Top 5 Best Rash Guard for Kids | 2023 Reviews and Guide (Kanu)

Last Updated March 24, 2023

Every child needs to be protected against the sun. The lighter a kid’s skin tone, the less melanin he has to absorb UV rays and safely defend his skin. The darker the kid’s skin tone is, the more melanin he has. But, that doesn’t change the fact that both skin types need protection from UV rays.

This is the reason rash guards are in place. A good rash guard is one of the most acceptable methods to protect your kids from the sun and other elements like water and sand when they are around water for hours on end.

We’ve gathered five of the best rash guard for kids that can keep your kids protected against the sun. That’s, of course, after lathering them with a good amount of waterproof sunscreen, too.

What Is A Rash Guard?

Kids rash guards sun protection apparel that creates a barrier between the sun’s harmful rays and the skin, preventing sunburn. They are long-lasting, quick-drying, light, and breathable, ensuring that your youngster is always at ease while wearing them.

These rash guards for kids protect more than simply the sun. This clothing can defend them against sand, rashes, scratches, and chaffing on beach days. They come in short and long sleeve designs, allowing you to choose the level of protection that your children require for a fun-filled day outside.

Top 5 Best Rash Guard for Kids Reviewed

Although the purpose of rash guards and swim shirts is relatively straightforward, there is a surprising range of them available for kids. We listed five of the best rash guard for kids, along with their key features, price, and where to buy.

  1. Kanu Surf Boys' Short Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard Swim Shirt – Best Short-Sleeved for Boys
  2. RuffleButts Baby/Toddler Girls Rash Guard 2-Piece Swimsuit Set - Long Sleeve Bikini with UPF 50+ Sun Protection – Best for Baby Girl
  3. O'Neill Wetsuits Youth Basic Skins 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt – Best Long-Sleeved for Boys
  4. City Threads Girls' SPF50 Rash Guard Sun Swimming Tee Pool & Beach – Best Long-Sleeved for Girls
  5. Hurley Boys' Long Sleeve Rash Guard Coverall – Best for Baby Boy

1. Kanu Surf Boys' Short Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard Swim Shirt – Best Short-Sleeved for Boys

Kanu Surf Boys' Short Sleeve UPF 50+ Rashguard Swim Shirt, Contrast Aqua, X-Small (6)

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Kanu began selling door-to-door to local surfers, mom and pop surf shops, and a few gift shops at nearby beaches in 1997. Being in the middle of New York City’s Garment District, Kanu managed to land on the racks of department stores, sports shops, and everywhere swimwear is sold.

Their complete swim trunks and swimwear line includes something specific for toddlers and kids. One of which is their rash guard for little boys – the two-tone short-sleeved rash guard that comes in 9 different sizes and many color options.

This rash guard for kids is made to be extremely gentle on the skin. Its goal is to reduce skin irritation and rashes caused by irritants like salt, sand, chlorine, and other chemicals. The skin-friendly fabric made of polyester and spandex offers UPF 50+ protection, which blocks up to 98 percent of the sun’s damaging rays.

Its 4-way stretch technology, like that of other Kanu rash guards, allows the shirt to move and flex with you, and it comes in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from 2T to 16. This rash guard for kids is functional and extremely comfortable, making it ideal for usage in the water.

It comes in bright and fun color optionsIt runs a bit large for its size
UPF50+ protection
Lightweight, breathable, and quick dry

2. RuffleButts Baby/Toddler Girls Rash Guard 2-Piece Swimsuit Set - Long Sleeve Bikini with UPF 50+ Sun Protection – Best for Baby Girl

RuffleButts Girls Rainbow Stripe Ruffle Long Sleeve Rash Guard Bikini - 7

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RuffleButts 2-piece rash guard for kids provides sun and sand protection with long sleeves and UPF 50+ sun protection, keeping your little one safe and happy at the beach. It comes in 16 cute color patterns and sizes ranging from 2T to 10. This beautiful design features trademark ruffles on every pair of bottoms.

