As restrictions on outdoor activities continue to ease and we make our way back into the normalcy of everyday life, we’re beginning to realize just how much of our summertime shenanigans have been cut short. Naturally, plans for our beachfront escapades have been postponed or delayed, leaving us in anticipation of the days where friends, family, and familiar drinks on the sand will once again be upon us. Luckily, with more and more waterways, pools, and beaches opening for operation, it won’t be long until we’re enjoying the blistering hot sun, working on our summertime tan, and taking a quick dip to cool off after a long day.
But heading to the beach isn’t always hassle-free. For guys like us, it means that we’ll have to bust out a pair of our favorite swim trunks for the occasion – and if they aren’t in-line with our aesthetic, you can bet that we’ll be tossing them aside for something that better represents our unique lifestyle. Naturally, that means that we’ll be looking for the most stylish, multi-faceted garments around, allowing us to traverse the urban landscape, head to the beachfront bar, and take a dive, all in the same fell-swoop. Below, we’ve aggregated a handful of our favorite swim-focused offerings, helping to outfit you for the season of sun. So put on that sunscreen, don your favorite pair of shades, and pack up the picnic tote — it’s time to dip our toes into the best swim trunks for summer.
H&M Swim Short
Looking for an affordable option that’ll get you out on the beach, or into the water, without too much fuss? H&M has you covered with its simplistic Swim Short — a summertime essential crafted from woven fabric and enhanced by a secure mesh interior liner, back pocket, and hook-loop fastener. For added comfort, the brand has called upon the genre’s trusted elasticized drawstring waistband, helping to keep your shorts in-place throughout the day.
Topman CONSIDERED Black Swim Shorts
Topman’s CONSIDERED Swim Shorts are an iconic example of the genre’s classic cut. Not only do these great-looking staples bring a comfortable drawcord waistband and retro swim-style to the table or interested wearers, but they’re also crafted to today’s standards, calling upon a recycled plastic polyester for increased durability, dependability, and quick-drying capabilities.
River Island Pastel Tech Tape
River Island’s Pastel Tech Tape shorts are a fashionable offering for the style-focused swimmer. These unique examples boast an eye-catching silhouette, a suite of brightly-colored hues, and even sport some interesting side detailing to set them apart from the genre’s other offerings. Like most of the variants on our list, they boast an elasticated drawstring waistband, side slip pockets, and a handsome design that’s sure to earn you some compliments at your next poolside social endeavor.
The North Face Class V Pull-On
When we think of The North Face, the last thing that comes to mind is a pair of stylish summer swimmers. That’s why the company’s Class V Pull-On came as such a shock when it was released. Thanks to the pair’s ultraviolet protection, a secure-zip back pocket, and mesh liner, you’ll be able to wear these for a day at the beach, as well as a day on the town, helping you to seamlessly transition from the beachfront bar to the water with ease.
Patagonia Men’s Baggies
Patagonia’s Men’s Baggies are a simple short, but we’d feel somewhat uncomfortable if we didn’t include one of the outdoor world’s most prominent proprietors on this list. Luckily, the swim-focused variants hold true to the brand’s cutting-edge manufacturing principles, calling upon a Fair Trade-sewn, quick-drying 100% recycled nylon, a multifunctional design, and a dialed-back silhouette to make them the undisputed king of low-key legwear.
Howler Brothers Sayulita Watershorts
Howler Brothers’ Sayulita Watershorts were built to mesh with the relaxing, poolside days of summer, and thanks to their quick-drying stretch fabric, they’re perfect for a quick dip in the water while holding your drink. They’re even named after a notable surf town on Mexico’s Pacific coastline, so you know that the traditional board short isn’t lacking the qualities that you’ll need to make the most out of your beachy lifestyle. Drainage grommets, a back-flap pocket, dependable zig-zag stitching, and a comfortable elasticated waistband make these unique offerings a must-have for any laid-back lad.
Roark Elastic Java Leaf Boardshort
Roark has a knack for creating attractive menswear, and when it comes to swim-focused garments, we’re happy to see that they haven’t lost any of their aesthetic chops. The Elastic Java Leaf Boardshort is, perhaps, our favorite example from the brand, boasting a lightweight cotton poplin construction, a drawcord-clad elastic waistband, and a set of utility-focused side pockets. Plus, each example is hand-crafted in Indonesia using Hoffman California Fabrics’ lauded textiles, so you know that you’ll be getting a top-of-the-line short for those afternoons admiring the surf.
Vuori Bahia Boardshort
When Vuori designed the Bahia Boardshort, they set out to change the game for drab, uninteresting trunks. Thanks to their perfectly-honed six-inch inseam and recycled material construction, they’re perfect for swimming, surfing, paddling, or training, allowing you to utilize their quick-drying mesh silhouette for virtually every aspect of your day near the water. But if you’re looking to stay a little more relaxed and enjoy your favorite cocktail by the poolside, we won’t judge you.
Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks
Bonobos’ classic design philosophy and its commitment to iconic style are inherently prominent in its clothing, and that doesn’t end when it takes a deep dive into the world of swimwear. The Riviera Recycled Swim Trunk is one such example. It boasts an elastic waistband, a quick-drying interior liner, on-seam pockets, and a hook-and-loop fastener for that iconic look that we’ve become so accustomed to, while contrasting elements adorn its interior. There are even a pocket bag and key catch to keep your important items secure as you comb the sand.
Lululemon Channel Cross
Lululemon’s Channel Cross swim short is an honorable take on the company’s extensive athleisure line, boasting many of the same relaxing qualities as its counterparts. Whether you’re heading out for a day on the lake, or listening to your favorite playlist by the pool, these great-looking essentials bring a high-performance fabric feel, breathable mesh fabric, and a four-way stretch silhouette, crafted with Xtra Life Lycra, to the table for water-loving audiences.
