Best Underwear For Hiking Mens 2019

Avoid Cotton Underwear at All Costs

Let me start by saying I am very particular about the underwear that I buy and choose to wear. I learned very early in life bad underwear and sweat can lead to very painful and uncomfortable days and in my case a trip to the dermatologist.

My first job at 15 years old in 1982 was at a factory that tin plated steel wire for notebook bindings, paperclips and safety pins. The process is simple, the wire is pulled through a 650 degree steel tank of molten tin. Needless to say a person sweats really bad working in that environment. Back in those days I was wearing Fruit of the loom 100% cotton underwear supplied by my mom. It was a horrible experience. The underwear would become soaked in sweat which would cause my skin to chaffe, become swollen and inflamed. On occasion I would end up with clogged pores where the leg seams rubbed on the area between my man parts and legs.  Back then I dealt with the issue with gold bond powder and various creams. Eventually I left that job which relieved the issue somewhat but didn’t eliminate the problem because around that time at age 20 I began cycling.

When I first started cycling I pretty much wore my same Fruit of the looms and gym shorts. I was totally unaware that there was clothing better suited to cycling. The cycling combined with my day job pretty much had me back in underwear hell. It all came to a head when one of those clogged pores turned into something that required minor surgery. That trip to the doctors office for surgery was a game changer.  The dermatologist gave me two suggestions. The first was wash that area of my body with bacteria killing Lever 2000 soap and more importantly throw away all my cotton underwear and switch to something synthetic and more boxer style than briefs. That advice was a life changing event.

At that point I switched to athletic underwear and clothing appropriate for the physical activities that I was performing at that time. Those activities were cycling, mountain biking, weight lifting, fishing, hiking and working. Lycra became my best friend.

Wicking Underwear as a Lifestyle Choice

Over the years I have used athletic underwear from brands you probably never heard of as well as the big name brands like 2xist, Nike, champion, Underarmor and Russel Athletic to name a few. I used to go to The Sports Authority and buy whatever was on sale. Comparing product labels taught me that lycra in a high percentage was the primary fabric in most of the underwear.

The Sports Authority met its demise with the rise of internet retailers. The internet opened the door to let me try many brands and styles of underwear which leads me to the subject of this post, The Best Mens Underwear for Hiking 2019. Until this past year I have been using my daily underwear 95% of all my activities. Those underwear are Calvin Klein Steel Micro Boxer Briefs which are made from nylon and Elastane. Elastane is simply another name for lycra.

These days though I have begun retiring the Calvin Kleins in favor of three new to me brands and styles of underwear. Those three are SAXX Underwear Men’s Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch, ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs Men’s 3″ Inseam and Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs. I have been wearing all three a daily rotation and I will admit selecting one as “Best” is no easy choice and the differences are splitting hairs, personal preference and based on my own anatomy.

Since buying these three brands and styles of “Mens Hiking Underwear” I have worn them to work, hiking New Hampshire’s White Mountains, hiking local Connecticut parks and I have worn them to dinner. They are all very good at their job of keeping my man parts comfortably in place, without chafing or any other discomfort whatsoever.

Picture of the 3 Best Hiking Underwear for Men 2019

Best Hiking Underwear Mens – 2019

The Best Mens Underwear for Hiking 2019

SAXX Underwear Men’s Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch: For me the SAXX Men’s Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch is the Best Mens Underwear for Hiking and any other activity that requires you were clothing. They are breathable, comfortable, form fitting. They hug the body closely and don’t move. when wearing these underwear there is absolutely not hint of a seam or anything that could possibly lead discomfort. Simply put these are the most comfortable underwear I have ever worn. The fact that they are suited for an active lifestyle like hiking is a bonus. But wait, there’s more. SAXX has an unbelievable selection of patterns, probably more than 100.  So not only feel good you will look great for those when your underwear are the final step to a good time. My favorite patterns are the “Hiking Stripe, Red Lumberjack Plaid and Buffalo Plaid.

ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs Men’s 3″ Inseam: The ExOfficio 3″ Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs is the lightest underwear of the trio at 66 grams and were my favorite hiking underwear until I purchased the SAXX. The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs are nearly as comfortable the SAXX but they don’t quite support support my man parts the same way.

ExOfficio touts how easy these underwear are to wash and quick to dry. based on their weight and composition I have no reason to doubt that claim

Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs: If I was to make my “Best hiking Underwear” choice based on the way underwear feels against my body the Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs would win hands down because OMG I love the way they feel.

The Merino Wool in theory makes these underwear the best choice if you need warmer underwear. While they are definitely warmer I haven’t found the other brands allowed me to feel any less warm once active. On the other side of the equation I haven’t found these to be too hot in warmer weather. This is a testament to the wicking ability of all of them.

On my body the Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs just didn’t fit me as perfectly as the other two brands above. Don’t get me wrong they still fit very well they just felt a little thicker in the area between my man parts and my leg.

The Smartwool Merino 150’s are the most expensive underwear of the bunch at $45 and that’s typical of merino wool and Smartwool clothing.


