Best Men’s Shorts for Summer 2021: Most Stylish Shorts and Trunks

It’s been one hell of a hot summer so far, with record-setting temperatures across much of the country. And whether you’re heading to a music festival or outdoors to entertain, opting for sun-protective clothing and swapping your pants for a new pair of shorts can help make a big difference in keeping you just a little more comfortable once you’re far from the A/C.

Not sure what you’re looking for? Need a dressed-up pair or prefer trunks that don’t look like you’re heading to the pool? Here are the best men’s shorts we’re eyeing (and a few we’ve tested and love) this season.

Men’s Shorts Buying Guide

There a few things to consider when shopping for the best men’s shorts online. First things first, decide when and where you’re going to wear your shorts. That’ll help you decide on the most important features to keep in mind while you’re shopping, like fit, the fabric and your shorts’ style.

Fit: How your shorts fit is really a personal decision. Do you want shorts that fit a little loose on you, or do you want a slim-fitting pair? We included a range of short fits in this guide, but all of the shorts fall above the knee and within a five-inch inseam up to an eight-inch inseam.

Comfort: While this is a no-brainer, you want your shorts to feel comfortable, no matter where you’re wearing them to, whether it be a workout or an outdoor concert. The shorts we picked all offer serious comfort, but they’re not quite as cozy as, say, loungewear or some workout shorts (see our review for workout shorts here.

Fabric: We prefer more breathable shorts for summer, and you’ll find a mix of styles below, ranging from shorts made with blends of cotton, nylon and other materials.

Style: From swim trunks disguised as casual shorts to slim-fit chino shorts, there are endless short styles to choose from these days. This guide includes all of the above to help you find the right shorts for you and your style. In short, all of our picks below are versatile enough that you can wear them for years to come for almost any activity.

What Are the Best Shorts for Men?

Here are some of the best men’s shorts you can buy online this summer, from brands like Everlane, Patagonia and Goodfellow & Co. These picks work as well for a hike and bike ride, as they do for brunch, the beach or a date.

Everlane Pull-On Performance Chino Shorts

BEST OVERALL

Everlane-Pull-on-Performance-Chino-Short

Everlane

We’re doing a ton of shopping these days at Everlane. The reason: We love all of the site’s classic staples, giving us an easy-going summer wardrobe — all at a reasonable price point.

If you like shorts that can wick away moisture, while still looking chic, this Everlane Pull-On Performance pair won’t steer you wrong.

As far as comfort goes, Everlane’s shorts are a cut above with an elastic waistband, though they also include a button that adds to their dressy appeal. The seven-inch inseam hits just above the knee and works for a variety of outfits and occasions (I.e. not too long and not too short).

Buy:
Everlane Pull-On Performance Shorts
at
$50

Vuori Ripstop Climber Shorts

BEST ALL DAY SHORTS

Vuori-Shorts

Vuori

These sleek shorts from Vuori are best worn on days when you’re planning to start with morning outdoor yoga, then slide right into hiking and grilling all afternoon. In other words, it’s tough to find an occasion where Vuori’s Ripstop Climbers don’t work. Made with a blend of cotton and elastane, they’re easy to move around in from activity to activity, yet they’re rugged enough that you could wear them climbing or camping, too. Vuori even added a subtle pocket with a zipper on the side to store your smartphone — essential if you don’t want to risk losing it on the trail or at a show.

Buy:
Vuori Ripstop Climber Shorts
at
$64

Flint and Tinder 365 Shorts

BEST CASUAL SHORTS

Flint-Tinder-365-Shorts

Huckberry

It’s easy to see why Flint and Tinder’s shorts are called the 365s — you’ll want to wear them every day. Depending on your office, these shorts look dressy enough that you could wear them on a summer Friday. But outside of work, you’ll get plenty of use with them thanks to their casual, simple style, from summer shows to golfing and tailgating.

We like how Flint and Tinder added spandex in a subtle way so they’re slightly stretchy, though you can’t tell. The 365s come in seven colors, from khaki to dusty blue and charcoal. The seven-inch inseam shorts break above the knee, but you can also get a slightly longer nine-inch inseam style as well. And if you order two pairs, you’ll save $20 on your order.

Buy:
Flint and Tinder 365 Shorts
at
$64

Patagonia Baggies Shorts

BEST ACTIVE SHORTS

Patagonia-Baggies

Urban Outfitters

The Patagonia Baggies deserve a place in every man’s wardrobe. Jump in the pool, go for a run, or grab a coffee while wearing these wildly cool, trendy nylon shorts this summer.

We personally own them, and we love that they’re built to be used as both swim trunks or everyday, casual shorts. The waistband is stretchy and feels ultra comfortable, but there’s a handy drawstring to cinch them up tighter.

There are multiple pockets, and they’re deeper than most. We’ve been able to actually keep our large iPhone 12 in the pocket during a run without it falling out of our pocket. There’s also a back pocket with a button to hold your wallet securely.

Buy:
Patagonia Baggies
at
$55

Buck Mason Deck Shorts

MOST VERSATILE SHORTS

BUCK-MASON-8-INCH-DECK-SHORTS

Buck Mason

Buck Mason makes it easy to create a daily uniform thanks to its basic tees, shirts and, our favorites, the Deck Shorts. We’ve worn Buck Mason’s cotton-and-nylon shorts more than probably any other men’s shorts over the last few years. We like the six-inch inseam, but the company also has an eight-inch offering if you’re looking for a longer pair of shorts.

There’s nothing too flashy about these shorts, and they look like vintage throwbacks you might see in photos of celebrities on vacation. Buck Mason offers them in multiple colors, and we’re consistently surprised by how a pair of stylish shorts could feel this comfortable to wear. They’re a perfect all-around pick for the beach, the gym or paired with a short-sleeved button-up come date night.

They feature a drawstring and button closure, two side pockets, and a back pocket, though none of the pockets fully close shut.

Buy:
Buck Mason Deck Shorts
at
$85

Arctic Cool Cooling Performance Golf Shorts

BEST PERFORMANCE SHORTS

Arctic-Cool-Golf-Shorts

Arctic Cool

These golf shorts from Arctic Cool can wick sweat, come with a four-way stretch fabric, and even have what the brand calls “HydroFreeze X Technology,” which is built-in cooling technology we wish our other shorts could have, too. Add to all of this UPF 50, and you have a pair of sun-protective shorts to minimize your UV exposure. The most important thing to remember? You don’t even have to know how to golf to wear this high-tech pair.

Buy:
Arctic Cool Cooling Performance Shorts
at
$49.99

Goodfellow & Co. Slim-Fit Chino Shorts

BEST BUDGET SHORTS

Target-Goodfellow-Co-Slim-Fit-Chino-Shorts

Target

Goodfellow & Co.’s shorts are just what you want if you’re looking for a pair of slim-fit shorts that are budget-friendly. We love this green option since it’s so versatile with just about every color in your wardrobe, but you can also get them in khaki and other tones that are perfect for summer.

Unlike some of the other shorts in our guide, these shorts have slightly more structure to them, which makes them ideal for when you need something on the dressy side but don’t want to overheat.

Buy:
Goodfellow & Co. Chino Shorts
at
$16.99+

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