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The Best Boys’ Swim Trunks - 2021

Last updated on March 3, 2021
Best Boy's Swim Trunks

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Our Picks For The Top Boys' Swim Trunks

Show Contents
Our Take
  Fun Prints

MaaMgic Polyester Boy’s Swim Trunks

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

MaaMgic

Polyester Boy's Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Flexible and SoftSheer but sturdy, these trunks are built to move.

  Built-In Sunblocking

Nautica Sun Protection Boy’s Swim Trunks

Nautica

Sun Protection Boy's Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Plenty of ProtectionThe material on these trunks resists fading and tearing.

  Our Top Pick

Kanu Surf Store Quick Dry UPF 50+ Boy’s Swim Trunks

Kanu Surf

Store Quick Dry UPF 50+ Boy's Swim Trunks

Overall Take

Stretches To FitStretchy trunks and a functional drawstring combine to fit a range of sizes.

Tommy Bahama Drawstring Boy’s Swim Trunks

Tommy Bahama

Drawstring Boy's Swim Trunks

Overall Take

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Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on March 3, 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, longer 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
  Fun Prints

MaaMgic Polyester Boy’s 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
2
  Built-In Sunblocking

Nautica Sun Protection Boy’s Swim Trunks

Longer legs and built-in UPF 50 sunblocking means your child can play all day in these 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
3
  Our Top Pick

Kanu Surf Store Quick Dry UPF 50+ Boy’s 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, longer 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

Avatar
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.