How To Choose The Best Swimwear Brands For Men
Fun in the sun always goes hand in hand with refreshing summer swims. For that perfect beach day or poolside fun, comfortable swimsuits are required. While women’s options are given the limelight, today we’re showing some love to the best swimwear brands for men.
Men’s swimwear is highly underrated with the choice typically coming down to trunks, board shorts, or speedos. That said, there are numerous brands on the market for this demographic that offer some of the most important parts that make up the perfect suit.
As some of the best brands for men’s swim trunks, these companies know what options to offer to make swimming comfortable, light, and fun.
10 Best Swimwear Brands for Men
Written late in the year, this article will help guide you towards those end-of-season deals to get stocked up for the next swimming season. We’ve put together our top 10 list of the best men’s swimwear brands 2021 edition to dive into styles, materials, prices, and more.
1. Polo Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren comes in with easily one of our favorite founder quotes: “What I do is about living the best life you can and enjoying the fullness of the life around you. From what you wear to the way you live to the way you love.”
Founded by Ralph Lauren to focus on fashion and how it can enhance any life and experience, this company sells quality clothing, as well as home décor and gifts for those close to you.
Operating for over 50 years, they’re well established in the fashion community, making them an easy addition to our list of the best swimwear brands for men.
While the company has a wider focus than just swimwear, they still manage to offer a broad range of trunks in different fashions, materials, and lengths to fit your summer style.
Many trunks from this brand average around $80 (sale prices down to $50) but select styles are more expensive and go for up to $150.
For those interested in a sporty history, look no further than Lacoste, a brand founded by tennis all-star René Lacoste. Built with a focus on sustainable style, this brand works innovatively to craft new fashions in an environmentally responsible manner.
This company wants their products to last beautifully, whether shopping for swimwear or sweaters. Selling a wide range of clothing for men, women, and children, the swimwear available from this brand is designed for a good time.
With over 10 different styles and lengths, Lacoste is named one of the best swimwear brands for men due to their quick dry designs and recyclable material. Help the environment and your style for only $50 – $100 depending on the pair.
The bliss of the sea is brought to every piece in Nautica’s collection. Launched in 1983 by David Chu, this brand was inspired by the swift and peaceful nature of water, aiming to bring the joy of the deep to you every day.
Collections include clothing for men, women, and children, but this article is looking at the trunks that make it one of the best swimwear brands for men. Options come in to the tune of 6” to 8” inseams, and these trunks fit sizes XS to 3XL to provide a perfect feel for men of any size.
Sustainably crafted, these polyester trunks are created to give a comfortable stretch and a quick dry to make any dip in the water sweet and satisfying. This brand runs cheaper with most trunks costing $50 – $70.
Newer to the market, Bonobos launched in 2007 to provide men with higher quality fashion and materials for an affordable price. This brand is all about the fit, working to provide maximum comfort and style.
Designing their clothes from durable sourcing, this brand was built to last and keep your fashion fitting strong. When it comes to their swimwear, this company keeps consistent in material and pricing with a myriad of styles.
Recycled polyester, over 35 different styles, and sizes XS to 2XL make this one of the best swimwear brands for men on the current market. Plain or patterned, these fun trunks are available for an average price of $80.
Easily one of the most popular names on this list of the best swimwear brands for men, Speedo has become synonymous with their slick briefs and jammers worn often by professional swimmers.
Before becoming an Olympic classic, this brand was founded in 1914 but changed their name to Speedo in 1928. Featured in the Olympics since 1936, this company is one of the best swimwear brands for men due to their consistency, durability, and pricing.
Speedo swimwear offers more than the standard briefs we’re all used to seeing. Offering trunks, jammers, swim shorts, and many more styles, this brand was crafted for comfort and speed for swimmers ranging from beginner to professional.
Despite being a bigger brand, Speedo swimwear is one of the more affordable names on this list with most pieces costing between $20 – $50.
Surf the waves and summer styles with O’Neill, a brand created by seaman Jack O’Neill in 1952.
