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Help me with my underwear! Comfy, quick dry, and light?

Currently I bring two pairs of Ex Officio's boxer-briefs. Reasonably lightweight, dry pretty well, comfortable.

But I'm always on the hunt to slim and lighten my pack. Any suggestions for lighter underwear to consider? Needs to be boxer-brief style, sink wash easy. My dad always did breezy little briefs - could have stuffed 5 in a tennis ball, but he's a 1970's kind of guy and they matched his mustache :)

Also, and TMI probably, I'm considering just one pair this next trip. I wear bike shorts many if not most days and don't mind bathing suit style in my walking shorts for just hanging out. I think if quick dry one pair could get it done. Crazy?

Thanks!

Posted by
358 posts

My menfolk like the 32 Degrees boxer briefs (Costco, and elsewhere maybe), and Puma also makes a similar product. Very lightweight, dry quickly after a sink wash (pro-tip - if your hotel has a towel warming rack, this is perfect for drying underwear, and especially socks!).

Posted by
5020 posts

Yes, crazy. What happens if you spill something on yourself or have some other accident and need to change? Or you wash your shorts and it's too cool or humid for them to dry before morning. Pack at least two extra pair.

Posted by
8582 posts

Hmm. It's hard to see getting significant weight savings for "lighter underwear" on one pair, or a brand lighter than Ex Officio. I like Duluth Trading Company for everyday use as well as travel, and they travel and wash well on the road, but cant say about the weight. Lots of different fabrics.

The other light packing strategy is to buy as you go. And while I don't condone it, I know guys who save their discardable clothes including underwear for trips, and get rid of them along the way.

Posted by
1848 posts

Thanks Rebecca. I took a look, a bit too much of the front pouch style for me in the 32 Degree boxer-brief. I'm looking for slightly more toward the boxer side of the boxer-brief spectrum. But definitely a solid product at an attractive price for the right audience.

Posted by
522 posts

I like Equipo from Kohl's: lightweight, quick-drying, comfortable.

Posted by
15505 posts

I use Ex officio boxer briefs as well. One pair of XL weighs 4 oz. How much lower do you think you can go?

Posted by
1848 posts

I use Ex officio boxer briefs as well. One pair of XL weighs 4 oz. How
much lower do you think you can go?

Hi Frank! I could do zero oz by travelling full-time commando, but that seems a bit reckless. I'm in size large, but maybe could try medium, probably shave off a little weight :)

I certainly am a bit fanatical about the weight of my stuff! In my own defense, I do put it all on a bicycle and ride over big passes in the Alps. As such, one achieves light total weight by scrutinizing every item. It seems silly, but people who don't end up remarkably heavier than those who do. Long distance trail hikers for instance cut the handles of their toothbrushes. It seem absurd, but multiplied by 40 such choices they walk with less than 10 pounds on their backs. In my case, it feels amazing to ride uphill with less weight, and into a headwind with less aero-killing bulk.

But yeah, I am a bit over-activated about packing light. To some extend it's a perseverative hobby I tend to enjoy mulling.

Posted by
1848 posts

I like Equipo from Kohl's: lightweight, quick-drying, comfortable.

Those look pretty good Jeff, look a little shorter and a little thinner than the Ex Officios, and not super pouchy. Look like they'd pack small and dry quickly. Maybe a bit tight? Or maybe that's how they have the models wear them. Thanks!

Posted by
1446 posts

Ex-Officio and synthetic fabric briefs dry quickly but I find they trap the heat on hot days, which is why I also pack some thin cotton briefs for those really hot days when you just want to keep as cool as possible. They weigh almost nothing and take up very little space.

Posted by
6774 posts

Long distance trail hikers for instance cut the handles of their toothbrushes.

Okay, that just blew my mind. You made my evening, Hank! 🤣

Posted by
1848 posts

Long distance trail hikers for instance cut the handles of their
toothbrushes.

Okay, that just blew my mind. You made my evening, Hank! 🤣

Seems crazy, but they walk 20-25 miles a day up and down mountains for months in a row. 10lbs and under is a sort of critical mass that gets you below the threshold of pack weight related problems and injuries. They cut off excess lengths from pack straps, use down jackets as parts of sleeping systems, don't use stuff sacks for things that can be stuffed right into the backpack, etc. They really think about what is necessary as opposed to what seems necessary. Same for lightweight bike tourers.

I keep myself comfortable, but definitely love packing less and light stuff so that my bag never feels remotely heavy even carried all day. It's surprising how little you miss things you decided not to take with you, and how much weight you can save by thinking about each piece individually regardless of how little or light it already is.

Posted by
1848 posts

Oh thank you very much Barkinpark - those look very much like what I'm after. Price is competitive with the Ex-officios, more or less anyway

Posted by
77 posts

Okay, now I am having flashbacks of helping my Eagle Scout and his entire crew prepare for 100 mile hike at Philmont. Hank, you have likely heard of this, but I used lighterpack.com to put in all the weights of the items to find out the total easily and quickly. You might look into it if you are really serious about shedding weight. It was helpful to separate by categories and it was completely free (may not be now as it was in beta in 2019). Give it a try.

