Best Kids Rashguards Reviewed & Rated for Quality

A day at the pool or beach with your family can be a great experience. Allowing our children the freedom to run free for a while in order to tucker them out for the evening. Before leaving, you pack all the coolers, beach toys, extra clothes, and of course the sunscreen. We all know how quickly the sun can cause damage to our skin. This is especially so for children as they tend to have more susceptible skin for burning and irritation. Now those of you who have spent plenty of time on the beach with children know that chasing them to apply sunscreen can be a feat all on its own. For this reason, trading in that sunscreen for a rash guard can save you both time and money.

Featured Recommendations

City Threads
  • City Threads
  • 5 out of 5
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  • COMFORTABLE
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O'Neill
  • O'Neill
  • 4.4 out of 5
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  • Minimal Seam Placemen
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RuffleButts
  • RuffleButts
  • 4.9 out of 5
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  • Built-in Sun Protection
  • Price: See Here

Sunscreen is a great way to protect our children’s skin from getting burned. When at the beach or pool this topical solution will need to be applied more frequently. Now with knowing that fact, have you ever tried to pull children out of the water to add more lotion? This can be more of a battle than what is necessary, often ending in more tears shed than what it is worth. Many parents have started to look into alternative solutions to using sunscreen. That is where choosing protective clothing will come into play. But with so many options out there today, how will you ever know which one to choose.

For your convenience, we have taken the legwork out of the research phase for you. Putting together this buying guide as a tool for you to select the right garment type for your child. Using the information we have stumbled across, we have created a list of what we found to be the ten best possible choices as of now. Along with the ten products will comes some valuable information for each option. It is our hope that after going over the list that you will be able to choose the best-suited option for both you and your child.

 

10 Best Kids Rashguards

 

1. City Threads

1. City Threads
Our first option is one that was made to withstand the punishment that your busy little bee can hand out. Made with their comfort in mind, you can be sure that there will be no struggle in getting them to keep this on.
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Durable
The materials used in this particular item are of good quality. Making this one of the more durable options to choose from. Great for parents, as we know that some clothing just doesn't seem to last once the children get their hands on them.

The Fit
The fabric is soft, leaving your child with a comfortable feel while wearing this shirt. The sleeves are long, so you won't need to worry about sun exposure. The seams are constructed to be both strong and non-irritating to the skin.

Cost and Value
This option is valuable to your child's protective needs. Parents get a sound piece of mind with a UPF rating of 50. The child gets comfort while wearing the shirt. That seems like a win-win situation.
Pros

This is made from quality material.

The UPF rating is high.

A great option for durability.

It is offered in several color choices.

Cons

Some customers have stated the color shades will vary.

There are complaints that the arms are a little too long.

2. O'Neill

2. O'Neill
As children grow so should their choices for protective clothing. This selection has you covered when your infant becomes an adolescent. Here is one that will fit in all the right ways so they can use it for all their sporting needs.
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Style
With the long sleeves and flat seam construction, your young adult will have an amazing amount of coverage. Since this option is made to fit contoured to them, you will notice the shirt moves with them. Reducing the amount of friction that is known for causing rashes.

Sizing
Infants grow all too quickly into toddlers. From there they hit the young adolescent stage in no time flat. Keeping up with these changes, this manufacturer has sizes to offer your older children. Often times other manufacturers will skip this stage and head right into adult sizing.

Cost and Value
Here is a selection that won't break the bank when it comes to cost. It is a durable and protective element for all your children's sporting apparel needs. Allowing you to give them a line of defense against skin irritation.
Pros

The fit for this is contouring for better range of motion.

Made with materials that allow for flexibility.

This is a long sleeve option.

There are sizes made for older children.

Cons

Some people have voiced concerns that the seams could use reinforcing.

3. RuffleButts

3. RuffleButts
Here is an option that will keep your little one looking cute while enjoying the day in the sun. Made with the comfort of your child in mind while keeping your worries at bay.
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Comfort
Made from fabric that is flexible, this allows it to conform to their bodies. Making for a snug but a comfortable feeling suit. The neckline is made to stretch, perfect for those little ones who hate tight necklines.

Protective
Setting parents minds at ease, this offers a high UPF rating for defense against the sun. With this, they also have added material to the bottom of the shirt to offer the child full coverage.

