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This summer has seen one sweltering heat wave after another, and we’re taking every opportunity we can to spend time in pools, lakes and other bodies of water. But if you reach for your best men’s swim trunks only to find they no longer fit, are completely trashed or are totally out of style, then it’s time for some new men’s swimwear.
To help you find the right swimwear, the SPY team has been searching for the most comfortable and stylish swim trunks for men all year long. Below, we’ve collected the coolest bathing suits for men from our favorite swimwear brands, with options to suit a wide range of styles and budgets.
What Are the Latest Men’s Swimwear Trends?
Some guys care only about performance and comfort when shopping for swim trunks, while others care more about style. In our experience, the best men’s swim trunks offer the perfect blend of both, and there’s no reason you can’t have it all. On the style front, there are some new swimwear trends we’re tracking in 2022.
Men’s swim trunks are getting shorter and shorter, and this year 5-inch inseam swim trunks are especially popular. However, if you don’t want to show off that much thigh, you can still find plenty of 7-inch inseam trunks and longer board shorts.
In terms of aesthetics, modern swim trunks most often come in bold patterns with bright colors. Retro designs, camo prints and tie-dye are common, as are more artsy prints and color block styles. If you opt for a solid-color pair of swim trunks, bright primary colors are a popular option right now.
Finally, brands like Chubbies are using new types of materials and liners. Modern men’s swim trunks offer a lot of stretch, and the obnoxious liner you remember from childhood has been given a modern upgrade. So if you hate the traditional mesh briefs hidden inside bathing suits, there are plenty of products that skip this feature entirely. We’re big fans of the Chubbies mesh liner, which is made in the style of compression shorts instead of briefs.
Once you figure out your needs and style direction, you’re ready to start shopping. Read on for our roundup of the best men’s swim trunks of the year. We selected the best, most stylish options from SPY-favorite brands like Vuori, Mack Weldon and Patagonia, as well as the latest options from popular swimwear brands such as Chubbies.
1. Fair Harbor The Bungalow Trunk
If you want to help save the planet but don’t want to spend a lot on swim trunks, Fair Harbor offers a stylish swim trunk worth a look. Made from 11 upcycled bottles, these stylish 5-inch inseam swim trunks are cool and cut like the classics. What’s more, for those who are fans of the inner liner, these shorts come with a BreezeKnit Liner, which feels more like wearing a pair of boxer briefs than those old mesh liners you had to deal with as a kid.
2. SAXX Oh Buoy Swim Shorts
Let’s face it, grey is the new black. SAXX’s Oh Buoy swim shorts aren’t only good-looking; they’re the most comfortable men’s swim trunks you can buy. Period. They ditch the itchy mesh liner often attached to swim trunks and choose to use a design similar to SAXX’s underwear instead, complete with their extra cozy BallPark pouch. If you want to stay comfortable and look stellar doing it, SAXX also has a number tons more colors and patterns to choose from, as well as short swim trunks with a shorter inseam.
3. Maamgic Men’s Swim Trunks
These cheap swim trunks for men are an Amazon best-seller, and we can also tell you that Maamgic is one of the most popular shorts brands ever featured on SPY. These Amazon swim shorts come in a ton of fun and colorful prints, and they’re backed by more than 20,000 Amazon ratings. If you’ve got a vacation coming up and need a new pair of swim trunks, then add these to your Amazon cart and take advantage of that Prime shipping. These swim trunks have pockets, a mesh lining and fall just above your knee.
4. Chubbies 7-Inch Lined Stretch Swim Trunks
In a few short years, Chubbies swim apparel has developed a cult following for one simple reason: these men’s swim trunks are just so comfortable. Instead of a briefs-style liner, these swim trunks have a boxer briefs-style mesh liner that feels more like compression shorts. For Spring/Summer 2022, these trunks come in a ton of fun 90s-inspired prints. We love 5-inch shorts, but we actually recommend going with the 7-inch Chubbies instead. Finally, we appreciate the many pockets that come with these trunks, although we wish those pockets had zippers.
5. Bonobos Riviera Throwback Swim Trunks
Bonobos is famous for stylish designs that look great on everyone. This made-for-men brand doesn’t only have sharp suits, button-downs and polos, but they also make some of the best men’s swim trunks of the season. The Bonobos Riviera Throwback Swim Trunks have everything you need to get your swim on this summer. Don’t love the pattern pictured below? There are plenty more options.
6. Birddogs Inner Banks Swim Trunks
It’s only been recently that we as a society have been allowed comfortable swim trunk liners. Prior to the 2010s, liners were brief-y, meshy, uncomfortable demons the majority of us were cutting out and replacing with underwear. Now, liners are built just like our favorite underwear, and Birddogs is a brand doing so phenomenally. The Inner Banks Swim Trunks are created with one of the most comfortable liners to ever grace your upper thighs. It has the ability to hold everything it needs to cozily with zero need to fix your jimmies throughout each swim. Trust us, you’re going to want to add these ones to your swim trunk collection.
