16 Of The Best Men’s Swim Trunks To Buy In 2022 (2023)

Table of Contents
Best Men’s Swim Trunks With Elastic Waistbands Patagonia: Rugged And Relaxed Patagonia Baggies 5in Short Bonobos: Well-Fitting In Many Styles And Colors Bonobos Retro Throwback Swim Trunks Lululemon: Comfortable And Sporty Lululemon Pool Short 7 Inch Fair Harbor: Built-In Liners That Feel Great Fair Harbor The Anchor Swim Trunks Bather: Classic And Stylish Bather Solid Navy Swim Trunk Best Men’s Boardshorts RVCA: Four-Way Performance Stretch RVCA Eastern Boardshorts 20-Inch Vuori: Water-Wicking Fabric Vuori Peak Boardshort Orlebar Brown: Adjustable Tabs For A Comfy Fit Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-Length Swim Shorts Alo Yoga: Technical Details That Hold Up Well Alo Yoga Plow Board Short Best Affordable Men’s Swim Trunks O’Neill: Designed For Surfing And Relaxing O'Neill Water Resistant Hyperfreak Stretch Boardshorts Nike: Stretchy And With Pockets Nike Standard Diverge 9-Inch Volley Short Swim Trunk Amazon Essentials: Top-Rated And Well-Priced Amazon Essentials Quick-Dry 9-Inch Swim Trunks Best Men’s Swim Trunks For All-Day Wear Todd Snyder: Polished, In And Out Of the Pool Todd Snyder 7" Riviera Swim Short In Seersucker Stripe Mack Weldon: Graphic Prints Done Right Mack Weldon Swim Board Short Ten Thousand: Diver-Approved And Sleek Ten Thousand Set Short Solid & Striped: Patterns That Look Good On Everybody Solid & Striped The Classic Red Navy Stripe How We Chose The Best Men’s Swim Trunks What To Consider For The Best Men’s Swim Trunks How To Choose The Best Men’s Swim Trunks For Your Body Type

The expectations for swim trunks are high: It’s a warm-weather essential that has to withstand sun, sweat, sand, water—and look good on you, too. Getting a decent fit involves selecting the right waist style, trunk length and technical fabrics to see what feels comfortable. Not surprisingly, shopping often involves a lot of annoying trial and error, and really, who has the time? The surf beckons, and even if you’re not riding waves all day, swim trunks are essential for hot days at the pool, weekend get-togethers by the lake or outdoor workouts that end with a cool dip in the water.

Plenty of guys have a clear vision of what to buy. To be that guy, shop with purpose. Decide what type of waistband you want first: If you’re a little paunchy or have love handles, try a sporty elastic style, like Fair Harbor’s The Anchor, that won’t ride too high or low. If you’re leaner but not necessarily with abs of steel, a fixed waistband, like Alo Yogas’s Plow Board Short, is the way to go since it lays flat for a streamlined effect.

Ahead, you’ll find the best men’s swim trunks, organized for easy shopping—depending on if you want stretchy swim shorts, options you can wear on and off the beach or affordable deals on Amazon. Surf’s up.

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Best Men’s Swim Trunks With Elastic Waistbands

This sporty pull-on style works well on most body types, especially if you have love handles because the stretch waistband helps conceal and sits a bit higher on the hips.

Patagonia: Rugged And Relaxed

Patagonia Baggies 5in Short

These relaxed swim trunks are a bestseller, with a five-inch inseam and a rugged design. They’re made from quick-drying 100% post-consumer recycled nylon with a style that can be worn in the water and out, as regular shorts. They come in a variety of colors and have a drawstring waist plus mesh pockets to drain water and hold small essentials while you’re on the go.

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Bonobos: Well-Fitting In Many Styles And Colors

Bonobos Retro Throwback Swim Trunks

Bonobos’s swim trunks come in two inseam lengths (five and seven inches), a variety of prints and solids and pull-on elastic waistbands. The vintage-inspired Throwback collection is a top seller—the trunks feature curved split hems with contrast binding, interior drawcords, front pockets and a key catch.

Lululemon: Comfortable And Sporty

Lululemon combines technical, water-resistant fabrics with streamlined fits that suit a range of body types and sit comfortably on the hips. The Pool Shorts, for example, have breathing room for glutes and thighs and specific perforations to drain water (so you don’t emerge from a swim sporting overly soggy shorts).

Fair Harbor: Built-In Liners That Feel Great

Fair Harbor The Anchor Swim Trunks

Fair Harbor has some of the most versatile swim trunks on the market, the majority of which have sleek elastic waistbands. You can filter by four different lengths (from five to eight inches), colors and liner types. The Anchor has a mesh-free, breathable knit liner that’s supportive but eliminates chafing.

