack is an avid jiu jitsu practitioner and weight lifting nerd. When not on the mats or in the gym, he can be found going for walks with his wife, attempting (and often failing) to train his dog, and frequently obsessing over a specific hobby only to forget about it a week later. He can be reached over his LinkedIn or at info@heavybjj.com