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The Best Boys’ Swim Trunks - 2021

Last updated on December 2, 2021
Best Boy's Swim Trunks

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Our Picks For The Top Boys' Swim Trunks

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

uideazone UPF 50+ Quick Dry Boys’ Swim Trunks

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

uideazone

UPF 50+ Quick Dry Boys’ Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Most StylishIn addition to being lightweight, these boys' swim trunks feature a comfortable mesh liner and an elastic waistband for a customized fit.

  Soft and Adjustable

Kute ‘n’ Koo Soft Adjustable Boys’ Swim Trunks

Kute 'n' Koo

Soft Adjustable Boys' Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Comfortable to WearYou'll find these boys' swim trunks come in sizes ranging from a toddler 2T to a big boy 18/20.

  Protective Pick

Nautica Sun Protection Boys’ Swim Trunks

Nautica

Sun Protection Boys' Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Longer LengthThe material on these trunks resists fading and tearing.

  We Also Like

Tommy Bahama Drawstring Boys’ Swim Trunks

Tommy Bahama

Drawstring Boys' Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Cute Sea Life PrintsWith these boys' swim trunks, you'll have a choice of prints, such as red marlins, sharks and black narwhals.

Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on December 2, 2021

For a young boy, there’s nothing quite like a day at the beach. Most kids love to swim and play so much that they’d dive in without changing clothes if they could. They may not care so much about what kind of swim trunks they wear, but their parents definitely should.

If you’re shopping for a young boy’s swimwear, the first question parents ask is, “Does it fit?” And since boys of a certain age usually don’t have strong opinions on fashion, that might even be the last thing they ask. If you want some trunks that will last, however, you might want to do a bit more research.

To be sure, fit is important. Swim trunks can be found in a variety of sizes, but there’s generally a lot more wiggle room in terms of who can fit into them. Elastic waistbands can ensure that your trunks last longer than your child’s regular pants. If your son is more on the skinny side, you might want a pair with a drawstring that can take off an inch or so. Make sure it’s functional, though. Some trunks just have the appearance of a drawstring for show.

Next, find a length that’s right for your boy. Shorter trunks will give your child a little more freedom of movement. If he’s taking swimming classes, you may even want to get him aqua shorts or “jammers” that are form-fitted and suited for speed. On the other hand, long beach days might call for looser trunks with a longer cut in the leg. More coverage of the upper leg means less sunburn on those areas, and less time spent applying sunscreen.

Speaking of sun, many trunks have some form of UPF protection built into the fabric. That stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it determines how much of the sun’s rays get through the clothing. UPF ratings aren’t really equivalent to the SPF designation on your sunscreen bottle. Flimsier trunks might have a UPF of 15, which still blocks 93.3% of the sun’s UV rays. An SPF of 50 is considered high, and that blocks 98%. If you’re really concerned about exposure, consider adding a swim top to your son’s beach wardrobe. (Many swim trunks come with one as a set.)

The Best Boys' Swim Trunks

1
  Best Overall

uideazone UPF 50+ Quick Dry Boys’ Swim Trunks

If your son, grandson or nephew likes to make a statement, these boys' swim trunks are your best bet. They come in a variety of colorful designs, including graffiti, galaxy and blue palm tree. The swim trunks are designed to dry quickly and come with UPF 50+ to keep the sun's rays at bay.

Features


Specifications

Brand
uideazone
Model
2
  Soft and Adjustable

Kute ‘n’ Koo Soft Adjustable Boys’ Swim Trunks

Soft is the best word to describe these boys' swim trunks, which are made from 100% polyester. They offer an adjustable waist for a better fit and three pockets to hold a variety of water toys. Parents will also appreciate that the trunks are machine washable for ease of care.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Kute 'n' Koo
Model
3
  Protective Pick

Nautica Sun Protection Boys’ Swim Trunks

Longer legs and built-in UPF 50 sunblocking means your child can play all day in these boys' swim trunks. The polyester material can last for many long beach days without fading. The drawstring closure is great for getting a snug fit every time.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Nautica
Model
4
  We Also Like

