The Best Swim Trunks For Men From Pool to Patio

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to get your swimwear in order. Even if you don’t expect to be near the beach or a pool this summer, the best men’s swim trunks will double as an equally great pair of everyday shorts, so nabbing the right pair means you’ll be covered for all occasions.

Plans change quickly in the summer months and it’s always smart to be prepared. If you get invited to a lakeside cabin for a last-minute getaway you don’t want to be scrambling through the dredges left over in every department store trying to score a bathing suit.

Swim trunks are the ideal summer swimwear. They aren’t as long as board shorts, and they leave much more to the imagination than a pair of skin-tight briefs. Cut above the knee, they have more of a fitted look than most swimwear, and pair just as well with a nice polo as they do with a T-shirt (and they just happen to also be water-proof). They also come equipped with netting to keep everything in place and secure while swimming or playing sports – a welcome addition you won’t find in briefs or traditional shorts.

We’ve selected a number of the best men’s swim trunks below to get you ready for any summer occasion, from lounging pool-side to grilling in the park with your buds.

Chubbies The Love Is Loves 2.0 5.5" (Stretch) Swim Trunks

Chubbies Love is Love 2.0 swim trunks

Just in time for Pride Month, these swim trunks from Chubbies feature an eye-catching take on the iconic stars and stripes, with the stripes represented by the colors of the pride flag. With a 5.5” inseam, these fall halfway up the thigh for a classic short cut that has come back in style in full force. Billed as “impossibly stretchy,” these are made with a 4-way stretch polyester/spandex blend and come equipped with an elastic waistband for comfort. This model also has a zippered back pocket, which is a great inclusion if you’re wearing these as regular shorts throughout the day. To sweeten the deal, a $5 donation from every pair sold goes towards supporting suicide prevention and mental health for LGBTQ youth.

Polo Ralph Lauren 5.75" Traveler Classic Swim Trunk

Polo Ralph Lauren swim trunks

With their mid-rise design, these Ralph Lauren swim trunks are as iconic as the company’s signature logo. We love these swim trunks for their simplicity. Available in over a dozen solid-color designs, these swim trunks are dependable additions to any summer wardrobe. Every model comes with a white elastic drawstring waistband, side pockets, and a back right buttoned pocket. These will look great at the beach or in any situation you find yourself in this summer. With their bold color design and immediately recognizable Ralph Lauren logo, these subtle yet classy shorts are some of the best men’s swim trunks we’ve come across.

Lululemon Channel Cross 7" Swim Short

Lululemon swim trunks

While many of the swim trunks on our list can be worn in or out of the water, Lululemon has designed the Channel Cross swim shorts explicitly for swimmers. Made with a 4-way stretch, these swim trunks are chlorine-resistant and water-repellant, perfect for long laps in the pool, ocean, or lake. Lululemon has a sterling reputation for activewear, so these swim trunks should be able to handle anything you throw at them with ease. Available in 5” and 7” inseam options and offered in solid colorways along with more elaborate patterns, these are the best swim trunks for swimming enthusiasts.  

Club Monaco Arlen Seersucker 4" Swim Trunks

Club Monaco Arlen seersucker swim trunks

Men have been gravitating to shorter and shorter shorts recently, and these 4” Arlen Seersucker swim trunks from Club Monaco are some of the shortest you’ll find this side of a classic Speedo. With their seersucker fabric, these are an elevated notch above most traditional swim trunks but still work great as swimwear. With a 100% polyester lining, side pockets and a back pocket, you don’t have to be anywhere near a body of water to sport these incredible looking swim trunks. With a straight-forward and sleek look, these are some of the best swim trunks for men on the market.

J.Crew 6" Sretch Swim Trunk

J.Crew stretch swim trunks

While every other swimwear company has gone with a 5” or 7” inseam, J.Crew has gone rogue with their 6” swim trunks. The literal middle ground between the two most popular swim trunk styles, these stretch trunks feature a modern slim fit with multiple appealing print options. They feature a bold and colorful drawstring, the standard mesh lining, and are made from environmentally-friendly recycled nylon, so you can feel good about your purchase. These also feature front and back pockets, a link to keep your keys secure, and UPF 50 protection to keep those sun rays from ruining your pool day.

Patagonia Baggies 5" Swim Shorts

Orange Patagonia swim trunks

After conquering the world of hiking and trekking fashion, Patagonia has now embraced swimwear with their popular Baggies line. These are a great option for those who like the throwback look of mid-thigh hitting shorts but want something a bit roomier and more casual. Made from recycled nylon fabric and outfitted with a moisture-repelling finish, the Baggies also pack in vertical side pockets to avoid water drag when swimming. You can even easily drain the pockets by inverting their mesh lining, making these easy to dry and throw back in your bag on your way home. Available in solid colorways or more showy patterns, these are another affordable option that will keep you cool throughout the scorching summer months.

Speedo Men's Surf Runner Volley 4" Swim Trunks

Speedo Surf Runner swim trunks

Did you really expect us to get through a list of the best swimwear without including the ubiquitous Speedo? While still best known for their snug swim briefs we all had to wear as kids, Speedo has also provided a great option for those who want something a little less showy. These Surf Runner Volley swim trunks feature a 4” inseam, making them one of the shortest pairs on our list, but still in the ballpark of most mid-thigh swim trunks. You’ll get Speedo’s 4-way stretch for ultimate flexibility, a water-repellant coating, and if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, these come baked in with UPF 50+ protection to block 98% of the sun’s rays from toasting your shorts. Speedo remains the gold standard for swimwear, and these are one of the best swim trunks we’ve found.

Bonobos Throwback 5" Swim Trunks

Bonobos Throwback swim trunks

If you want to recreate the look of a camp counselor from every ‘80s teen comedy, get yourself a pair of these Throwback swim trunks from Bonobos. With a 5” inseam, these trunks have a surf-inspired curved split hem for a classic laid-back look that has never gone out of style. Available colors like “Siren” and “Salty Dog,” these retro looking men’s swim trunks will turn heads at the beach and keep you feeling light and cool once you do decide to head out into the waves.

Best Budget Pick: H&M Swim Shorts

H&M mint green swim trunks

You don’t need to break the bank to get yourself a great pair of men’s swim trunks this summer. These mid-thigh H&M swim trunks are a simple and stylish addition to your summer wardrobe and won’t cost you much more than a sandwich. Made from woven fabric made from recycled polyamide, they are available in a few different colors and patterns – these being “Mint Green” – that pair perfectly with a crisp T-shirt, a linen button-up, or a polo. With side pockets and a back pocket from extra security, these are a great affordable option that work great as both swim wear and everyday shorts.

Best Luxury Pick: Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-Length Swim Shorts

Orlebar Bulldog swim trunks

While the $200+ price tag might initially give you a case of sticker shock, we promise that these Orlebar Brown swim trunks are worth the investment. Famously sported by Daniel Craig as James Bond in 2012’s Skyfall, these beautifully designed shorts are sure to make a statement whether you’re lounging by the pool or doing some summer shopping in the city. Designed with waistband adjusters, these shorts can be tailored to get the best fit possible, something you’ll be hard pressed to find in any other pair of swim trunks on the market. Available in a sleek black, classic navy,  attention-grabbing bright red, and a few other color options, these elegant swim trunks are some of the best on the market, and will make you feel as confident as 007 himself this summer.

For more summer wardrobe essentials that pair perfectly with any of these swim trunks, check out our curated lists of Best Aviator Sunglasses, Best Boat Shoes, and Best Plain T-Shirts.

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