Swim Trunk Liners: The Pros and Cons

Swim Trunk Liners: The Pros and Cons

Which Type of Liner is Best for You?

For years, men’s trunks have been designed with lining—from uncomfortable mesh and netting to more secure compression liners. These features are created to cover and protect sensitive areas, and are traditionally made from materials like polyester. While the current market offers a range of styles and options, it’s more important than ever to understand the pros and cons of different swimsuit liners so that you can make an informed decision. Let’s break down a few types to get a better understanding so that you can find the best swim trunks with compression liners for you!

Swim Trunks with Mesh & Netting

Infograph showing swim shorts and a basketball hoop.

In a poor attempt to mimic brief-style underwear, swim trunks with mesh lining tries its best to support guys’ most sensitive areas while swimming. But in reality, the messy mesh and irritating, hole-riddled liner tends to get tangled and traps uncomfortable bits of sand or pebbles.

Some may argue that the small holes in the netting fabric improve circulation and allow the area to dry faster, but if you’ve ever worn a pair, you know that’s just not true.

In fact, swim trunks with mesh lining like this actually contribute to worse cases of chafing which really defeats their entire purpose. The only real pro to these types of shorts is that they’re readily available at almost any store or retailer, and they do an okay job of letting air escape so your trunks don’t bubble up—but that’s about it.

The Good Things About Mesh Swim Trunks…

  • No bubbling up thanks to the airy design
  • Some have an elastic waistband and back pocket
  • …but that’s about it!

The Bad Things About Mesh Swim Trunks…

  • Actually cause irritation and chafing
  • Tangles and possible injury for younger children.

Trunks with Compression Liners

Man at the beach hitting a volleyball

It’s not as common, but some swim trunks do come with compression lining which helps protect everything a bit more than traditional loose netting or mesh. For example, compression linings don’t move around as much and they don’t trap things like sand as easily. The only downside of these swimsuit liners is that they may trap air more easily and not allow for proper drying when out of the water.

Again, this could contribute to chafing and an overall sense of uncomfortably. Some guys who go this route might also explore pairing swim trunks with boxer briefs, but the same pros and cons hold true—not enough moisture-wicking technology for us.

The Good Things About Compression-lined Trunks…

  • They don’t trap sand easily
  • It’s a more snug fit to prevent movement

The Bad Things About Compression-lined Trunks…

  • They can sometimes trap moisture
  • Because of the snug design, airflow can be restricted

Chafe-Free Liners

By far the best solution for swim trunks with liners is to find something that’s chafe-free, securely sewn-in, and highly moisture wicking like DryFins. Our suite of men’s and boys’ trunks keep everything in place while also guarding against skin irritation thanks in part to our quick-dry fabric.

And since the liner is sewn in place, you don’t have to worry about it getting tangled or wrapped around anything. Plus, our trunks come equipped with an adjustable drawstring waistband and deep pockets that are great for a long day at the beach.

As a matter of fact, we were voted “Best Swim Trunks With Compression Liners” for five years in a row at the Tequila Hut in Myrtle Beach, SC. (Just kidding, there is no Tequila Hut in Myrtle Beach and if there were, they probably wouldn’t vote on guys’ swim suits. But if they did, we bet they’d vote for us!)

The Good Things About Chafe-Free Liners…

  • They are designed to prevent chafing
  • They dry quicker (ours do, at least)
  • Many board shorts are chafe-free as well

The Bad Things About Chafe-Free Liners…

  • We haven’t found any yet!

Overall, we do recommend wearing swim trunks with liners—but the key is to find the right liner. As we mentioned, mesh and net liners don’t offer many benefits while compression linings are a better bet. However, the best option is clear and it’s chafe-free. Interested in learning more about comfortable attire? Read our blog to get a lesson in chafe-free clothing. Or, learn more about what chafing is and how you can get rid of it if you do fall victim.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compression Liner Swim Trunks

What are compression liners in swim trunks?

Swim trunks with compression liner provide extra support thanks to a snug fit and reduce chafing. They are an alternative to the irritation and netting found in older style swim trunks.

Do you need a liner in swim trunks?

Some kind of brief liner is a good idea, yes. If you can’t get a pair of chafe-free trunks quickly enough, then you can always wear a pair of athletic compression shorts under your swim trunks.

What material is best for swim trunks?

Polyester is the way to go when it comes to getting a quick-dry fabric. It’s soft, wrinkle-resistant, and dries faster than many other materials.

Why do some swim trunks not have netting?

Some swim trunks are made better than others and will lack the mesh netting found in other board shorts. Look for swimsuits that have compression lining to ensure that things stay where you put them and you stay chafe free!

Can you cut the liner out of swim trunks?

Yes, but when it comes to compression liner swim trunks and chafe-free trunks like ours, it’s best to leave it in place. The brief liner helps prevent chafing while also keeping things in place. With mesh lining, however, we encourage it. Cut out the lining, buy a pair of athletic compression shorts to go underneath, and use those until your chafe-free shorts arrive in the mail.

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