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The Best Men’s Swim Trunks - 2021

Last updated on December 8, 2020
Best Swim Trunks

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Our Picks For The Top Swim Trunks

Show Contents
Our Take
  Most Versatile

MaaMgic Men’s Quick Dry Swim Trunks

MaaMgic

Men's Quick Dry Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Such Fun to WearThese trunks are full of personality and will dry quickly.

  Best Outdoorsy

Kanu Surf Men’s Miles Swim Trunks

Kanu Surf

Men's Miles Swim Trunks

Overall Take

American-Made StyleA fun camouflage print and quick-dry fabric make this suit a great choice.

  Great Board Short

Quiksilver Men’s Everyday 21-Inch Board Short Swim Trunks

Quiksilver

Men's Everyday 21-Inch Board Short Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Perfect Surfer/Skater LookStep out in style on the beach in these navy blue surf trunks.

  Best Classic

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s 7-Inch Swim Trunks

Tommy Hilfiger

Men's 7-Inch Swim Trunks

Overall Take

A Classic Designer VersionThese highly rated swim trunks have mesh linings and fit true to size.

Avatar
Guide written by Danielle Smyth
Last updated on December 8, 2020

Swim trunks and board shorts are actually two different things. Trunks are usually shorter, and they stop above the knee; board shorts generally hit below the knee and can be even longer. The other main difference is that swim trunks are made specifically for being in the water, and they have mesh inserts to provide support. Most board shorts do not have these inserts, so men often prefer to wear underwear with them.

The mesh netting in most swim trunks is made from breathable material, which helps with air circulation that can make wearers more comfortable. Swim trunks and board shorts often have pockets, which may or may not be desired. Some long board shorts have cargo pockets, which can be big enough for phones and other items.

Some swim trunks and board shorts have built-in sun protection, so look for this feature if it is important. In general, fabrics that are thin and sheer will have less sun protection than thicker materials. Remember to always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

The Best Swim Trunks

1
  Most Versatile

MaaMgic Men’s Quick Dry Swim Trunks

These men’s swim trunks are made from 100% polyester, and they can dry in 10 minutes. The slim, flattering fit hits at just above the knee, with three convenient pockets and a mesh lining.

Features


Specifications

Brand
MaaMgic
Model
2
  Best Outdoorsy

Kanu Surf Men’s Miles Swim Trunks

Based in New York City, this company makes board shorts for the whole family, including this well-crafted pair of men’s swim trunks. Each pair has one cargo pocket and two seam pockets. They are made of a UPF 50+ lightweight, quick-dry microfiber and feature triple-needle seams and rises.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Kanu Surf
Model
3
  Great Board Short

Quiksilver Men’s Everyday 21-Inch Board Short Swim Trunks

This board short is lightweight, well-made and measures 21 inches long for more coverage. They are soft and dry quickly. They do not have a lining, but they can be used for both water sports and casual wear.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Quiksilver
Model
4
  Best Classic

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s 7-Inch Swim Trunks

These polyester 7-inch swim trunks come in extra small to 3X-large sizes to fit most swimmers. They have elastic waists, string-tie closures and three pockets.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Tommy Hilfiger
Model

Our Swim Trunk Buying Guide

Swim trunks and board shorts are actually two different things. Trunks are usually shorter, and they stop above the knee; board shorts generally hit below the knee and can be even longer. The other main difference is that swim trunks are made specifically for being in the water, and they have mesh inserts to provide support. Most board shorts do not have these inserts, so men often prefer to wear underwear with them.

The mesh netting in most swim trunks is made from breathable material, which helps with air circulation that can make wearers more comfortable. Swim trunks and board shorts often have pockets, which may or may not be desired. Some long board shorts have cargo pockets, which can be big enough for phones and other items.

Some swim trunks and board shorts have built-in sun protection, so look for this feature if it is important. In general, fabrics that are thin and sheer will have less sun protection than thicker materials. Remember to always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

DWYM Fun Fact

The first men’s bathing suits came into existence about 150 years ago, and they were made from knitted wool. Not only were they heavy and itchy, they took several days to dry after wearing!

By the 1930s, men were wearing two-piece wool swimsuits, and in the years to come, more modern fabrics came into use. Hawaiian surfers designed the first board shorts, called “drowners,” in the 1950s.

The Swim Trunk Tips and Advice

  • Board shorts were originally designed for surfers, and they can provide a better range of motion than swim trunks. It is believed that many surfers do not like mesh lining, since it can impede movement. These shorts are also good for wakeboarding, beach sports and sunning on the beach or boardwalk.
  • Board shorts have tight waistbands that are typically secured with Velcro and string ties, while swim trunks may have elastic waistbands and string ties. Consider which would best suit your needs before purchasing.
  • Pockets are helpful in a swimsuit. However, swim trunks and board short pockets should always be checked and/or emptied out before you go into the water. Countless swimmers have destroyed cell phones and other valuable items by forgetting to look first.