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The 20 Best Swim Shirts for Men, Women & Kids [2023]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

776 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

32 Published Articles 3123 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Stay safe and keep cool in the sun with a dedicated swim shirt. This versatile and comfortable clothing is specifically designed to be worn in a variety of settings and can easily cope with more than the occasional soaking.

Things To Consider With Swim Shirts

Swim shirt
A quick-drying swim shirt is designed to protect your skin from the sun, salt water, and sand. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The perfect beach accessory, a swim shirt is perfect to wear while swimming, surfing, sailing, and so much more. These quick-drying swim shirts are designed to protect your skin from the sun, salt water, sand, and other environmental irritants along the way. Before you decide which style and design suits you best, consider the following:

Material

Swim shirt material
Swim shirts are often made from polyester, nylon, or elastane. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Swim shirts are made from a special material that’s designed to feel soft against the skin while also offering protection against the elements.

Often made from polyester, nylon, or elastane, these shirts have moisture-wicking properties that will help your skin to breathe and keep odors at bay. They also come with UPF 50+ protection, which will keep your upper body safe from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays when used in conjunction with your sunscreen.

Bottom Line: Quick-drying and easy to wear, most swim shirts are machine washable, but you should check the label to see if they should be kept separate from hot washes and tumble drying.

Fit

Swim shirt fit
Swim shirts are designed to offer comfort as well as protection all day long. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Many swim shirts have a casual fit that offers plenty of room for movement both in and out of the water. These shirts often feature raglan sleeves to let your arms move freely, and they’re made with flat seams to help prevent chafing or rubbing.

While the looser fit may create a little more drag in the water than a traditional rash guard would, swim shirts are designed to offer comfort as well as impressive protection all day long.

If you want your swim shirt to be more figure-hugging, consider buying a size smaller. You should also remember that swim shirts aren’t designed to provide compression — you’d need to look at a true rash guard if that’s what you’re after instead.

Sleeves

Some swim shirts come with short sleeves, while others are designed to offer fuller coverage with long sleeves.

Short-sleeve shirts are perfect for swimming in warmer waters or wearing underneath your wetsuit or outdoor clothing, while long-sleeved options are better suited to those who like to surf, swim, and board in cooler waters.

UV Protection

Swim shirt UV protection
Most people choose to buy a swim shirt for the additional UV protection it offers. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Most people choose to buy a swim shirt for the additional UV protection it offers. Covering your skin helps to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage, and these protective garments are made with special fibers that have a dense weave to block out as much as 99% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Hot Tip: The manufacturer will note the level of protection each shirt offers. But, of course, you should still wear sunscreen to be as safe as possible in the sun.

The 10 Best Swim Shirts for Men

1. Swim Shirt for Those Who Like a More Casual Fit

Kanu Surf Men’s Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

This swim shirt has a casual fit that sits loosely on the skin, making it comfortable and breathable enough to wear all day long.

Made from moisture-wicking polyester material, it features UPF 50+ protection to block out the sun’s harmful rays. It’s a great choice for water lovers of all shapes and sizes as it’s available in a range of colors and from sizes from S to 5XL.

With double-stitched seams and high-quality construction, this is an excellent swim shirt for surfing, kayaking, swimming, diving, and a whole range of outdoor water sports.

What We Like

  • The loose fit is comfortable and flattering.

What We Don’t Like

  • The fabric feels a little thin.

2. Approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation

O’Neill Men’s 24-7 Traveler UPF 50+ Long-Sleeve Sun Shirt

This high-quality swim shirt is made from quick-drying, skin-friendly fibers and features the iconic O’Neill logo on the chest.

Available in a range of stunning muted colors, this shirt is suitable for swimmers and outdoor enthusiasts and is available in sizes from S to 2XL.

Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this swim shirt offers incredible UPF 50+ ultraviolet protection, and the 5-ounce HyperDry material is breathable and moisture-wicking to help your skin feel dry and comfortable both in and out of the water.

With a relaxed fit and raglan sleeves, this long-sleeve swim shirt is an excellent choice for surfing, swimming, paddle sports, boating, and beach days.

What We Like

  • The impressive UPF protection and moisture-wicking properties ensure effective protection against the elements.

What We Don’t Like

  • The loose fit might not suit all.

3. Shirt for Swimmers on a Budget

Amazon Essentials Men’s Short-Sleeve Quick-Dry UPF 50 Swim Tee

This awesome and affordable swim shirt is made from soft and skin-friendly 100% polyester material, and the casual fit makes it suitable for those from size S to 2XL. Available in a wide array of colors, the raglan seams help to reduce chafing and rubbing in the water, and the UPF 50+ protection will help keep your skin safe in the sun.

