Hikers and mountaineers spend a lot on their clothes and hiking gear. But, underwear is usually the most underrated piece of apparel. But, the reality is that underwear is essential and is an unsung hero of hiking apparel. It serves as a next-to-skin base layer and protects your delicate parts as well as provides you comfort. Hence it is necessary to pay special attention to it. So, today we have come up with a list of best hiking underwear for men. We will also take a look at some of the essential factors to keep in mind while choosing the best-in-class hiking undies. So let’s get started.
- Top Picks For The Best Hiking Underwear For Men
- Buyer’s Guide to Choose The Best Hiking Underwear For Men
Top Picks For The Best Hiking Underwear For Men
The SmartWool Merino 150 Boxer Brief is one of the most premium quality hiking underwear available in the market. It delivers excellence and is an eminent men’s performance underwear.
- While hiking, sweating is bound to happen. But, this underwear will take care of that using its targeted insulation and ventilation.
- It is a comfortable innerwear that is manufactured with an interlock knit. This enhances the comfort level, thermoregulation, breathability, as well as odor resistance.
- The merino covered waistband offers a perfect fit.
- For a convenient experience all day long, the underwear comes with a traditional fly design.
- It is a durable undie with flatlock seam construction. Such a construction minimizes chafing.
- The material is of premium quality. There is the use of 87% merino wool along with 13% nylon fabric. This high-quality material provides next-to-skin comfort and also moves the sweat away from the body. It also provides breathable warmth during cold weather conditions.
- It is a machine wash bottom that does not need much maintenance, but remember to never bleach it.
- Warm insulation.
- Comforting and breathable.
- Flatlock seam construction provides durability and minimizes chafing.
- Next-to-skin fit.
- Odor control and thermoregulation.
- Use of 87% merino wool and 13% nylon for comfort and durability.
- Machine wash.
- Naturally antimicrobial due to the use of merino wool.
- High priced.
- Users complain that the sizes run a little small.
Icebreaker Merino Men’s Anatomica Boxers are all about providing superior comfort. It uses a combination of three fabrics which makes this underwear a good option for a hiking trip.
- There is the use of 83% Merino, 12% Nylon, and 5% Lycra. This means it will have combined characteristics of all these three fabrics.
- The use of merino is what makes this undie exceptionally moisture wicking as well as breathable. The soft texture of merino wool is also very pleasing.
- Nylon provides the needed durability.
- Lycra takes care of the elasticity making it stretchable enough to stretch as per your movements. It also minimizes chafing by adhering to the body.
- Its additional features include a branded elastic waistband along with flatlock seams as well as a fly.
- You don’t need to worry if you are a heavy sweater as merino makes this underwear odor resistant.
- Even for cold weather hiking expedition, these boxers are a good option because merino wool works well to lock in warmth.
- Good fly.
- Fast-drying capability.
- Offers odor resistance.
- Durability suffers due to less percentage of nylon.
In the premium underwear industry, Ex-Officio has now become a renowned name. Company’s Give-N-Go Boxer Brief is amongst the quality hiking apparel available in the market.
- There is the use of nylon and lycra fabric in the production of this boxer. More than 90% of the material is nylon making this undie highly durable and lightweight.
- Lycra material provides elasticity to the boxer.
- The most attractive feature of this boxer is that it dries up quickly. So, even if you have a single pair of underwear, you don’t have to worry about it getting wet as it will dry up quickly.
- There is no use of Merino fabric in this underwear. But, it doesn’t mean that it is not antimicrobial. There is the use of ExOfficio’s proprietary Aegis Microbe Shield in this boxer. It is an antimicrobial treatment that makes the apparel odor resistant. It even keeps the boxer fresh and clean for a longer period.
- The Aegis Microbial Shield is long-lasting than the silver-ion treatment which is usually used in synthetic fiber.
- The fabric is pretty breathable too which makes it a nice boxer for hiking, trekking, backpacking, as well as everyday use. The breathable mesh improves the airflow.
- Boxers retain their shape and waistband stretches properly offering a perfect fit.
- Highly durable due to the use of nylon.
- Solid construction.
- Aegis Microbial Shield for long-lasting antimicrobial treatment.
- Fairly elastic.
- Customers complained about the waistband. It starts becoming loose with time.
- Even the fabric felt saggy after a few uses.
