Performance can look good.
Lululemon Tidal Flow One-Piece
Best For: Understated Elegance
The Tidal Flow is the Audrey Hepburn of sporty swimsuits. It’s classy yet playful—simple, clean lines with an overlapping stringy back are paired with a band of transparent mesh running across the torso. Think of it as a little black dress that does everything—from sunning to swimming—well.
Patagonia Nanogrip Top and Nanogrip Side Tie Bottom
Best For: Surfing
Bikinis this cute tend to fall off during your first wipeout. Not so the Nanogrip. With a sticky liner that clings like a gecko, this suit stayed on whether we were surfing or waterskiing. The adjustable crossback also helped keep things in place, though the fixed halter could have been a hair tighter.
Helly Hansen Inspire Top and Excite Bottom
Best For: Lounging at the Pool
If Patagonia’s Nanogrip is a hard-charging athlete, the Inspire is its mojito-sipping, beach-cruising cousin. And that’s fine by us. The top offers just enough support, the bottom has a wide, love-handle-smoothing waist, and the seven color options pop.
Seea Nosara Top and Bottom
Best For: Going Hard in Style
Flattering and comfortable? The Nosara, by far our favorite swimsuit of the test, nails both. The racerback and drawstring add playful details that are fully functional in the water, keeping things secure and comfortable. When you’re done playing, the piece fits right in at the local pool party.
Mi Ola Serena Zip Rash Guard
Best For: Channeling Your Inner Mermaid
We could claim we like this top because it’s an effective sunblock and because the tough fabric and skintight cut protected us from scrapes while surfing. Both are true, but the real reason the Serena is on this page is for its fish-scale pattern and sexy swooping neckline.
Prana Aleka Top and Kala Bottom
Best For: Watersports
This is your companion for Baja surf trips. The top stayed surprisingly secure despite its low cut, with a snug halter-racerback combo, while the bottom felt good without any squeeze. Mix and match from a bunch of different color options.