Fast-drying and easy to wear, it features a pull-on closure for quick changes, and the short-sleeve design allows a full range of movement, giving you many hours of safe and irritant-free fun in and out of the water.

What We Like

  • This is a good value swim shirt for men of all sizes.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The quality isn’t as high as some of the more expensive brands.

4. Long-sleeve Swim Shirt for More Comfortable Coverage

NAVISKIN Men’s Quick-Dry Lightweight

Enjoy the sun, sand, sea, and saltwater more safely with this awesome long-sleeve swim shirt that offers excellent coverage for your upper body.

Made from 100% polyester, it’s soft and gentle on the skin, and it’s designed with a relaxed fit to offer comfort all day long. This shirt incorporates moisture-wicking features and UPF 50+ protection to help block the sun’s harmful rays. It’s available in a wide range of colors and in sizes from S to 2XL.

With a crew neck and raglan sleeves to allow a complete range of movement, this is a great-looking, practical swim shirt for surfing, fishing, running, hiking, camping, and so much more.

What We Like

  • The design incorporates moisture-wicking features.

What We Don’t Like

  • The fit is surprisingly baggy, so you might want to size down for a more tailored fit.

5. Swim Shirt for Everyday Adventures

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Speedo Men’s UV Swim Shirt

Made by one of the biggest names in swimwear, this awesome short-sleeve swim shirt is perfect for everyday use both in and out of the water.

Made from 100% polyester material, this shirt comes in sizes from S all the way up to 4XL Tall, meaning it’s suitable for swimmers of all shapes and sizes. With a looser fit, it’s designed to feel comfortable all day, and the UPF 50+ protection will block harmful UV rays to keep you safer in the sun.

The shirt was designed for low moisture absorption, ensuring you won’t feel weighed down with water. It’s very breathable, too, meaning it’s perfect for year-round use.

What We Like

  • This shirt is very high-quality.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a white shirt, meaning it can be a little see-through.

6. Quick-drying Swim Shirt

Hurley Men’s H2o-dri Hybrid UPF Long Sleeve Shirt

This quick-drying swim shirt features a comfortable design paired with fashionable good looks, making it an excellent choice for style-conscious swimmers everywhere.

Made from soft, moisture-wicking polyester, this shirt has a relaxed fit, and the 4-way stretch in the fabric lets it move with you, in and out of the water.

This shirt is available in a selection of colors and sizes from S to 2XL, offers protection from the sun’s harmful rays thanks to its UPF 50+ rating, and will keep you looking stylish.

What We Like

  • It looks great and has a form-fitting design.

What We Don’t Like

  • That form-fitting design isn’t very forgiving with any lumps or bumps.

7. Designer Swim Shirt for the Coolest Dudes

Quiksilver Men’s Solid Streak Long-Sleeve Swim Shirt

This awesome long-sleeve swim shirt offers the upscale looks and high-quality construction you’d expect from Quiksilver.

With the iconic logo emblazoned across the chest, this swim shirt is made from a soft and skin-friendly blend of polyester and elastane, and its looser fit ensures increased comfort in the water.

In addition to UPF 50+ protection, you’ll also enjoy the moisture-wicking properties that help keep dampness away from the skin. This shirt is available in a range of cool colors and in sizes from S to 3XL.

What We Like

  • It fits great and performs brilliantly.

What We Don’t Like

  • If you’re tall, you may find this shirt to be a little short.

8. Laid-back Swim Shirt for Casual Adventures

VAYAGER Men’s UPF 50+ Short-Sleeve Swim Shirts

With subtle and stylish good looks, this swim shirt is practical in the water, but also versatile enough to be worn at the bar, on the beach, or out in the backcountry.

Made from a soft-and-stretchy blend of nylon and elastane, it’s been designed to move with you, and with UPF 50+ protection, it will help to block the sun’s harmful rays. The loose fit is easy to wear and available in a selection of colors and sizes from S to 2XL.

What We Like

  • This shirt is appropriate for a wide range of uses, whether you’re in or out of the water.

What We Don’t Like

  • The material has a surprisingly heavy feel when wet.

9. Swim Shirt for Use on Land and in the Water

Satankud Men’s UPF 50+ Swim Shirt

With an eye-catching raglan design, this short-sleeve swim shirt is suitable for use in the water, but it’s also a great choice for running, working out, fishing, camping, and a wealth of other outdoor activities.

