Summertime and the livin’s easy, but not if you need a new pair of trunks. If you reach for last year’s swim trunks, only to find they no longer fit, are completely trashed or you suddenly despise the way they look, it’s time for a new pair. Luckily, you don’t need to worry. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of our favorite men’s swimwear from our favorite brands.
But before you pick and choose, decide what you’re looking for in your next pair. Are you the kind of guy who wants a pair of loud swim trunks that will help you stand out in the crowd? Or are you more of the muted type? Are these trunks supposed to hold up to the rigors of surfing? Or are they for casual lounging? Do you like the fact that men’s swim trunks are getting shorter, or do you want a bit more coverage? Once you figure out your needs, take a stroll through our list of the best men’s swim trunks below.
From Everlane and Nordstrom to great finds on Amazon, here are our top swim trunks to buy ahead of summer 2020.
1. Rhone 6″ Fletcher Trunk
This summer we’re going bold, and so should you. For this reason, we gave Rhone our number one spot, with their 6″ Fletcher Trunk. Featuring four-way stretch (which is a must-have these days), a zippered side pocket and a mesh inseam, the Fletcher check off all the right pockets when it comes to the ideal men’s bathing suit. And that’s all without discussing the style. Though we’re always fans of playing it low key, some years you need to stand out, which is why we love the pair with the pink side stripe. It’s just enough flare to get you noticed, without so much that onlookers might cringe.
2. Birdwell Beach Britches
Still built in Santa Ana like it was 1961, Birdwell Beach Britches are about as classic Southern California as surfing or skateboarding. And for good reason, these shorts are built to last. Utilizing just-in-time manufacturing (meaning they don’t make your pair until you order your pair) Birdwell has kept itself relevant in an ever-changing, over-crowded market for half a century. We love our Beach Britches in red and cut with a 15″ outseam. Sure, this swimsuit is short, no doubt about it, but if you’re the type looking to emulate the style of the greats like Sean Connery or Steve McQueen, you can’t go wrong with an old school swim trunk like Birdwell.
3. Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks
Hey pal, have some fun, they’re just shorts. If you’re looking for a quality bathing suit with a pattern, or something more fun than just a plain color, look no further than Bonobos’ Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks. These trunks, which we’ve picked in navy with all-over print flamingos, are lightweight, lighthearted and fit well whether on the sand or at the nearest beach bar. The Riviera bathing suit comes in a range of different lengths, including 5″, 7″ and 9″ inseams. Plus, they’re made with recycled polyester, because Bonobos cares about the environment and so should you.
4. Vilebrequin Moorise Neo Camo Swim Trunkss
BEST FOR STANDING OUT
Picture this: you’ve been invited to a fancy summer pool party. The wardrobe expectation for guys is simple, trunks and a shirt. But you want to stand out from the crowd of guys wearing basically the same thing as you, so what do you do? Pick up a pair of Vilebrequin swim trunks, and let your shorts do all the work. Featuring a colorful neon palette in all-over print camo, these shorts are sure to get you noticed. However, style and eye-catching shorts don’t come cheap, making these swim trunks the most expensive pair on our list. But if you want to make sure nobody else at the party is going to dress the same as you, look no further than a pair of bright Vilebrequins. Made of 100% polyamide, these machine washable shorts feature side pockets and a back Velcro sealed pocket to store your valuables.
5. Nonwe Men’s Swim Trunks
If budget is your biggest concern, and you only want a pair for a casual beach trip or getaway, Nonwe is your brand. As one of the best selling pairs of trunks on Amazon, these shorts from Nonwe get the job done without being too flashy. These Nonwe come in a range of different striped patterns, and sit at about knee-level, for the longer, more straight forward look. The shorts come equipped with a mesh liner, drawstring tie around the waist and a Velcro side pocket that’s perfect for stashing your wallet, phone or keys. With over 500 reviews, a 4.3 out of 5 average rating on Amazon and a price point that will have you out the door under $20, it’s no wonder these are a top-selling men’s bathing suit on Amazon.
