Sprawl wins hands down and here is why. I bought both the Sprawl Rash Guard long sleeve shirt and the Under Armour HeatGear compression long sleeve shirt for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I found that the Under Armor shirt was thin and tended to ride up. Because it is a compression top it just stayed up. I also felt like a sausage. Whats worse is when I was in a crunch or being smothered having any constriction around my chest didn’t help. I didn’t notice that much change when it came to “moisture transport” as I wear a heavy cotton gi. Also the “bolstering of muscle support” didn’t seem to matter. It did provide good abrasion-resistant. That was its one redeeming quality. Sprawl Rash Guard was thicker and I feel would last longer especially with its double stitching. It has a loose fit and falls down if it gets pushed or rolled up. It has a very pleasant silky feeling and doesn’t compress your already struggling lungs in a good match. It provide the same level of abrasion-resistant as the Under Armour did. I knew I’d be staying with the Sprawl Rash Guard when I realized it hadn’t been washed from my last practice and I would have to wear the Under Armour HeatGear shirt. Sprawl’s Rash Guard taps out Under Armour which really was never made for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What’s a rash guard? It is a shirt or leggings that are made of a spandex type of slick material. They are used to reduce skin abrasion and bruises in grappling. I started like most beginners in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (a.k.a. BJJ) with just a t-shirt and sweats. I came home each time bruised like a Dalmatian. I soon got my Gi, the traditional uniform in most martial arts. As anyone who works with their hands knows a good pair of work gloves keeps you from getting blisters. When it come to BJJ, a Gi is the equivalent of work gloves. But I found I was still getting some bruises. I noticed that some of the others had shinny shirts. That is how I found out about Rash Guards. When you wear a rash guard it gives you added protection by decreasing the friction between you and what ever comes in contact with you. With my new rash guard I stopped being bruised. Yes, some of the bruising was due to inexperience in grappling but after I got the Gi and rash guard my bruises all but went away. It also helps protect you again the dreaded ring worm that come from grappling the “unclean”. A rash guard in my opinion is a must.
What brand of rash guard is best? I stared with Under Armour. Their Heat Gear line is what is sold all over the web in MMA, Mixed Martial Art, sites. I use a compression long sleeve top. I understand that a loser fitting shirt can be better as the compression tops tend to roll up in grappling. I am waiting on a lose fitting long sleeve top from Sprawl to see if it works any better. I also have ordered a pair of their shorts to see if their claims at being the best are true.