Made from a breathable mixture of polyester and spandex, it offers UPF 50+ protection against harmful ultraviolet rays, and its moisture-wicking capabilities will help keep your skin well-ventilated and safe from sweat and odors. Quick to dry and easy to wear, this attractive swim shirt comes in a wide variety of colors and a range of sizes from S to 2XL.

What We Like

  • This shirt is nice and stretchy.

What We Don’t Like

  • It has a tendency to lose its shape over time.

10. Long-sleeve Activity Shirt

TACVASEN Men’s UPF 50+ Swim Shirt

Perfect for a whole range of outdoor activities including hiking, running, fishing, swimming, and so much more, this awesome long-sleeve shirt offers moisture-wicking properties to help your skin breathe.

Made from quick-drying polyester material, it comes in a wide selection of colors and sizes from S to 2XL, and the long-sleeve design offers UPF 50+ protection from the sun.

With raglan sleeves and a comfortable crew neck, it ensures an impressive range of movement, and the breathable fabric will help to prevent the build-up of sweat and odors as you go about your day.

What We Like

  • This shirt is a good length and a comfortable fit.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sleeves are very long and may need to be rolled up.

The 7 Best Swim Shirts for Women

1. Everyday Long-sleeved Swim Shirt for Women

Women’s UPF 50+ Long-Sleeve Swim Shirt

Offering UPF 50+ protection, this awesome swim shirt is made from a soft and skin-friendly combination of polyester and spandex. Quick-drying and light on the skin, this shirt has moisture-wicking capabilities to help prevent the build-up of dampness and odors.

With a tag-free collar and flatlock seams, the fabric mix has been designed to help reduce friction and prevent chafing, and the slim, stretchy fabric lets you move freely both in and out of the water.

Available in a choice of colors and in sizes from S to 2XL, this swim shirt is perfect for swimming, hiking, running, cycling, and more.

What We Like

  • This shirt is really comfortable.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing tends to run a little small.

2. Basic Swim Shirt for Women Who Like To Live Life to the Fullest

Kanu Surf Women’s Marina UPF 50+ Short-Sleeved Swim Shirt

Basic but very useful, this short-sleeve swim shirt is great for a bunch of outdoor activities including swimming, walking, cycling, boating, fishing, and more.

Made from soft and stretchy polyester and spandex material, this shirt comes in a huge array of colors, designs, and sizes, and clever additions like the high neckline provides extra protection from the sun.

Made from quick-drying fabric, this is a practical piece of clothing for everyday use, and UPF 50+ protection will help to keep your skin safe from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

What We Like

  • This shirt is simple in design but great at what it does.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can feel a little clingy when wet.

3. Long-sleeve Swim Shirt With UPF 50+ Protection

NAVISKIN Women’s UPF 50+ Long-Sleeve Swim Shirt

Soft, lightweight, and easy to wear, this gorgeous long-sleeve swim shirt offers UPF 50+ protection designed to block harmful UVA and UVB rays while you’re enjoying a full range of outdoor activities.

Made from quick-drying, moisture-wicking polyester material, this shirt will help pull moisture from the skin and prevent the build-up of sweat and unwanted odors. Its crewneck design and raglan sleeves offer a full range of movement so it moves easily with you.

Available in a selection of pastel colors and in sizes from S to 2XL, this is a pretty and practical long-sleeve swim shirt you’re sure to love.

What We Like

  • It’s equipped with effective UPF 50+ protection.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sleeves are very long.

4. Lightweight and Slim-fit Swim Shirt

Roadbox Women’s Long-Sleeve UV Sun Shirt

Made from a soft blend of polyester and spandex, this lightweight swim shirt features UPF 50+ protection to help keep you safe in the sun.

The stretchy material offers superior comfort and a full range of motion, and the quick-drying fabric is able to wick moisture away from the skin to keep you feeling cool and fresh. Designed with thumbholes in each sleeve, this is a great shirt for outdoor activities, and the slimmer fit is not only flattering but practical, too.

With a tag-free collar and flatlock seams, you won’t need to worry about chafing when wet, and available in a selection of colors in sizes from XS to 2XL, this shirt is perfect for running, swimming, hiking, fishing, and more.

What We Like

  • It offers excellent UPF protection.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing tends to run a little large.

5. Flattering Swim Shirt for All Types of Activities

Aqua Design Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

With a contrasting design, this swim shirt is flattering and practical. Made from a soft blend of polyester and spandex, this awesome swim shirt comes in a large range of sizes, from XS all the way to 6XL.

This shirt has a tighter-fitting look, but it doesn’t feel too snug on the skin. The 4-way stretch offers a full range of movement to let you enjoy your outdoor activities to the fullest.

