When you seek out a coastal getaway or a beach vacation, it’s an intentional move that requires you to plan, pack and dress with, well, intentionality in mind. The best men’s swim trunks, in that case, are an absolute must. Think of hitting the water like hitting the links or trail: The proper gear really does make all the difference in matters of comfort and looks.
There’s more than meets the eye with today’s crop of the top men’s swim trunks. Brands are engineering swim trunks that are tailored like your favorite pair of shorts, made with tech-savvy fabric and designed to look as great on land as in the water. Leave the days of wearing athletic shorts to the pool behind you–and make an upgrade beyond your current pair.
With the right selection, you can even add subtle color and print to your wardrobe, without overdoing it. Hitting the pool or trekking to the coast should be a time for rest, relaxation, fun and yes, style. The best men’s swim trunks will help you get there.
Also check our list of the best men’s shorts.
Think of shopping for swim trunks like going through a quick check list, which is what we did when searching for the best men’s swim trunks. The fit has to be on-point, ideally above or at the knee for most guys. Color and pattern is a fun addition. And the fabric should be stretchy and quick-drying, ideally with a helpful lining.
You’re checking all those boxes with these Wellen swim trunks, made with an easy-wearing elastic waistband for all-day comfort.
Shopping for men’s swim trunks on a budget doesn’t mean cutting corners completely. We considered the right blend of value, quality, longevity and performance to nail down the best budget option for summer swim trunks.
As luck would have it, L.L.Bean shines through in summer as well as winter. These multi-faceted “sport shorts” are tough to top for under $35, made with durable 100 percent nylon and featuring sun-blocking UPF 50+ technology. They’re also water-repellent and feature handy side hip pockets.
If you’ve always thought of swim trunks as one area to save, not spend, think again with a carefully considered splurge. We looked at style as well as fabric durability, quality production and the proper fit, along with versatility.
Vilebrequin’s swim trunks go above and beyond, using a unique stitching process for a secure fitted waistband, plus an inner brief design made from cotton and polyester. You’ll also appreciate the versatile yet fun patterns.
Boardshorts are a highly useful design as far as swim trunks are concerned, designed to provide extra coverage and durability during watersports. Vuori goes the extra mile here, too–they’ve modeled this pair after its extremely comfortable workout shorts, using fabric made from recycled plastic bottles for sustainability and style points. The vintage-style pattern also complements the performance fit nicely.
If you’ve tried Ten Thousand’s athlete-approved and tested shorts and workout shirts, you know they’re as tough and well-designed as any piece of gear on the market. If not? Consider giving the Set Shorts a try, built from a tough, quick-drying four-way stretch shell. The fabric itself also resists chlorine and water, and it helps that the waistband is streamlined and minimal. Go bold with Pacific Blue or minimal with a sleek Black color.
Katin helped pave the way with its pioneering Hawaiian shirts, so it makes perfect sense that a pair of finely crafted swim shorts would be part of the brand’s rotation. Modeled after volley shorts with a classic, shorter 6-inch inseam, these are ideal if you want to try a shorter cut for beach sports or poolside lounging. The 4-ply taslan fabric is soft and stretchy yet quick-drying, and the mesh liner is another crucial, supportive touch.
Everlane’s focus on transparent menswear delivered at affordable prices–by cutting out the middleman and selling direct to consumers–yields some great dividends for customers in every category imaginable. That includes sneakers and Oxford shirts, yes, but also sustainably made swim trunks made from recycled plastic and dyed with environmentally safe processes. The 7-inch inseam works with both taller and shorter guys, too.
Volley shorts are highly useful if you love being active on vacation, diving into watering holes or hiking to a waterfall - they’re cut for ease of movement and sporty functionality. Bearbottom hits the right marks with quick-drying, lightweight swim shorts that, as the brand says, are “ready for any adventure.” Take your pick from inseam lengths of 5.5 inches or 7 inches, all the better to find the perfect fit for your body type.
Fair Harbor starts with sustainability and comfort and mind, and builds the brand’s swimwear from there. The result is a super-soft pair of stretchy swim trunks (take it from this writer’s personal experience), with a backstory you can feel good about – they use 80 percent recycled polyester, after all. We also appreciate the Green Floral print for a subtle touch of pattern and color, and the 7-inch inseam works for plenty of guys.
You might know Chubbies for its thigh-baring shorts, but the brand has also made waves when it comes to the best men’s swim trunks – after all, finding the right fit in terms of shorts usually means you can get the details right with swim trunks, too. The 7-inch inseam shorts featured above sport a vibrant blue color with a nicely contrasting waistband for a touch of color. As an added bonus, the sub-$70 price tag is more than agreeable.
Over the years, NYC-based Bonobos has expanded into so much more besides perfectly fitting pants, and that’s great news if you have designs on finding your new favorite swim trunks. The Riviera is yet another stylish, sustainable option, made with 85 percent polyester and featuring a clean design and your pick between 5, 7 or 9-inch inseams to pair up nicely depending on your height.
It’s sometimes best to turn towards a brand with specific expertise in crafting durable swim trunks for watersports, especially if you’re planning on many a coastal adventure this season. Watersport adventure gear just so happens to be a Volcom specialty, which results in hard-wearing polyester swim trunks in fresh colors like Cayenne. Handy pockets for your everyday carry essentials make it easy to go from sea to land with ease.
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