This company first launched as an independent surf shop the business credits Jack as being the inventor of the modern wetsuit (not strictly true, but he was one of the first to market it).
With their focus always on summer and surf, O’Neill began selling wetsuits and swimwear before moving into other clothing collections in recent years.
The brand makes swimming their business and, as such, offers an incredible variety of lengths, styles, features, and more to help each individual find the suit that fits their needs.
Moving into sustainable sourcing for the materials, they’re bringing eco-friendly practices to their swimwear to get everyone looking good while supporting a cause the company truly cares about.
All board shorts range in prices with many averaging around $50 – $60, with some more expensive options around the $100 mark.
Board sports are the basis of this best swimwear brand for men, with Volcom founders Richard Wolcott and Tucker Hall being inspired by a shared love of snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing.
Since 1991, this clothing brand has worked to sustainably source and produce clothing that speaks to self-expression and activity.
Designed for sports as well as lounging, these clothes well represent the struggle for respect that too often accompanies passions of arts, athletics, and more.
Regarding their swimwear status, this brand is all about options, selling shorts, trunks, wetsuits, rash guards, and more.
Whether you’re looking to swim in one of the over 40 short and trunk options available or to catch the next big wave while rocking a wetsuit, this brand has styles to suit everyone in plain or pattern fashions.
Most of their shorts and trunks go for $40 – $60, which is pretty good compared to some on this list.
Though not the standard thought when it comes to swimming, Lululemon joins our list of the best swimwear brands for men due to their durable and solid fashions.
Originally founded in Vancouver, Canada, this brand began with a solid market towards women’s yoga attire and expanded to their now extensive lines for men and women.
Since 1998, this company has worked to stylize sweating to keep you feeling cool and comfortable during the most intense workout regime.
Despite not having a wide range of swimwear options, Lululemon trunks pride themselves on being lightweight and quick to dry with options from 5” to 10” inseams.
Board shorts, jammers, and swim shorts make up this stock with a variety of colors to choose from to match any summer style. This brand’s swimwear averages between $70 – $100.
Easily the newest company on this list, Chubbies joined the market in 2011 after four men found a shared style in the small market of retro shorts.
Focused on the short fashion of the ‘70s and ‘80s, this brand reintroduced the length to the market, bringing men an option other than mid-thigh or knee-length.
Though they began solely with shorts, this company has expanded to swimwear and shirts, still retaining their retro focus central to the brand.
Separating their swimwear by lined and unlined (don’t know the difference, check out the section on that below!), this brand designed endless patterns to bring that fun summer flair.
Inseam length ranges from 4” to 7”, keeping the classic shorter size of their shorts in mind when designing for swimwear. Most pairs from Chubbies go for $60 – $80.
Founded by Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia was forged from a love of sport and activity, originally focusing its manufacturing on climbing gear.
The brand moved into clothing in 1972 when they realized durable clothing was a necessity for a successful climb, and from that point on the course of the business changed as the company continued to expand.
Surviving losses during the economic crashes, this business has always aimed to put their workers and families first, making their community key to the mission of production and sales.
Though they have the smallest selection of board shorts on this list, Patagonia’s Wavefarer and HydroSpeak shorts are well known for their durable designs and simple styles.
Offering some pattern and some plain, these shorts are crafted for anyone from water-resistant materials made for a quick dry and maximum comfort. From $60 – $80, these sustainably made shorts are definitely ones to check out.
What Is The Best Material For Men’s Swimwear?
When it comes to the ideal swimwear, material is a key consideration before buying. Different materials will alter speed, style, and let’s be honest, some materials just aren’t built to last like others.
The best swimwear brands for men consider all of these aspects and more when designing their top summer suits, but we’ll break it down by material to give you the tools you need to understand what exactly is being sold.
1. Polyester – Easily one of the most popular materials for clothing, this one is a top choice for swimsuits due to its durability. Soft to the touch, quick to dry, and keeping all colors looking sleek and strong, this material does it all for summer swims.