Arc’teryx Phase SL Boxer is ultra-lightweight apparel, weighing just 2.3 oz (65 grams). The material is thin that makes it easy to pack.
- There is the use of a combination of polyester and polypropylene. Polyester provides durability and polypropylene takes care of the stretchiness offering a perfect snug fit.
- It is a tight-fitting athletic boxer that does its job really well in holding the boys in place.
- Regardless of how fast you move, the tight-fitting design keeps the undies in place.
- The fitting is snug but comfortable so that your delicate parts remain dry, fresh, and secured.
- Quick-dry base layer for excellent moisture management.
- It is breathable and comes with a trendy elastic waistband along with flatlock seams. It reduces the chances of chafing and any type of discomfort.
- The downside is that it doesn’t feature a fly.
- A tight-fitting design ideal for high-intensity activities.
- Highly supportive.
- Comes with flatlock seams.
- Fast-drying capability.
- Lacks a fly.
- There is an anti-microbial coating for odor resistance, but it fades away quickly with repeated washing.
If you are looking for a boxer that can provide you with ultimate comfort and performance, then Minus33 Arcadian Men’s Boxer Brief is for you. This boxer will provide you with the support and comfort you need and will keep you cool as well as dry.
- There is the use of 100% merino wool fabric which is quite thin (170 g/m2). This makes it a perfect boxer for all-year-round use.
- The merino fiber is just 17.5 microns in diameter which makes it an ultra-thin material. This means it is incredibly soft and comfortable to the touch.
- It offers a snug fit perfect for high-intensity activities.
- It is available in various colors and sizes which means there is a size available for an active athlete to a couch-potato.
- It features flatlock seams providing you ultimate comfort and reducing chafing.
- It is Total Easy Care (TEC) Merino apparel which is designed for people with a busy lifestyle. TEC garments are machine washable and can be tumble dried. TEC merino material does not shrink or lose its shape. The garments don’t even fade or color-bleed.
- The boxer brief is naturally moisture-wicking, breathable, and odor resistant due to the use of 100% merino.
- Naturally antimicrobial.
- Total Easy Care (TEC) merino apparel.
- Breathable and moisture-wicking.
- Features flatlock seams.
- Have a fly.
- Customers showed concern regarding the durability as it is not much long-lasting.
Buyer’s Guide to Choose The Best Hiking Underwear For Men
When on an outdoor expedition, your comfort is paramount. A bad choice of underwear can curtail your hiking experience. A low-quality undie can chaff your skin, retain moisture, provides less support, can get loose and slip, and can even get smelly and itchy. So, to avoid such things from happening, let’s discuss some vital factors that you should consider while choosing the best hiking underwear for men.
Material that is commonly used to manufacture the usual city clothes is cotton. But, cotton is not a good choice when you are indulged in some active work or during a cold or wet environment. Cotton have the tendency to absorb water and after that, it gets heavy, dries slowly, and does not insulate. Hence, when hiking, you are likely to get sweaty, and cotton is not a material that you will want to feel against your skin. So, we won’t recommend you to go for cotton fabric.
Mainly we have got two material choices for hiking underwear, i.e., merino wool (natural fiber) and synthetic fibers (primarily polyester or nylon).
Both of these materials have their pros and cons. Both of these have got amazing moisture-wicking features. Additionally, they dry up quickly and are good at keeping you insulated when wet.
The positive thing about merino wool is that it is really soft and is naturally odor-resistant too. It even feels comforting against the skin when wet. But, there are some downsides too. Merino is a bit more expensive than other synthetic materials and is quite less durable too.
The downsides of merino become the upsides of synthetic material. They are less expensive and more durable. But, they are not as soft as merino and doesn’t feel too nice when damp.
So, the choice of material will depend on your demand for durability, budget, comfort and other preferences.
These days, manufacturers are making use of a blend of both materials. The combination results in the wrapping of merino wool over the synthetic nylon core. It offers you the best of both worlds, merino provides softness and comfort, and synthetic fabric adds durability.
You will find two types of cut, in general, when you look for hiking underwear. Manufacturers usually offer you boxers or boxer briefs.
Boxers are more of a loose cut underwear similar to shorts. On the other hand, briefs offer you a more snug fit than boxers. They provide a better fit at the thigh area.
The cuts usually vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, simply a label cannot tell you the full story. You need to take a good look at the cuts offered by each manufacturer and then make an informed choice.
