OK, I admit. One of the best things about summer is lounging around by the pool or on the beach. I don’t know about you but I can only do that for so long, especially since there are so many fun and active things to do in the water – surf, swim, paddleboard, SUP yoga.
Just like we need our fitness gear to perform on dry land, we also need our swimwear to perform in the water. The last thing that you want is a wardrobe malfunction or a bathing suit with uncomfortable padding that bunches up or chafes. Thank goodness there is a whole new crop of active swimsuits on the market that are made for women who move – whether it’s in the water or running around on the beach.
The best active swimsuits has a few features that you want to look for, especially for intense activities like surfing. You want your swimsuit to stay put and not move around when you’re paddling, turtle rolling or catching a wave.
Find a suit that is highly adjustable – ideally both the top and the bottom. I have several bikinis that I can customize the fit of the top and cinch the straps down pretty tightly to create a secure fit. I can also adjust the straps so that they are comfortable around my neck and shoulders (I prefer a cross-back style). You also want the bottoms to fit snuggly so that they won’t fall off in the water. Many suit have adjustable ties on the side that you can tighten.
For the longest time, I would opt for a larger size suit because then it wouldn’t hug my body too tightly and I thought that this would minimize any curves and lumps and bumps. However, once I got into the water, this tendency to size up didn’t help. I learned that if I wanted to be active in the water, I needed a suit that fit properly and fit snuggly.
Pay attention to the material
Not all swimwear material is created equal. You don’t want material (or fillers) that is going to stretch out in the water and leave you looking saggy.
Here are seven best active swimsuit companies to check out:
My Calavera suits are probably some of my favorites. They are cute, stylish and they stay put. They are highly adjustable, don’t stretch out and perform well while surfing. Read my review here.
2. Mi Ola
My Mi Ola suit is another favorite and is great for surfing. The material is super comfortable and doesn’t chafe. The suit is highly adjustable and looks great on. I’ve shared a bit about the story behind Mi Ola and they are a great company.
Desi’s was the first surf bikini that I purchased and I bought it on my first trip to surf camp in Costa Rica. It was the first time that I realized that there was a huge difference between swimwear that’s made to perform and those that aren’t. Made by a Costa Rican designer, many of the suits are reversible so you actually get two suits in one. Like Calavera and Mi Ola, you can customize the fit of the suit and it stays put.
Athleta’s swimwear line has come a long way and are designed to help you be active. The cuts and prints of the suits are more on-trend. Plus, you can beat Athleta’s Give-It-A-Workout Guarantee – work out in the gear and if it doesn’t perform, return it.
Sensi Bikinis was created by a professional kite boarder so you know that these suits will perform well under serious conditions. It draws on similar construction as sports bras and avoids hardware and the need for knots to ensure a comfortable fit.
KEA is a relatively new entrant to the market and is focuses on where fashion meets performance. The fabrics are sourced in Italy and have UPF 50+ rating (highest UV protection available in industry). They are also extremely chlorine resistant for those who are looking to swim indoors. And the swimsuits are super flattering. Read more from KEA’s founder and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brand.
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