This rash guard for kids has full coverage and is perfect for all types of water activities. Even when wet, it maintains its shape and does not stretch. The fabric is also of exceptional quality. It’s fade-resistant and long-lasting, yet it’s still soft and pleasant, so your child won’t mind wearing it.

According to parents who have used this rash guard with their children, the top pulls on. It doesn’t have a back zipper, which may be a problem for kids who don’t like to pull things over their heads. However, it is easy to remove even when wet because it does not stick to the skin.

This rash guard for kids, like most rash guards, should be hand washed in cold water and dried flat. To avoid fading, rinse the suit with fresh water after being exposed to salt or chlorine. It should last a long time with appropriate care.

It comes in a variety of fun colors and printsFades quickly
UPF50+ protection
Backed by RuffleButts 100% Happiness Guarantee

3. O'Neill Wetsuits Youth Basic Skins 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt – Best Long-Sleeved for Boys

O'NEILL Youth Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt, Bright Blue, 6

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O’Neill spells quality you can trust at a price you can afford. Their Wetsuits Youth Basic Skins provide UPF50+ UV protection, as well as neatly drawn graphics and minimum seam placement to prevent irritation.

The O’Neill Youth Basics Rashguard is a slim-fit swim shirt with a close fit to the skin. You’ll barely know you’re wearing it while paddling about or draining threes on your backyard pool basketball hoop (it’s only 6oz).

When active, the fabric is a polyester/spandex blend with little seam placement, reducing chafing and red skin. This rash guard is available in several hues from white to brilliant blue, making it a fantastic complement to your summer activities.

With O’Neill Wetsuits Youth Basic Skins rash guard for kids’ exceptional style, performance, and comfort, you’ll be too proud to have your kids wear any of the colors with the famous O’Neill emblem on the chest.

Recommended by the Skin Cancer FoundationNo size for toddlers
Ergonomic flat-lock stitched seams
Comfortable yet durable polyester/spandex construction

4. City Threads Girls' SPF50 Rash Guard Sun Swimming Tee Pool & Beach – Best Long-Sleeved for Girls

City Threads LS Girls' Rashguard Swimming Suit Swim Tshirt Tee UPF50+ Sun Protection for Beach Pool Summer Fun, White w/Purple, 5

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The City Threads Girls’ SPF50 Rash Guard is a soft, silky, and smooth rash guard for kids that offers UPF50+ sun protection. They are popular among children since they are comfortable to wear. The subtle but cool contrast stitching creates a trendy modern appearance.

This rash guard for kids is USA-made and comfortable, and safe. Its one-of-a-kind fabric is soft and stretchy, making it ideal for swimming and other outdoor sports. There are no chemical sprays or flame retardants added, so the natural weave of the cloth gives protection much beyond the UPF50+ rating.

The textiles utilized in this rash guard for kids have a long-lasting composition. Its durable fabric, along with the brand’s expert local sewers’ reinforced stitching, results in a garment that can resist the summer play of active kids as well as multiple washing.

In addition, this rash guard has no bothersome zippers, buttons, or snaps for irritable kids. Its waistbands are also made of soft, high-quality cotton to avoid irritating children’s sensitive skin.

UPF50+ protectionBlends and stains other clothes
Comfortable silky smooth fabric
Durable and long-lasting, so your kids can move

5. Hurley Boys' Long Sleeve Rash Guard Coverall – Best for Baby Boy

Hurley Boys' Long Sleeve Rash Guard Coverall, Aurora Green/Black, 12M

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Instead of a pure rash guard, the Hurley Long Sleeve Rash Guard Coverall, which wraps around your child’s bottom, is a good option for smaller kids. This rash guard for kids is made entirely of polyester and is as robust as they come.

The coveralls have a rear zipper for simple entry and exit, soft fabric that won’t chafe or rub against your child’s skin, and a thick neck collar for increased sun protection on those hot summer days.

Because the suit is elastic, silky, and light, it is ideal for all-day wear. The rash guard for kids is of high quality and stands up to hard play and machine washing. It should be dried flat, but it dries quickly enough that this isn’t an issue.

