10 Best Men’s Swim Trunks Ready For The Summer

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The right pair of swim trunks should not only complement your natural body type but should also look great whether you are just coming out of the pool or lounging poolside having a cocktail (or two).

While we will review the best men’s swim trunks of 2021 – like the incredibly comfortable Bonobos Riviera Recycled Men’s Swim Trunkswe will also share with you key considerations to think about when buying swim trunks, answer a long list of questions, and look at how swim trunks differ from other popular options such as briefs, board shorts, and more.

Let’s begin:

How to Buy Swim Trunks

When buying a pair of swim trunks, you will want to keep these 8 considerations in mind:

1. Style

Swim trunks come in many different styles. Each style not only is best served with different intentions of use, but they also serve some unique benefits as well:

Swim Trunk

Coming in a few different lengths (more on this in a minute), the swim trunk is the classic men’s swimwear that springs to mind for most men.  Cut like traditional shorts, swimming shorts or swimming trunks are intended to be worn casually (poolside, beach, boat, etc.) and also into the water.  Swim trunks often have pockets and a drawstring closure for added convenience.

Board Shorts

Extending past the knee and sitting higher on the waist, board shorts provide greater coverage for your legs.  Board shorts are a much more relaxed type of swimwear and has its origins in surfing (source).

Briefs

Like men’s underwear, briefs feature an aggressive cut that is high on the thigh.  While not popular in the USA for casual use, briefs are still quite common when it comes to professional swimwear.  The primary reason many men wear briefs for casual use is to reduce tan lines.

Rash Guard Bottoms / Surf Shorts

Rash guard bottoms or surf shorts are designed for surfers who want to protect their bottom half from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.  These shorts are often made from synthetic materials that wick moisture to prevent chafing.

2. Material / Fabric

Men’s swim trunks and other swimwear can come in many different materials.  Here’s a look at the most popular fabrics found on swimwear and why you should care:

Nylon / Nylon Blend / Polyester: One of the most popular materials used in making swim trunks would be polyester.  Extremely durable, lightweight, fast-drying, and moisture-wicking, polyester can withstand harsh chlorine or saltwater without discoloring. While not as comfortable or soft as cotton, for swim trunks, there is no beating this material.

Cotton: Cotton can be woven in many different ways to create a variety of textures and thicknesses. Incredibly soft and lightweight, cotton feels great on your skin.  However, one disadvantage of cotton is that it takes a long time to fully dry.  Furthermore, cotton clings to your skin which may be quite unflattering if you plan on exiting a pool in front of a crowd of people.  One common weave found in cotton swim trunks will seersucker.  The classic railroad or pinstripe look is much airier and dries a fair bit faster.

Spandex / Elastane: Found in higher composition on surf shorts and other performance gear, Spandex or Elastane helps the fabric cling to your body a bit easier.  When it’s not used in a performance function, Spandex is often used for the elastic waistband to ensure your trunks don’t fly off if you dive into the water.

3. Style (Color & Patterns)

Swim trunks will come in either solid or patterned designs; here’s some tips on when to wear the right one to your next occasion:

Solid Colors

Perfect for both formal pool parties at your boss’ weekend house or at the hotel pool, solid swim trunks are both versatile and timeless.  Dark solid colors, such as navy or black are also great for those guys that want to not draw attention.  

Patterns

From simple palm tree patterned logo to bold horizontal strips, patterns on a pair of swim shorts are wide in variety.  However, patterned trunks must be purchased carefully as to not commit any fashion faux pas – especially if you are going to anything formal (i.e. sailboat, yacht club, etc.). Now, if you are heading to the beach with your family or the backyard pool – then have fun with some funky shorts!

4. Size & Length

Whether you skew a bit bigger or more modest, finding the right pair of trunks to complement your frame is important.  Here are a few pointers:

Regular / Big & Tall

Men’s swimwear is sold in either regular or big and tall.  Now if you are in between both of these, it will be best to follow the size guidelines set by companies.  There you can get specific measurements for both the waist and inseam to see what works best for your body.

Length

While the waist for trunks is a pretty static number, the length can trip up a lot of men.  Here’s a few tips to help:

Short Guys: If you run a bit shorter in stature, go with a mid or short trunk as it will fit your frame better (cut above the knee).  Longer trunks shorten the length between the trunks and your feet, which will make you look shorter and are best to be avoided.


Tall Guys: For the tall guys (greater than 6′), go with mid to long length on the trunks.  Short trunks will show a ton of skin which can almost look borderline inappropriate.  Aim to have the trunks cut just at or above the knee cap.  However, the caveat to this is that if you are muscular and want to show your physique, then who are we to judge!

