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If you’re dreading swimsuit season, give the best swim pants a try. Along with providing excellent coverage, they’re comfortable, and cute! Sometimes called swim leggings, these pants are a must for vacations, day trips — you name it.
This time of year there is always so much talk about getting our bodies “beach ready.” A plethora of new diets, cellulite removers, weight loss hacks, and crepey skin solutions are supposed to make us somehow feel better about the way we look in swimsuits. But no matter how much TLC we give ourselves, it’s impossible to avoid hang-ups about what we consider to be “imperfections” but are really just, you know, our bodies.
In the vein that, indeed, every body is a beach body, it’s not against the Empowered Woman Code to want a genuinely flattering swimsuit that you can feel comfortable wearing in and out of the pool. From plus size bikinis with flowy coverups to swim shorts and swimwear for women over 50, there are plenty of stylish suits to go around.
What are the best swim pants?
- Best overall Swim Pants : Attracto High Waist Swim Capri Pants
- Best Long Swim Pants : Attracto High Waisted Swim Pants
- Best capris swim pants : Coolibar UPF 50 Kahula Skirted Capris
- Best Swim Pants skorts : Women Within Stretch Cotton Skort
- Best swim pants tankini top : Lands’ End Blouson Tummy Hiding Tankini
- Best short swim pants : Lands’ End Quick Dry Elastic Waist Board Shorts
- Best Swim pants board shorts : Hilor Swim Board Shorts
- Best Swim pants tankini : Nike Standard Color Surge Powerback Tankini Swimsuit Set
- Best swim pant plus size Swimsuit
: Danify Plus Size Tankini Swimdress
- Best swim pants with top : Aleumdr Racerback Color Block Print Tankini and Swim Pants
What can I wear to the beach instead of a swimsuit?
Lots of women don’t feel comfortable in bikinis. Fortunately, there are many fashion options when it comes to beachwear. Here are some ideas:
- Tankinis: Part tank-top, part bikini, this genius invention is your best friend if you don’t like showing your middle. And even if you’re not crazy about your thighs, some tankinis, like this one from Lands’ End, can be paired with board shorts.
- Swim pants or leggings: Swim pants are just what they sound like. Designed from a combo of spandex, polyester and nylon, they feel like yoga pants made of bathing suit material. Some of the best swim pants, like the Attracto High Waist Capris, are quick drying, and include UVF protection!
- Swim skorts: Skorts — they’re not just for little kids. In fact, they make some very nice one for grown ladies. If you’re unfamiliar with the garment, it’s a hybrid of a skirt and shorts, offering better coverage to your thighs and bum.
- Board shorts: If you want to keep cool, but don’t like showing your upper legs, you’ll love these. They usually fall a few inches above the knee, and some, like these from Hilor, can be worn for swimming.
What pants are good for swimming?
There are lots of great pants for swimming at the pool or beach. One of the best swim pants are the Attracto High Waisted Swim Pants. Unlike yoga leggings, which can become see-through when wet, these won’t show anything but your silhouette. Since they’re high waisted they offer some tummy control, and they dry quickly.
We also love the Citylady Wetsuit Pants. If you’re planning on paddling through cold rivers or swimming in a chilly pool, these are the ones to wear. They’re made from the same material wetsuits are made from, and do a great job of keeping you warm in the most frigid conditions.
Can I wear yoga pants to swim?
Technically, yes — but we wouldn’t recommend it. Although yoga pants can feel and look like swim pants, they don’t necessarily have the same composition of material. They can also become see-through.
In contrast, the best swim pants are made for…swimming! They’re a tad thicker, and geared for the wet elements. They also often include sun protection, which is exactly what you want if you’re outside all day.
Looking for even more options? Check out our other swimwear recommendations:
See more of our best product recommendations.
Best Swim Pants
- Polyester/Nylon + Spandex
- Quick drying
- Lots of color options!
These capri swim leggings are just the right fit to feel like the leggings you wear around the house every day. They have quick-drying fabric, so you actually can go from pool to home without a trip to the locker room. Sizes go up to XX-large, and are available in a variety of colors. Whether you’re hitting the pool or stretching in your room, you’ll move with ease and be completely covered.
