LUTA Short Sleeve Laser-Tech MMA Rash Guard

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Company Background: LUTA
I totally dig the cause and back story of LUTA. A small boxing club was formed on the streets of Brazil, named Luta Pela Paz. It’s Portuguese for “Fight for Peace”. In a community that was wrecked by violence, drugs and poverty; here is a glimmer of light. A place where the community’s youth can escape too, rehabilitate their lives and find something to focus their energy on. That small boxing club has transformed into a multi-combative sport club, that’s transgressed into an athletic wear company, that now has a 50% profit share with their own NGO, Fight for Peace. You can check out LUTA’s page discussing their heritage here.

Initial Impressions

When I first received the LUTA rash guard, I was pleasantly surprised.  It’s material was soft and smooth.  It’s bold white and black design allows it to pair well with almost any gi or shorts in my closet.  I wasn’t really excited about the heat bonded logo on the front.  I did like the placement of the LUTA logo on the top-center of the upper back.  I wasn’t sure about the paneling down the sides.  I was concerned they would cause irritation on the skin in and around the armpit area.

Wear and Comfort

The rash guard wears well enough.  The collar is a bit on the tight side.  When I first wore it I felt as if I was getting choked.  The good news is that you get used to it so it’s not a down side.  The polyester and elastane knitted fabric is very comfortable against the skin.  Again, it’s soft and smooth!  The rash guard also breathes extremely well.  It has kept me the coolest of any rash guard I’ve worn to date.  I usually wear long-sleeve rash guards so the short sleeve feel was a bit different to me.  It actually started to grow on me, especially for wear under my gi.  I still prefer to wear a long sleeve rash guard when playing no-gi for hygienic reasons.

One personal downside, and we’ll chalk this up under “comfort”, is that at the end of a rolling session I look like a fat kid who entered a wet t-shirt contest.  You can see my nipples and the outline of gut and belly-button.  I’m not exactly the thin kid in class so I’m a bit conscious about the way I look.  I want to look cool, damn it, not fat!  If you’re thin or in shape or shaped like Superman, this is a non-factor.  However, if you’re not, this might be a reason to buy the black and yellow version.

The rash guard wicks sweat and heat away from the body.  The paneling does not cause irritation, nor does the double-welded seaming.

Construction

This rash guard is really, really soft.  Why?  First, because of the polyester and elastane fabric.  Second, the build.  LUTA’s 6-panel construction using double-welded seams keeps the stitching on the skin to a minimum.  So smooth.  The incorporation of the vented panels down the side are really nice, too.  They breathe well and do an excellent job of venting heat away from the body.

Durability

Unfortunately, this rash guard hasn’t held up too well on the mat.  The stitching around the bottom has begun to unravel and the material has unfolded.

Also, the heat bonded chest logo, which isn’t supposed to peel, is beginning to peel.  It’s not a lot of peeling, but it’s enough that I know it’s only going to get worse the more I wear and wash it.

In LUTA’s defense, I have not contacted them about a replacement, but I’m sure their customer service department would replace the rash guard at no cost.  If not, then shame on them.

Summary

Overall, I really like the LUTA short sleeve rash guard.  I enjoy the wear and feel of the rash guard, especially under a gi.  I like the welded seeming and underarm panels.  I also really relate to the company profile.  However, there are a few hiccups that would prevent me from purchasing this rash guard, especially at $99.  I don’t like the fact that it makes me look as fat as I am, that the stitching is unraveling and that the chest logo is peeling.  For $99, LUTA can afford sublimated graphics.  3 Out of 5 Stars for this one guys, sorry. 😦

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