Commonly used on swim trunks, this choice is a staple for any dip at the beach or the pool due to its comfortable stretch fit and ability to hold up against chlorine and chemicals.
2. Nylon – Commonly used for sports, nylon material comes in with more stretch than its opposition. Due to the nature of the material, drying time takes longer as nylon tends to absorb rather than repel water, meaning you’ll have to get used to slightly damp trunks as you walk the beach.
Despite being extremely lightweight, this material doesn’t last as long as other options and can be more affected by chemical pools, but it’ll still hold up for a good few summers when you’re looking for a refreshing swim.
3. Blended – Lycra-blend suits are common on the market, often mixed with polyester or nylon to strengthen the material for a longer lifespan.
Commonly the material choice for briefs and jammers, these mixed materials tend to last the longest of any options on the market making them not just a style choice, but an investment.
Holding up to chemicals, sun, and constant washing, these stretch suits are designed to hold a little tighter to your body to halt any drag on your swim time.
Any choice you make will depend on what you want from your swim, but all three options have style, weatherproof crafting, and remain durable for a number of years. While their lifespan differs depending on the fabric, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
The key differences encountered in these fabrics will come from the different swimwear styles. Stretchy fabrics such as blended are often seen in professional swimming, highly utilized for briefs, jammers, and other suits designed to lose drag for competitive swims.
These designs are crafted to mold to a swimmer’s body with a lightweight material that keeps the important bits covered while reducing the weight of baggy material.
Casual swims often get linked to swim shorts and swim trunks. These are the styles often found in polyester and nylon materials. Though baggier in nature, these fashions come in a range of lengths designed to maintain modesty while offering a quick-dry solution to any dip in the pool.
No matter the purpose at hand, swimwear materials are crafted to be light, durable, and dry easily without causing discomfort in any areas. Finding the style that suits you will lead to the choice of material as some styles are more limited than others in manufacturing.
We will say, when shopping for swimsuits, avoid those made with cotton and wool. Any suits with those materials are highly absorbent and will be extremely uncomfortable to wear for long durations when wet.
To avoid chafing and any uncomfortable swim time, stick with the top three options.
Lined vs. Unlined: What’s Better?
Any male swimmer knows when it comes to buying trunks, more often than not they get an additional element of liner to the suit. What’s the point of it though? Why do the best swimwear brands for men include this inner layer?
Liners for swimsuits can come in mesh or spandex-blended materials. While there’s some debate regarding the comfort of each individual material, rest assured that they do actually have a purpose to them.
In fact, while board shorts forgo the liner, many of the best bathing suit brands for guys include this additional layer for a number of reasons.
There are endless debates between men regarding how helpful and comfortable lining actually is when it comes to swimwear. Any quick online search will gear readers down both sides of the argument with a number of benefits and concerns regarding the issue.
What can take hours to read through has been summed up here in a few quick points to get anyone started on the journey to understanding the difference lining actually makes.
So, what are the pros and cons of liners?
- Designed for coverage to protect men from showing off a bit too much. Water clings to clothing, so for maximum coverage and to avoid showing the beach just what you’ve got going for you, sometimes liners are the best bet
- Drying times are quicker with the additional layer to promote and aerate the material
- Liner materials are crafted for comfort and support. Polyester suits can be rough on the skin, so the additional layer means additional comfort
- Mesh lining especially allows for easy airflow to prevent rashes in areas rashes should never be
- Sand. With linings, especially spandex-based ones, sand can easily get trapped in uncomfortable places
- Aerodynamically, any additional material will slow you down in the water. If the goal is surfing or water sports, board shorts and similar styles are designed without the lining to keep the trunks as lightweight as possible
- Comfort will also make an appearance in the cons as some men state linings are itchy and uncomfortable for long periods of time
Ultimately, it comes down to preference. There are definite benefits to liners to protect modesty, delivery comfort, and decrease drying times, but they don’t suit everyone’s skin type and some men prefer to swim with a little more freedom.
