25 swim trunk options for a rad dad

swim trunk
Catch a wave in one of these many swim trunk options for summer. Photo courtesy of Best Made Co.

Dudes have it easy. Pulling together a fashionable new look often means simply updating your shorts with the latest style and tossing on a new graphic T-shirt. In the swimwear department things are pretty much the same—thanks to a multitude of cuts and fit options, almost every guy can find something they’re into.

This summer, men’s swim trunks are running the gamut with fits ranging from the super-short to the traditional baggy and long styles, and there has also been a resurgence in retro prints, along with the 1980s-inspired elastic waist volleyball trunk. Given the many choices, we’ve tried to simplify things for you with this collection of styles. Take a look.

Off to the Tropics

swim trunk
Tropically inspired boardshorts are just one style of swim trunks you’ll see on the beach this summer.

Sun-soaked beaches, mai tais, and hula girls are all big inspirations in the burgeoning tropical boardshort category. These five trunks will have you saying, “Aloha” from the minute you slip them on.

1. Fox Camino Raid boardshort: $54.50

The brand traditionally known for its motocross-inspired wear gives its version of Hawaii in the Camino Raid short. It’s a tropically themed trunk for those guys looking for a standard, long-fitting trunk.

2. LRG Vaca Volley short: $54

This Vaca Volley short from LRG combines a few trends into one with the tropical, color-blocked design that is sure to sell out fast.

3. Body Glove Vapor X Sunset boardshort: $62

The Hawaiian-inspired graphic on these Sunset boardshorts from Body Glove will likely conjure up island fantasies. And thanks to a four-way stretch Vapor-X fabric and no fly or side seams, they’ll also leave the dad in your life chafe-free.

 4. O’Neill Nada Regatta trunk: $49.50

A few key stripes break up the Hawaiian-styled sailing print on these 19-inch O’Neill Nada Regatta boardshorts made from cotton, nylon, and elastane. They are available in the pictured mint green and red, or a black and electric blue color combo.

5. Rip Curl Paradise Alley trunk: $54.50

Rip Curl stays true to the Hula girl with their take on the Hawaiian-inspired trunk. The Paradise Alley is offered in a 19-inch inseam, with contrasting waistband and leg and side seam giving you two different color options.

Staying safe in solids

swim trunk
This season’s solid swim trunks come in a variety of cuts and styles for every type of guy.

Sometimes you need a pair of trunks that aren’t going to stand out for their loud colors and crazy patterns and instead turn heads for their unassuming style and traditional cuts. These five trunks can do double duty between the surf and the street.

1. Volcom Preto Hybrid shorts: $65 

Sometimes Dad needs a pair of trunks that can take him to the beach and to the neighborhood barbeque and back. For those occasions, we point to the Preto Hybrid Shorts from Volcom. They offer a 21-inch length, as well as a stretchy blend of nylon and polyester.

2. Columbia Men’s PackAgua II shorts: $40

Offered in three colors and a fixed waist design, the PackAgua II watershort is a no-nonsense design for the outdoorsy dad in your life.

3. North Face Water Dome trunks: $75

These active-fit, four-way stretch Water Dome trunks from The North Face offer a UPF 50 that is sure to please any dad with a penchant for spending time out on the river or in the boat.

4. Best Made Famous Red boardshorts: $75

If your dad or dude is a fan of Gerry Lopez and all things 1970s Hawaii but prefers a simpler look than the retro or Hawaiian printed options, then the Famous Red Board Shorts from Best Made Co. might be just the ticket. These trunks are made in the USA out of 100 percent cotton twill. And if red is not your color, the brand will also soon have them in navy.

5. Hobie Solid State shorts: $59.50

The Hobie Solid State trunk is retro without going over the top. Available in 11 different color options, there is sure to be a pair of these for the guy in your life who’s comfortable in an 11-inch-long trunk.

Hiding in camouflage

swim trunk
Camo doesn’t have to mean military in the world of men’s swimwear fashions.