Bather: Classic And Stylish

MOST POPULAR

Bather Solid Navy Swim Trunk

When it launched in 2013, Bather set out to design the perfect pair of swim trunks, pairing high-performance comfort with relaxed style. Many feature elasticized waists that offer four-way stretch and mesh lining and come in an excellent assortment of solid (but not boring) colors and sophisticated patterns.

Best Men’s Boardshorts

Boardshorts have fixed waistbands but drawcords and tabs that make the fit looser or trimmer, depending on your body type and style preferences. All tend to have flat fronts and the length should hit slightly above the knee or mid-thigh.

RVCA: Four-Way Performance Stretch

RVCA Eastern Boardshorts 20-Inch

RVCA puts a modern spin on traditional boardshorts, which often fall too low on the leg or constrict your waist. Instead, the California brand offers tailored styles that hit just above the knee with four-way performance stretch, a detail that gives fixed waistbands more flexibility (many styles are also made from recycled polyester). Solid colors are slick and sporty while patterns take inspiration from surf and skate culture.

Vuori: Water-Wicking Fabric

Vuori Peak Boardshort

Activewear brand Vuori makes boardshorts for guys on the go. Look for water-wicking fabrics that move with you while also repelling sweat and odor and drawstring-closure waists with thin fixed bands, which gives you more mobility.

Orlebar Brown: Adjustable Tabs For A Comfy Fit

Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-Length Swim Shorts

London-based Orlebar Brown makes boardshorts with adjustable tabs that allow you to customize the fit around your waist—they certainly looked good on Daniel Craig, who wore the brand in Skyfall. The Bulldog is a popular fit, with a straight leg, mid-rise and length that hits mid-thigh. Size down to get a sleek, flat-front look.

Alo Yoga: Technical Details That Hold Up Well

Alo Yoga Plow Board Short

Not surprisingly, Alo makes very comfortable boardshorts. Much like their yoga-wear, the swim trunks have stretch but retain their shape so they never look baggy in areas where it’s unattractive (the butt, namely). The Plow has a fitted waistband with a drawcord and secure velcro closure that prevents the shorts from riding too low.

Best Affordable Men’s Swim Trunks

Amazon is a go-to for affordable swimwear that ships quickly. The selection is vast but athletic brands often have the most versatile fits—if you’re tall or short, lean or stocky, the designs are built for ease and durability.

O’Neill: Designed For Surfing And Relaxing

O'Neill Water Resistant Hyperfreak Stretch Boardshorts

Classic surf brand O’Neill still makes some of the best boardshorts. Designed for active pursuits, the shorts have built-in stretch throughout the body and neoprene side-panels for added structure and flexibility. They’re also quick-dry and cut down on frictionagainstthe skin to reduce chafing.

Nike: Stretchy And With Pockets

Nike Standard Diverge 9-Inch Volley Short Swim Trunk

For sporty swim trunks, you can’t go wrong with Nike. The brand consistently performs well with technical details that make for comfortable, easy-to-wear styles. The Volley trunks, for instance, have a stretch waistband with an exterior draw cord, water repellent finish, on-seam pockets and built-in mesh lining.

Amazon Essentials: Top-Rated And Well-Priced

Amazon Essentials Quick-Dry 9-Inch Swim Trunks

For basic but well-fitting swim trunks, Amazon’s own brand is an affordable, no-fuss option. This pair has a versatile nine-inch inseam (that just skims your knee), side seam pockets and a back pocket with hook and loop closure. The patterns are not the most flattering out there so stick to the solid colors for an elevated look.

Best Men’s Swim Trunks For All-Day Wear

Ideally, your swim trunks look and feel so great you never want to take them off. These brands excel in styles that are lightweight and super wearable in and out of the water.

Todd Snyder: Polished, In And Out Of the Pool

Todd Snyder 7" Riviera Swim Short In Seersucker Stripe

They’re a bit pricey but Todd Snyder’s swim trunks easily double as wear-all-day shorts that take you from surfing at the beach to dinner and drinks. While the New York brand makes a variety of styles, consider the seersucker swim shorts. They have a water-repellent finish, thin blue stripes, a tab button closure with adjustable side tabs, hand pockets and a mesh lining.

Mack Weldon: Graphic Prints Done Right

Mack Weldon Swim Board Short

NYC-based Mack Weldon specializes in everyday basics that you’ll never get tired of. Their board shorts come in bright, bold colors and abstract prints, which manage to look refined, not like a tropical explosion. The fabrics are light, smooth, water-wicking and cling-free—just throw on a t-shirt for a relaxed, post-swim look.

