Top positive review
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POLYESTER RASH GUARD - will not stretch as much as nylon/spandex | Sizing is accurate ("SKINS" are meant to fit SKIN TIGHT)
on August 1, 2011
Review below is for the SOLID COLOR with O'NEILL LOGO ACROSS FRONT made of POLYESTER/ELASTANE material.
INSIDE COLLAR READS:
HAND WASH / DRIP DRY
MADE IN MEXICO
I have been wearing O'Neill rash guards for over 17 years and this rash guard is awesome! I am an educator and have been a certified water safety instructor for two decades. The following has been my experience with the "Women's Basic Skins Long Sleeve Crew" for over 4 years, so far.
I have several of these POLYESTER rash guards in different colors. In over twenty years of wearing different brands and styles of rash guards, I find the SIZING of this rash guard to be ACCURATE - this style of rash guard is intended to fit skin tight (hence the name "SKINS").
The POLYESTER/ELASTANE material this particular rash guard is made of DOES NOT STRETCH AS MUCH as the nylon/spandex material some rash guards are made of. BUT, this polyester rash guard / skin has lasted longer and does very well with daily saline and chlorine exposure from public and residential swimming pools. So, I go with slightly less stretch & overall comfort in exchange for durability.
If you are concerned about the sizing, the picture shows exactly how the rash guard is intended to fit - like a second skin. Generally, rash guards are sized to fit tight so the material will not bunch-up, ride-up, or slip/slide around during water sports or when worn under a wetsuit. If you prefer a looser fit, consider sizing up. If you are considered overweight (BMI/Body Mass Index over 25 as opined by a doctor or other qualified professional), maybe consider a "rash tee" or "swim shirt" instead (search: "O'Neill Women's Tech 24/7 Long Sleeve", "Coolibar swim shirt", "XCel Women's Plus Size Sun Shirt", "Aqua Design Women's Relaxed Fit UPF50+ Sun Protection Surf Swim Rash Guard Shirt", etc.)
**2011 UPDATE** After about a month of almost daily use in saline and chlorinated residential swimming pools the stitching has faded slightly and the lettering on the front is cracking slightly. Color of the rash guard / skin (the polyester material) has stayed the same.
The quality & sizing was the same as above during Summer 2012. Added opinion about this rash guard below.
RE: HEAT RETENTION & BUOYANCY
My experience when wearing this rash guard has been the following:
- I feel the temperature of the water I am in
- I feel the ambient temperature WHEN THIS RASH GUARD IS WET and I am OUT OF THE WATER
- I feel a chill if there is a breeze WHEN THIS RASH GUARD IS WET and I am OUT OF THE WATER
When swimming while wearing this rash guard, my experience has been the following:
- I DO NOT experience unnatural or added buoyancy - I DO NOT float more in water - when wearing this rash guard.
See Amazon's description for this rash guard for information on what it offers. Generally, RASH GUARDS ARE NOT INTENDED TO HELP RETAIN BODY HEAT in water and generally WILL NOT CAUSE UNNATURAL/ADDED BUOYANCY. Generally speaking, a garment that is intended to help retain body heat in water sports is usually made out of a material called neoprene or made with some neoprene. I have wetsuits that are made of neoprene and those DO cause me to become more buoyant when in water. This is due to the porous nature of the neoprene material that has tiny air pockets within the material. The tiny air pockets in neoprene help retain body heat when a garment has a skin tight fit. The air pockets in neoprene material can also cause some unnatural/added buoyancy depending on the thickness of the neoprene. However, THIS RASH GUARD IS NOT MADE OF NEOPRENE. Put simply, wearing this rash guard in water is the equivalent of wearing a skin tight polyester shirt (of course, with 11% elastane for "four-way stretch" and "flatloc stitching" to avoid chafing). To my knowledge, there are no air pockets in polyester material that can help with heat retention or cause buoyancy. I do not get, or even expect, heat retention in water and I do not get/expect unnatural/added buoyancy while wearing this rash guard in water.
So far, in over four years of regular use of this brand and particular style of rash guard, I have not experienced chafing of any kind. This rash guard is "flatloc stitched" to help avoid chafing and that works fine for me.
RE: ADDED DRAG (a.k.a FRICTION DRAG in aquatics)
I experience some friction drag in water, which is to be expected while wearing a long sleeved polyester shirt while swimming.
RE: TAKING-OFF THE RASH GUARD WHEN IT IS WET
I sometimes find the rash guard challenging to take off when it is wet, but that is to be expected when taking off any wet garment that has a skin tight fit.
* TWO-TONE (two colors) with O'NEILL LOGO on LEFT are NYLON/ELASTANE* (occasionally appear for sale on this page)
I saw the new two-toned rash guards at an O'Neill store on Feb. 17, 2013 and looked at the label.
* SOLID COLOR with O'NEILL LOGO ACROSS FRONT are POLYESTER/ELASTANE* (the ones always for sale on this page)
Best wishes to all on finding what you're looking for.