1. Vans Joel Tudor Trimline boardshort: $65.50

You don’t have to sacrifice style or a newness of cut with these Joel Tudor Trimline camouflage boardshorts from Vans.

 2. Billabong R U Serious boardshort: $50

The thing about camo prints is that they go with everything. Throw on a T-shirt and these R U Serious trunks from Billabong do double duty as shorts on a hike without screaming “surfwear.” They’re available in green or brown camo and have a 22-inch outseam.

 3. Hurley Phantom Block Party Surface trunk: $65

The Hurley Phantom trunks are known for their phenomenal stretch and durability. And thanks to fluorescent green piping along the leg band, side seams, and back pocket, these offer a little pop of color in addition to the camo print.

4. Tavik Hide Ho trunk: $59

This modern twist on a traditional camo offers a shorter inseam than the pictured counterparts in a comfortable four-way stretch design, meaning the Tavik Hide Ho is perfect for someone looking for something a little shorter than the other trunks in this grouping.

5. RVCA Ancell Shaka trunk: $66

These 20-inch outseam trunks with two-way stretch feature an all-over bird print by artist Kevin Ancell on a camo fabric, meaning that the RVCA Ancell Shaka offers a fun twist on a standard design.

Everything old is new again

swim trunk
Everything old is new again in this group of retro-inspired swim trunks.

1. Brixton Mendel trunk: $60

Available in red or gray, the Mendle is a cotton hybrid walk short and trunk that easily transitions from the party to the pool.

2. Patagonia Minimalist Wavefarer 19-inch trunk: $59

Patagonia’s been offering the Wavefarer style for years, so it’s already almost retro on its own. Add a shorter 19-inch inseam to this Turnbuckle Feather Grey color and the “Pop” in your life will be styling like he’s on the set of “Mad Men.”

3. Reyn Spooner Kaneohe Bay boardshort: $75

If you’re going for the retro look, there’s no better place to start than with these Kaneohe Bay trunks by Reyn Spooner—a brand that has been in business since 1956. These sailing trunk shorts with a 6-inch inseam are offered in this ink print or an orange color.

 4. Quiksilver Mini Fini boardshort: $65

They may look like a typical chevron print from far away, but peer a little closer and you’ll see that the print on these Quiksilver Mini Fini boardshorts is actually made up of tiny sharks. Created with a premium four-way stretch fabric, they’ll also be comfortable.

5. Reef Wax Ball boardshort 

These may look retro, but the Reef Wax Ball trunks offer a modern stretch fabric and an eco-friendly design. The contrasting back pocket also gives the trunk a fresh look.

Styling in stripes

swim trunk
Cover up in stripes this summer with one of these boardshort options.

This year’s options in stripes run the gamut. Look for vertical, horizontal, chevron, and diagonal stripes from nearly every company in surfwear. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Katin Stripes boardshort: $58
Snap fly, canvas fabric, and a faded ode to Americana are all a part of these 19-inch trunks from Katin.

2. Oakley Charley boardshorts: $74.95

Thanks to four-way ripstop fabric and an enhanced stretch fly, the dad in your life will be stoked on the comfort of these gems. And because of the shorter 19-inch outseam, Mom will probably be pretty happy with Oakley’s Charley Boardshort, too.

3. Lost Enterprises Whipper boardshort: $46

With a 20-inch length and four-way stretch fabric, these Whipper boardshorts from Lost Enterprises are sure to be a favorite for guys looking for a standout print in a slightly retro color pattern.

4. Vissla Keel boardshort $49.95

At 20 inches long, these shorts offer a perfect fit for most guys. Plus, thanks to the four-way stretch and stripes on the diagonal, the Vissla Keel Boardshorts feel good but don’t look the same as many of the current trunks on the market.

5. Hippy Tree Terrain trunk: $68

These Terrain trunks from Hippy Tree offer a classic striped design with a subtle all-over sublimated print. Thanks to a four-way eco-stretch fabric, they’ll also feel as good as they look.

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