The UPF 50+ rating of this rash guard for kids will keep your child safe from the sun. The high collar also provides additional neck protection. Overall, moms who evaluated this rash guard stated that their kids adore it. It’s incredibly soft and comfy to wear.

UPF50+ protectionSize runs a bit large
Lightweight but protective
Back zip closure allows for easy dressing and changing

Why Should Your Kids Wear Rash Guards?

Sun Protection

A rash guard for kids’ primary purpose is to safeguard your child’s skin with up to UPF50+ sun protection, making it an essential swimwear item for a beach vacation, especially in warmer climates.

Long and short-sleeved rash guards are offered. These options allow you to give your child an entire arm covering if they are sun-sensitive or leave their arms open (and use suncream) for a more relaxed feel.

A rash guard for kids has the advantage of being lightweight, comfy, and simple to move in, allowing your child to freely run around, swim, play, and participate in all of their favorite activities.

Wind and Sand Protection

With the rash guard for kids, your child is protected from the wind and sand by having an extra layer on his body. Not only can kids get sunburned, but they can also have windburn on a windy day at the beach, which can result in sand being blasted as well.

The rash guard will protect your child from all these and allow them to continue to enjoy their time outside.

Sea Protection

In a hotter climate, a wetsuit can be both excessively hot and too restricting if your kids wish to participate in water activities. A rash guard is a popular choice among parents since it protects from the sun, wind, and any friction from the surfboard if the kids surf.

Kids trying to learn to surf can take a long time to catch that perfect wave, and the persistent splash of seawater between their bodies and the surfboard can irritate their trunks. The rash guard provides that layer of protection, and even when wet, it remains in place, forming a barrier for their skin.


Although rash guard for kids will never provide your child with the same level of warmth as a body wrap, wetsuit, or warm-in-one, it will give them more than a standard swimming costume, especially for boys who prefer to have their top half bare.

A rash guard is not only ideal for the beach but also the pool, as it will provide your child with just enough warmth to allow them to swim for extended periods.

Keep Sunscreen and Ointments in Place

If your kid has a skin issue like eczema, you’re probably already familiar with the steps you must take before taking them swimming. Chlorine and saltwater can irritate sensitive skin, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your youngster to avoid any extra suffering.

Applying a barrier lotion up to an hour before swimming is the best approach to help them. This will give it plenty of time to absorb into the skin, providing a layer of protection against the water and preventing any pollutants from creating further problems.

By placing a rash top over their skin, the ointment will stay in place for longer and will not be washed away as soon.

Choosing A Rash Guard for Kids – Buying Guide

Every parent knows how difficult it is to apply sunscreen and the tantrums that can ensue when you have to interrupt their children to reapply another layer, but wearing a rash guard can alleviate the stress of applying the lotion.

Plus, the best rash guards for kids should be so comfortable that they forget they’re wearing them.

Below are some crucial aspects to consider while looking for the best rash guards for kids, so you can relax and enjoy your time at the pool or beach knowing your children are safe.

UV Protection

It may come as a surprise, but not all apparel provides UV protection. Yes, clothing acts as a barrier between the sun and the skin. However, depending on elements such as the fabric of the shirt, rays may pass through and still contact the skin.

This is why UV protection is the most vital characteristic to have in the material of rash guard for kids, as it will help avoid any painful sunburns.

UV protection for a rash guard for kids means that the sun’s rays won’t be able to penetrate or pass through the cloth’s material, preventing them from harming your child’s skin. While looking for toddler UV swimwear, check the product details for an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating.

This rating indicates how adequate a shirt’s UV protection is. The higher the number, the more security it provides. If a UPF rating is not provided, you can approximate the level of protection by looking at the material or kind of cloth.

Synthetic materials, on the whole, will provide more protection than natural textiles since their weave is tighter and denser. The color also influences the level of UV protection provided by a rash guard for kids.

Darker hues, such as navy blue absorb more UV radiation than lighter colors, such as white. However, intense colors like red or yellow can absorb UV rays more effectively than pastel colors, so your child can still wear their favorite color.


