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Men's travel underwear -- Duluth Trading

I've seen many recommendations for ExOfficio underwear for men and was considering them. Then I saw a review suggesting the Duluth Trading Co. brand was pretty similar to ExOfficio. And, of course, we're all constantly inundated with those TV commercials for the stuff, so I finally decided why not.

Full disclosure: I turned in my tighty whiteys a few years ago, and have a drawer full of Adidas briefs in various cuts and materials, none of which were perfect, but all better than the old stuff. On our first "packing-light" trip abroad last year, I took briefs in a polyster/spandex blend. They washed well in the sink and dried overnight. But they got sweaty fast and weren't as comfortable as I'd have liked. At the same time, I love my ribbed-cotton tank undershirts. And those do, indeed, get sweaty, wet and stinky in a hurry, while not sink washing well at all, taking a long time to dry, plus taking up a little extra bulk in the carry-on.

I'd been trying to find a lighter, quick-drying undershirt that was comfortable in local stores, but no luck. Hence, my interest in the highly recommended ExOfficio brand. As noted above, I ended up trying Duluth Trading "performance" underwear instead, and am now hopelessly converted. I mainly wanted to try the tank undershirts, but figured I'd throw in some briefs, too. The material is a nylon/spandex diamond weave, and I love it. The briefs at first feel quite snug, but the material is very stretchy and would likely accommodate a variety of, um, sizes. Just as the commercials claim, there's no pinch, no binding, no riding up or slipping down. The "no stink" claim appears to be valid, as well. There's a fully functional fly, which, for some reason, not all men's underwear includes anymore. I intended to use these just for travel, but they have now worked their way into everyday wear and that drawer full of Adidas is going to get cleaned out. I'm afraid I'll need to buy more soon. The company also sells boxer briefs and other cuts in the same material.

I like the undershirts, too, but will probably reserve those for travel, as I still prefer my cotton tanks for everyday wear. When traveling, though, these will take up less space and weight. I did a test sink wash and hang dry of both the briefs and the shirts, and they passed with flying colors.

The stuff isn't cheap. Four pairs of briefs and four undershirts were $140, on sale with free shipping. Sorry if I sound like a commercial here, but I can't recommend these enough for guys who want to travel a bit lighter and comfier.

Posted by
788 posts

Michael: No, I haven't tackled that yet. I'm always searching for the right socks, as my feet are constantly cold, especially in winter. I've been trying merino wool blends, which have been keeping my feet marginally warmer. I've seen comments on this forum that lightweight merino wool socks are great on the feet and may also dry fairly quickly.

Posted by
2712 posts

Tilley (great hats, never travel without one) makes travel socks. They are pricey but dry overnight. Warning: do not dry in the dryer as heat is bad for them. I lost several pair in a commercial dryer in France. Could have used them as ice scrapers after that misadventure..... Sold on Amazon but here is the Tilley site: http://www.tilley.com/us_en/

Posted by
252 posts

Years ago, when faced with this dilemma, we found a cotton/polyester brief at JC Penny. Turned out my husband loved them and continues to wear them for his day to day brand. They aren't expensive and hold up very well. They can be washed out in the sink and will dry overnight.

Posted by
470 posts

The "no stink" claim appears to be valid, as well.

I don't want to know how you tested this . . .

Posted by
262 posts

I had not thought I'd ever comment on mens underwear but with grown sons and a husband, I have purchased more than a few pairs over the years. A few years ago, I'd read an article about the Uniqlo's Airism underwear and shirts and they been hooked ever since. The briefs are less than $10 per pair and come out almost dry when washed. They are made of a feather-weight soft fabric and they tell me they are the most comfortable they have ever worn. My son who works out all the time purchased their sleeveless tops which were also less than $10. He has now replaced all of his expensive workout shirts with these as they dry almost instantly and feel like nothing. My husband will now only wear their Airism t-shirts under his work shirts as they are so comfortable and they are also less than $10.00. We've paid a premium for the top brands thinking they were the best, but now Airism is all they will wear and they are a bargain. The only drawback if there is one is that they are not meant for the dryer, so it's always a quick air dry after washing.

Posted by
1224 posts

My dad loves their underwear and it's nice for him since I live in the town with their flagship store he can run over when he's visiting.

Posted by
529 posts

I found these online several years ago. I decided to gift them to my husband. He loved them. So much so, he spent his own money to purchase several more pair. In my opinion, they are worth the cost. These are the only boxers he wears and they still look like new.
On a different note, he liked his so much, I thought I would try the women's counterpart. Bad, bad decision, they were not for me.

Posted by
788 posts

jlkelman: Are you talking about the Duluth Trading flagship store or UNIQLO mentioned by LacLeman in the post above? The Airism brand looks like it might be similar to what I got from Duluth, but cheaper.

Posted by
2122 posts

Note to Mike Bebee: You asked what I wondered last night when I read the post....LOL.
Oh, that poor cat!!!

........and, could you imagine someone at Duluth taking the phone call from a customer wanting to return said underwear under such a guarantee? I can just hear it, "No....NO sir, please, please, please do NOT send them back to us!! We will take your word for it." Or worse yet, some customer who just sends them back under the guarantee, and some poor unsuspecting worker opens the package......oh, no!!! the dreaded underwear return!! Bio-hazard alert in Processing Center 2!!!

But, from reading the some of the product descriptions in the Duluth catalog when it arrives at our house, they do have a cute sense of humor (and a sense of humor that seems to speak directly to some of their guy customers).

Now, stoutfella, did you ever think you would be writing a glowing underwear review on a web site? Life is funny, isn't it?

Posted by
788 posts

Margaret: The packing light mantra does lead us down interesting roads of madness and obsession.

Posted by
1265 posts

Stoutfella - I have been using Duluth Trading product for years. I love the fit. Sometimes you can find the product on sales.

Posted by
1579 posts

I can also vouch for the Tilley socks. My toes never shoot through the ends and they dry quickly. One slight concern was that after several sink washes, they started to retain foot odour (but that went away once I gave them a good washing in a machine).

Anyone who may find themselves in Toronto might enjoy a visit to the Tilley flagship store. It is a fun place to visit (and sometimes they give out cookies!) -- mind you I hear the Tilley family has sold up so I'm not sure what will happen with them in the future. They also run an occasional clearance shop on different premises.

Posted by
393 posts

My favorite travel underpants are quick drying polyester briefs with fly. They were purchased years ago and without any brand on them. Now I am having a hard time finding replacements. The fly is missing in most of the men's underpants. Can those who prefer them explain why?

Posted by
2529 posts

After extensive field tests of a plastic underwear I discovered Icebreaker brand ultralight merino wool products. Different styles available. Easy care, dries very quickly, great in hot or cold environments, breathes, and stink factor far less than plastic (although not cat tested). In colder weather, slide into ia lightweight merino wool t-shirt.

Posted by
2712 posts

Wool underpants? Must be one of the seven gateways to hell!