The choice is dependent on what your body likes, so give both options a try to find the right fit.
Things To Consider When Buying Men’s Swimwear
We’ve thrown a lot of information your way in a short amount of time. It’s a lot to consider, so we’re going to break down the key points to consider when it’s time to buy some new swimwear.
These points may seem a bit obvious, but when it comes down to it, it’s easy to forget crucial points in swimwear that can easily affect just how comfortable any beach day will be.
- Use – First and foremost, the reason behind the purchase has to be in mind when looking to buy.
If a simple beach day is the goal at hand, more options are available to sort through (which can definitely make things harder), but if sporting is the mission then stick to sleeker designs.
Suits made with spandex or lycra-blends will better suit the speed all athletes look for when competing.
Whether a speedo or jammers are your style, any tight-fitting suit made from stretch material will be more aerodynamic in the water and lead to faster competition times.
Reduce the drag of baggy suits and keep things slick for a professional glide through the pool.
- Material – We touched on it above by laying out the different standard materials used in swimwear, but the pros and cons of each option should be considered before buying.
For a durable design, polyester or a blended material seems to be the way to go. These designs also offer a faster dry than nylon options and are typically the most popular choice for production material.
They’re not difficult to find but should definitely be noted when shopping for a new suit. If nylon stood out while reading above, then give it a shot for the next beach day fashion.
No matter what you decide, those three materials tend to be a popular choice for manufacturing, so swimwear should last well for several years after purchasing.
- Style – There is an extensive number of styles when it comes to swimwear for men. It goes beyond just briefs vs boarding shorts, but actually extends to a variety of lengths, fits, colors, and more.
Make sure the style chosen reflects your comfort level as each option does something different for the body.
Slimmer options that fit tighter to the skin don’t leave much to the imagination, so shorts and baggier trunks may be the way to go when looking for modesty. Colors and patterns differ for each brand, with something for everyone’s style.
Find the fit that works with your body and confidence level to get the most out of that summer swim.
- Lining – Also discussed above, lining should be a major point to consider before buying a new suit. We won’t go through all of the pros and cons again, but we will say that while they can be helpful, liners aren’t comfortable for everyone.
Some complain of pinching or sand trapping, or a number of other issues when wearing suits with lining.
One thing to remember is that mesh isn’t the only option available. Similar to many workout shorts, there are a variety of swimsuits on the market with spandex lining to keep things contained.
If modesty is a top priority, these linings are a perfect extra layer with a smoother finish than mesh alternatives.
- Brand – As always, brand should be in mind when buying something to last. While brand name doesn’t count for everything, every brand should be researched to check how reputable the company is.
Why waste the money on a brand known for its terrible quality materials when you could spend a bit more on a company known for durable designs that last several years?
- Prices – Higher prices don’t always mean higher quality. Despite some well-known brands costing significantly more for their product, there are many trusted names that go for half price to save money without sacrificing the quality of the build.
Figure out your budget and find some brand names that fit within the financial limits that have been set.
We guarantee you that affordable options exist without giving in to a lower quality of manufacturing and material. It’s all about finding the brand name that offers the best bang for your buck.
- Versatility – Often overlooked, but last on our list for a reason, versatility is key when shopping for a new suit.
While many forget it, swimsuits and trunks are often worn with shirts, button-downs, and many other options crafted to cover the top half before diving into the deep. Look for a suit that will pair nicely with other shirts to maintain style before and after the swim.
It may seem like a lot to consider, but we’ve laid out these points to help find the best of the best. Every choice when it comes to shopping is personal to the individual buying it. What works for one may not work for another, so don’t force yourself to buy according to those around you.
Find the length, style, and fit that works and then start looking into brands and pricing. It may seem like a lengthy process, but ultimately, it’ll end up with a longer-lasting suit for a better price.
Summer may seem far away at this point in the year, but now is the time for those end-of-sale seasons. Start looking around to find that perfect fit for half the price to make sure everything is set for next year.
Looking for other top brands? Check out these curated lists below: