The Best Men’s Swim Shirt

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For people who frequent trips to the pool or beach, having a swim shirt is one of the best experience-improving hacks out there.

Don’t be that guy who wears a normal t-shirt in the water… Swim shirts are designed for swimming. They protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, look stylish, and provide cover-up.

If you’re looking for the perfect men’s swim shirt to take with you on your next trip, look no further! We share our picks for the best swim shirts for men.

We also give you insight into what you should be looking for in a men’s swim shirt and the benefits of wearing one.

Our Athlete Approved Guide to The Best Men’s Swim Shirts includes:

Best Men’s Overall Swim Shirt: Speedo Men’s UV Swim Shirt

If you’re looking for our best men’s overall swim shirt, look no further than the Speedo Men’s UV Long Sleeve and Speedo Men’s UV Short Sleeve.

This swim shirt is designed to provide superior sun protection, keeping you safe from the harmful UV rays while you’re swimming or playing in the sun.

It’s made with a lightweight and breathable fabric that helps keep you cool and comfortable. The option long sleeve option offers extra coverage.

It comes in several different colors so you can choose the perfect one for your style.

The Speedo Men’s UV Long Sleeve Short Sleeve is a great choice for anyone looking for comfort, style, and sun protection.


  • Designed in short or long sleeve
  • Lightweight, comfortable, and quick drying
  • UPF 50 plus sun burn protective fabric


  • Looser fitting style

Best Men’s Slim Fitting Swim Shirt: O’Neill Men’s Basic Skins Short Sleeve Sun Shirt

If you are looking for a stylish, performance fitting option, then you are likely on the hunt for a slim fitting swim shirt. The O’Neill Men’s Basic Skins Short Sleeve Sun Shirt fits that bill.

The O’Neill Men’s Basic Skins Short Sleeve Sun Shirt is made with a stretchy and comfortable fabric that moves with you in and out of the water. It is slim fitting, but not super skin tight.

It features UPF 50+ sun protection and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protection fabric. The long-lasting fabric is breathable while keeping your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays.

This shirt comes in a variety of colors and prints, so you can find the perfect one for your style.


  • Slim fitting design makes it stylish
  • Fabric is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protection fabric
  • The O’Neill brand name is well respected


  • Tighter fitting style is not for everyone

Best Men’s Loose Fitting Swim Shirt: Kanu Surf Cb

Kanu Surf is a reputable brand known for making quality swimwear. They deliver a great looser fitting swim shirt with the Kanu Surf Cb. It has a fit similar to that of the t-shirt.

While it is originally designed for surfers, the quick drying, moisture absorbing material also makes it great for everyday land activities.

This swim shirt is made of a breathable fabric that will keep you cool and comfortable with UV protection. It doesn’t ride up or become see-through when wet.

It has a relaxed fit that will allow you to move freely.

If you are looking for a loose fitting swim shirt that will keep you cool and comfortable, the CB from Kanu Surf is the right shirt for you.


  • Fits like a t-shirt
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Designed for surfers, but can be used for everyday activities


  • The material is not as lightweight when wet as other options on our list

Best Men’s Lightweight and Quick Drying Swim Shirt: KPSUN Swim Shirt

The KPSUN Swim Shirt is our top pick for a lightweight and quick drying swim shirt. It’s made material that makes it perfect for swimming and out-of-water activities.

It is ultra soft which makes it extremely comfortable when dry and wet. The moisture wicking technology keeps you dry and regulates your body temperature.

The +50 UPF UV protection keeps your skin safe from harmful rays.

The shirt is available in five different colors, so you can find one that matches your style. Our favorite is the light blue!


  • Material and lightweight and quick drying
  • Comfortable when dry and wet
  • Moisture wicking technology keeps you dry and regulates your body temperature


  • Fabric is thin

Best Men’s Budget Swim Shirt: Amazon Essentials Men’s Short-Sleeve Quick-Dry

The Amazon Essentials Men’s Short-Sleeve Quick-Dry swim shirt is a great option for men looking for a budget-friendly swim shirt.

This shirt is made of 100% polyester, which makes it quick-drying and durable. The shirt has a relaxed fit and is comfortable to wear. It is available in several colors.

It is made of high-quality materials and is still affordable. This makes it the best value option for those that don’t want to spend too much on their swim shirt, but want a quality option.


  • Affordable swim shirt option
  • Relaxed fit
  • Comfortable and quick drying


  • The fit is on the smaller side, so we recommend sizing up

Why Invest in a Swim Shirt?

If you’re wondering: “should I even buy a swim shirt?”, don’t worry–you’re not alone.

You may be thinking: do swim shirts really protect me from the sun, will they be comfortable, will I look like a big dork?

There are many reasons to invest in a swim shirt. Luckily, we are here to help. We know exactly what the benefits of investing in a swim shirt are and we’re going to walk you through them.