Ten Thousand: Diver-Approved And Sleek

Ten Thousand Set Short

Ten Thousand’s workout shorts are equipped for land or sea. Designed with a team of athletes, the styles have a water-repellent shell, quick-drying liner and lightweight construction, which makes them ideal for training in the gym, ocean or pool (they also great for travel).

Solid & Striped: Patterns That Look Good On Everybody

Solid & Striped The Classic Red Navy Stripe

If you want to take your pool and beach style up a notch, Solid & Striped offers well-made suits with fun, graphic prints, like this sky blue pick. Made from lightweight, durable fabrics that dry quickly, the suits come in classic fits (many with drawstring waists) and tend to hit mid-thigh depending on your height.

How We Chose The Best Men’s Swim Trunks

To narrow down our picks, we spoke to industry experts, read reviews and evaluated each pair for overall performance, fit, dry time and versatility. We also looked at specific factors and features, such as inseam, material, waistband and cost, measuring these against our expert’s personal experience to find the highest quality options.

What To Consider For The Best Men’s Swim Trunks

It’s easy to find basic swim trunks but a lot harder to find a quality pair that will last over time. With that in mind, we enlisted the help of Stitch Fix expert stylist Jessica Sockel and professional fashion stylists Audree Kate López and Amirah Jones.

  • Waistband: According to Sockel, deciding on a traditional waistband versus an elastic waistband is all about personal preference and what feels the most comfortable to you. This Patagonia swimsuit uses an elastic waist and offers more flexibility which may appeal to those with rounder middles. While this pair of Orlebar Brown shorts has a traditional waistband that has less give but lies flat against your midsection.
  • Material: “Polyester is one of the most common materials for swim trunks because of its comfortable feel, wrinkle resistance and quick drying qualities,” says Sockel, “Most polyester swim trunks also offer UPF 50 sun protection.” Lopez also recommends nylon for a stretchier option or lycra for a longer-lasting material.
  • Length: Swim trunks come in a variety of lengths. “Think about how tall you are and where you want the shorts to hit your legs,” recommends Sockel. For most men, Lopez suggests a suit that hits mid-thigh. “Look for something with an inseam that measures about two inches above the knee. This is the most universally flattering length,” she says. “If you have a shorter frame or want a in-style look, go for a mid-thigh option,” recommends Sockel. While these are general guidelines, the most important thing is to find a swimsuit length that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  • Liner: The great debate: should you choose a swimsuit with a liner or without? To decide, first understand a liner’s purpose. “Swimsuit liners are supposed to keep everything in place comfortably,” says Sockel, “In addition, the breathable material allows for faster air-drying. Lastly, the liner aims to minimize chafing which we all know can be a major offender in a swimsuit.” Lining, however, is not included in every swimsuit. Boardshorts often don’t include lining to reduce bulk for athletic activities like surfing or sailing. “Wearing a suit with lining is based on personal preference,” says Jones. “If you are performing strenuous activities, consider going without, but for added comfort, pick an option with a liner.”

How To Choose The Best Men’s Swim Trunks For Your Body Type

Consider your build: For men with a slimmer body, avoid baggy swim styles as these may hang off you in an unflattering way. Instead, fashion stylist Audree Lopez recommends looking for a tapered fit. For a little added bulk, look for shorts with bold patterns and prints. Swim shorts with mesh linings can also add more volume to make you look more proportional.

For men with a substantial build, go for balance with your swim shorts. “Shorts that are too snug will emphasize excess bulk,” says Lopez. “While shorts that are too baggy can feel sloppy.” Instead look for a polyester blend with adequate stretch for a comfortable fit. She also recommends shorts with elastic waistbands. “These are more comfortable and mold better to one’s size.” Plus, they sit higher on the hips which disguises love handles.

Assess your height: For tall men, pay close attention to the inseam. “An average inseam is around six inches,”says fashion stylist Amirah Jones. “Men with longer legs should look for a seven or eight inch inseam to make sure the shorts hit at the right spot,” which is just above the knee. She also suggests avoiding vertical stripes or solid colors if you don’t want to make your legs appear even longer. A bold print or pattern will help break up your legs and visually balance your proportions.

If you are on the shorter side or narrow in the hips, “go for a shorter inseam or a mid-thigh swimsuit,” says Sockel, “These will give the illusion of longer legs and keep you looking defined.” Choosing a pattern or print is largely based on personal preference, but most stylists recommend sticking to a solid color to lengthen legs.

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