Big Guys: For those that carry a bit of weight around the midsection and are conscious about love handles, don’t worry, you can still wear trunks and enjoy the water.  Go with a trunk with more fabric in the thigh area.  A closer cut on the trunk will accentuate love handles and is best to be avoided.  Furthermore, you can pair this type of trunk with a rash guard for a great look. 

Thin Guys: If you are a skinny guy, our recommendation here is to go with a shorter trunk (cut above the knee) and one that has a tailored fit.  A trunk that is too big or baggy will create a bigger contrast between the trunks and your body which you are trying to avoid.

5. Pockets

Swim trunks can come with many different types of pockets.  Here’s a quick look at the few popular options out there:

  • Side Seam Pockets: Great for classy or semi-formal settings, side seam pockets provide a pleasing silhouette and simply look much more presentable.  These are great if you need to look good in your swimsuit.
  • Velcro Pockets: Utilitarian and great for holding your essentials, velcro pockets won’t get jammed or degrade in time.  However, the velcro pocket can be seen as a bit more juvenile so you should only go with this pocket if it is done in a tasteful manner.
  • Zipper Pockets: Zip pockets are a great bridge between the side seam and velcro pockets.  However, the zip pocket is susceptible to getting jammed with sand or small rocks.
  • Cargo Pockets: Placed on the lower side leg, the cargo pocket is often found in casual board shorts as they have a longer leg than traditional trunks.  These can be great if you go to the beach often and don’t want to lose your keys, wallet, or other essential when walking to and from the car.

6. Brand

As we researched swim trunks, we found the following to be among the most popular with men:

  • Billabong
  • Bonobos
  • Frescobol Carioca
  • Hurley
  • Lululemon
  • O’Neill
  • Orlebar Brown
  • Patagonia
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Quicksilver
  • Rip Curl
  • Speedo
  • St. Tropez
  • Todd Snyder
  • Trunks Surf and Swim Co.
  • Vilebrequin

7. Price

The price point on a pair of trunks can vary greatly.  With more designer brands entering the market, prices are going up.  However, with that being said, you should have no problem finding some swim trunks priced between $20 and $75.

8. Additional Features & Details

While all the above features are important when buying swimwear, there were a few specific details we wanted to call attention to should they be important to you:

  • Lining / Unlined: Love it or hate it, some guys like the inner lining and others don’t.  If you like to let your manhood run free while swimming, then skip the lining.  However, know that the lining is important as it keeps your sensitive skin away from the rough fabric and helps to prevent chafing.
  • Bottle Opener: What’s a better party trick than opening up a bottle of Corona while on the beach with your swim trunks?!  While it’s a great novelty, know that it can also become a burden, especially when you are always asked to open the next bottle.
  • Drawstring / Drawcord: A classy little detail to trunks, a drawstring can help to provide a more secure fit while wearing trunks.  A drawstring will be a ‘must-have’ if you plan on making any dives in these shorts.
  • Sun Protection: When you are wearing trunks, there is a 99.9% chance you will be out in the sun as well.  Getting trunks with added sun protection provides extra peace of mind, especially if skin cancer runs in your family.  It’s a detail that is nice to have, especially if you plan on being outside for extended periods.
  • Moisture Wicking: Found in workout shorts and compression shorts, moisture-wicking fabric is designed to draw water away from the body.  Helpful in preventing chafing and increasing comfort, this little bit of extra functionality in the fabric can be a game changer to some.
  • Quick Dry: Fabric that has been woven to be much airier can dry quickly and make you look great again.  Helpful in preventing the amount of water seeping up to your shirt you put on after getting out of the water, quick-dry fabric is a nice feature if presentation is important to you.
  • Odor Protection: Bacteria naturally craves a dark and moist environment.  Whether you are going on an extended walk in your shorts or are taking a quick dip in a ravine, odor protection fabric will make it harder for odor-causing bacteria to grow and multiply.  This feature is dependent on you and where you plan to swim.

The 10 Best Men’s Swim Trunks of 2021 Reviewed

1. Bonobos Riviera Recycled Men’s Swim Trunks

Top Award: Best Men’s Swim Trunks

Best Features:

  • Great selection of designs for all men
  • Won’t look out of place whether in a luxury hotel or at a tiki hut
  • Size selection is incredible

Summary:

Whether you are going to the French Riviera, Los Angeles, or a Hawaiian beach, finding a bathing suit to complement your travels is important.  Rather than just going with a plain navy or black trunk and calling it a day, the best swim trunks for travel will be one that has both bold and fun designs.  When reviewing all the options out there, we found that the aptly named Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks were among the best; here’s why:

  • Countless designs to suit your style

From a simple palm tree print to a bold splash of colors, the Bonobos Riviera line of trunks has something for everyone.  At the time of publication, Bonobos offers up this line of trunks in 29 distinct designs.  But unlike many other trunks that try to make bold designs, these don’t look cheesy at all – so you won’t have to worry about being too loud or turning heads for the wrong reasons.

