Royal Robbins Coast Short review

The days of summer may be dwindling, but there’s still plenty of time to go jump in a mountain lake, climb into a kayak, or simply take a dip at the nearest pool. Hey, this is Utah, and much to the chagrin of snow-lovers, “swimming weather” could last until October in some places. Are you prepared for your next plunge with a proper pair of trunks? I know I am. I’ve got a pair of Royal Robbins Coast shorts in the closet, and they’ve been ready and waiting for all things water since the dog days were barely puppies.

We review the Royal Robbins Coast Shorts swim trunks. No change needed, the Royal Robbins Coast Short was made to go from surf to turf with ease. (Photo: Royal Robbins)

Before we talk performance, take a look at some of the features of the Coast Short:
• Hybrid Stretch fabric (44% Polyester, 44% Sorona Polyester, 12% Spandex)
• Four-way stretch for complete range of motion
• UPF 50 for sun protection
• Quick dry
• DWR Coating

I was a bit confused as to why a company would add DWR to a pair of swimming trunks, but it’s all about versatility. Who wants to wear wet shorts into the off-beach bar? The DWR + quick dry fabric really does a great job of making sure you won’t leave a pool of water under your barstool. During a trip to Zion NP, I waded in chest-deep streams, then immediately hit the trail to see the sights. The Coast Short was dry in under a mile. Hiking in this short felt great; the stretchy fabric and light weight feel more like hiking gear than a traditional board short.

pocket and button rear pockets are what make the Coast an ideal every day summer short. (photo: Ryan Malavolta/

The Coast Short doesn’t look like a traditional board short, either. In fact, these jams do a great job around the city or campsite. On the aforementioned trip to Zion, I didn’t even bother changing when I was back in camp. The Coast was comfortable and tough enough to wear all day. Back in SLC, I found myself wearing them to the gym, around the house, and while walking the dog.

A final test was needed. A very scientific test: some friends threw a party where there was a slip-n-slide bounce house. I spent hours jumping, sloshing, sliding and wiping out with other responsible adults. The Coast Short not only looked the part of “sophisticated grown up man” but also took a beating from the bounce house without so much as a pulled thread. The skin on my feet could not boast the same results.

Bouncy slide approved: putting the Royal Robbins short to the ultimate test. (photo: Jess Holzbauer/

After a summer’s worth of swimming, diving, cavorting and exploring, I give the Coast Short a major thumbs up. Classic, clean styling and colors make adding a pair of these to your closet is a no-brainer. The versatility of this short can’t be overstated, and I’d recommend them to anyone looking to step up their trunk game.

The Good: Coast Short does it all- lawn games, swimming holes, the local pub or the hiking trail.

The Bad: Not a thing wrong with these swimmers!

The Verdict: If you’re headed out for the day and water might be involved, don’t bother packing a bag; the Coast Short is the answer…just don’t forget to actually wash them once in a while.

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