Embrace the sun, sea and sand this summer, with these tried-and-tested sporty swimwear sets and bikinis.

Whether you’re lounging around the pool or love to hit the waves, there’s no denying the perfect sporty swimwear set or bikini can make you feel a million dollars. It’s not just about the looks, though: if you’re planning on putting in the lengths or ducking and diving in open water, you need swimwear that stays perfectly in place, too.

So, what do you need to consider when looking for your ultimate sporty swimwear? First, think about what you need your bikini for and the environment in which you’ll be swimming: do you need something that will stay secure when riding the waves in the sea, or would you prefer something that will support your efforts when doing lengths in the pool?

There are different options to consider when it comes to material, with some offering UV protection or resistance to chlorine and sea water. You’ll even find a selection of planet-friendly options, made using recycled materials such as ocean plastic and fishing nets. Whatever your needs, we’ve tried and tested the latest sporty two-pieces to help you find your perfect swimwear match this summer.

Our pick of the latest sporty swimwear and bikinis for summer 2024:

Animal Atlantic Printed Tie-Back Bikini Top and Iona Women’s Recycled Tie-Side Bikini Bottoms

(Top £25, Bottoms £19, animal.co.uk)

Extremely pretty yet super sporty, popular beach brand Animal has not only made this bikini with recycled fabric, but it is also stretchy, comfortable and perfect for swimming and surfing.

The tie-cross back helps to keep everything in place, meaning you can securely tie it up at the beginning of your swim and not need to constantly readjust it throughout. The removable pads provide a nice shape around the chest area, too. We also love that the REPREVE fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and is chlorine- and saltwater-resistant, meaning it’ll stay looking immaculate for years to come, without losing its colour or shape.

As well as being sustainable, we like the balance this two-piece strikes between comfort, coverage and performance. Plus, the print is gorgeously vibrant and attracts plenty of compliments. The bottoms are super-flattering, too, offering a nice shape and staying securely in place. The entire bikini is also adjustable, with drawstrings on the bikini top and the sides of bottoms, too. Our tester is 5ft 2in and petite, and the size 8 fits perfectly.

Comfort: 5/5

Functionality: 5/5

Style: 5/5

Sweaty Betty Bali Xtra Life Tankini Top and Peninsula Xtra Life Bikini Briefs

(Top £65, Briefs £45, sweatybetty.com)
With its longline fit, supportive in-built bra and twisted criss-cross design at the back – which provides extra security when swimming – popular sportswear brand Sweaty Betty has got the classic two-piece vibes down to a tee with this flattering tankini.
The material is smooth and offers full coverage while still looking sporty. We love that it’s made with UV50+ UV-protective fabric, as well as part-recycled Xtra Life Lycra, which is five times more durable than elastane and built to withstand sunscreen, the heat, excess body oils and any chemicals found in the water.
The fit of the tankini top was pretty tight, especially around the upper chest area. However, the lower half stayed in place and didn’t restrict our movement as we glided through the water. Overall, the top sat well with the medium-leg-cut bikini bottoms, which rested nicely on our hips and, equally, didn’t budge. This is a great option for those who like to be well covered, but don’t want to go for a full swimsuit.
Comfort: 4/5
Functionality: 4/5
Style: 4/5

NAIA Maia Snake Bikini Top and Maia Snake Bikini Briefs

(Top £85, Briefs £65, naiabeach.com)

The beautiful cut of these bikini bottoms – combined with the turquoise snake print – really makes for a statement bikini that offers a delicate yet feminine vibe.

The bikini briefs sat perfectly on our hips thanks to the gathered waistband, while the subtle ruching detail on the back enhanced our curves and stayed in place during pool time. We also found the double layering and adjustable straps on the bikini top to be beneficial for extra chest support. Plus, we love that both items are sustainably made from recycled fishing nets and plastic.

For those days when you’re doing some gentle lengths, this is a perfect option. That’s not to say you can’t easily do water sports in it – it just feels too glam for that. This brand is all about helping women feel comfortable in their own skin, and this flattering two-piece is definitely one for showing off the curves you work (out) so hard for.

Comfort: 4/5

Functionality: 3/5

Style: 4/5

Finisterre Women’s Anella Reversible Crop Bikini Top and Anella Reversible Mid Rise Pant

(Top £55, Pant £45, finisterre.com)

Although this option from Finisterre is designed for both swimming and surfing, we also found it comfortable and supportive for beach games with the family – all while looking nice and sporty. The bikini uses Econyl-regenerated nylon, which is made from 100 per cent recycled materials, such as fishing nets and carpet flooring.

We felt incredibly supported and well-covered in the racer-back top, which offers medium support and smooth flat-locked seams. The bottoms, although a square-ish fit on a pear-shaped body, also stayed put without any slipping and allowed for maximum movement. The soft-touch finish also felt great against skin.

The reversible design is a real bonus, allowing you to enjoy two looks in one – adding versatility as well as being a great space saver when you’re trying to pack light for holidays! Our favourite look is the gorse print pattern (the bikini bottom, pictured above, ), which is particularly eye-catching. As well as being suitable for spring and early summer, we could also envisage making use of this two-piece in our local pool or under a wetsuit in the cooler months – which is probably where we’d go for the more classic Kingfisher Green colourway (the bikini top, pictured above).

Comfort: 3/5

Functionality: 4/5

Style: 2.5/5

Shein Ladies’ Solid Colour Halter Neck Two-Piece Swimsuit

(£10,99, shein.co.uk)

If you thought chic bikinis were off-limits during workouts, think again. This pool side-to-swimming pool bikini stayed put during even the fastest of laps – and looked stylishly eye-catching when doing so. The large key-hole back was great for feeling the sun on our skin, and the clip closure felt super secure – so secure, in fact, that we often needed an extra pair of hands to get it undone.

The two-piece is also fully lined, and the supportive cups provide the right amount of comfort while giving even the smallest of chests some extra shape. The stretchy, high-waisted bottoms offer great coverage, too. They also feature a well-placed mesh window at each side of the upper leg, which gave the illusion of elongating our shorter-than-average legs. Overall, this is a great bikini for any fitness holiday – whether you’re swimming, jumping the waves or enjoying a spot of poolside reading.

Comfort: 4.5/5

Functionality: 3/5

Style: 3.5/5