  • Size options galore

From their quality chinos to their classy dress pants, what we always really loved about Bonobos is their size options.  Built with just about every guy in mind, you should have no problem finding a pair of trunks to fit your frame.  Currently, Bonobos offers the Riviera trunks in the following waist sizes: 

  • Extra Small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra Large
  • 2-Extra Large

But it gets better.  Beyond the size range of waist sizes, Bonobos also offers their trunks in three different lengths:

  • 5″
  • 7″
  • 9″

So whether you are 5′ 4″ or 6′ 4″, you can get trunks that complement your height.

  • Recycled material lessens the environmental impact

One of the biggest problems facing the fashion industry in recent years is the amount of unnecessary waste that occurs. Instead of using virgin fabric, these trunks rely on 85% recycled polyester and 15% Spandex.  Not only will this lessen the environmental impact when they are constructed, but they are also a great social-economic buy also.

Beyond feeling great about wearing these to your favorite destinations, the trunks themselves offer a nice bit of stretch that will feel great whether you are wakeboarding or going on a tropical adventure.  The four-way stretch ensures that the fabric won’t tug or pull on your sensitive bits even when a bit of sweat is starting to build up.

Other Notable Features:

  • Pleasing designs make them great to wear around a beach town or even on light tropical hikes
  • Mesh lining prevents chafing in hot and humid conditions
  • Back pocket has a hook-and-loop fastener
  • Pockets have appropriate drainage thanks to eyelets

Pros

  • Several designs allow you to match the theme of your destination
  • Available in dozens of designs and lengths
  • Made in a responsible manner from recycled polyester

Cons

  • May stretch the budget a bit for some men

What You Need To Know

Wherever your adventures take you, the Bonobos Riviera Swim Trunks likely have a design to match the destination – making them the best men’s swim trunks out there.  These trunks will be hard to resist wearing everywhere – even if you aren’t on vacation.

2. Flint & Tinder Breaker Men’s Swim Trunks

Top Award: Best Swim Trunks for Travel

Best Features:

  • Four-way stretch material allows for increased comfort
  • No-frills design provides greater versatility
  • Perfect to wear as beachwear or to a party

Summary:

If you are looking for a pair of no-frills swim trunks that hit that sweet spot between being both functional and presentable, then you should consider the Flint & Tinder Breaker Trunks.  Here are some of the highlights for these trunks:

  • Available in 4 color options to suit most tastes

These trunks come in the 4 neutral colors including gray, black, navy, and red.  Whether you plan on wearing these to a beach or for a hike that will end in an eventual dip into natural springs, they will look great when paired with any top or shoes.

  • Details that make these ones of the best men’s swimming trunk

While the drawstring waist and the seamless side pockets will look great on most body types, Flint & Tinder does a good job with the details.  With a polyester fabric that has been blended with Spandex, these trunks provide a nice bit of stretch that allows for comfort.  You will never feel the fabric pulling at your skin whether you are swimming or playing beach volleyball.

Furthermore, these trunks are moisture wicking to ensure that no chafing will happen on those hot summer days.  

Lastly, these trunks are made in the USA (North Carolina), which is a rarity for clothes these days.

  • No length options are the biggest downside

If there was one gripe on the Breaker Trunks it is the limited length options.  Unlike other brands reviewed that not only offer a variety of waist sizes, these trunks have no length choices.  Therefore, you will want to order these ahead of time to make sure they fit in case you need to make a return (Huckberry offers free returns for 30 days after delivery).

Other Notable Features:

  • Mesh interior liner will provide adequate support and won’t bunch
  • The back pockets have two small square velcro patches that keep your valuables secure
  • The drawstring waistband tips have been treated so they won’t fray
  • The USA made design ensures quality construction

Pros

  • These trunks will work great with most tops in your wardrobe
  • Perfect to wear to events or to the beach
  • Polyester and Spandex shell is moisture wicking and has 4-way stretch

Cons

  • Would have liked to see more length options

What You Need To Know

Known for their quality clothing for men, Huckberry’s private label brand, Flint & Tinder hits another home run with the Breaker Trunks.  The simple no-frills design makes them great to wear whether you are in the backyard swimming pool or at the beach bar while on vacation.

