Rash Vests offer protection against a number of elements whilst in, on or around the water including damaging ultra violet radiation, marine life stings and scratches whilst swimming or abrasion and irritation protection when worn beneath a wetsuit. Some rash guards have a built in layer of neoprene that provides an extra layer of thermal protection beneath a wetsuit, or even by itself. There are also thicker rashies that are a combination of technical materials that are equivalent to 0.5-2.5mm neoprene, making them a great alternative to neoprene products.
Rash guards are the perfect addition to any snorkellers kit bag. These versatile garments provide up to SPF80 protection from harmful UV rays, help to provide protection from wind chill and also provide protection from stinging organisms that may be floating in the water such as jellyfish and their tentacles. Rash guards are available in a range of styles to suit varying requirements and temperatures and made from different materials.
There are some key things that a rash vest or rash guard must have to ensure that it is comfortable to wear whether it is worn by itself or even beneath a wetsuit. The material should be lightweight with a low water absorbency to prevent the rash guard from becoming heavy and difficult to move around in once it has become wet. Similarly the material should be able to dry almost instantaneously to prevent wind chill, a material that can achieve this is also generally fast wicking to draw moisture always from the skin.
The fabric MUST be stretchy as, although loose fit tops are available, rash guards are designed to be a snug fit but if the material can stretch and move with your body it will quickly become restrictive. How the separate panels are joined together will also impact how comfortable it is and a good quality rash guard will use flatlock stitching to keep the seams flat against the skin and strong.
It is also becoming increasingly common for rash guards to be impregnated with an anti-bacterial agent that help to keep the garment fresh and odour free