Cost and Value
Many swimsuit options will cost a pretty penny but this one truly isn't that bad. It gives you the option to protect your child's skin while looking cute doing so.

Pros

Great two piece selection.

Made to contour their body.

The neckline is stretchy for ease of use.

Offered in toddler sizes and up to an 8 in youth.

Cons

There are statements that say these are on the smaller side.

4. Estamico

4. Estamico
Next up is another great way to keep the sun off those children who just can't get enough of the outdoors. With the total coverage option, you can reduce the amount of sunscreen your child will have to wear.
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Total Coverage
A shirt that offers long sleeves for total arm and shoulder coverage. That might seem like overkill on a sunny day but the materials chosen will also keep them cool. The neckline is higher as well for added coverage in an area often overlooked.

Sizing
This is made from a blend of materials that will give them a snug fit. The elastic properties of the spandex in this garment will provide a more contoured look. For those who like a looser feel, it is recommended to order one size larger than usual.

Cost and Value
Having options for your child's sporting and outdoor needs is beneficial to both of you. The cost for this one is reasonable enough to have more than one on hand at the ready.
Pros

Made from a blend of materials that offer flexibility.

This is a quick drying selection.

The neckline sits a little higher for added protection.

Has long sleeves for total shoulder and arm coverage.

Cons

Customers have had issues with the sleeves being a little too short.

Some have recommended order two sizes up for a comfortable fit.

5. Tuga

5. Tuga
Children can have very sensitive skin bothered by the slightest things. Now here is an option that can help to alleviate some of those issues for you. Plus it can be worn both in the water and out.
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Sensitivity
Children have a higher susceptibility to getting rashes on their skin than adults do. This makes applying things such as sunscreen difficult. Other manufacturers will use chemicals to boost their products UPF rating. Not this one, they have provided you with a promise of a chemical free product.

Multiple Uses
While at the beach your child will be in and out of the water. Wet clothing can be irritating to them. With this selection, the materials used have the ability to dry quickly. Allowing them to enjoy some time in the sand as their shirt will not bother them.

Cost and Value
This so far is our most expensive selection yet, with that expense will come the guarantee of satisfaction. You guessed it, this manufacturer will stand behind their product 100% or your money back.
Pros

This comes with a 100% guarantee.

Plenty of colors to choose from.

Materials contain no chemicals for sun protection.

Many different sizes to pick from.

Cons

There are statements that the color on the shirts tends to fade with washing.

6. Sunbusters

6. Sunbusters
For your child's benefit, this shirt offers a maximum amount of protection to their skin. With the fun colors and animal pictures, they will look cute while remaining safe.
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Protection
The manufacturer of this product has stepped up the protection for this selection. Along with the higher UPF rating, they have thrown in some potential for blocking both UVA and UVB rays. This one comes with a promise that it will block 98% of the suns harmful rays.

Fun Colors
For some, dressing their kids in the cutest outfits is a must. With a selection like this, you can surely achieve this goal. There are several color options to choose from. As well as some options with a cute little animal picture on the front.

Cost and Value
Your child can stand out from the crowd as the cute one with this selection. Plenty of options to choose from, you are sure to find one to suit your sense of style for them. Most importantly the high level of sun protection to keep them from getting burned can be your most valuable asset.
Pros

Plenty of styles to choose from. This one offers two types of sun blocking protection.

Offered as a short sleeve option.

Flat seam construction to reduce irritation.

Cons

Some who have purchased this have stated that the neckline could use more coverage.

7. Body Glove

7. Body Glove
Next comes an option for those who seek this type of garment for both protection and performance purposes. Many children enjoy watersports just as much as adults do. So they will need an apparel line that can work as hard as they do.
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Performance
As we stated above, this one was built to perform. With venting to offer better air circulation. This circulation aids in wicking away sweat keeping them both cool and dry.

Durable
Reinforced stitching in just the right areas will allow this shirt to hold up for many activities to come. The fabric used in creating the shirt allow flexibility. The flexible material holds more strength than typical cotton material does.

Cost and Value
Here is a shirt that can get the job one even when your child is giving it their all out on the waves. The amount of durability this one has to offer will seemingly offset the cost by far.
Pros

There are vents for proper air circulation.

