Swim Shirt vs Rash Guard

You are preparing yourself to go to the beach. Now, you have to choose between a swim shirt vs rash guard. Both of them are popular choices among swimmers and surfers. Both choices can provide protection against rash as well as sunlight. So, what are the differences between a swim shirt and rash guard? Which one is actually better?

Continue reading below to find out more about:
– The distinctive features of a swim shirt and rash guard,
– Which clothing that is the most comfortable,
– Which clothing that provides the best coverage and protection, and
– Which clothing that is generally better for swimming and surfing.

What is a Swim Shirt?
Swim shirts are actually an evolution of rash guards, and they have gained quite a lot of popularity in the recent years. Swim shirts generally fit like slim t-shirts, and they are usually made from non-stretch nylon. There are swim shirts with short sleeves and long sleeves. See also: Skirts vs Pants.

Swim shirts are great when you don’t feel comfortable in just your swim trunks and you want to have more coverage. They can also reduce the amount of sunscreen or sunblock that you need to apply to your body. They are especially popular among sports enthusiasts and vacationers because they can be used for water activities as well as land activities.

What is a Rash Guard?
On the other hand, rash guards are tight-fitting sports shirts that are specially designed to prevent rashes through various water sports activities. You see, if you lie on your surfboard, your skin may get irritated due to the friction with the board, sand, and other tiny particles. Wearing a rash guard can prevent this issue.

Rash guards are usually made from lycra or nylon, which are lightweight materials with superior wicking properties. Rash guards usually also have built-in UV protection. While rash guards are especially popular among surfers, they are also worn by the general population to protect against the sun when doing water sports.

As mentioned above, swim shirts may have short sleeves or long sleeves. There are more varieties available, so you can choose the style that you prefer. In addition, swim shirts are available in various colors and designs. Swim shirts are more versatile that you can wear them not only for water sports but also other outdoor activities.

On the other hand, rash guards always have long sleeves for complete coverage and protection. Rash guards also have various color choices and designs. However, rash guards are almost exclusively used for water activities. Take a look at the best-selling rash guards on Amazon.

Swim shirts are looser than rash guards. Swim shirts aren’t entirely tight-fitting. This is why some people think that swim shirts are more comfortable. On the other hand, rash guards are much tighter, revealing most of your body curves.

Coverage and Protection
Obviously, short-sleeve swim shirts provide less coverage and protection. They don’t cover your lower arms. However, long-sleeve swim shirts provide similar coverage and protection as rash guards. Note that both swim shirts vs rash guards usually have 50+ UPF UV protection, so both are effective against sunlight.

Swim Shirt vs Rash Guard

Swim ShirtRash Guard
- May have short sleeves or long sleeves- Long sleeves
- Looser fit- Tight fitting
- Suitable for water sports as well as other outdoor activities- Suitable for swimming, surfing, water activities
- Made from non-stretch nylon- Made from lycra or nylon

If you prefer a versatile clothing that you can wear for water sports and other outdoor activities, you can choose a swim shirt. You may also choose a swim shirt if you prefer a looser fit. On the other hand, rash guards are great if you want to have complete coverage and protection when swimming or surfing.

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