3. Kanu Surf Men’s Barracuda Swim Trunks

Top Award: Best Board Shorts

Best Features:

  • Water repellent coating makes you look great when getting out of the water
  • Contrast stitching on the outseam
  • Great shape for most men’s bodies

Summary:

When selecting a pair of board shorts, functionality, and features will be at the top of the consideration list.  One of the most popular board shorts for men will be the Kanu Surf Barracuda Swim Trunks.  Here’s what makes these board shorts special:

  • Designed for active beachwear

Whether you are surfing, wakeboarding, or simply enjoying the beach with your family, these board shorts offer a UPF 50+ rating that will protect your skin from severe burns. 

While the sun protection is perhaps the biggest selling point for these trunks, what we also really loved was the cargo side pocket for easy storage of your valuable gear or any shells you may collect when walking along the beach.  

Furthermore, the Kanu trunks have also been treated with a water-repellent coating.  While this seems counterintuitive if you are going into the water, the benefit here is that when you get out, the shorts look great and won’t cling to your body.

To complement the water repellent exterior, the 100% polyester fabric is also quick drying so you won’t be dripping with water very long.

  • Great for big and tall guys

If you are a taller guy looking to purchase a pair of board shorts that complements your longer frame, then the 22″ length will be welcomed as it extends down to the knee.  

For those guys that carry a bit of weight around the midsection, these board shorts can be the perfect choice for you.  With sizes extending all the way up to 4XL, you should have no problem wearing these.

Other Notable Features:

  • Drawstring closure prevents sagging when trunks are wet
  • Extra pockets make these great for ocean fishing and kayaking
  • A red and white design is available for lifeguards

Pros

  • Relies on lots of fabric technology for both protection and comfort
  • A board short that fits well for both tall and big guys
  • Priced incredibly well

Cons

  • Lack of stretch fabric may limit movement
  • Wrinkles rather easily

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a board short that not only looks great but offers adequate protection from the sun, then the Kanu Surf Barracuda Swim Trunks make for an excellent pick.  The quick-drying and water-repellent fabric makes it a great trunk to wear in and out of the water.

4. Chubbies Neon Lights 5.5″ Stretch Swim Trunks

Top Award: Best Swim Trunks for Skinny Guys

Best Features:

  • Narrow leg opening won’t give the illusion that you are swimming in your trunks
  • Simple patterns will be flattering on both skinny and short guys
  • Stretchy fabric provides give

Summary:

If you have slender legs or a smaller frame, buying a swim trunk can be a tricky endeavor.  However, we found that the Chubbie’s line of swim trunks are a great pick for many.  Here’s why:

  • A tailored leg opening that complements your body size

Bulky board shorts with side pockets exaggerate the proportion between a slender frame and your body.  Going with a pair of tailored trunks such as these ones will help to reduce this extra bulk which ultimately allows for a cleaner and more streamlined appearance.  

With a 5.5″ inseam and a narrower leg opening (24″ leg opening for a medium-sized waist), the Chubbie swim trunks will work for a lot of slender men out there.  

  • Fabric and pockets are nice little touches

With a blend of 92% polyester and 8% Spandex, these trunks have a nice little bit of stretch in them, making them quite comfortable to wear whether you are swimming or going for a jog on the beach.

Side seam pockets are on either side while a zipper pocket is on the back (for most of their shorts).  The simple back zip pocket will help to prevent any of your gear from falling out.

Other Notable Features:

  • Fabric-covered waistbands are standard on all trunks
  • Several prints and solid colors available
  • A mesh lining has a stretchy fabric that gives additional comfort
  • Cut just above the knees

Pros

  • Zip back pocket and four-way stretch are nice touches
  • Wide variety of designs available
  • Complements narrow thighs

Cons

  • A bit pricey

What You Need To Know

The tailored cut and subtle yet fun design patterns of the Chubbies brand will work great for a lot of skinny men out there.  In addition to the tapered leg, these shorts have some nice stretch and are comfortable to wear.

5. O’Neill Hyperfreak  Board Short

Top Award: Best Swim Trunks for Tall Guys

Best Features:

  • Good length for men over 6′
  • Side pocket has zip closure
  • Velcro fly

Summary:

If you are over 6′ tall and are looking for a pair of swim trunks that don’t look like they are made for little kids when you put them on, then consider the O’Neill Hyperfreak Board Short.  