This one has moisture wicking properties.

Reinforced seams and hemlines for durability.

Can be purchased in a range of size selections.

Cons

Statements have been made that the material seems to be scratchy.

8. Cressi

8. Cressi
The next option we have for you is one that offers some potential for those cooler water temperatures. This manufacturer has thought of areas of protection that none have on the list thus far.
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Warming
The way in which this option has been put together can give your child a warming sensation while swimming in cooler waters. The knitting construction for this shirt is one of a kind in its field.

Special Protection
Aside from the usual means of protection you get from this style of activewear, this one has added a spin to things. When planning your next trip to swim in the ocean, here is an item you won't want to forget. Added to the many levels of protection is one that not many think of. They have added a defense to keep your child safe from jellyfish.

Cost and Value
When utilizing bodies of water like the ocean, there are many things to be concerned about. Water temperatures can fluctuate at a rapid pace. Adding apparel such as this can allow you to prepare your child for some of the unknown.
Pros

Designed with a comfort fit for better range of motion.

Special knitting construction offers more warmth.

Comes with a defense against jellyfish.

Has a high UPF rating.

Cons

There are complaints that these will run smaller than expected.

9. Banner Bonnie

9. Banner Bonnie
Some need an option for reasons other than the beach. Here is a selection that will work great for your active indoor child as well. It can be worn for many active uses to defend against skin irritation.
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Uses
Some parents have children who are actively busy with indoor sports as well. Those who do are seeking an option perhaps more for a defense against rashes than the sun. This option has just what you are looking for. Your child can wear this for virtually any activity they are involved in.

Rash Defense
Made from materials that allow for a 4-way stretch potential, this suit will move with your child. The material will do less rubbing reducing the risk of chafing during activity.

Cost and Value
Keep in mind while considering the cost, this is essentially a full outfit for your child. Add up the expense you would pay separately and you will see that you are indeed making out on this option.
Pros

This comes as an outfit.

The materials allow 4-way stretching.

It also has a UPF rating for outdoor use.

Great for children who enjoy indoor activities.

Cons

Some who have purchased this say that the pants seem too short in length.

10. Tatami Fightwear

10. Tatami Fightwear
Another great option for those children who participate in activities meant for the gym. This one is made to provide those who wear it a better movement experience overall.
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For Use in the Gym
Whether your child likes to participate in kickboxing, wrestling, or gymnastics this shirt will provide them with a comfortable feel. Made to move with their movements rather than against you will notice less chafing and complaining.

Seams
The seams for active wear should never cause you irritation. When designed incorrectly you get an irritating itch from them. When done as these are, in a flat fashion you won't get that at all.

Cost and Value
This one comes at a slightly higher cost but has been constructed to withstand the punishment delivered. Afterall quality construction does come at a higher overall cost. When it comes to our children, quality is key.
Pros

This is made for use in the gym.

Material blend allows the shirt to move with you.

This is a long sleeve option.

The seams are constructed to be flat.

Cons

One customer stated that this was bigger in size than expected.

This brings us to the next portion of our buying guide. You will see that we have included for you the information we used to create this wonderful list for you. We totally understand that not everyone will know exactly what we are talking about when it comes to materials and protection. By adding this section we hope to give you a better explanation of the facts. At the end of the guide, we have placed some of the most common questions that people seem to have for this particular garment. By the time you are done reading this, you should be better aware of what will suit your needs.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Kids Rashguards

When looking into this option as a form of protection for your child’s skin, the first step is understanding what this garment can do for them. Chasing your child around to apply many layers of sunscreen throughout the day can be an exhausting task. Adding this protective element to their wardrobe can help reduce some of the stress of the day. Most of these will come with properties that allow them to block the harmful rays of the sun.

Using a clothing choice like this has more than just one benefit. You can use them as an added layer over a bathing suit as well. This will add some defense against the cooler temperatures the water can sometimes hold. Another great quality they carry is the ability to dry quickly. Reducing the chance for skin irritation when your child wants to spend some time on the sand instead. You will notice that material choices will offer different potential benefits. Choosing the right one will depend on what you want the apparel for. There are several style choices as well, often available in many different colors and patterns. You can be sure that your child will still look cute. With the growing popularity of this type of apparel, you will notice that children are wearing these for more than just water fun.