7. Adidas Trefoil Swim Trunks
Sometimes, less is more. These trunks from Adidas come in a solid color and have a subtle Trefoil logo at the hem. They have a 6″ inseam that’s neither too short nor too long, and the trunks have two side pockets, plus a grommeted back pocket.
8. Bather Sage Swim Trunks
Perusing Bather’s summery offerings, you might assume the brand hails from sunny Southern California. But the brand was founded in Toronto, Canada. It might seem unexpected, but Lake Ontario is a great place to take a dip or even go surfing (weather permitting, of course). There are plenty of loud shorts in Bather’s catalog, and while we love those, too, we’ll single out these decidedly low-key sage-colored swim trunks.
9. Birdwell X Todd Snyder Board Short
MADE IN THE USA
When Todd Snyder does collabs, he typically links up with heritage brands that have been killing the game for a long time. Birdwell is no different; the brand was launched in 1961, and the trunks continue to be made in the US. These shorts have a lace-front for easy adjustments, and the back pocket has a button closure with a key loop.
10. Chubbies 5.5-Inch Stretch Board Shorts
We love the Chubbies swim trunks which come with their own hidden compression shorts, which are infinitely better than the mesh liners we grew up with. However, for guys that prefer board shorts, you’ll want to opt for the brand’s stretch board shorts. As you’d expect from Chubbies, they’re available in a ton of fun prints.
11. CK One Printed Swim Shorts
Calvin Klein’s printed swim shorts are simultaneously loud yet tasteful, with a shorter length and a vibrant, abstract floral print. These shorts have a traditional mesh liner and a drawstring waistband. Plus, the shorts are made from 100% recycled polyester.
12. Biwisy Swim Trunks
For a bevy of basic colors and fun patterns, check out these Amazon best-sellers. Each pair costs around $20 and is almost always on sale. In addition, they’re made of quick-dry fabric with an elastic drawstring waistband so you stay comfortable even out of the water. Plus, they’re on Amazon Prime, making them that much better.
13. Le Club MB Tower 1 Swim Trunks
Hey pal, have some fun. They’re just shorts. These swim trunks feature one of the wildest patterns of 2022, and these wacky swim trunks from Le Club are an absolute must for anyone that likes to stand out in the sand. This pair boasts a colorful interpretation of a lifeguard tower, and there are three additional styles available. Yes, the pattern is a bit of a trip, but that’s exactly why we think these are the most stylish swim trunks of the season.
14. Mack Weldon Swim Trunk
Ever been to the beach and lost your keys in the sand? We have, and it’s a nightmare. Mack Weldon has solved this issue by including zippered front and back pockets. So whether you’re keeping your keys, phone, wallet, credit cards or whatever in your pockets, you can lounge easy knowing they won’t unexpectedly fall out. Aside from prime pockets, Mack Weldon does everything else right with these shorts. They come in a handful of cool prints and colors and boast a four-way stretch for comfort.
15. Rhone 6-Inch Fletcher Trunk
You can’t have a roundup featuring the best men’s swim trunks without featuring Rhone’s Fletcher Trunks. These trunks have been redesigned in new colorways just in time for Summer 2022 and are sure to keep you looking your best on the beach. Each pair uses a four-way stretch material that makes them perfect for active guys. Plus, they have the ability to dry quicker than you can say “swim trunks”.
16. J.Crew Seersucker Swim Trunks
Seersucker swim shorts are a style older than time. Seriously, if you could time travel back to a beach in the 50s, you could absolutely get away with wearing these striped seersucker swim trunks from J.Crew. Pairs are available in a number of colorways at a 6-inch inseam for that not so long, not so short vibe. In addition, mesh lining is included to keep everything where it needs to be. J.Crew swimsuits can be a bit constricting, but they’re a great option for guys who prefer a slimmer cut.
17. Vuori Cruise Boardshort
While boardshorts are kind of on their way out, we can’t help but swoon over these brand-new boardshorts from Vuori both for visual and eco-friendly aspects. Each pair is made from recycled plastic bottles to make you more of a conscious shopper. Although they might look stiff as a surfboard, each pair is exceptionally stretchy for maximum movement in or near the water. Patterns? Vuori’s got plenty. Check them all out for yourself below.
Related: Best Water Shorts
18. Lululemon Pool Short
BEST FOR SWIMMERS
Hopefully, we can all agree that Lululemon rules when it comes to activewear. So it should come as no surprise that they took a seemingly regular pair of trunks and made them ideal for so much more than lounging. Thanks to their lightweight fabric, which sports a four-way stretch and anti-chlorine properties, you can feel light and loose as you body surf waves at your favorite beach.
19. Patagonia 5-Inch Baggies Water Shorts
Patagonia’s Baggies shorts have a devoted following, and some guys won’t even consider any other pair of swim trunks. These famous water shorts come in 5 and 7-inch inseams, but the shorter option is definitely our pick for 2022. Water shorts like these are perfect for people who enjoy hiking and running as much as they enjoy a dip in the lake, and these versatile board shorts are ready for any type of summer adventure. There’s a certain type of guy who will wear these shorts all summer long, and we can’t blame him — they really are that comfy.
20. Dandy Del Mar Riviera Trunks
When it comes to cool, calm and collection, Dandy Del Mar has nailed it — in a pair of swim trunks, no less. These gorgeous, cool-tone patterned Riviera Trunks boast a wild look to keep you looking stellar at the beach. Sizes are available according to your actual waist size, so sizing is a breeze. You can finally trade in that elastic waistband for trunks made to fit your specific size.
21. L.L.Bean All-Adventure Swim Shorts
BEST FOR ADVENTURES
When you think about L.L.Bean, you might think about flannel shirts and catalogs, but this iconic American brand is our go-to online destination for all types of outdoor gear. These men’s swim shorts use a recycled outer and inner layer that’s UPF 50+. This will help keep your legs safe from the sun’s harmful rays all summer long. In addition, the shorts are resistant to salt and chlorine so they will keep their color for years to come.
22. Outerknown Apex Hybrid Trunks
Coming to you from straight from the brain of Kelly Slater (also known as the greatest surfer to ever step foot on a board), Outerknown is taking a different approach to men’s swimwear. Aside from being simple yet stylish, Outerknown makes a point of being environmentally friendly, too. A perfect example of their ethos shows up in their Apex Hybrid Trunks.
These trunks are made primarily from 100% recycled polyester using post-consumer waste and plastics such as water bottles. While other brands are grabbing whatever material they can, with little consideration of the environmental impacts, Slater and his crew are pushing to make a product that doesn’t hurt the environment (and still looks great).
What Types of Men’s Swim Trunks Should You Choose?
But before you choose your next pair of swim trunks, decide on what you’re looking for. In the old days, men’s bathing suit trunks were relatively uniform with similar cuts, materials and patterns. Now, swim trunks for men have become a diverse market with options for every activity and style. Here are a few types of men’s swimwear you should consider before purchasing:
- Surf boardshorts for beach activities and workouts, as well as surfing.
- Retro swim trunks for a trendy old-school look
- Designer swim trunks for stylish jet setters
- Statement bathing suits to stand out in a crowd
- Hybrid performance water shorts for dips while hiking or traveling
- Sustainable bathing suits for the conscious shopper
How We Chose the Best Men’s Swim Trunks
So far in 2022, SPY editors have tested hundreds of gadgets, fitness tools, home goods, sex toys and grooming gear. In the fashion category, we’ve been hard at work reviewing the best made-to-measure suits, bespoke shirting and the most comfortable t-shirts in the world. Swim trunks have also been one of our top priorities, and we take great care in selecting only the best swim trunks for our readers.
So how did we make our selection? First, we prioritized products that our editors and reviewers have personally tested, which includes popular picks from brands like Chubbies, J.Crew and Saxx as well as some up-and-coming brands like Dandy Del Mar. However, there are hundreds of swim trunks, and we haven’t been able to test them all yet. As a result, we also selected the best, most stylish options from our most-trusted men’s swimwear brands — Rhone, Outerknown and lululemon.
Finally, as an e-commerce website, SPY editors have some insight into which swim trunks are readers have purchased. We know that in previous years, budget-friendly brands like Maamgic have been a huge hit, so we made sure to throw in some swim trunks under $25 you can buy from Amazon.
Normally, we pride ourselves on objectively ranking the top options, and we have a rigorous testing process for evaluating tech products, appliances and fitness gear. However, when it comes to men’s fashion trends, we have to get subjective. Ultimately, we have to make a judgment based on style. You may not agree with all of our picks, but we’re confident in our selection.
Some FAQs About the Best Men's Swim Trunks
As you might imagine, swim trunks are meant for the water and shorts are not. Swim trunks are normally made with quick-drying materials that make them easy for getting in and out of the water. Shorts, on the other hand, are normally made from materials that don't dry as quickly. Some men will still will their regular shorts when swimming, but we don't recommend that.
Swim trunks that are in style right now range in a bunch of different categories. Right now, the most popular are likely swim shorts for men, which act as a short/swim trunk hybrid and shorter swim trunks for men to show off some thigh.
Wearing underwear with swim trunks depends on preference. Lots of swim trunks come with mesh or underwear-like liners that act as underwear, but others don't. Some men even cut out the liner included in their swim trunks so they can wear underwear. It really depends on your comfort level, but underwear will not dry even remotely as fast as your swim trunks will. Keep at in mind.