  • The extra-long leg is great for tall guys

With a 21″ outseam (the longest outseam in any swim trunk we reviewed), it should easily extend to the knee level for tall men (just below the knee for shorter men).  As noted in some of the reviews for these trunks, tall men found them quite comfortable while not looking awkward at all.

  • Stretchy material makes this board short even better

When it comes to many trunks, they are often made from 100% polyester or 100% nylon in order to withstand the tough conditions of chlorine.  However, if you are a taller guy, you will know that any bit of stretch in clothing is welcomed as it helps with mobility and comfort. You will be happy to learn that these shorts by O’Neill contain 9% elastane/spandex which provides a welcomed four-way stretch.

Even if you carry a bit of extra weight, these shorts should still feel pretty good.

Other Notable Features:

  • The side pocket is easy to access for additional storage
  • Velcro and lycra fly closure
  • Available in 6 different styles
  • USA flag patch on side pocket

Pros

  • Stretch fabric is comfortable
  • Side pocket
  • Drawstring closure

Cons

  • No side or back pocket
  • No mesh lining

What You Need To Know

If you are over 6′ and are struggling to find a pair of swim trunks that work for your naturally longer frame, then consider these.  Made with a bit of stretch they will feel great whether you are swimming or lounging.

6. RVCA Men’s Eastern Swim Shorts

Top Award: Best Swim Trunks for Love Handles

Best Features:

  • Relaxed fit feels comfortable whether swimming or lounging
  • Drawstring waistband complements your body type
  • Boosts your self-esteem when wearing these boardshorts

Summary:

If you carry more weight in your midsection or simply have pronounced love handles, buying the right swimsuit can be tricky.  While I can tell you in complete confidence that I also suffer from a dad bod, swim trunks such as these ones from RVCA will help to reduce the appearance of love handles and complement your body type.

  • Relaxed drawstring + wide waist = a winning combo


In order for swim shorts to work well with love handles, the waist shouldn’t dig into your hip, nor should it be too narrow or short.  Instead, you want just the opposite – a drawstring waist that can be tightened to preference and style along with a higher waist to reduce the pronunciation of love handles.

With the RVCA Men’s Eastern Swim Shorts you have a drawstring closure with a velcro fly.  When you slide these trunks on, you can pull them up a bit higher on the waist to cover the lower portion of the love handles, while tying them snuggly to prevent them from falling down or digging in.

  • Boxy design and color helps balance out your body

Board shorts make for great trunks for guys with love handles, the reason is that they help to balance out your profile. 

While some men love to wear bright neon-colored or camo trunks when going to the beach in order to make a statement, we recommend going the opposite direction and going with something a bit more conservative.  These RVCA trunks come in several colors making it easy to find one that meets your own style without being too loud.

Other Notable Features:

  • Polyester and Spandex composition makes it great for guys who want increased movement in all sorts of activities
  • Available in waist sizes 28 to 38 
  • Drawstrings have protective cap to prevent fraying

Pros

  • Complements your body type and style
  • The relaxed fit won’t dig into your hip
  • The fabric has the perfect amount of elasticity

Cons

  • Won’t work well for short guys

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a pair of swim shorts that won’t make your love handles look more noticeable, then the RVCA should be a top consideration.  The relaxed fit and drawstring waistband ensures total comfort and a boost in self-esteem.

7. Faherty All Day Shorts for Men

Top Award: Most Comfortable Swim Trunks

Best Features:

  • Made from a blend of recycled polyester and cotton
  • Belt loops allow you to go from “Beach to Bar”
  • Zip fly and back pocket

Summary:

Bridging the gap between the beach and the hotel bar is the Faherty All Day Shorts.  While these are the best for versatility, they are also one of the most comfortable swim trunks we reviewed.  Here’s what makes them so special:

  • A perfect blend of fabrics

When it comes to reviewing and testing out swim trunks, you will find that polyester isn’t the most pleasing to touch.  While sure, it can have moisture-wicking and quick-dry properties, when it comes to comfort, they simply are a bit lacking in this department.

That’s why when we were searching for a true swim trunk that contained a softer material such as cotton, we were pleased to find these trunks from Faherty.  A much more comfortable trunk to wear all day long, these will undoubtedly be one of the comfiest swim trunks you have ever owned.

Beyond feeling super soft, they also have a touch of spandex (8%) that gives it a nice bit of four-way stretch.  So whether you are using these as workout shorts, swimming shorts, or drinking at the tiki-bar shorts, they won’t bunch up or restrict movement in any way.

  • Little details are nice versatile touches

From the zip back pocket to the zip front fly, these shorts, while true swimming trunks, never will actually feel as such – which makes them so versatile in the first place. 