The Benefits 

For Your Skin

In order to prevent irritation to your skin, this type of protective clothing is made from a blend of materials. These material combinations allow the clothing to move right with you reducing the amount of rubbing that can take place. The typical cotton shirt when wet becomes heavy and begins to sag. Eventually, you will notice that the clothing will leave rashes on your skin in the areas that the clothing tends to rub. Not to mention that the added weight can slow you down in the water.

Blocking the Sun

One of the favorite aspects of this apparel is the ability to protect the skin from the sun. Many of these options will come with a higher UPF rating. Now, of course, you should be informed that you will benefit from applying at least one application of sunscreen in combination with using this type of gear. The garments come in such a large variety that some areas may not have total coverage, this is where the sunscreen should be applied. When the material states that it has a UPF factor there are two methods that manufacturers use to achieve this. The material has an added application to provide the UPF factor, this is the more commonly used method. The second will take place during the creation stage, as the protective element is knitted straight into the fabric.

A Layer of Warmth

As we are all aware, just because the sun is shining doesn’t always mean that the water is warm. More often than not you will see children on the beach shivering and blue-lipped. Layering their swimming gear can help keep them warmer when the water is cool. Neoprene is the most common material used to provide the warming characteristic. To be sure you have chosen an option that will be warm, check the tags to see that it says thermal on it. This is a good indicator that the one you have selected will, in fact, do the trick.

The thicker that material is rated the more it will keep you warm. When checking the label for thickness, you may notice that there are two numbers. For example, if you see numbers that look this 3/2, it stands for two separate thickness levels. The first number will be the level of thickness in the chest area, the second will stand for the arms. The arm and side areas will be thinner to provide a better range of motion.

The Fit

How you want this to fit will depend on what activities will be performed while wearing it. Let’s say your child enjoys paddle boarding, in this case, you will want them to be able to move freely. The more contouring option would be better for them. These are made to move with you instead of against you. When looking for something they can use as a coverup so to speak, there are those designed to be a little more loose fitting. These can be considerably more comfortable for children. In my experiences, most children hate clothing that seems to be tight. Even when you explain to them that this is the way they are meant to be. As for the style of the fit, you have a few options to choose from:

  • Short Sleeves: One with shorts sleeves seems to offer the most amount of versatility. You can use them on their own or wear one underneath a wetsuit. With the sleeves being shorter, you will have a better range of motion as there will be less restriction. On the downside of things, you may need to put a layer of sunscreen on your arms as they will have more exposed skin.
  • Long Sleeves: Believe it or not you will see people wearing this version on sunny days. They are popular for use in the water, as they add a layer of warmth with the long sleeves. Some like them for the extra material coverage as you won’t need to slather on the sunscreen with it. You may also notice that these are worn in the gym as well. This style will provide protective properties in the underarm area while working out.
  • Full Body: This is a one-piece option that extends the protection down to the legs. You will see these being used by those who are active participants in water sports. Others use them as a base layer underneath their wetsuits for warmth when planning to be in deeper water. For children especially, these can come in handy for the inner part of their legs. Countless times I have had my boys at the beach for them to end up miserable at the end of the day. When wearing swim trunks the wet material rubbing their inner thighs has caused plenty of skin irritation. The full body option can prevent this from happening.
  • Tank Top: These have the same great potential as the short sleeve version. You will have a definite free range of motion in the shoulder area as there is no material there. Depending on the amount of sun you will have exposure to, this might not be the best option for sun defense. Since there are no sleeves your shoulders and arms will be completely exposed to the sunlight.

Materials

Clothing such as this is typically made from a blend of different materials to achieve the potential benefits that they have. The most popular choices for the material are spandex, nylon, and polyester. Although as we covered earlier, neoprene is the most common choice when warmth is the goal. A good factor that the material should have is the ability to dry rather quickly. This is one of the best lines of defense against skin irritation. Spandex is used due to its amazing capabilities to be flexible. It will contour to your body reducing the amount of friction against your skin. Both polyester and nylon are both quick to dry, whilst the polyester offers a high level of breathability.