Here are 5 benefits of having a swim shirt when you go to a pool, beach, or any body of water.

1. Swim shirts protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

One of the main responsibilities of a swim shirt is to protect you from UV rays when outdoors. Swim shirts protect wearers from harmful UV rays by blocking the sun’s rays from reaching the skin.

Swim shirts are made with a fabric that is designed to reflect and scatter the sun’s rays, which helps to protect the wearer’s skin from sunburns and other forms of sun damage.

Most swim shirts are +50 UPF UV. That means they block 98% of the sun’s rays.

Fabrics with UPF 30 get the seal of approval from The Skin Cancer Foundation. UPF 30 – 49 is considered very good. UFP 50+ rates excellent!

2. Swim shirts are like cover-ups for guys.

We get it, not everyone has 6-pack abs they want to show off at the beach. Swim shirts are the best cover-up option for men.

There is no shame in this. You will likely get compliments for your stylish pick and skin-protecting conscious decision!

3. Swim shirts can help you stay cool and comfortable in the heat.

Swim shirts help swimmers stay cool and comfortable in the heat by absorbing sweat and providing ventilation. The shirts are made of lightweight fabric that dries quickly, so it’s easy to stay cool and comfortable even on hot days.

Most swim shirts are moisture-wicking, which means that they help to keep the wearer’s skin cool and dry by wicking away sweat.

Note that most swim shirts are not designed to keep you warm. You will want to go with a rash guard or wetsuit for that.

4. Swim shirts are convenient and easy to use.

You might look at swim shirts as an unnecessary inconvenience and think they are not worth the time or hassle, but that’s just not true.

In fact, swim shirts are very easy to use, fast to put on and off, and can provide many benefits that justify the small time commitment it takes to wear one.

Who knows… the simple act of wearing a swim shirt may save your skin from permanent damage.

5. Swim shirts are stylish and available in many colors or patterns.

Swim shirts are not only functional, but they are also stylish.

They come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can find swim shirts with long sleeves or short sleeves.

We can pretend that style and appearance is not part of the equation when choosing a swim shirt, but we would only be kidding ourselves!

Everybody wants to look great when they are in the water. That starts with picking out the best swim shirt.

Differences Between Swim Shirts and Rash Guards

Understanding the between swim shirts and rash guards can be confusing. Often times swimmers use the term interchangeably, but they have differences.

Both have their own benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences before figuring out which is best for your swimming needs.

Rash guards are made of lycra, polyester, or a similar synthetic material. They are designed to fit snugly against your body, like a wetsuit. They are popular amongst surfers because they have the durability to prevent surf board chaffing.

They protect against the sun and provide a little more warmth compared to a swim shirt (but not the same warmth as a wetsuit). You would not want to casually wear a rash guard as a t-shirt.

Swim shirts are made of polyester, spandex, or another natural fiber. They are designed to fit loosely and be comfortable. Swim shirts provide UV protection and keep you cool and dry.

It is totally acceptable to wear a swim shirt when you are not swimming… maybe not to meet your significant other’s parents for the first time, but like, in-and-around water settings.

So, which one should you choose? It depends on your needs.

If you are looking for a snug fit and warmth, then a rash guard is the way to go. If you are looking for something more casual that is comfortable and will help you stay cool and dry, then a swim shirt is the better choice.

Characteristics of a Good Swim Shirt

When you are in the market for a swim shirt, it is helpful to understand the characteristics of a good one.

We’ll talk through exactly what you should be looking for when it comes time to shop. Here are 5 characteristics of a good swim shirt!

UV Protection

This is probably the most important characteristic on the list. A good swim shirt will provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is important because too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer.

Look for a swim shirt that has a UPF rating of 50+. This means that the shirt will block out 98% of the sun’s UV rays.


A good swim shirt should be comfortable to wear. You can pick how tight or loose you like it to fit based on your preference.

It should also be made of a lightweight fabric that is breathable. This will help to keep you cool and comfortable, even on hot days.

Quick-Drying Fabric

A good swim shirt is made of a quick-drying fabric. This means that it will dry quickly after you get out of the water. This is important because it will help to keep you comfortable and prevent you from getting too cold. Look for swim shirts that have moisture wicking technology.


A good swim shirt should looks great. It should be stylish enough to wear on its own as a t-shirt.

These are just a few of the things that you should look for when shopping for a swim shirt. Keep these characteristics in mind and you’ll be sure to find the swim shirt that best suits your needs!


Swim shirts are designed to be worn in the water. They provide UV protection, act as a cool cover-up, and can help to keep the you cool and dry.

Finding the right swim shirt is easy with our Athlete Approved Guide to Swim Shirts.

Let us know what you think of our picks in the comments and social media.

*Equip yourself for success with our Athlete Approved Guide to Lap Swimming Equipment!*

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