So, if you plan on going to the beach in the morning and have a dinner date at the beach in the evening, you can get away with wearing these.

Furthermore, these were the only swim trunks reviewed that had belt loops.  While we don’t recommend wearing your beloved full-grain leather belt with these while diving into the pool, it can provide extra support when wearing these shorts.

  • Other inseam lengths are available

While the shorts we reviewed featured a longer 7″ inseam that is commonly found on traditional shorts, Faherty does have other inseam lengths available that are worth checking out.

Other Notable Features:

  • Available in 8 different colors
  • Contains 75% recycled polyester, 17% cotton, and 8% spandex
  • Easy care instructions
  • Side and back pockets have a mesh lining

Pros

  • Super comfortable trunk thanks to reliance on a natural fiber
  • Available in several colors
  • Can easily be dressed up when necessary

Cons

  • Expensive (but worth it)

What You Need To Know

If you plan on wearing your new swim trunks for an extended period of time, then comfort will be everything.  Faherty hit all the right marks in this well thought out swim trunk.  It will undoubtedly become your new favorite item in your summer wardrobe.

8. Speedo Men’s Swim Trunk

Top Award: Best Cheap Swim Trunk

Best Features:

  • Brushed microfiber feels soft
  • Short inseam is a modern cut
  • UPF 50+ protection

Summary:

When it comes to both quality and performance, there is no beating Speedo.  A fixture at local swimming pools around the country, they set the gold standard when it comes to aquatic wear.  Here’s why we think these trunks can be the perfect pair for you:

  • Aggressively priced

When compared to other swim trunks reviewed that can cost upwards to $100 for a single pair, these trunks cost just a fraction of that and typically retails for under $30.  Therefore, if you only find yourself at the pool or beach once or twice a year, then these will work perfectly for you.

  • Simple no-frills design works for most men

While the price is great for a lot of men, what is also nice are the details.  With UPF 50+ protection and a small key pocket, these shorts are great for wearing to your local pool where you plan on locking everything up.  Should you decide to wear these to the beach, the sun protection on these shorts should provide adequate protection.

Other Notable Features:

  • 100% polyester microfiber fabric
  • Available in 9 different colors
  • Inside mesh lining for support

Pros

  • No-frills trunk that feels comfortable
  • Adequate protection from the sun
  • Small key pocket is great for public pools

Cons

  • Limited pockets
  • No drawstring

What You Need To Know

If you are looking to save money and don’t need the details found in other swim trunks, then the Speedo Redondo Solid can make a great choice for a lot of men.

9. Hurley Phantom Boardshort for Men

Best Features:

  • Patriotic design pattern
  • Drawstring closure provides security and comfort
  • Great for lite water sports

Summary:

What better way to show your patriotic pride than with these American Flag board shorts.  With a 20″ outseam and a composition of polyester and spandex, you can look great and feel comfortable while showing your love for our country.  But fit and size doesn’t tell the whole story of these swim trunks:

  • Drawstring closure great for big guys

If you are a bigger guy and are looking for trunks that don’t dig into your hip or feel like you need to make constant adjustments due to a poor elastic waistband, you will be happy to learn that these trunks rely on a drawstring waistband that can be tied to personal preference.

Not only will this allow you to tie the swimsuit to meet your own preference, but you can easily pull the waist up or down and tie it down accordingly.  In addition to comfort, the drawstring waistband also provides additional security that the trunks don’t fly off if you dive into the water.

  • Back pocket has eyelets for drainage and velcro for security

When buying swim trunks, one detail that many companies skip on is the eyelet back pocket.  When exiting the water in these trunks, you won’t have to worry about water being held in the back pocket and getting all over your dry towel.  Instead, the eyelets allow for great drainage.

Furthermore, the back pocket has a velcro closure to ensure that any shells or gear doesn’t fall out accidentally.

Other Notable Features:

  • Available in 8 different patriotic colors
  • Must be hand washed (never dried) only
  • Not made in the USA
  • Mesh liner prevents friction

Pros

  • The drawstring closure allows for additional room if necessary
  • Patriotic colors great for summer pool and beach parties
  • Back eyelets ensure proper water drainage

Cons

  • Imported
  • No side pockets

What You Need To Know

If you want to get some patriotic swim trunks for a 4th of July pool party or just because you love the United States, then these trunks are great at making a statement.  Beyond style, these are also well made and should work for most men.

