When BJJHQ very kindly offered me a Manto Woman’s Rash Guard to review; I jumped at the chance – this thing has a super heroine vibe for sure! The Manto rashie uses a great combination of red and white with the company’s minimalist branding across the chest and the shoulder on a well-tailored top to result in an attractive and functional piece of kit. While the use of ‘color blocking’ gives great lines to this top, it is comfortable to wear and appears resilient to shrinkage and fading, the cut of neck could be improved and some wearers may prefer a longer sleeve length. By happy chance my team mate and blue belt at Dartford BJJ, Shane Chittenden, has some men’s Manto gear and we took to the mats to see which came out on top. Check out our video below!
When BJJHQ offered the Manto Woman’s Long Sleeved Rash Guard as its daily deal it retailed at $35.
The Manto woman’s rash guard has a very tight, tailored and compression-top style fit. In contrast, the men’s rash guard worn by Shane is much looser through the body. The woman’s top is very long line in the body and is pretty reliable for not creeping up. I’ve rolled in it with both Fighter Girls women’s MMA shorts and with Nike running capris. When tucked into the FG shorts, which have an inner drawstring, the top was very secure and did not expose belly-flesh at any point during submission wrestling class. It was a little less reliable when worn over capris/compression shorts/leggings as you can see in the video, but it ‘rolled up’ less than, for example, the Koral woman’s rash guard, which some of you may be familiar with.
There are two areas of the fit that could benefit from improvement. Firstly, the neck line, which comes up a bit high and loose and slightly ‘wonky’ around the neck, whereas the neck line on Shane’s men’s rashie laid nice and flat. Sky Resendez and Laura Drever, goods friend to MegJitsu on Facebook, confirm that their Manto woman’s rashies have poor neck lines so this does not appear to be an isolated case. Secondly, the sleeve length. For me the sleeves end just above my wrist bone, though other wearers report that the sleeves can be quite short. Laura writes:
The sleeves stop about 5 cm above my wrist bone. The [Fighter Girls rash guards] cover the wrist and maybe almost to the base of the thumb. I like the sleeves just a bit longer to protect my wrists from accidental scratches.
Indeed, Laura generously supplied measurements comparing FG and Manto which suggest that the body sizing is the same while the Manto sleeves are 3.5″/8.9cm shorter. This may be purposeful as some manufacturers design the long sleeves of rash guards to stop above the wrist to ensure that, when worn under a gi, the sleeves are less likely to be caught up in and thereby mangled in grips to the cuff.
The size medium reviewed here was a good fit for me, but I would caution readers that these tops may ‘run small’ as I normally take a small top. I’ve washed the rash guard twice. Once following manufacturer’s instructions and hand washing – you can imagine how many times in this lifetime I’m willing to spend time doing that! – and once on a warm 60°C machine wash. No noticeable fading after either wash, but with some minor shrinking after a machine wash.
|A (cm/in)||B (cm/in)||C (cm/in)|
I really like the look of the Manto, save the slightly odd neck line, and it is fast converting me to a rashie-lover; I’ve always gone for compression tank tops/vest tops, but this thing looks cool on. The red really pops and works well with the yellow and white of the Manto logo. The front and back panels of red are implemented as isosceles trapezoids with the narrower base at the bottom, which, along with the white panels at the sides, gives a ‘slimming’ effect. The main red colour is virtually opaque while the white is slightly less so, but not completely transparent, so the more modest should beware.
The Manto long sleeved rash guard performed well in training. While you might imagine that you’d be hotter and more uncomfortable in a long sleeved top, as the ‘sweat wicking’ fabric keeps you dry and you actually feel cooler and more comfortable. The logo designs are sublimated and so are not expected to crack or peel and after a couple washes there’s be no noticeable fade. Similarly, after a couple sessions there’s been no ‘pilling’ to the fabric so this top withstood the first couple sessions better than my Under Armour compression vest. Not to mention, you can’t help but feel completely bad in such a bold design so perhaps a psychological boost to your game comes as an added bonus.
Since publishing this review, the Manto brand has become problematic for me. Everyone has their own standards and perceptions, and while posting a sexualised portrayal of female grapplers like this may be more or less acceptable for a private laugh, as a communication from the brand it is, to me, disappointing. To each their own, but this public communication – a still from a men’s mag photoshoot posted on the company FB Page – seemed to represent a legitimate consideration that consumers may wish to bear in mind before choosing to support the Manto brand.
All reviews are based on my independent observations. I have no formal qualifications, I am not sponsored by any company and I do not endorse any one brand. If you chose an item based on my review, please let the manufacturer know that MegJitsu persuaded you. This will not benefit me financially, but can help me to get more products to review.
Huge thanks to BJJHQ for offering a rash guard to review and massive thanks to Shane Chittenden for help in creating the video and to our coach, Dave Birkett, for use of Dartford BJJ for filming.
 For reference, I am what is considered a ‘V’ shape with wider shoulders than hips and thinner legs. I am 5’4.5″/163cm, 130lbs/60kgs and have bust, waist and hip measurements of 34″/86.4cm, 27″/68.6cm and 36″/91.4cm. I usually wear a small or UK8 top.
 Tip from a pal is that if you don’t use fabric softener, your Lycra sports wear will machine wash with less loss of elasticity, but I haven’t investigated this claim.