Promising review: “I was wearing regular yoga capris for my swim bottoms but was so happy to find these. They have a little panty liner, and are definitely more of a [higher] quality material for swimming. They dry off fast after I’m out of the water!”
- 82% Nylon 18% Spandex
- UPF 50+ protection
- Non-see through
These look exactly like your trusty black leggings, but have UPF 50+ sun protection and quick-drying, stretchy fabric that can get wet. If you want a snazzy pair of swim pants, these will be your go-to. More than 1,000 folks on Amazon love them!
Promising review: “I’m so happy with my purchase and plan to but more. They’re fun, comfortable, and dry ridiculously fast.”
- Pull on
- UPF 50+ .
- 4-way stretch
This swim pant/skirt combo has the best of both worlds: a flare skirt that balances out your curves, and attached swim capris that provide extra coverage. It come in two solid colors other than this fun print, offers UPF 50 plus protection, and is ultra-stretchy. These can be worn swimming, but also when you play tennis or racquetball!
Promising review: “Seriously stop looking – these are the ones you want! They fit perfectly and are much more durable than other brands. I bought so many similar items and returned all but these. Vacation here I come!”
- Goes up to 4X large
- Color options
- Includes pockets!
This swim skort has a drapey skirt over attached knee-length pants, and gives great coverage for the bum and thighs. A quality choice for plus size ladies, the skort is available in several different colors, and made with 100 percent cotton. The breathable fabric makes it a perfect for the hot summer months, which we know you have packed with activities.
Promising review: “These are so comfortable! This was my first time ever purchasing a skort of any type, and I usually wear a size 14 in pants. I purchased a size equivalent to 16 and it fit perfectly. The skirt comes about two to three inches above my knees (I’m five-foot-six) and the shorts are just about two to three inches shorter. The shorts are a comfortable length, and have a comfortable stride. The pockets fit my hand, but not too deep. The fabric is lightweight, sturdy and breathable.”
Why we like it:
- Adjustable straps
- Bikini bottom
- UFP 50+ protection
You’ve been doing your squats and eating right, but still aren’t feeling 100 percent about strutting your stuff ? That’s cool, just put this tankini from Lands’ End on. It has a flouncy blouson top to cover your tummy, meaning you don’t have to suck it in or any such nonsense! If you extra busty the swimsuit is available for those with double Ds, and comes in lots of vibrant prints. The straps are adjustable for maximum support, and its also sun protectant — always important. Pair this with your favorite swim pants, and you’re good to go!
Promising review: “This is a simple style that hides my food-baby. I like it, and love that I could buy it alone to mix-and- match with different bottoms. I like to cover my bikini line as well as my stomach!”
Why we like it:
- 28 different print options
- Sizes 0 to 24 Plus
- UPF 50+ protection
If you’re not the strongest swimmer but want to get your feet wet, wear these fast drying board shorts. They have a relaxed fit, and come in more than a dozen pretty colors and prints. Stretchy and breathable, their material has built-in sun protection, and you can pair them with your favorite tee-shirt, or wear them over a one-piece. There’s a hidden pocket in the waistband, and the drawstring lets you adjust the fit to your comfort level.
Promising review: “The fabric is strong enough to use for lots of sports, like biking, the gym, and tennis. They’re a perfect fit, quick drying, and include pockets. They’re perfect for swimming, and do not cling.”
- Capri cut
- UPF 50+ protection
Whether you’re bodyboarding or simply floating in your pool, you’ll love these board shorts from Hilor. Cut in a capri style with cute drawstrings, these lightweight pants offer sun protection, and are high-waisted with a hidden drawstring. At this price you can grab one in each color (there are five to pick from), and they have built-in underwear!
Promising review: “Perfect fit, comfortable and cute. I’m five-foot-two, so I can pull these up to completely cover my stomach. I’ll be able to play at the beach with my kids, instead of worrying that my legs being too exposed. I’m not comfortable in shorts these days and my go to swimwear is a swim dress, but even in those I don’t feel confident.”