10. Howler Brothers Sayulita Watershorts for Men

Best Features:

  • Drainage eyelets on front and back pockets
  • Quick-dry fabric composition
  • Conservative 7.5″ inseam

Summary:

Named after a coastal surf town in Mexico, the Howler Brothers Sayulita Watershorts are as every bit comfortable as the name infers.  Made from a high concentration of cotton (57%), polyester (38%), and spandex (5%), these shorts not only feel great but will wear well with time. 

  • Best pockets you can get in swim trunks

While these swim shorts are super comfortable, perhaps the biggest feature is the addition of eyelets throughout the entire trunk.  On both the front and back, the eyelets allow for proper water drainage when exiting the water.  

Not only does this smart little design feature ensure that water doesn’t get carried while you are walking, but it also helps the shorts dry quicker.

Furthermore, when going into the water, you won’t have to worry about using your pockets as a flotation device or letting out big bursts of bubbles that may garner some looks like you just passed gas – a great little detail if you plan on wearing these in front of others you are looking to impress.

  • Zig-zag stitch on the waistband prevents rollover and increases comfort

Unlike so many other swim trunk companies that put minimum effort into the waistband, Howler Brothers thoroughly thought out the design here and employed a zig-zag stitch that will help keep the waistband secure against your waist when both lounging and swimming.

  • Limited lengths available

If there was any downside to this trunk it would be around the inseam length.  For the shorter guys reading, the 7.5″ inseam may extend past the knee which can shorten your appearance.  Furthermore, this trunk is only available in a waist size up to 38.  

Other Notable Features:

  • Available in two unique design patterns
  • Back pocket is secured by a button closure for additional security
  • Slightly tapered leg opening

Pros

  • Eyelets provide great drainage
  • The high cotton composition makes these shorts really comfortable
  • Modestly priced given the quality

Cons

  • Only one inseam length available

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a quality looking trunk for a good price, then you can’t beat the Howler Brothers Sayulita Watershorts.  With a high cotton composition, you may never want to take these trunks off after you leave the beach.

7 Must-Have Accessories for Swim Trunks

If you plan on wearing your new swim shorts to the beach or a pool party, here are a few other accessories you may want to pick up before you head out: 

1. Sunscreen

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.  In order to not become another statistic, regular application of sunscreen when you are outdoors for prolonged periods is incredibly important.  In order to get full and complete coverage, we recommend picking up a sunscreen that was designed for a man’s naturally rugged skin.  If you want to check out some in-depth reviews, check out our roundup of the best men’s sunscreens.

2. Sunglasses

When you are near the water, the intense glare causes strain on your vision and can make objects much harder to see.  Whether you are going fishing or playing frisbee on the beach, polarized sunglasses are a great way to reduce glare and increase visibility.  Of course, if you are going for style, a simple pair of men’s sunglasses can look great too.

3. Sandals, Flip-Flops, Water Shoes, or Boat Shoes

Swim trunks can be easily dressed up or down depending on the setting.  As such, your footwear when wearing swim trunks can either make a stylish statement or commit a fashion faux pas.  Regardless of style, quality shoes worn near slippery surfaces give you great confidence with each step.  If you want to play it safe, boat shoes are always a versatile pick when compared to flip flops

4. Beach Towel

From Turkish towels to fluffy terry cloth towels, beach towels come in many different varieties.  If you want comfort and softness (and you don’t plan on walking for an extended period), a terry cloth towel will feel great to lay down on – plus it does a great job at absorbing water.  Turkish towels, however, are the quintessential beach towel and take up less space (great if your car is a long distance from the beach).  Regardless, make sure you have something to lay on once you get to the beach!

5. Rash Guard

If you are going to the beach solo, or you simply want to keep the top half of your body protected from the sun, a long sleeve rash guard can make perfect sense.  While it might seem stuffy and hot, rash guards are nice and airy and will feel great to wear, even on the hottest of days.  We recently looked at a variety of rash guards over here.

6. Polo Shirt

Whether you are attending pool parties or walking down the boardwalk, a polo shirt will never look out of place. More sophisticated than a rash guard, a polo shirt can present well when worn with the right swim trunks.  It’s a great pick if you are on vacation and want to pack less stuff into your suitcase.

7. Tank Top

If you are looking to show off how much you have been hitting the weights at the gym, then a tank top can be your shirt of choice for the pool or beach.  With the airy design, you can also keep yourself plenty cool while still having a shirt on.

Swim Trunks FAQs

Can swim trunks be tailored?

Swim trunks, just like traditional cotton shorts, can be tailored.  However, the interior mesh lining that is sewn into the short may become misaligned.  This can lead to discomfort and chafing when worn for extended periods.  Therefore, many experts recommend just buying slim-fit or tailored swim trunks rather than having them tailored post-purchase.

