Rashie or rashguard – an athletic or water sports wear designed to prevent the upper body from getting rashes or chafing. It is a tightly fitted garment made from either polyester, nylon or lycra.
Okay, I bet you already know that.
But do you know? A rashguard is originally used by surfers in order to prevent their skins from grazing against the surfboard. Now, this garments’ usage has extended beyond surfing. Wakeboarding and other water sports or activities are already using rashies too. Yes, scuba diving included!
Since the rashguard is a multipurpose garment, it can be both worn as either an inner layer or outer gear. For scuba divers, using their wetsuits for an extended period of time causes their skin to scrape from the friction. To prevent this, they wear rashguards inside their wetsuit. It also serves as a thermal wear as it increases the insulation underwater for a tiny bit. And unsurprisingly, it can adequately protect us divers from jellyfish stings or any waterborne irritants.
While a good sunscreen like our favorite Safe Sea Jellyfish Protection Sunscreen can guard us against UV rays and jellyfish stings, it is still best to rely on a good rashguard for dual protection. Most rashguards provide UPF 50+ protection – meaning, it can help protect the upper body completely against the rash UV rays.
Now here’s the tough part.
Since gazillions of manufacturers and brands are out in the market now claiming to have the best rashguard, we now have a problem of choosing which really is the best.
Worry not, you only need a few points. Here is your guide to the best scuba rashguard:
1. Full Sleeve or Short Sleeve
Rash guards are available in tanks, short sleeves and long sleeves – all with their own uses. Opt for a full-sleeve rashguard if you want a complete protection from both the sun’s UV rays and from skin chaffing. Now if you want more breathability than protection, a short-sleeve will work best.
2. UV Protected
Find rash guards that has a special UV coating; you’ll be able to find some that offers up to SPF 200+ that are already tested and approved. Note that not all rash guards are UV protected.
3. Material Check
Check for a rash guard material that is best suited for you. Rashguards are usually composed of synthetic blend of fibers, but mainly of lycra, polyester, neoprene, or nylon-spandex.
- If you want an optimal stretch but still breathable, go for the lycra material.
- Neoprene boasts the ability to provide insulation and good stretch.
- If you want to sacrifice the good flexibility and stretch for maximizum breathability, then polyester is best.
- Lastly, for that tight-fit and breatheability plus quick-drying ability, go for the nylon-spandex.
4. Flat Lock Stitch
For active wear and exercise, a rash guard must provide both comfort and strength, and flat lock stitching provides that. It creates a seam that lies flat to the cloth instead of hanging loose from it.
5. Lightweight and Quick Dry
Lightweight and quick-drying rashguards offer you with more comfort than the ordinary ones, some even offers antibacterial fabrics.
6. Perfect Fit
Usually, rashguards are tight-fitted. But while a tight fit is usually a best fit, note that it doesn’t need to have that perfect fitting to make it fully functional.
With the best scuba rash guard, the common worries of a diver will be diminished. Your body will be protected, warm and comfortable at the same time. Lesser time worrying means more time to have fun while scuba diving.
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