Seam Construction

The seams of the apparel can be the most bothersome when they are not constructed properly. In a traditional shirt, the seams are stitched in a fashion called overlock. Essentially the two pieces of fabric are clasped closed and sewn that way. Leaving a rise in the material, the raised area can cause irritation during movements. You should look for seams that are constructed to be flat. This is where the pieces of the seam are placed one on top of the other. They are then sewn together in this fashion to create a flat seam.

The Collar

Depending on the activity that will be performed while wearing one of these, you may want to be choosing about the fit of the collar. Should you be wearing this while participating in a rigorous activity, you will probably want a collar that allows you room to move.  One that is cut lower is the best choice. For some, the added protection of having a higher collar line, like a turtleneck, can come in handy. When spending long periods of time in the sun, we often forget to apply sunscreen to our necklines. Overall this can be a painful lesson to learn.

Some Advice for the Pool

Both children and adults alike enjoy spending the day at the pool as well as the beach. As we all know there may not be any rules against wearing cover at the beach but the pool is a different story. Some community pools will not allow you to wear this type of clothing while using their pool. It is always best to check the rules before entering the pool. Aside from that, there is the matter of the chemicals added to the pool. Chlorine can wreak havoc on the material your clothing is made from. It is always best to check the label of your clothing to be sure it can withstand the exposure to chlorine.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it safe for my child to wear one of these while swimming?

A: While it is always best to monitor your child when they are in the water, there is no need to panic due to this type of clothing. When choosing a garment for children to use while in the water you will want to pay attention to the way it fits. One that is larger than needed will restrict their ability to move freely in the water. Choosing one with a snug fit will allow the fabric to move with the child rather than against them. Making it easier for them to enjoy themselves overall.

Q: How should this type of garment fit my child?

A: The fit you are looking for will depend on what your child will be doing while wearing the product. When you are in the market for something they can wear while in the water, a more contoured design will be best. This reduces the limitation of movement along with the rubbing that can occur due to loose fitting materials. On the other hand, should you choose one just for a coverup at the pool or beach, a more relaxed fit would be suitable. Often times children will complain when their clothing is tight to their skin. You will have a better chance of them wearing this if it is more comfortable for them.

Q: What are the benefits of having a full body version?

A: The full body version can be beneficial for a number of reasons. For one they can be used as an undergarment when using a wetsuit. They add a layer of warmth and protection between their skin and the wetsuit. Another reason for a full body option is the extra defense against skin irritation. Wet clothing on the skin can cause rubbing, which in turn can cause chaffing. The worst area for this on a child is the inner thighs. With this version, you get added protection to that portion of their legs.

Q: How can I tell if the rash guard will be warm?

A: One way to tell if warmth will be provided is the material the guard is made from and the thickness of the material. To find this information it is best to check the tag of the product. Good indicators to watch for on the tag are the words thermal or “thermo”. The material of choice for most manufacturers to provide warmth is neoprene. Some tags will have a two number system for providing you with the amount of thickness. The first number you see will refer to the thickness of the torso area of the garment. The second is the thickness for the sides and arms of the garment.

Q: Is this a good option for sun protection?

A: Yes, this type of apparel can be one of your best defenses against the suns harmful rays. With that being said there are a few things you will need to look for. Not all of this type of apparel will offer a UPF factor. Be sure you have chosen one that does. Now when choosing one that has short sleeves, keep in mind that part of your arms will be exposed. With a tank style, your arms and shoulders will also have exposure time. With both of these options, it is a good idea to apply a layer of sunscreen to the exposed areas. The long sleeve version offers the highest amount of coverage, again as long as it has a UPF factor included.

Q: Can these be worn in a pool?

A: The answer to this will depend on several factors. First, it is always best to check with the administrator of the pool to be sure they allow this type of clothing in the pool. As many will only let you wear a bathing suit. Next, you will want to be sure that the clothing can withstand exposure to chemicals found in the pool. Chlorine, used in pools for sanitary purposes, can be harmful to some materials used in clothing. Check the label of yours to be sure it is safe to use it in the pool.

Sources

  1. Platinum Sun, How to Choose the Perfect Rash Guard
  2. Live Strong, Rash Guard for Swimming
  3. Panama Jack, How to Choose a Rash Guard

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