Posted by
956 posts

Uniqlo's Airism fabric is the BEST for hot weather. In fact, for any weather.

We have recently done a 60 day trip to Spain and my husband only wore Uniqlo Airism. It is all he has worn at home and away for the last five years or so.

Posted by
1848 posts

Certainly the lightest weight strategy ;)

Posted by
1848 posts

The Oz flag budgie smugglers are class all the way!

Posted by
70 posts

Do men's undies come in microfiber (quick wash & dry) material? 3 pairs--wear 1, wash 1, spare 1.

Posted by
3169 posts

Tassie devil, I assume your wife packs the budgie smugglers for you, not for herself?

Here in the USA those skimpy briefs are known as “bunhuggers” and guys who were serious competitive swimmers years ago had to wear them for the pool, but never wore them at the beach. They are worn at certain specialty beaches, but otherwise if you come to California best stick with board shorts or similar.

Now, swimmers may wear them for practice, but in competitions it is all jammers. And hubs says he would never wear them as underwear, too tight and not breathable.

Posted by
18477 posts

Hank, I've noticed that most of the quick dry ones actually weigh more than cotton. If you go with one pair there is a trick. Look for really cheap boxers because the only difference from front to back is the tag. That way they double as four pairs. 1) Font, 2)Backward, 3) inside out front and 4) inside out backward. With two pair some shampoo and a sink you can travel indefinately. My favorite pair is has Scoob Doo on them, so they look like walking shorts too.

You can do the same with some shirts, and socks always double up that way but backward doesnt work unless you are a lizard or somehting.

Ohhh, I once stayed in this tiny little 8 room hotel inside the walls of Dubronik. "Do you have laundry service?" "Of course we do, they well be ready tomorrow morning." So I spent the day in the city and that evening when I walked up the narrow little street leading to the hotel, there was a clothes line stretched from one building to the one on the opposite side of the street and there waved Scooby Doo. And one time a LHR everyone in the security line got to see my Scooby Doos but thats a longer story.

TheOrdinaryRebecca:

if your hotel has a towel warming rack, this is perfect for drying
underwear, and especially socks!).

Clothes dryers are not common in many European homes, so those of us lucky to have a bathroom towell heater have this down pat.

Posted by
530 posts

I'm all about the ExOfficio Sport Mesh over the Everyday collection. Sport Mesh is find to be softer, more performance oriented and generally more comfortable between the two styles. I bring three along for travel or, backpacking. Easy to wash and maintain.

Duluth Trading company knocked-off ExOfficio's style and fabric, they're indistinguishable, at this point, whomever has the price or, running a promotion. I've seen ExOfficio at Costco in a 2 or, 3-pack, don't remember. It was a one-time only though, haven't seen them since.

Posted by
1532 posts

I have experience with both ExOfficio and Uniqlo's Airism. For all factors (moisture wicking, ease of care, weight, quick drying, feel on skin, durability...), the latter wins. ExOfficio's mesh fabric piles quite easily.

Posted by
1848 posts

I ordered some Hanes xtemp from Amazon to check out. Thanks for the heads up

Posted by
770 posts

Wear two pair on the plane??? From 8 ounces to zero. Other than commando, you won't get any lighter.

Posted by
1848 posts

Okay Hanes X-temps showed up.

Few things to know. They make heavier and lighter versions. You're looking for the lighter version, you want the "ultralight air."

A pair of Ex-Officio boxer briefs weighs 85 grams.

The Hanes X-temp Ultralight Airs weigh 55 g. They pack about proportionally smaller as well. They're soft and comfortable.

Only downside is the waist band. It is not nicely thought out, but a strip of ordinary elastic band like you might buy at sewing store. Not terribly comfortable and quite cheap looking and feeling. To be fair, these are highly affordable underwear at something like $4 a pair in a multi pack.

If they had a little more refined waistband I would be in on these for sure. They are light, pack small, and definitely will dry easily sink washing.
As it stands though they are not search stoppers.

Posted by
447 posts

Another vote for Duluth Trading,
although after experiencing the magic of bamboo in sweltering Spain, I'm gonna take some bamboo boxer briefs for a test drive.

Posted by
1848 posts

Demoed two Uniqlo - the waistband and no waistband.

Both fail on leg length - so short for a boxer brief. They roll up on me into the narrower area at top of thighs. I'm tall - these seem designed for shorter legged people.

Outside of that the waistband ones (49 grams) are ideal. The no waistband (56 grams) are a thicker less breathable fabric, more like yoga pants.

Both pack very small. If not for the short legs they'd be on my Europe pack list.

Posted by
1532 posts

Try the Uniqlo boxers, if you are ok with boxers.
These are harder to find

Posted by
21 posts

Fruit of the Loom has two boxer-brief lines that pack tiny, dry quickly, and are well made:

Performance Breathable
360 Stretch

During my bikepacking trip I brought two pair of the Performance Breathable with me and they worked a charm. They dried quickly in just a few hours.