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The Best Swim Trunks for Summer Aren’t Just for Swimming

Easy-wearing, nondescript and tough as nails, today’s best swim trunks can go from the beach to the bar — and everywhere in-between.

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Easy-wearing, nondescript and tough as nails, today’s best swim trunks can go from the beach to the bar — and everywhere in-between. Many brands now offer water-appropriate styles with design cues lifted from traditional shorts. As it turns out, the summer’s best trunks aren’t just for swimming.

Best Overall Swim Trunks: Alex Mill Pull-On Tech Shorts

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Pull On Tech Shorts
Alex Mill alexmill.com
$95.00

These all-terrain nylon shorts have an elastic waistband with a paracord drawstring. They also feature a mesh lining, welted hand pockets and a zippered back pocket to keep your essentials organized.

Best Upgrade Swim Trunks: CDLP Swim Shorts

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Swim Shorts
CDLP endclothing.com
$149.00

CDLP's swim shorts are cut from 100-percent Econyl, a textile derived from plastic pulled from our oceans. But, that doesn't mean they're stiff or, well, resemblant of waste whatsoever — they're quite the opposite. Short yet flattering, soft yet quick-drying, they feature three pockets, a mesh lining and an elasticated waistband.

Best Affordable Swim Trunks: Columbia Roatan Drifter 2.0 Water Short

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Roatan Drifter 2.0 Water Short
Columbia endclothing.com
$49.00

Columbia's newest water short is as simple as can be — but in a good way. They're cut from 100-percent nylon, are quick-drying if you take a dip but also water repellent if you're just risking getting splashed.

Patagonia Wavefarer Shorts

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Stretch Wavefarer Volley Shorts
Patagonia rei.com
$69.00

Made from rapid-drying nylon with 4-way stretch, these shorts have mesh pockets that help water drain faster. This style also includes belt loops and a traditional fly.

Filson Green River Shorts

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Green River Water Shorts
Filson filson.com
$79.00

These quick-drying, lightweight shorts have an elastic waistband with a drawstring. Made from 5-ounce cotton-nylon the style has front patch pockets with mesh linings — for fast draining — and rear Velcro patch pockets.

NN07 Jules Mid-Length Swim Shorts

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Jules Mid-Length Swim Shorts
NN07 mrporter.com
$115.00

Sure, these aren't the most subtle pair on this list — they're pink! — but who doesn't appreciate a pop of color, especially in the swing of summer? These are a quick-drying shell with three pockets and a mid-length profile.

Onia Calder Trunks

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Elastic Calder Swim Trunks
Onia onia.com
$130.00

Made from moisture-wicking, quick-drying nylon, these trunks have elastic paneling at the back of the wait and a superfine (read: comfortable) mesh lining. The style has large, reinforced side pockets and a back pocket secured by a snap.

Orlebar Brown Neutral Dane II Long-Length Swim Shorts

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Neutral Dane II Long-Length Swim Shorts
Orlebar Brown mrporter.com
$245.00

Imagine taking your swim trunks to the tailor... that's the sort of quality Orlebar Brown instills in each of its iterations. These are longer and feature adjustable waist tabs, a snap and zip fastening at the front and a mesh liner inside.

Outerknown Nomadic Volley Shorts

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Nomadic Volley
Outerknown outerknown.com
$68.00

These quick-drying trunks are made from recycled polyester. The easy-going style has an elastic drawstring-waist, a zip back pocket and side-seam front pockets.

Wood Wood Seersucker Striped Swim Shorts

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Seersucker Striped Swim Short
Wood Wood
$99.00

At last, seersucker shorts you can swim in. Cut from 75-percent polyester and 25-percent cotton, Wood Wood's swim shorts offer the same cooling comfort as other seersucker clothing but with the added bonus of being quick-drying. Inside, there's a breathable mesh liner and an elasticated waistband.

Carhartt WIP Chase Swim Short

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Chase Swim Short
Carhartt WIP endclothing.com
$55.00

Carhartt WIP trades workwear for warm weather attire. These eggplant colored shorts are cut from durable polyester and feature all of the usual adornments: three pockets, an elasticated waistband and a mesh lining.

Commas Striped Swim Shorts

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Neutral Striped Swim Shorts
Commas matchesfashion.com
$184.00

Commas' comfortable swim shorts look like they're made from easy-breathing linen or woven cotton. Instead, they're made from 100-percent polyamide, a fast-drying fabric ideal for a shell. Zip pockets populate the rear and slip ones adorn the sides.

Norse Projects Hauge Swim Short

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Hauge Swim Short
Norse Projects endclothing.com
$69.00

Made in Portugal from 10o-percent polyester, Norse Projects' swim shorts look like your run-of-the-mill runners. However, they boast structure often unfound in swimwear, all while being breathable and, of course, quick-drying for your post-pool activities.

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