In addition, with high UPF protection, this shirt will block the sun’s harmful rays, and the tighter fit helps protect you from unwanted rashes and irritations from salt water and sand.

What We Like

  • This swim shirt is vibrant and looks great.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a little short in the body.

6. High-Performance Swim Shirt

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Speedo Women’s Solid Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

With subtle good looks and an easy-to-wear design, this practical and protective swim shirt is brought to you by the swim experts at Speedo. Made from 100% polyester material, it’s soft against the skin, dries quickly, and is easy to take on and off.

Offering UPF 50+ protection, it promises to block up to 98% of the sun’s harmful rays and is available in a choice of colors and in sizes from S to XL. This is a fuss-free, high-performing swim shirt that’s suitable for use both in and out of the water.

What We Like

  • It boasts a simple design and effective UPF protection.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing runs large, so if you want a tighter fit, size down.

7. Swim Shirt for Surf Queens

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Roxy Women’s Standard Enjoy Waves Long-Sleeve Swim Shirt

This great-looking swim shirt is made from soft and stretchy polyester material and comes in a choice of easy-to-wear colors.

With a super-cool Roxy logo on both the back and the front, it’s definitely a trendy pick. Its looser fit is flattering, practical, and perfect for wearing both in the water and back on the beach.

Offering UPF 50+ protection, it helps to shield you from harmful rays, and it’s available in sizes from XS to XL.

What We Like

  • The fashionable styling is great for teenagers and other young women.

What We Don’t Like

  • The quality isn’t as good as some of the other swim shirts available for a similar price.

The 3 Best Swim Shirts for Kids

1. Swim Shirt for Little and Big Boys

Kanu Surf Boys’ Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

Bright and colorful, this awesome swim shirt offers great protection for your youngest adventurers. Made from 100% polyester material, it has a comfortable, looser fit, and the UPF 50+ rating means it protects delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

With a pull-on closure, it can be slipped on in an instant, and the quick-drying material can be washed in the machine in between uses. Available in sizes from 2T to 16, this is a practical addition to your child’s swimwear collection.

What We Like

  • This is an easy-to-wear shirt for kids.

What We Don’t Like

  • It tends to run big, which means it can feel a little “floppy” in the water.

2. Premium Swim Shirt for Kids and Teenagers

TSLA Youth Kids UPF 50+ Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

This high-quality, short-sleeved swim shirt is made from premium, anti-pilling polyester fabric with 4-way stretch for improved movement and durability all day long.

Available in a range of bright colors, in sizes from 4 to 16 years, this swim tee offers UPF 50+ protection that blocks up to 99% of the sun’s harmful rays.

Designed with water sports in mind, the raglan sleeves provide comfort and a full range of movement, and the looser fit gives it a casual and fashionable feel that your young surfer will love.

What We Like

  • It’s made with quick-dry and moisture-wicking material.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing is a bit odd. Order several for comparison.

3. Swim Shirt for Girls on the Go

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Speedo Girl’s Short-Sleeve Swim Shirt

Available in a choice of bright and funky colors, this beautiful girl’s swim shirt is high quality and easy to wear. Made from a soft blend of nylon and spandex, it’s designed to feel soft against the skin, and the durable fabric has been designed to offer a practical and flattering fit.

Offering an impressive level of UPF protection, it will block ultraviolet light to protect from sun damage, and the raglan sleeves offer a great range of movement, making this a great choice for water sports and other adventures. It’s available in a range of sizes from XS to XL.

What We Like

  • This swim shirt has a premium look and feel.

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing tends to run small.

Final Thoughts

Whether you throw a swim shirt on over your bathing suit or tuck one under your wetsuit, these moisture-wicking, UPF-blocking, skin-friendly shirts are an excellent addition to your outdoor gear lineup.

Lightweight and easy to wear, they’re resistant to the sun, salt, and chlorine. And, with most of these available in a wide range of colors and sizes, any of these swim shirts will quickly become a staple in your wardrobe.


All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our Medical & Legal Disclaimers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a swim shirt?

The primary purpose of a swim shirt is to block harmful sun rays from reaching your skin. Look for swim shirts with a UPF rating of at least 50.

Do you wear anything under a swim shirt?

Men don’t typically wear anything under a swim shirt, but women usually wear their swimsuit or a bikini top.

What material is best for a swim shirt?

Polyester is a good material for swim shirts as it has strong UV-blocking capabilities and is resistant to chlorine. For extra comfort, look for a swim shirt that is blended with Lycra.

Do swim shirts keep you warm?

Given their loose fit, swim shirts won’t keep you as warm as a rash guard. Rash guards are form-fitting, which allows them to trap heat inside.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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