What Makes a Top a Rash Vest?

May 18, 2022 3 min read

So what makes a top a rash vest? Several characteristics come to mind, including the following: UV protection, Skin-tight fit, Flat-lock stitching, and a half-chest zipper. There are different types and different opinions on how to wear a rash guard. But how do you know which top is best for you? Read on to learn more. Here are the key characteristics of a rash vest:

UV Protection

UV protection on a rash vest is essential to keep your body protected while you're out in the sun. The right style of rash vest should fit snugly without restricting movement. Rash vests are great for people of any age, but younger kids' skin is particularly sensitive, so they need to be extra careful about the fit. A rash vest is also useful for maintaining body warmth during cool weather and offering UV protection.

When buying a rash vest, look for a high UPF rating. Higher UPF means greater protection. Look for a tightly woven fabric so that it does not stretch or pull when you move. The best UV protection comes from polyester and nylon. A rash vest with a tight weave will provide the best protection. If you're not sure what to look for, here are some examples:

Skin-Tight Fit

Rash vests are a great option for water sports. They are very versatile and can be worn in many different situations, including surfing and wake boarding. They also work as an extra layer of protection under a wetsuit. A rash vest is most often used by surfers, and can prevent chafing when the board is in a warmer water temperature. These vests are generally made with materials that wick moisture away from the body and provide protection from sunburn and chafing.

A skin-tight fit is another key characteristic of a rash vest. It should fit tight against the body so that it does not restrict movement and cause discomfort. A top that is too loose can also roll up in the water and become an unnecessary hazard. A rash guard should be comfortable and fit well before going on a swim trip. It's best to try it on before you wear it, and then decide if it's the right fit.

Flat-Lock Stitching

While flat-lock stitching isn't essential in all rash vests, it does make them a more durable option. Compared to other stitching techniques, flat-lock is more durable, and the seams are flatter and smoother than overlock stitching. Flat-lock is also more comfortable against the skin, and rash vests made with this stitching style are generally more stretchy.

For more durability, choose a rash guard made of Buna Rubber and Carbon Steel Oil Seal. The material is also machine-washable. For ease of use, look for flat-lock stitching and a half-chest zipper. This way, you can get the vest on and off quickly without having to undo your gear. If flat-lock stitching is not a priority, look for a different type of fabric.

Half-Chest Zipper

A half-chest zip on a rash vest is a helpful feature, and many people find it makes getting on and off their rash guard that much easier. A rash guard is not only functional, but it is also a stylish option. These vests are often made of 100% polyester and feature a UPF 50+ rating. They also feature a quick-dry fabric and sweat-wicking technology, making them the perfect choice for warm weather.

Weather or Laid-Back Water Sports.

A rash vest's half-chest zipper is useful for allowing air to flow freely, but it's also useful for keeping heat in. Thermal protection is another benefit of rash vests, and thicker ones have a lining to keep your body heat in. Regular rash guards keep the warmth are a great layering piece under a wetsuit in cold climates. Moreover, a half-chest zipper will allow you to easily remove or add additional layers of clothing.


If you are not a fan of wearing wetsuits in cooler water, a rash vest is a great way to add an extra layer of warmth to your wetsuit. Rash vests are available in varying thicknesses, so you will want to make sure that the one you choose will fit comfortably under your wetsuit. The warmest ones will be long sleeved, have additional linings for retaining body heat, and feature hoods.

A rash vest can be made from several materials. Most are made of nylon, polyester, and spandex. You can also choose thermal vests by adding additional layers of titanium or fleece. If you plan to use your rash vest in a pool, it is important to find one that is chlorine resistant. Quality construction is essential for comfort, so look for vests with flatlock stitching. Flatlock stitching makes seams stronger and reduces bulk.

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