Today, we’ll answer the debate: Long sleeve vs short sleeve Rash Guard: Which one should you go for??
A question I often get asked is whether one should wear short sleeve or long sleeve rash Guards? My answer is always: Both.
I own long-sleeve and short-sleeve ones. They come with different pro&cons and based on them I decide which one to wear.
So here it comes down to your location, your training style, and your personality. Let me explain in this post.
Long Sleeve vs Short Sleeve Rash Guard: Pros and Cons
|Long Sleeve Rash Guards
|Short Sleeve Rash Guards
|Better protection against rashes, bruises, and infections.
|Less skin coverage – higher risk of skin issues.
|Warmer, good for cold climates or outdoor training. Less breathable
|Cooler, better for hot climates.
|Better at handling sweat.
|Arms may feel sweatier, affecting grip.
|Can be restrictive or loose at the wrists.
|Freer arm movement, less restrictive.
|More space for designs
|Highlights muscles/tattoos; fashionable in No-Gi BJJ.
|May feel hotter in warm climates; it requires more adjusting.
|Generally more comfortable in terms of heat.
|Less advantageous in terms of grip.
|Slippery arms can be harder to grip for opponents.
What Are The Differences Between Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve BJJ Rash Guards?
Let’s discuss first where they differ to make the decision easier for you.
1. Skin Protection
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there is a lot of friction. You come in close contact with your opponent – So the primary function of a Rash Guard is to help protect your skin from rashes, bruises, and, most importantly – skin infections, such as staph and ringworm.
Now, both a short-sleeved and long sleeve Rashguard will offer you support and protection. But as you might have thought, long-sleeved ones will do a better job at that. In Short-sleeve Rash Guards, your bicep and your whole forearm are exposed.
This makes it easy for bacteria to enter your body. Also, I often got rashes on my elbow and forearm.
And oh, in case you want to do Jiu Jitsu outside – make sure to wear a long-sleeved rashguard. With a short one, you’ll get sunburned, and the grass you’re rolling on will give you scratches and bruises (speaking from experience…)
2. Body Temperature Regulation
This one partly depends on where you live. I was wearing a Long-sleeve Rash Guard while training in the humid heat of Uganda, and I couldn’t wait until I could take it off. It was just too hot.
Then I came back to Germany, and it was snowing. So the Gym hall is freezing sometimes. So while being in Germany, I like to wear long-sleeved ones because they keep me more warm.
But to be honest, you should rather worry about overheating than being too cold in Jiu-Jitsu. If you feel cold while doing BJJ, you are doing something wrong. Your body should be heated up after your warm-up…Do you do warm-ups??
3. Sweat Management.
I tend to sweat a lot on the mats. So I notice that my arms get supper slippery whenever I wear short-sleeved rash Guards and I roll hard.
With long-sleeve Rash Guards, I often don’t notice that I’m sweating, which is pretty cool.
Also, with short-sleeve ones, you’ll be harder to grip. Meaning that submissions such as armbars will be harder to get. So maybe that’s why you see most people wear short-sleeve Rash Guards in competition?
I feel that the movements in short-sleeve Rashguards are less restricted. I can move freely, and they stick to my body perfectly.
Some of my long-sleeved Rash Guards begin to be too loose on my wrists. So I find myself adjusting my long-sleeved Rash Guards more than my short-sleeved ones.
Some BJJ Rash Guards have wrist and waistbands – they prevent you from needing to adjust your long-sleeve rashguard.
If you wanna show off your biceps or your cool tattoos, go for the short-sleeved ones… Somehow people seem bigger than they are in short-sleeved Rashguards.
But long-sleeve ones give more room for cool designs. So this is on you. Most designs are made for both short-sleeved and long-sleeved Rashguards.
So this one comes down to your preference.
So some would say that short-sleeve Rashguards kinda of defeat the purpose of BJJ Rash Guards overall. Rash Guards’ primary purpose is to provide protection for you – but this is not a given anymore with short-sleeved ones.
Still, I think over the years, Rash Guards became more than that. They became a fashion statement and the symbol of No-Gi BJJ.
So you decide for yourself. If I had to choose between one of them, I’d go for Long-sleeved BJJ rash Guards.