Most parents are aware that kids can be picky about their clothing, particularly in terms of how it feels on their bodies. Rash guard for kids should be comfortable so that they don’t try to take them off all the time.

This means that there are no irritating sleeves or product tags to chafe or irritate the skin on rash guard for kids. The material should be sturdy but soft and quick-drying to avoid being stranded in soaking wet garments all day.

The collar is another essential feature of child rash guards that can make the kid laugh or cry. Most kids like to be free, and a constrictive collar can make them unhappy. A low-cut neckline may be more comfortable for kids, but it also exposes more sensitive skin, necessitating the frequent application of sunscreen.

On the other hand, a turtleneck rash guard might give a child’s neck more excellent protection, but it might be too restricting for a day at the pool or beach. It’s best to assess your youngster and figure out what they can handle.


Parents understand the need for durability because their kids seem to have an unending energy supply to run around and play. A rash guard must be made of robust materials to keep up with the kids. The fabric and the seams are the most critical durability aspects in the rash guard for kids.

The best rash guard for kids should be composed of a robust, tightly woven, and dense material that offers the highest UV protection. Synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester, are excellent because they are durable and comfortable to wear all day.

Synthetic fabrics can tolerate the friction of rubbing areas, such as the armpits, without discomfort or overheating.

It is generally advised that rash guards for kids have flat seams rather than clasped seams for seams. Flat seams, when appropriately stitched, are more durable and more pleasant than clasped seams since they are not raised. The two pieces of fabric can be securely linked with the thread while allowing your kids to move freely, indicating that the rash guard is more durable overall.

Ease of Maintenance

Your kids may get dirty and messy when playing in the sand and eating snacks. Because they’ll most likely wipe their hands on their shirt first, having a low-maintenance rash guard for kids can let parents relax.

Parents won’t have to worry about handwashing the best rash guard for kids because they can easily be thrown into the washer with a load of laundry. You should not, however, put it through the dryer. Allow it to air dry instead to ensure that it lasts longer and retains its color.


The fit of a rash guard for kids is mainly determined by the activity the child intends to participate in. This is because different fits allow your children to move more freely and safely. For example, if you take your kids paddle boarding, they’ll need a rash guard that fits snugly but not too tightly.

This is because a loose rash guard can obstruct your child’s movement when paddling, while one that is too tight would be pretty uncomfortable. A looser rash guard for kids, on the other hand, would be ideal for a day at the beach or pool, allowing them to run and swim without restriction.

The rash guard fit for kids might also vary based on the design and whether it has short or long sleeves. Short sleeves provide a greater range of motion, but they also expose more skin, necessitating more frequent application of reef-safe sunscreen.

Long sleeve shirts are popular because they are pretty comfortable and minimize the problem of getting children to apply sunscreen. If your child wants to go swimming in the ocean or pool, it can also provide a little more warmth.

It might be challenging to decide the optimum fit, but reading reviews can help you figure out how a particular rash guard will fit or even if it fits true to size.


Rash guard for kids is composed of various materials, although synthetic fabrics like nylon, lycra, or polyester are the most popular. Synthetic materials provide the highest UV protection and are made to be highly comfortable, so your child won’t mind wearing them to the beach.

Natural materials, such as cotton, can also be utilized, but they may not provide as much UV protection or be as long-lasting as a synthetic option.


Parents excel at understanding children’s safety swimwear because they know how hazardous the sun can be in short- and long-term intervals. Parents want the best for their children, and using children’s rash guards is a terrific method to protect them from the sun.

Rash guard for kids is long-lasting, light, and excellent at preventing sunburns. It can be utilized both in and out of the water, which means it’ll rapidly become a flexible element of your child’s wardrobe.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is it possible to wear a rash guard for non-water activities like running or hiking?

A: Yes! A rash guard is excellent clothing to wear if you want to take your kids hiking, running, or cycling because it has sweat-wicking capabilities, rapid drying, is lightweight, and is sturdy. A rash guard is a terrific flexible piece of apparel to invest in for your kids because it isn’t just for aquatic activities.

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