Tommy Bahama Drawstring Boys’ Swim Trunks

Whether you're headed to the beach or the family pool, these boys' swim trunks won't disappoint. They run knee length and have a drawstring closure for the best fit. Reviewers report that they run a bit big, so you may want to size down when making a purchase.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Tommy Bahama
Model
5
  Also Consider

MaaMgic Polyester Boys’ Swim Trunks

Kids will love the soft mesh lining and all-around fit of these trunks. The thin fabric is durable but can move with the most active child. A functional drawstring helps it fit slimmer waists.

Features


Specifications

Brand
MaaMgic
Model
7

Kanu Surf Microfiber Boys’ Swim Trunks

The drawstring on these trunks is not just for show. Combined with the stretchy waistband, it allows this garment to fit a range of waist sizes and still look good. The mesh lining is comfortable and the mesh pocket stores shells or other small items nicely.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Kanu Surf
Model

Our Boys' Swim Trunks Buying Guide

For a young boy, there’s nothing quite like a day at the beach. Most kids love to swim and play so much that they’d dive in without changing clothes if they could. They may not care so much about what kind of swim trunks they wear, but their parents definitely should.

If you’re shopping for a young boy’s swimwear, the first question parents ask is, “Does it fit?” And since boys of a certain age usually don’t have strong opinions on fashion, that might even be the last thing they ask. If you want some trunks that will last, however, you might want to do a bit more research.

To be sure, fit is important. Swim trunks can be found in a variety of sizes, but there’s generally a lot more wiggle room in terms of who can fit into them. Elastic waistbands can ensure that your trunks last longer than your child’s regular pants. If your son is more on the skinny side, you might want a pair with a drawstring that can take off an inch or so. Make sure it’s functional, though. Some trunks just have the appearance of a drawstring for show.

Next, find a length that’s right for your boy. Shorter trunks will give your child a little more freedom of movement. If he’s taking swimming classes, you may even want to get him aqua shorts or “jammers” that are form-fitted and suited for speed. On the other hand, long beach days might call for looser trunks with a longer cut in the leg. More coverage of the upper leg means less sunburn on those areas, and less time spent applying sunscreen.

Speaking of sun, many trunks have some form of UPF protection built into the fabric. That stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it determines how much of the sun’s rays get through the clothing. UPF ratings aren’t really equivalent to the SPF designation on your sunscreen bottle. Flimsier trunks might have a UPF of 15, which still blocks 93.3% of the sun’s UV rays. An SPF of 50 is considered high, and that blocks 98%. If you’re really concerned about exposure, consider adding a swim top to your son’s beach wardrobe. (Many swim trunks come with one as a set.)

DWYM Fun Fact

Those swim lessons can pay off, parents. They certainly did for Clark Kent Apuada of California, whose obvious nickname is “Superman” — though in his case, “Aquaman” might be a better moniker. In 2018 at the age of 10, Apuada broke Olympian Michael Phelps’ record for the 100-meter butterfly at the Far West Championships in Moraga, California.

The Boys' Swim Trunks Tips and Advice

Unlike most kids’ clothes, you don’t have to worry as much about swim trunks getting stained. That doesn’t mean you should necessarily toss them in the wash with the rest of the laundry, though. Like adult swimwear, kid’s trunks are often made of some form of polyester blend, nylon or even neoprene. These all require a bit of special care in the laundry room. Follow the washing directions carefully or the colors may fade fast, and pay even more attention to the drying instructions if you don’t want your trunks to shrivel up. Some trunks can be machine-dried on low heat, while others may need to be entirely hang-dried.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness has been a features journalist and writer in Central Florida for the past 20 years. His stories covered everything from indie fashion to nightlife, but they have only slightly improved his taste in clothes or the quality of his homemade Manhattans. Luckily, he still looks good in black.