Best Rash Guard for Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Man snorkeling wearing a rash guard and shorts.
It is important to protect your body from the elements by using a quality rash guard. Photo: Daniel Torobekov / Pexels

Rash guards are a useful staple in any water-loving person’s wardrobe! It is a handy piece of clothing that acts as a barrier between the elements and your skin. It stops you from getting sunburnt, from getting exposed to harmful UV sunrays, and can protect you from stinging organisms and jellyfish in the water. We look into the best rash guard for snorkeling and what to look for before hitting the water. You can also use these rash guards for scuba diving!

Related: What to Wear Snorkeling?

What is a Snorkeling Rash Guard?

Rash guards were originally created so that surfers would not get skin rashes from their surfboards. The name stuck, so we now refer to these clothing items as ‘rash guards, rashies, rashy, or even skin-suits’ as they are thin and stick close to your body just like a second skin.

Snorkelers, scuba divers, and surfers, people who are out in the sun and the water will often wearing these rash guards as protection for their skin. Rash guards can come in short sleeve, long sleeve versions, and even leggings to protect your legs!

Read More: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Why Do We Need a Snorkeling Shirt?

A lot of snorkelers and scuba divers will wear these rash guards. Being in the sun for extended periods of time can be harmful and dangerous to your skin, so wearing rash guards are a great and safer alternative to just wearing sunscreen. Most sunscreens can also be toxic to the water, coral, and our general environment, so many places around the world are banning these. Finding the best rash guard for snorkeling and scuba diving is a great alternative to applying and re-applying toxic sunscreen on your skin!

Our Favourite Reef-Safe Sunscreens

Best Rash Guard for Snorkeling

We prefer a tighter fit when choosing the best rash guard for snorkeling. This prevents drag in the water, and also means better protection against things that are floating in the water such as itchy sea-lice. Here are some of our favorites.

Best Rash Guard for Men

Scubapro Men’s Rash Guard

  • Made in the USA
  • UPF 50 rating blocks 98% of UV radiation
  • Polyester is comfortable yet durable
  • Retains its shape after repeated use
  • Cool design. Comes in a blue, grey, white or black.

Quiksilver Men’s Long Sleeve Rashguard

  • Machine Wash
  • 50+ UPF Sun protection
  • Constructed using reprieve recycled materials
  • Moisture wicking
  • Snug fit
  • Chlorine resistant

O’Neill Men’s Basic Skins UPF 50+ Short Sleeve Rash Guard

  • Machine Wash
  • UPF 50+ Max UV Protection Factor
  • Tight fit
  • Skin Cancer Foundation Recommended
  • Polyester/Spandex 6 oz blend for effective UV protection with minimal heat absorption
  • Quick dry 4-way stretch makes it comfortable

Best Rash Guard for Women

Roxy Women’s Whole Hearted Long Sleeve UPF 50 Rashguard

  • 92.0% Polyester, 8% Elastane
  • Hand Wash Only
  • Long sleeve rash guard
  • Soft, resistant stretch fabric
  • Snug
  • UV protection with UPF 50 sun protection
  • Large collar binding

O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins Upf 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard

  • Machine Wash
  • Skin Cancer Foundation Recommended Product
  • UPF 50+ Ultraviolet Protection
  • Comfortable Yet Durable 6oz
  • Polyester/Spandex Construction
  • Minimal Seam Placement For Maximum Rash Protection

Daci Women Rash Guard Long Sleeve Zipper

  • Comes with a zipper so it’s easier to put on/off
  • Zipper is great for larger shoulders and chests
  • Comes in lots of colourful/floral designs
  • Large range of sizes (US 0 – US 18)

Emma was initially terrified of the deep ocean but dived right into scuba diving years ago and hasn't looked back since! After completing her PADI DiveMaster certification and with a Bachelor of Communications (Media) background in film-making, Emma started her scuba career as an Underwater Videographer before becoming a full-time PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. She taught and certified hundreds of PADI scuba divers as Open Water Divers, Rescue Divers, Deep Specialty Divers, Dive Masters and more, and then managed several Dive Centres. Her favourite fish (which is also tattooed on her arm) is the Barracuda!