Can swim trunks go bad?

Swim trunks can go bad when they are worn in chlorine pools or saltwater repeatedly.  The reason is that the fibers and seams will begin to break down and stretch out.  In addition, any water-repellant or odor-reducing coating will also deteriorate.

Can I wear swim trunks casually?

While it may be tempting to wear swim trunks casually, most fashion experts recommend that you don’t wear them in casual settings.  Swim trunks are often made from polyester and will not be as comfortable when compared to cotton or other microfiber shorts.

Can you shrink swim trunks?

Nearly all swim trunks are made from synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon that is resistant to shrinking.  The only swim trunks that will shrink will be those made from cotton or a cotton blend.

Can you iron swim trunks?

It is never recommended that you iron swim trunks.  The reason you should never iron swim trunks is that they are made from synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, spandex, lycra, and other manmade materials that have a low melting point.

How should swim trunks fit?

Swim trunks should fit according to your body type.  If you are taller, then longer swim trunks will be ok to wear.  For shorter men, shorter trunks will complement your frame.  We cover this in greater detail in our consideration section at the start of this guide.

How do you tie swim trunks?

Like tying shoes, you will want to cross the drawstring in an X shape in order to evenly distribute the pressure and coverage of the drawstring. 

How do you wash swim trunks?

Wash swim trunks in cold water with like colors.  Make sure that you use bleach-free detergent.  When they are done washing, you can either roll them up to remove excess water and lay flat or place them in the dryer on a low-heat setting.

Can swim trunks go in the dryer?

Swim trunks can only go into the dryer on a low-heat setting.  If this is not possible, then it is recommended that you let them air dry.  Putting them in a hot dryer is not recommended.

How long should swim trunks be?

The length of your swim trunks should extend to about 2 to 4 inches above your knee.  A longer length of the swim trunk is only recommended for tall men.

Where can you buy swim trunks?

There are several places where you can buy swim trunks both online and locally, here are a few of our recommendations:

Online

  • Amazon
  • Chubbies
  • Nordstrom
  • Huckberry
  • Bonobos
  • Macy’s
  • Mr Porter
  • PacSun
  • HM

Locally

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Kohl’s
  • PacSun

What are hybrid swim trunks?

Hybrid shorts are swim trunks that have had a multi-stretch fabric such as spandex sewn into the fabric.  This allows the swim trunks to feel much more comfortable when on the skin for extended periods.  Furthermore, hybrid swim trunks will look much more similar to casual shorts.

Why do swim trunks have a mesh netting?

Swim trunks have a mesh netting in order to provide support for your manhood while also keeping it separate from your thighs.  Chafing occurs when two pieces of skin are rubbing against each other repeatedly for prolonged periods.  Mesh netting provides comfort to both your thighs and genitals.

Swim Trunks vs. The Alternatives

During your research you will see alternate swimwear options that you may consider.  However, their intent and use has subtle differences from traditional swim trunks:

Swim Trunks vs. Speedos

Here’s how swim trunks and traditional speedos or swim briefs differ:

Swim Trunks
  • Can be worn to semi-formal to casual occasions
  • Has pockets
  • Separate mesh netting for support
  • Cut like a traditional boxer short
Speedos / Swim Briefs
  • Cut higher on the leg
  • Intended for sunbathing or for professional swimmers
  • No pockets
  • Cannot be worn to a restaurant or other outings

Swim Trunks vs. Shorts

While cut in a very similar manner, here’s how swim trunks and shorts differ:

Swim Trunks
  • Polyester or nylon blend
  • Has quick drying or water-repellent surface
  • Intended to be worn without underwear
Traditional Shorts
  • Typically made from cotton and is heavy when wet
  • No mesh lining
  • Can be worn anywhere

Our Criteria for Choosing Men’s Swim Trunks

When looking at all the swim trunk options available, the results were nearly endless.  However, after breaking down all the different types of swim trunks, features, and intended use, we are happy with our shortened list presented above.  Each swim trunk reviewed we found to be best in class for each of its respective categories (i.e. for big guys, tall guys, most comfortable, etc.).  

Conclusion

Truth be told, we had a lot of fun writing up this guide about men’s swim trunks.  It seems like just a few short years ago, there were only a few picks for men, but now there are so many options and companies that our heads were spinning with the options available.

With that being said, we hope that this guide proved useful in finding some great options for your next pool or beach party!  If you liked this guide, be sure to come back and check out Tools of Men for more product guides and advice.

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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