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If you had an unhappy childhood, or, even worse, a recent swimming-related fiasco, swim trunks can conjure up embarrassing images of water-bloated mesh shorts, unflattering post-pool problems or worst of all, the dreaded disappearing trunks debacle. Whereas most summerwear, like luxe vacation ‘fits or super sunglasses, prove to be a thrilling perk of warm weather, picking out a swimsuit that doesn’t suck can feel like a chore. No need to fear, you can breathe easy this quickly approaching summer. In 2022, the best swim trunks for men are flattering and well-designed and feature improved tech like anti-odor fabrics or hidden zip pockets. We’re pleased to report, the state of swimwear is, by all accounts, pretty damn excellent.
We’ve examined, explored and tested a variety of swim trunks for structural soundness, on-body feel and general vibe, and below, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites. From surprise inclusions to fan-favorite features, these are best swim trunks in 2022.
The Best Overall Swim Trunks
Lululemon 5″ Pool Short
Key features: streamlined 5″ inseam, zippered pocket, Xtra Life Lycra liner
Why we like them: Much like their athletic offerings, the Lululemon Pool Short finds success in simplicity. While the 5″ Pool Short doesn’t sport all the bell and whistles of some other entrants on this list, its sleek, easy-on-the-eyes shape fits exceptionally well, doesn’t bloat or cling, and feels like a regular (albeit handsome) pair of shorts.
The Most Splurge-Worthy Swim Trunks
Orlebar Brown Bulldog Bora Printed Swim Shorts
Key features: tailored fit, adjustable waist tabs, back-zipped welt pocket, side slits
Why we like them: Orlebar Brown’s premium trunks are the epitome of what swimwear should be in 2022. A tailored, slim cut — with an even more customizable fit via the adjustable side tabs — reads beachy and fun, and with all the amenities that a $300 short affords, there’s no reason (other than the hefty price tag) not to splurge.
The Best Affordable Swim Trunks
Everlane ReNew Swim Short
Key features: 7″ inseam, 100% recycled polyester material, 2-way stretch
Why we like them: The value Everlane provides is unparalleled, a fact on full display with the ReNew Swim Short. Featuring the San Francisco-based retailer’s patented ReNew technology (a fully-recycled polyester blend that is good for the environment and great for pool parties) and a loose 2-way stretch, they’re a steal of a swim trunk.
The Shorts That Also Work as Swim Trunks
Patagonia Baggies 5″ Shorts
Key features: quick-dry nylon, adjustable drawstring, mesh pockets
Why we like them: The iconic style’s nylon blend shell and mesh lining make the Patagonia Baggies a viable swim trunk, too. If a spontaneous dip should arise, we can only hope you’re wearing your Baggies.
The Best Board Shorts
Vuori Cruise Boardshorts
Key features: 7.5″ inseam, VCycled recycled fabric, anti-odor tech, 4-way stretch
Why we like them: If you prefer a longer inseam and drawstring waist, a board shorts should be your swimwear of choice, and Vuori’s Cruise offering is unequivocally the best out there. Using the same stretch and anti-odor tech as their award-winning athletic shorts, these bad boys can handle anything you throw their way.
The Best Beach-to-Bar Swim Trunks
Abercrombie & Fitch The Resort Short
Key features: snap-front closure, hybrid-elastic waist, zipper fly, back pocket
Why we like them: Between the snap-front closure, zipper fly and seersucker-like material, the Abercrombie & Fitch Resort Short feels just as much like a beachy bottom as it does a swim trunk. If a quick dip and a long lounge (or maybe a trip to the tiki bar) is more your speed, there’s no better choice.
More Swim Styles That We Dig
Vilebrequin Stretch Flat Belt Swim Trunks
Solid and Stripes Classic Colorblocked Swim Trunks
Outerknown Apex Trunks By Kelly Slater
Wellen ’66 Strech Boardshort
Polo Ralph Lauren 5.75″ Traveler Classic Swim Short
Le Club Miami Beach Tower 5 Swim Trunks
Fair Harbor 8″ Lined Anchor Swim Shorts
Mack Weldon Swim Board Short
Bonobos 9″ Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks
Bather Lush Waterfall Swim Short
Billy Reid Cactus Swim Short
Ten Thousand The Set Short
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