Saturdays NYC Ritchie Short
Saturdays NYC’s Ritchie Short holds true to the company’s recognizable design terminology, and boasts a tasteful, dialed-back silhouette that makes it an attractive offering for fashion-focused beachgoers. Luckily, the ocean isn’t the only place where these shorts excel. They’re also equally as viable at the gym, or in the mountains, allowing wearers to take on surprise waterways, swimming holes, or showers with ease. Thanks to their quick-drying cotton construction and elasticated waistband, they’re a viable choice for comfortable, all-day wear, which isn’t such a bad thing if you’re planning to take on multiple different types of terrain outdoors.
Mack Weldon Solid Swim
Mack Weldon has quickly become one of our favorite companies to turn to for menswear’s basic items. As such, they’re also a valuable proprietor for those more niche offerings, including swim-focused essentials. The company’s Solid Swim variant brings its high-performance culture to the world of laid-back swimwear, calling upon a polyester and spandex construction, bold, bright colors, and a formidable four-way stretch to keep it viable in virtually every situation, regardless of the amount of movement.
Reiss Drawstring Swim Short
Reiss’ Drawstring Swim Short is one of the company’s most revered swimwear options, and thanks to its holiday-inspired silhouette, it’s the perfect packable option for those days where work is the last thing on your mind. To separate them from the droves of unflattering examples floating around on today’s beaches, the brand has opted for a shorter inseam, as well a drawstring waistband, twin pockets, and an inner-mesh lining to help them dry after a quick dip in the water. They’re even great for a day at the beachfront bar, thanks to their classic orientation, lending themselves to seamless wear alongside a t-shirt and sandals.
Faherty Sunset Mid
If you’re looking for a pair of retro-styled swim shorts to take on the surf, your search just came to an end. The Faherty Sunset Mid are a perfect example of mid-century design, pairing modernized materials and sustainable manufacturing practices with a timeless silhouette that screams vintage. Each pair is defined by its recycled Repreve shell, a comfortable, mid-length fit, and drawstring/button fastenings, giving it an air of tasteful design among its more contemporary counterparts.
Mr P. Striped Seersucker
Mr P. always has the modern man’s back when it comes to style-forward gear, and the brand’s Striped Seersucker swim short is no exception. Each cotton-blend variant boasts an iconic white and blue color palette, three storage-savvy pockets, and a quick-dry mesh lining, complementing its back-zipped pocketing, accented eyelets, and a comfortable, elasticated waistband. If you’re a fan of the brand’s fashion-forward offerings, this is the perfect model to pair with your favorite polo, poolside sandals, and shades.
Onia Elastic Calder 7.5
Onia’s Elastic Calder 7.5 arrives as a much-needed update to one of the brand’s best-selling models, and if you’re asking for our opinion, they’re certainly one of the most aesthetically-appealing variants on our list. Not only do they boast a unique button fastening at their front, but they also call upon distinct elastic paneling at the back of the waist, allowing them the shape, stretch, and mold to their wearer. After you hop out of the water, their quick-drying fabrics will be put to the test, working alongside their superfine mesh lining, reinforced pockets, and customized hardware to set them apart from the other, less-refined options on the beach.
Outerknown Apex Trunks
Outerknown’s Apex Trunks are definitely some of the most well-informed options around, thanks to professional surfer Kelly Slater’s years of water-borne experience. They’re the champion’s own signature swim shorts, and as such, they’ve taken on a variety of high-performance inclusions, including an ultralight four-way stretch fabric, crafted with recycled polyester, stitch-free welded seams, and a double-bonded butt seam to keep things intact. To round out these formidable shorts, a bonded back pocket joins with a series of Aquaguard zippers, and internal bungee key loop, and laser-cut detailing to provide wearers with one of the most capable trunks on the market.
Acne Studios Slim-Fit Mid
Acne Studios usually sticks to what it knows best: essential style. But every so often, the brand steps outside of its comfort zone to partake in something a bit more interesting. Its Slim-Fit Mid swim short, for example, is unlike any other garment that it’s released, thanks to its aesthetically-pleasing black shell, a supportive internal mesh line, and an elasticated drawstring waistband, helping to keep them secure during those deep dives. If you’re looking to spend more time in the water than on land, these are the perfect variants for times where an even split might not be possible.
Vilebrequin Men’s Swim Solid
Vilebrequin’s Men’s Swim Solid shorts hold true to the brand’s iconic stylings. Not only do they boast an original cut that’s been inspired by the Moorea — one of its lauded 70s silhouettes — but they introduce a suite of modern-day components to keep them relevant. Velcro fastenings, soft, quick-drying fabrics, and stainless zamac peripherals give them the edge over many of today’s less artisanal variants, while an elasticated waist and polyamide construction prove that their generational evolution wasn’t just a fluke.
Orlebar Brown BULLDOG 007 Dr. No
Orlebar Brown specializes in the creation of retro swimwear, and what’s more timeless than a silhouette from the golden age of Hollywood? Drawing influence from the styles of the 1960s and 70s, these unique offerings are adorned with illustrations promoting the International Man of Mystery, James Bond. Originally, they were placed in cinema lobbies in an effort to promote the latest (at the time) Bond film, Dr. No, and now, they’ve been revived in the brand’s OB Classic Bulldog style, which boasts a comfortable net lining, polyester fabric, and a shaped waistband for superior fit.
The 12 Best Beach Chairs
Trunks aren’t the only things you’ll need to make your next day on the sand memorable. To ensure that you partake in the full experience of your impending beach outing, head over to our guide on the best beach chairs, where you’ll find a handful of foldable, comfort-focused variants for post-swim relaxation.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more