Boys' Rash Guard Swimwear

boy in red rash guard

For boys spending a lot of time in the sun and water, rash guard swimwear is necessary to keep the skin healthy and safe through the day. There are a lot of great options available, but it's useful to have at least two for interchanging throughout the summer.

Why Use a Rash Guard?

Rash guards are the best sun protection you can use while remaining comfortable. A good rash guard will breathe and so not add heat, nor will it interfere with performance in the water. A rash guard also prevents the chafing that can be so common with both a surfboard and boogie board.

Where to Shop for Boys' Rash Guard Swimwear

It's important to note that while boys wearing rash guards as part of their swimwear are more protected from sunburn than those going without, not all guards are made with fabric that has sunblock built into it.


Coolibar is a shop whose merchandise all comes with sun protection, mostly a UPF of 50. They carry three rash guards for boys:

  • Short sleeve: This shirt has a stand-up collar to protect the neck, chlorine and saltwater resistance for a long life, and is made with a soft and stretchy fabric cut for maximum range of movement.
  • Long sleeve: With many similar design features, the long sleeve guard offers full torso protection without adding bulk. Recent design improvements include a lengthened shirttail that keeps skin covered even while being active.
  • Long sleeve splash guard: This shirt offers four-way stretch and gripper elastic on the back hem to keep it in place. There are open mesh sides to offer maximum cooling.

Lands' End

Trusted outdoor clothing maker Lands' End has a number of rash guards for boys in its swimwear collection. A few choices include:

  • Short sleeve solid: One of the most highly-rated rash guards by Lands' End customers, this shirt features a UPF of 50, stretchy fabric that allows for full movement and a lightweight style to maintain comfort. The UPF is designed to last even through multiple washings, which should all be done by hand.
  • Long sleeve solid: Containing similar design features, this shirt gives the maximum in coverage while not compromising comfort. The fabric will not sag in water, so performance is not compromised either.
  • Short sleeve hibiscus: This shirt has a mock neck to provide extra coverage and is designed to hold its shape when wet. It also has a cheerful hibiscus pattern on the sleeves and sides.


At Patagonia, you can get a rash guard that provides a UPF of 50 and is also eco-conscious, being made in the USA and recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program. It gives protection from both sun and chill, and the seamless underarm gussets and flat seaming throughout prevent any added friction. The mock neck gives further protection.

Caring for Rash Guards

As with any swimwear, even those made from the best fabric and with the highest quality design will degrade with heavy use. Despite being treated to hold up to chlorine, salt and sun, as well as active wear, they can only be expected to last a few summers at most.

You can get the most out of a rash guard by rinsing it thoroughly in tap water after each use and then washing it by hand in cold water with a gentle cleanser. Roll it up in a towel to release most of the water without wringing and then lay it out flat to dry. This careful treatment will guarantee the quality of the guard until it is outgrown.

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Boys' Rash Guard Swimwear