    Best Mens Underwear For Hiking 2019

    BrandStyleFabricWeight CostSource
    1SAXX Underwear Men's Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch95% Viscose, 5% Lycra Spandex84 Grams, 2.95 Ounces$31.95Amazon
    2ExOfficioGive-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs - Men's 3" Inseam92% Nylon, 8% Lycra Spandex66 Grams, 2.30 Ounces$28.00REI
    3Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs - Men's87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon95 Grams, 3.30 Ounces$45.00REI

Saxx Underwear

SAXX Underwear Men’s Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch: Experience friction-free support with SAXX’s selection of men’s underwear. Every pair houses patented technology designed to reduce friction and provide functional comfort. Whether you’re going back and forth between meetings or making moves on the weekend, anti-odor tech and moisture-wicking fabric leave you feeling fresh for longer.

Ballpark Pouch: A 3D hammock-shaped pouch designed to keep everything in place. Thanks to mesh panels and Flat Out Seams™, the BallPark Pouch™ prevents skin-against-skin friction and ensures chafe-free support.

Flat Out Seams: Counter to conventional methods, we reverse the stitching, placing the flatter, softer side against the body (a.k.a. an itch-free experience).

Three-D Fit: All styles start with an ergonomic nine-panel construction to create 3D support around glutes, thighs, quads and hamstrings.

Moisture Wicking: Each pair comes with qualities designed to combat clamminess and allow moisture to dissipate away from the skin.

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ExOfficio Underwear

ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs – Men’s 3″ Inseam: A single pair of ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 3″ Boxer Briefs can keep you cool, fresh, and comfortable. Just one pair can last a 7-day journey through 500 miles.

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Underwear performs wherever adventure takes you. The active fit and lower rise will support you on multi-day trips and off-road treks. Odor-resistant technology leaves you feeling fresh while the breathable mesh fabric keeps you comfortable. The quick-drying fabric is ready to wear within hours.

The Give-N-Go® Sport Mesh boxer brief pairs ergonomic fit with ultralight mesh for active performance. Whether you’re cycling through Patagonia, trekking in Thailand, or trail running in your home range, Sport Mesh will keep you cool, fresh, and comfortable.

  • Ultralight mesh is breathable and quick drying, keeping you cool
  • Ergonomic flyless panel constructed from classic diamond weave mesh fabric for support
  • Treated with AEGIS® Microbe Shield to eliminate odor-causing bacteria in fabric
  • Snug active fit and lower rise are ideal for high energy activities
  • Contrast flatlock seams and smooth waistband prevent chafing
  • No-chafe waistband
  • Flyless panel constructed with classic Give-N-Go mesh for extra support

ExOfficio Wash & Go Fabric – Washing Instructions

ExOfficio Wash and Go Fabric Washing Instructions

ExOfficio Wash and Go Fabric Washing Instructions

Follow these simple instructions to keep your underwear clean and fresh.

  1. Wash: Wash with soap in the sink, shower, lake or river.

  2. Wring: Wring out as much water as possible.

  3. Roll: Lay flat on a dry towel. Rollup with underwear inside and squeeze to absorb the water.

  4. Hang Dry: Underwear will hang dry in 2-4 hours, longer in humid locations.

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SmartWool Underwear

Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Briefs – Men’s: Make sure your day gets started off on the right foot with the body temp-regulating and odor-fighting performance of the Smartwool Men’s Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Brief. Crafted from soft merino wool, this boxer brief keeps you warm in cooler temps, wicks moisture if things heat up, and keeps the build-up of nasty odors at bay after a particularly tough day. Its wide elastic waistband maximizes your comfort when you’re on the move by keeping the merino close to your skin for a plush fit, while the flatlock seam construction makes chafing a thing of the past. Plus, the fly is fully functional to help you out when nature calls.

  • Boxer brief for lightweight performance in cool or warm temps
  • Merino insulates, wicks moisture, and naturally fights odor
  • Flatlock seams go easy on your skin

Merino 150 fabric:

  •  Core Spun yarns wrap merino wool fibers around a nylon core for a blend of natural and synthetic performance.
  • Merino wool offers a supremely soft, next-to-skin feel.
  • Moisture-wicking performance moves perspiration away from the skin.
  • Naturally antimicrobial fabric prevents accumulation of odor-causing bacteria.
  • Nylon core lends resiliency to the stretch for improved, durable recovery.
  • 50 g/m² / 4.42 oz/yd² fabric weight.

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Best Mens Underwear For Hiking 2019 $28-$45


Wearing the wrong kind of underwear hiking can turn a fun hike into a painful one. In my opinion SAXX offers one of the best if not the best underwear styles for hiking with their Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch men’s underwearThe other two brands, ExOfficio  and Smartwool offer performance almost as good but if I had to chose only one it would be the SAXX. The Smartwool are almost in a class of their own for the way the merino feels against the body and the warmer construction may be important to some.

It’s important to note that because everyone’s body is different you might find you prefer a different style. All three brands are worth a try and your hard earned dollars.

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