In general, for active work, people prefer to use a more athletic underwear with tight-fitting. But, you should remember, a too-tight fit can make you sweat more and lack of washing can result in chafing. So, a brief is fine but avoid too much tightness and go for proper comfortable size. You can also go for a boxer cut if you like to keep it loose, but it can also rub against your skin too much and chaff.
So, we recommend you to go for a pair of underwear that offers a slight snug fit and have enough room for breathability and ventilation.
Design And Construction
For a comfortable hiking experience, you should go for an underwear design that has got flatlock seams. Flatlock seams are more preferable because they have a smaller surface area. This ensures that you experience minimal fiction against your skin resulting in a reduction in the risk of bruising as well as chafing.
It’s obvious that we all need apparel that is durable and long-lasting. We don’t want our underwear to tear in the middle of our hiking adventure. We want a product that can withstand the vigour of high-intensity activities and heavy washing too. But, durability is one of such areas where you will have to make a trade-off. If we compare natural and synthetic fibers, the synthetic ones are much more durable. Synthetic fiber underwear can hold well even after rough and extensive use. However, this is not the case with natural fiber (merino wool) underwear. It will need specific fabric care and may fall apart earlier than the synthetic one. But, it is also true that natural fiber is much more comfortable than synthetic fiber. So, it’s your decision to make, whether you need more durability or more comfort.
For hiking, underwear with antimicrobial properties can be of great help. It is because it will save you from unwanted itchiness, odor, and will give you a fresh feel for a longer period. If you are going on a trip for several days and want to pack light, then an antimicrobial undie is a good option for you. While on a trip, it is a bit difficult to wash your apparels. Hence, an antimicrobial boxer will keep you and your boys fresh and protected from germs that thrive due to sweat.
The best material with antimicrobial properties is merino wool. It is naturally antimicrobial. This means you can wear this underwear for a long period without any repugnant smell.
On the other hand, synthetic fabrics do not have any antimicrobial properties. But, they can be treated to become antimicrobial. The only drawback is that the antimicrobial coating on synthetic fibers will fade over time due to regular washing.
So, choose your underwear wisely.
The drying time of underwear becomes an important factor when you are traveling in a region with high humidity or unpredictable rain. Faster drying also means that your underwear should also provide you with some comfort even after getting damp.
Both merino wool and synthetic fibers feature quick-drying capabilities. The point to note here is that synthetic fibers dry up a bit faster than natural fiber. But, merino wool feels more comforting than synthetic fiber even after getting wet.
In the washing department, synthetic fibers have an edge over merino wool. Merino wool needs slightly more care than synthetic fibers. But, sometimes the care that merino needs is overrated. You can simply wash your merino underwear with your other clothes by being a bit sensible. Try avoiding too much hot water and wash it in cold and warm water. Merino is a bit delicate, so don’t thrash it into shreds by washing it in a fast spin cycle. Use medium spin.
We all know by now that merino has antimicrobial properties. Hence, you don’t need to wash it as frequently as synthetic underwear. Only wash merino garments when it actually needs it.
Both merino and synthetic fibers dry fast, so it will be good to air dry them. But, if you want to use a dryer, keep the dryer at a low temperature while washing merino.
And remember, you should always follow the care instructions, given by the manufacturers, printed on the packaging.
The fact that the underwear you wear is out of public view doesn’t mean that you pay less attention to it down there. You should not make any compromise with your comfort level and enjoy a reasonable amount of ease. Hence, for your hiking adventure, you should invest in a pair or two of quality underwear.
We have discussed the most prominent hiking underwear options available in the market. Out of all these, in our view, SmartWool Merino 150 Boxer Brief can be considered as the best hiking underwear for men. It is because the product has got almost all the factors that we discussed in our buyer’s guide. This underwear offers a perfect fit and its soft waistband keeps it in place. There is the use of 87% merino wool in it which makes this underwear naturally antimicrobial, soft, as well as comfortable. The 13% nylon use provides the much-needed durability to it. It offers targeted insulation and ventilation to keep you sweat-free. Its flatlock seams minimize chafing and interlock knit enhances breathability, thermoregulation, odor resistance, and comfort.
So, select your ideal hiking underwear and you will be amazed to see how great it feels when you wear a soft, comforting, non-stinky, and fresh underwear on your hiking trip.