What's the Difference Between Swim Trunk Liners? Posted on 4 Jan 13:20

If you’ve ever worn a pair of swim trunks in your life, you’ve probably asked yourself one of the following questions:

  • What do I wear under swim trunks?
  • Why do swim trunks have mesh liners?
  • Why do swim trunks even have liners?
  • Unlined vs. liner swim trunks - what's the difference?

  • Or some other variation of what to do about the second layer underneath a pair of swim trunks or boardshorts.

    And as the foremost authority on proper length men’s shorts and short swim trunks, we felt obligated to help you navigate the maze of swim trunk liners and what to wear underneath swim trunks (if anything at all).

    So just like every other fun question in life that you need an answer to, the answer to this question is “It depends”.

    But before we talk about choosing a liner and what it depends on you’ll probably want to know what your options are. When it comes to Chubbies swim trunks you can expect our trunks to come in three varieties:

  • Compression Lined Swim Trunks
  • Mesh Basket Lined Swim Trunks
  • Unlined Swim Trunks

    Each type of swim trunk liner has their own pros, cons, and what activities they’re best suited for (Get it…? Best suited? We’re so smart).

    So sit down, buckle up, and get ready to learn more about swim trunks liners than you ever expected to. Just don’t go spewing your newfound knowledge at your next happy hour or family dinner, literally, no one else is probably going to care.

    Compression Lined Swim Trunks

    The gold standard in swim trunk liners is the compression boxer brief liner. Integrated into the swim trunk and made of a polyester/spandex blend, a compression liner is designed to do it all. Most frequently you’ll find these liners in the swim trunks of those looks for more support & comfort throughout the day.

    Pros of Swim Trunks with Compression Liners:

    • Extra Support: 
      • Lined Swim trunks provide extra support to help hold everything in place while you do whatever you need to do in your swim trunks: chasing the kids down, flying a kite, beach volleyball, or D. All of the above
    • Chafing Reduction: 
      •  The snug fit that goes down the legs minimizes fabric movement and the legs rubbing together. This means that no matter what you decide to get into you won’t have to worry about irritation or chafing.
    • Breathability
      • Often made with a more meshy material, these liners can provide some real breezy moments during the most sweltering of days.

    Cons of Swim Trunks with Compression Liners:

    • Price
      • These trunks tend to be a bit pricier than others, but it’s money well spent because, well, you can’t put a price on comfort.
    • Fit
      • If you don’t like more snug-fit underwear or compression shorts, this might not be for you and you might want to try out unlined or basket mesh-lined swim trunks – but in most cases, the comfort is well worth it.

    What Are They Best For:

    • All of your traditional water activities:
      • Swimming
      • Beaching
      • Pooling
      • Laking
      • etc.
    • Water sports & beach activities where you need to avoid chafing & added support, including but not limited to:
      • Wakeboarding, wake surfing, wake skating. If you’re behind a board you’ll probably enjoy a compression liner.
      • Beach Volleyball
      • Boogie Boarding
      • Cannonball Competitions

    Chubbies’ Compression Lined Swim Trunk Offering:

    Mesh Basket Lined Swim Trunks

    The most traditional and most common type of swim trunk liners are the mesh basket liner. The mesh basket liner is a net-like mesh brief liner that is sewn into the interior of bathing suits to provide additional support. The mesh liners are usually made of polyester or nylon. If you think you need a liner in your swim trunks and you’re not a fan of compression liners, this is the swim trunks liner for you.

    Mesh Basket Liner Pros:

    • Supportive
      • Mesh liners provide support & will hold everything you need to have held (if you know what we mean). This makes it very appropriate for pretty much anything you do in or around water.
    • Superior Drainage
      • The mesh material of the liner will allow for easier water drainage. This will ensure that your trunks stay lightweight when wet & ultimately dry quickly.
    • Our Most Affordable Option
      • Our Classic Swim Trunk with mesh lining is the most affordable option to take your plunge into Chubbies swimwear.

    Mesh Basket Liner Cons:

    • Chafing
      • The mesh lining can be abrasive during long periods of wear or high-intensity activities, which can lead to irritation or chafing. If you need trunks for longer periods of wear or high-intensity activities, we’d recommend swim trunks with compression liners.
    • Limited breathability
      • If you’re spending a lot of time in hot weather, mesh-lined swim trunks will often feel restrictive and limit more airflow than their compression-lined counterparts.
    • High Maintenance
      • Mesh liners can be difficult to clean with sand or dirt getting trapped within the netting, thus requiring a few extra steps while washing or cleaning.

    What Are They Best For:

    • The most casual of beach outings - we’re talking no more than tanning & few bevvies
    • Casual beach sports/activities - we’re talking tossing the pigskin, KanJam, throwin’ the ol’ fris (do people say that?)
    • Building the best sand castle this side of the Mississippi with your kids in matching swim trunks

    Chubbies’ Basket Mesh Lined Swim Trunk Offering:

    Unlined Swim Trunks

    Unlined swim trunks, as the name suggests, lack any sort of lining whatsoever. This design choice offers a more lightweight feel, but lacks support. This makes them the top choice for those who prefer minimalism and freedom of movement.

    Pros of Unlined Swim Trunks:

    • Breathability
      • Without a liner, circulation is improved which makes this style of swimwear a great choice for the hottest of climates, but watch out for chafing
    • Quick-drying
      • With no liner that means that there’s less to hold water, so you’ll be dry in a jiff.

    Cons of Unlined Swim Trunks:

    • Lack of support
      • Unlined swim trunks may be uncomfortable for some wearers or during certain activities or sports.
    • Transparency
      • When they get wet, unlined swim trunks may become slightly transparent.
    • Chafing
      • The absence of a liner means that seams and fabric can rub freely against your skin, leading to irritation or chafing during extended wear or intense activity.

    What Are They Best For:

    • Laying out and catching some rays
    • Lounging in the pool or at the beach with friends
    • Any watersport where having a full range of motion would be prioritized over support

    Chubbies’ Unlined Swim Trunk Offering: