These Bathing Suits Will Have Your Kids Begging to Hit the Water

Shop one-piece rash guards, adorable tankinis, cool trunks, and more stylish and practical swimwear for boys and girls.

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kids swimsuit
Photo: Lands' End; Maisonette; Amazon

Between spring break, indoor water parks, summer, and other vacations, it seems like we're always looking around for kids' bathing suits to pack for the next family adventure. Of all the clothes we buy for our little ones, swimwear often seems to get worn out the quickest. It takes a total beating (water slides and waves are hard on stretchy fabrics!) and they seem to need a new size all the time.

Besides looking good and appealing to children's very specific tastes, boys' and girls' swimsuits need to fit some other important criteria: namely, how they contribute to sun protection and water safety. No matter how many swim lessons they've had, and no matter how near we are, we've all heard about the tragic accidents that can happen so fast.

Best Kids' Bathing Suits

As we're looking at swimwear for kids, we're not only thinking of sun protection and rash guards for safety, we're thinking of visibility. When we dress kids in brightly colored and neon swimsuits, they're easier to spot when they're submerged. Water safety experts agree, but it bears reminding. Last year, aquatic safety consultants Alive Solutions published the first of its experiments showing the visibility of various swimsuit colors under water in a pool. It followed up those photos with a more striking post showing swimsuits submerged in lake water.

It's also never too early to start protecting children's skin from harmful UV rays. According to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, "Most of a person's lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood. Damage from sun exposure is cumulative, meaning that damage collects over time and can even lead to skin cancer."

With all those points in mind, find our top picks for the best kids' one-piece bathing suits, trunks, rash guards, and two-pieces that will keep them cool, comfy, and active at the pool, beach, lake, park, or backyard sprinkler run. (Note: While retailers label their swimsuits "for girls" and "for boys," any child can wear the suit that makes them feel most comfortable in and out of the water.)

Baby, Toddler, and Little Kid Swimsuits

Best Toddler One-Piece: RuffleButts Baby/Toddler Long-Sleeve Girls' Swimsuit

kids swimsuit
Amazon

The adorably named brand racks up thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, with fans praising the high-quality fabrics, vivid colors, and affordable prices. With UPF 50+ sun protection, the perfect-length sleeves, and neckline it's no surprise these suits have a 92 percent five-star rating.

To buy: RuffleButts Baby/Toddler Long-Sleeve Girls' Swimsuit

Most Stylish Toddler Two-Piece: Gap Toddler Ombre Rash Guard Swim Two-Piece

kids swimsuit
Gap

With an all over sunny peach ombre color, this two-piece not only keeps your baby covered, but the little bottoms make for easy potty time. UPF 50+ protection gives you peace of mind, and machine wash means easy care!

To buy: Gap Toddler Ombre Rash Guard Swim Two-Piece

Best Toddler Two-Piece: Shade Critters Preppy Tie-Dye Two-Piece Rash Guard Swimsuit Set

kids swimsuit
Nordstrom

They'll twirl all vacation long in this dreamy cotton-candy long-sleeve rash guard and matching bottom with pom pom frill. You'll feel great about the bright colors and UPF 50+ sun protection this darling set offers.

To buy: Shade Critters Preppy Tie-Dye Two-Piece Rash Guard Swimsuit Set

Best Toddler One-Piece: Carter's Sea Creature One-Piece Rash Guard

kids swimsuit
Carter's

It's so easy to zip your little one into this one-piece featuring ankle-to-neck coverage—and to zip them out quickly when you need to.

To buy: Carter's Sea Creature One-Piece Rash Guard

Best Baby Sun Protection: Mott50 Mini Taylor Baby Long-Sleeve Sunsuit

kids swimsuit
Maisonette

What's sweeter than a baby wrapped up in blueberry fields? The protection they'll get from the elements in this UPF 50+ suit meant for swim, play and outdoor fun. In addition to a front zipper, this suit has snaps on the bottom for easy diaper changes.

To buy: Mott50 Mini Taylor Baby Long-Sleeve Sunsuit, $44; maisonette.com.

Best Eco-Friendly One-Piece: Gap Baby Recycled Tie-Dye Swim One-Piece

kids swimsuit
Gap

Your baby or toddler will be comfy in this stretchy one-piece in a soft tie-dye print. And because it's made from 82 percent recycled polyester, you won't feel bad when they outgrow it quickly.

To buy: Gap Baby Recycled Tie-Dye Swim One-Piece, $34.95; gap.com.

Big Kids' Swimsuits

Best Swim Trunks: Lands' End ​​Boys' Printed Swim Trunks

kids swimsuit
Lands' End

There are so many brightly colored options for these well-priced, versatile trunks. These work for any active kid, and paired with a swim top, you'd have total protection for your kid.

To buy: Lands' End Boys' Printed Swim Trunks

Best Two-Piece With Trunks: Rugged Butts Kids' Two-Piece Rash Guard Swimsuit

kids swimsuit
Nordstrom

They'll feel super cool and preppy in this long-sleeved rash guard paired with check-print swim trunks that are ready to hit the waves.

To buy: Rugged Butts Kids' Two-Piece Rash Guard Swimsuit

Best Short-Sleeve Rash Guard: Old Navy Short-Sleeve Mesh Rash Guard

rashguard
Old Navy

Keep their top protected with one of these rash guards that are made from a breathable lightweight mesh. They'll keep cool while protecting their skin from UV rays.

To buy: Old Navy Short-Sleeve Mesh Rash Guard

Best One-Piece Set With Shorts: Cat & Jack Swirl Tie-Dye One-Piece Girls' Swimsuit Set

kids swimsuit
Target

This bright tie-dye one-piece comes with adorable matching bright blue shorts patterned with seashells that will be so convenient when it's time to take a break from swimming and go inside for lunch. The set has has UPF 50+ rated fabric for added sun protection.

To buy: Cat & Jack Swirl Tie-Dye One-Piece Girls' Swimsuit Set, $20; target.com.

Best Swimsuit With a Skirt: Lands' End Skirted One-Piece Girls' Swimsuit

kids swimsuit
Lands' End

With two bright colors and a flippy little skirt that hides shorts underneath, this is the perfect one-piece for your active kiddo. The fabric is stretchy and quick drying, and it offers UPF 50+ protection.

To buy: Lands' End Skirted One-Piece Girls' Swimsuit

Best Tankini: Kabety Shorts Tankini Swimsuit

kids swimsuit
Amazon

This tankini comes in eye-catching fluorescent colors that are easy to spot. The two-piece shorts style also makes it comfortable for playing in and out of the water.

To buy: Kabety Shorts Tankini Swimsuit

Most Stylish Long-Sleeve One-Piece: Feather 4 Arrow Wave Chaser Surf Suit

kids swimsuit
Nordstrom

For the kid who can't stop jumping in the waves or is always the first on a boogie board, this four-way stretch surf suit looks great and performs. It's made with UPF 50+ fabric that protects from the sun and dries quickly for more comfort out of the water.

To buy: Feather 4 Arrow Wave Chaser Surf Suit

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