eing sure to pack the right underwear for a backpacking trip is not as easy as it sounds. Boxer shorts result in too much jiggle and chafing for most athletic activities, and I wouldn’t be caught dead naked with only a pair of silly-looking briefs on, so boxer briefs are a perfect compromise. In addition, it’s essential that travel underwear be synthetic, so it dries immediately whenever it gets wet; lightweight, so it doesn’t add much weight to my pack, breathable, so I don’t get too hot; sheer, to provide support and prevent uncomfortable chafing; and durable, so they last through tough trekking and cycling trips.
ExOfficio’s Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs meet all of these requirements — so much so that these boxer briefs are now the only underwear I pack for any trip I take. I’ve even almost completely replaced all of my day-to-day underwear with them too. They’re so lightweight and quick-drying that you can wash them in a few minutes in a river or hotel sink and wear them again in less than two hours. They come in ten colors and, as an added bonus, girls have told me that they look sexy too.
Update (8/7/2015): I decided to try Uniqlo’s Airism Boxer Briefs for six weeks, while hiking 580 miles across Spain (about 17 miles per day) on the Camino de Santiago, because they pack smaller and weigh about half as much as ExOfficio’s — but the Uniqlos were a disaster. They required constant adjustment, because they continually rode up my legs and scrunched up, resulting in chafing and general discomfort. I was so desperate for my old underwear back that, starting about a third of the way through my trip, I tried to buy ExOfficio’s at every sports store in Spain I could find. I never found them though, so I suffered through with Uniqlo’s, vowing to never wear them again after the trip’s end. I also learned to never test out new gear on long trips through rural countryside. WB
$26 per pair, though certain colors are often on sale in online stores for around $17. www.exofficio.com.