6. Everlane The Boardshort
BEST MODERN SIMPLE
With a modern cut, and a simple pattern, Everlane’s take on the swim trunk is an easy item to build a beach outfit around. This swim trunk features a simple color-blocking with sage green on top and a faded rose on the bottom half. The modern cut will sit a couple inches above the knee to give a stylish look without being too revealing. What’s more, these shorts from Everlane are offered at three different price points, and what you pay is up to you. Everlane cuts out the middle man by offering their products direct to consumer, so you save a ton with every purchase. Without this model, you would otherwise have to pay around $100 for a stylish swim trunk of this quality. Grab a pair now before they completely sell out, as these are definitely some of the best men’s swim trunks of 2020.
7. Orlebar Brown Bulldog Sport Mid-Length Swim Shorts
Featured here in a sleek black, these stylish swim shorts from Orlebar Brown will give you a subtle edge compared to the guy next to you. Instead of the run-of-the-mill draw string featured in most swim trunks, this pair features a partially elasticated waistband and adjustable tabs for a subtle and functional fit. What’s more, the trunks offer a snap and zippered fly, so you can worry less about wardrobe malfunctions and focus on your volleyball game. These performance swim shorts by Orlebar Brown are machine washable and come in either black or red. At $245 for a pair, these are a pricier option, but they’ll look great whether you wear them day or night.
8. Hurley Phantom
BEST FOR THE BEACH ATHLETE
Hurley raised the bar when they created the Phantom boardshorts. Before 2007, there wasn’t a difference between swim trunks and surf trunks. Even though swim trunks tend to be rigid (and therefore cause a ton of chaffing for your average surfer), brands didn’t care all that much. However, that all changed when Hurley invented the Phantom. With 60% stretch, the shorts became the benchmark for athletic surf-wear. Now, 12 years after their debut, nearly every surf brand has their own take on the Phantom.
If you’re the type to hit the beach, surf a few waves and then hop into a quick game of volleyball or frisbee, the Phantom was made for you. Created with an impossibly light polyester and spandex mix, these swim shorts feel so light, you’ll forget they’re there.
9. Outerknown Men’s Modern Scallop Trunks
BEST FOR THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER
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 is found in their Modern Scallop Trunks. The majority of these trunks are made up of recycled PET, with only 14% being made of spandex. Or, as the website figures, this pair of trunks is made with the same amount of plastic as 10 to 12 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). These stylish men’s swim trunks are the perfect beachwear for summer 2020.
10. Fair Harbor The Sextant Trunk
BEST AFFORDABLE GREEN PICK
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 92% recycled bottles (6% more than Outerknown’s) these stylish swim trunks are cool and cut like the classics. The shorts feature a navy blue construction with two parallel seafoam green stripes running down the sides, a 6″ inseam and a zippered pocket in the back for safe storage of your valuables. What’s more, for those who are fans of the inner liner, these shorts come with a Cool Max Liner, which feels more like wearing a pair of boxer briefs than those old mesh liners you had to deal with as a kid. The Sextant comes in several different colors and styles, including a white palm frond print which is sure to attract some positive attention.
11. TUONROAD Men’s 3D Printed Funny Swim Trunks
BEST WILD STYLE
Swim trunks can be trendy, stylish and cool, but they can also be a great way to have fun, and not take things too seriously. Enter these 3D printed trunks from Tuonroad. Though we’ve picked the iconic ’90s paper cup style, these shorts are available in everything from an all-over Galaxy print to Taco Cats. Each pair of trunks comes with an elastic waistband and a drawstring to keep things secure and a set of side pockets. At $21.99 these shorts are fairly inexpensive and are sure to get some looks, laugh and attention as soon as you step into the pool or onto the sand.
12. J.Crew 6″ Stretch Swim Trunk
No swim trunk roundup is complete without an entry from J.Crew, which makes resort-ready men’s swimwear season after season. The menswear staple has a ton of worthwhile offerings on their site, but if you ask us, it’s all about their 6″ Stretch Trunk in purple white. Featuring a faded print of sunshine, waves, palm trees and islands, this is a swim short to last your well past your 20s. J.Crew has the timeless style that makes their clothing last forever, and they’ve hit it with this pair of trunks. They’re just slim enough, short enough and fun enough to help you stand out from the crowd, but aren’t so bold that you’ll regret purchasing them.
And if you move quickly, you can get up to 35% off with the promotional code “WINWIN,” which makes these an exceptionally affordable men’s swimsuit.