View Full Version : swim shorts?

06-06-2006, 12:05
i figure what better place to ask this than at a hiking forum. [:

i live near the ocean, and summer is getting into full swing. however, i'm having trouble finding a pair of swim shorts for women that aren't the equivalent of hoochie shorts (no offense meant to those that wear the boy-short style bottoms). see, i want to be able to run down to the beach and go swimming after my day hikes without having to lug around a bunch of extra clothes.

could i reasonably buy a pair of men's swim shorts in a size that fits me? or just a pair of cheap nylon shorts i imagine. i think i'm overthinking this swim shorts issue... but the only piece of swimwear i've ever worn is the standard one piece racer-backs.

Gray Blazer
06-06-2006, 12:09
Pair of cut-off jeans and a t-shirt? That looks good on the women I see at the beach. Drip dries on the way home, too. OK, I'm out of the women's forum.:rolleyes:

06-06-2006, 12:14
Sure, wear whatever you like. Roughly speaking, men's sizes are one size larger than what a woman might wear. A men's S is a women's M, but maybe a little larger than one size because they seem to make a lot of swim shorts baggy. A lot of the men's styles are long this year, almost down to the knee. (I had to buy two pair recently for use in the pool for swimming laps.) Just try them on.

06-06-2006, 12:30
Another alternative are running shorts. The ones from Target (Champion branded) are inexpensive, not too long (hate the basketball style shorts!) or short and dry quickly. They are lighter than a swimsuit too and not as constrictive. I wear mine for hiking and running and find they last a long time. Use them for a(very occasional!) dip in a swimming pool, too.

As has been said, to wear your normal size just take a men's size and go down one. (If you wear a medium, buy a men's small)

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-06-2006, 16:29
I often day hike in men's swim trunks with the mesh liner removed. Just go one size smaller than you normally wear (If you are really small - boys XL is womens S, boys L is womens XS)

06-06-2006, 17:24
I often day hike in men's swim trunks with the mesh liner removed. Just go one size smaller than you normally wear (If you are really small - boys XL is womens S, boys L is womens XS)

Same here. I got mine in nylon (navy blue) at Target. Look for the cheaper brands, nearer the back of the store or the underwear aisles in men's. The flamboyantly patterned and long board shorts that are popular are usually in the front of the displays, but the cheaper, thinner, plainer versions can be sought out. For a full outfit, you could wear a fuller-coverage synthetic sports bra while hiking and use that as a swimming top at the end of the day.
Now that I think about it, maybe you could find a pair of running/track shorts at a Target or thrift store. The men's shorts always look so short on men, but I bet they would work well for swimming since they are so small to begin with (i.e. they wouldn't balloon up as easily). The women's track shorts could work too. Good luck!

Lanthar Mandragoran
06-06-2006, 17:31
Ha, not that I belong here, but I clicked the link in the new posts view before I noticed that it was in the women's forum. Anyhow, I read the post and something popped into my mind before I closed the window...

One thing you 'might' consider is what are commonly called Board Shorts in the men's / boy's department. They're surfing shorts and are basically slightly longer than normal swim trunks that (and here is the part that I *think* might make them more comfortable than a man's swim trunk) do not have the nylon-mesh liner that most men's swim trunks have (for 'support'). They dry quick and I have seen surfer-chicks wearing them (though I must confess that I have no idea if they are wearing bikini briefs under them or not) and I have only seen them in the men's/boy's section of stores.

If you don't wear anything under them, they still have enough 'structure' to the nylon that prevents anyone from knowing and stay away from your skin so you can breathe (I wore a pair about 80% of the time I was in Hawaii with my wife for our vacation and was crazy comfortable all the time with nothing on beneath them)

Okay, so, now that I've commented on things I really probably shouldn't I am going to politely excuse myself and leave.


06-06-2006, 19:43
There are several kinds of water shorts in women's sizes. My favorite hiking shorts are Lands' End, lots of pockets, mesh liner, 100% nylon. As hiking shorts, I prefer them to the smaller, tighter nylon shorts because of the pockets. I've had the same pair for the last four or five years, wear them frequently, and they still look about the same as when I first bought them.


I've seen similar things in several other catalogs. Title 9 has some nice-looking stuff.

06-06-2006, 23:35
nifty, there's some good suggestions here. thanks!

06-07-2006, 00:59
nifty, there's some good suggestions here. thanks!

I have a few pairs or shorts made for kayaking/rafting. They have two front pockets. A back pocket with a velcro tab. Also, one side pocket that sort of expands on the outside near the bottom hem with a velcro tab. Mid thigh length an a built in "belt" on the waist. Pretty light at 6.5 oz and dries almost as fast as they get wet! :D No mesh.

Mine are pretty close to what's een hereBut not any info on the fabric:

Or you can get these from REI:

Try a place that sells to kayakers and rafters and you might find something similar or google water shorts..

06-09-2006, 17:54
I also had that problem, I ride jetskis and go tubing alot so I needed something more, after looking all over the place I finnaly decided to get a pair of mens board shorts at old navy (target had a decent selection also) and I altered them to a more comfortable length. Not very hard to do at all and theyre only about $15 if you mess up a pair while trying to alter them.

07-09-2006, 18:11
I teach Water Exercise and like wearing a long swimshort with my swimsuit when it's cold. I bought them at H2OWear. Here is a link:

scroll down to near the bottom of the page.

I've been wearing the same swimsuit for 3 years as the material is UltraChlorine resistant (in case you'll be wearing in pools) as well as VERY durable.

07-09-2006, 19:45

You advise (Post #1), “I want to be able to run down to the beach and go swimming after my day hikes without having to lug around a bunch of extra clothes." You ask, "could I reasonably buy a pair of men's swim shorts in a size that fits me?”

I hiked many miles in swim shorts, and did aerobics in them for years. They are durable as iron, well, maybe stainless steel. A problem I had with them is, in the hottest part of summer, when I sweat profusely hiking up all those hills, swim shorts become completely saturated and cling to me like plastic wrap; and they’re about that comfortable.

I suggest thinking the opposite.

I switched to a heavier weight nylon weave - “Baggies” by Patagonia - which feel more comfortable to me. I have worn these for years and have yet to wear out a pair. You could wear these swimming. Virtually every hiker cuts out the lining.

The swim shorts had much shorter legs than regular shorts and caution was required when in the company of others for the sake of modesty.

Sizing men's shorts would be the same advice you received regarding swim shorts.