- Removable cups
- Stretchy and supportive
This minimalist tankini swimsuit from Nike can take you to the pool, yoga, or even a run around the track. Its racerback provides support without hindering your sense of motion, and the stretchy waistband keeps you comfy even if you’ve just downed a protein shake. Remove the built-in cups if they’re not your style, though we recommend them for high-impact activities. Whether you opt for this in the color black or white, you’ll look like you mean serious business about having fun!
Promising review: Excellent support where you need it! Perfect for dual workouts, such as biking to swimming, running to swimming, or hiking to swimming.”
- Sizes 6 to 28
- 23 prints to choose from
- Built-in shorts
This plus size swimsuit comes in 23 bright colorful prints, so you’ll find one that’s perfect for your style. The tankini inspired swimdress has shorts built-in, offering maximum coverage and support. If you’re bigger in the chest or shoulders, you’ll love the adjustable straps, and material dries quick. You’ll be able take a dip in the pool, and then run into the house for drinks without tracking excess water behind. More than 4,000 folks on Amazon adore this, and we think you will too, but don’t forget to size up!
Promising review: “This suit is amazing and just what I wanted. I love it. I’m five-foot-six, 200 pounds, and love the water. One piece suits are just horrible for my size and thighs, but the top of this fits true to size. It’s so soft and comfortable, has adjustable straps, and looks great. The shorts are also great, comfortable, and do not ride up.”
Why we like it:
- More than 7,000 four-stars on Amazon!
- 18 color options
- Affordable price!
Love the beach, but not a fan of showing what your mama gave you? That’s not a problem with this tankini and swim pants set. The shorts are stretchy and comfy like leggings, and the tops come in an assortment of fun prints. Each feature lace-up detailing and a slimming empire waist. Wear to the beach or while you lay out in your yard. Wherever you sport it, you’ll be stylish, and comfortably covered.
Promising review: “I loved this! It’s super comfy, and the wide waistband holds everything in smoothly…The top has amazing support as well!”
Why we like it:
- Feet straps
- Control top
- Back pocket
Planning a vacation with the dolphins in the Virgin Islands? We suggest these wetsuit swim pants. They’re soft, flexible, and just what you want to wear as you’re doggy paddling. Made with neoprene waterproof composite fabric, these are awesome for early morning lake swims or if you simply struggle with a non-heated pool. There are stirrups on the feet, and the back pocket is perfect to place your phone in — when you’re not snorkeling, of course! The pants are not only good for swimming, but other activities, as one happy customer described.
Promising review: “I don’t usually leave reviews, but I’m so happy with these pants! I just got back from hiking Havasupai in February. I knew I wanted pants that could keep me warm when hopping through the water in the canyon. These worked perfect, and they were even comfortable to hike in. They were the perfect solution to cold February hikes through water and dirt.”
Why we like it:
- Padded, wire-free cups
- Adjustable straps
- Vibrant print
For a two-piece shapewear swimwear set with a little more pizzaz, get this tankini top with the solid super high-waist tankini bottoms. The flowy top comes with adjustable straps, and the matching tummy-hugging bottoms are sure to be your summer favorite this year. With its extra flattering fit and vibrant, eye-catching, everyone will be asking you where you got this tankini from. If you’re extra busty, this may not be your favorite, but if you simply need some coverage as you relax in the sun, give it a try.
Promising review: “One of my favorite Takini tops. Flattering and good coverage.“
Why we like it:
- Bright colors!
- Tummy coverage
- Foldable waistband
If your sprinklers are the only water action you’ll be seeing this summer, these capri swim leggings are a good option. They’re stretchy, and look deceptively like yoga pants. And if you want to wear them to yoga, that’s totally fine, but they also won’t get all icky if you’re caught in the rain. Sizes start at eight and go up to 20 plus, and the fabric has sun protectant. Our favorite feature is the foldable waistband, which includes a drawstring. Whether you drop a few pounds from sweating in the sun or need to adjust to accommodate your lunch, you’ll stay totally comfortable.
Promising review: “These are great swim leggings for women that don’t want their legs showing or who like comfort… I went swimming with my son today, and was not embarrassed by varicose veins.”