A rash guard is like the Swiss Army knife of diving. It protects you from the sun’s rays, a brisk wind and the stings of underwater critters, all while providing thermal protection alone or under a wetsuit. Here are some rashies that do all those things — and look pretty cool at the same time.
1. Lavacore Lavaskin Shirt
The soft fleece lining wicks away moisture topside and holds in body heat when submerged. The outer layer is flexible and water repellent, and the 6-inch zip makes for easy on and off, and looks cool boat-side or bar-side. Available in men’s and women’s sizes, and with long or short sleeves.
CONTACT: lavacoreinternational.com MSRP: $62.95
2. Scubapro Fleece Rash Guard
The sleeves are extra long for hand protection with thumb loops to keep things in place. The ultrastretch fabric has a plush fleece lining, and a high-cut neck blocks the sun and keeps the collar from rubbing. Available in seven men’s and seven women’s sizes for a perfect fit.
CONTACT: scubapro.com MSRP: $58
3. Body Glove PR1ME L/A Surf Shirt
The anatomical cut and high-stretch polyester/spandex fabric hug the body for a second-skin fit, and provide maximum UV protection. Each rash guard features a board-short connector and a low-profile collar. Available in sizes S-XL (also available in short sleeve).
CONTACT: bodyglove.com MSRP: $39.99
4. Cressi Short-Sleeve Rash Guard
The superstretch nylon/elastene fabric is flat-stitched throughout for durable comfort. A high neck blocks the effects of sun and cold, and protects your neck from chafing. The shirt features bold graphics on the front and back, and is avail- able with long or short sleeves, and in men’s (blue/gray) and women’s (black/pink) sizes.
CONTACT: cressiusa.com MSRP: $29.95
5. Akona Long-Sleeve Rash Guard
The four-way-stretch material is fast drying, breathable, blocks 97.5 percent of the sun’s rays with 50-plus SPF, and the anatomically cut shoulders provide a natural fit. The high neck has an external seam that won’t rub the neck. Available in a selection of colors, in both men's and women's sizes, and with options in long or short sleeve.
CONTACT: akona.com MSRP: $55
6. Bare Short-Sleeve Sun Guard
The classic design has an understated, timeless look. The high-stretch material is windproof and has a UV protection factor rating of 50. Made with flat-seam construction for long-lasting comfort, the shirt has a soft, rolled neckline to prevent chafing. Available in men’s and women’s sizes in a range of colors with short or long sleeves.
CONTACT: baresports.com MSRP: $35.95 short-sleeve; $42.95 long-sleeve