Under garments

2:44 a.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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I am interested in getting some new under garments for backcountry exploits.

I have used the classic tag-less Hanes Comfort Flex waistband boxer briefs for as long as I can remember. The blend on the Hanes is 75% cotton, 25% polyester. I really have no complaints with them, but I still would like to venture out a bit and try something new.

 Here are the things I am most concerned about:

1. Comfort

2. Reek factor

3. Dry time

100% poly, Merino or merino blends (please include denier), poly-elastic/lycra/spandex blend etc.

Do you have a "go-to" brand?

Are any of these blends more beneficial in seasonal conditions?

Have you guys experimented with this type of thing?

I know the public forums may not be the best place to respond for some people. So please feel free to pm me if you would rather not post here.

3:00 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Nike Pro compression shorts and a Champion wicking tee shirt.  Both are comfortable, neither seems to hold on to much odor, especially if you wash them or swim in them every day and they both dry very quickly.

I've been riding and hiking in the same pair of Nike Pro's for over a year, sometimes riding in them as much as 3 times a week, and they are worn but still holding up well.  Same thing with the Champion tee's, the oldest one is a little worn where my Camel Back straps rub against it but otherwise it is in great shape.

When you look for the Nike's be sure you check the seams.  I've run across some that didn't have a flat seam and they chafe a bit on a bike.  Those were actually labeled Nike Pro Combat.  The last pair that I bought were Livestrongs, other than the bright yellow trim and the Armstrong branding they were the same.

5:02 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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unlike you, i have never had much luck hiking in cotton-blend briefs or t-shirts.  they get wet and stay wet, they bunch, they chafe.  

merino wool briefs/boxers are very comfortable unless you have an aversion to wool.  they do very well with the stink/funk factor.  in my experience, they take somewhat longer to dry than a number of the synthetic briefs/boxers.  they are reasonably durable, but used a lot, they can end up getting holes here and there after a year or two, whereas some synthetics last a fair bit longer.

synthetic undergarments have that stink factor, and while a number of manufacturers claim to have solved this, i have my doubts.  no issues with comfort, and they tend to wick and dry a little more efficiently than wool, and to stand up to hard usage longer.  

for brands, i freely admit that i'm probably getting ripped off & that there are more economical options available.  but, i wait for sales and shop judiciously, and i apparently place a high value on my personal, um, comfort.    

wool: i have worn icebreaker wool in various kinds (loose boxers, athletic-cut boxers, boxer briefs), in denier between 150 and 200.  the 200 feels a little warmer than the 150, but not much difference really.  

for synthetics, patagonia capilene boxers (loose and athletic cut), capilene briefs, and sport boxer briefs.  i now avoid the capilene briefs because i don't think patagonia has ever gotten the seams right; i always seem to end up with something chafing with their briefs.  

5:03 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Raiders99999 said:

I am interested in getting some new under garments for backcountry exploits...

..I still would like to venture out a bit and try something new...

You might try something from Victoria's Secret  Surely that will put a new kink in your exploits.

Ed

9:59 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks dm and Leadbelly. I'll give those you mentioned a shot.

unlike you, i have never had much luck hiking in cotton-blend briefs or t-shirts. they get wet and stay wet, they bunch, they chafe.

Yeah, all that except the chafing happens to me too. I just thought everyone dealt with that i guess. If I wear a cotton shirt on the trail (which I rarely do), chances are that the shirt will come off at some point. My pack fits very well on bare skin.

I have 2 150 denier merino shirts from icebreaker and smartwool. The problem I have with them is that they do not breathe well in high humidity. I ended up getting holes in the icebreaker shirt this season, but not in the smartwool yet.

10:26 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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I have tried probably 10 different manufactures in the last 5 years and like Exofficio the best for briefs.

8:20 a.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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FWIW, for three season trips I prefer polyester/ spandex blend Addidas. They are sort of compression type shorts but not marketed as such. No reason other than comfort.

12:05 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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My 2001 Long Trail end-to-end was nearly ended by chafing! I've since become a fan of inexpensive spandex bottoms.  On a long hike, I'll take them off at night to air, and wash them every few days. For shorter hikes, merino bottoms are more comfortable, but less durable.

12:24 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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i have put holes in many merino wool boxers and baselayer tops.  it just isn't as durable a material as many synthetics.  for example, the only hole i have ever gotten in patagonia's capilene baselayers came from a hot ember that popped out of a fire. 

one possible caveat, though the jury is still out.  i picked up a long sleeved merino 3 (relatively heavy) top at the patagonia 50% off sale that was a reworked material - merino blended with 20% polyester.  it feels and has so far performed differently than 100% merino.  definitely more durable.  on the minus side, it feels sort of heavy (probably a heavier top than i would normally buy as a baselayer, but 50% off was too hard to resist), doesn't feel like it breathes quite as well as pure wool, perhaps that's due to how the fabric is woven.  too soon to tell whether it repels odor with equal success, whether it's truly durable, and whether adding the polyester otherwise influences performance. 

5:32 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Adidas is my new go-to brand for hiking underpants. Their Climalite poly/spandex boxer-briefs are great. They're super-soft, light-weight, and long enough to prevent chafe.

12:34 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Under Armor compression shorts are tick proof and chafe-free.   They get my vote.  A little powder helps fight the funk.

12:50 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Sebastian_C said:

Adidas is my new go-to brand for hiking underpants. Their Climalite poly/spandex boxer-briefs are great. They're super-soft, light-weight, and long enough to prevent chafe.

 Sebastian,

 

That's funny; I didn’t realize that was the model I had mentioned a couple posts earlier but after looking that's it!

Climalite.

Yep I use them for hiking, running and pretty much all exercise activities.

9:59 a.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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I also like synthetic compression boxer briefs. I would like to try merino ones sometime, but haven't laid out the cash for that purchase. 

I simply cannot wear cotton ones while hiking, as it results in the most hellacious chaffing. 

5:56 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Walmart carries inexpensive 'compression' shorts, with flat seams and a very comfortable fit. It's one of their house brands, I believe. I tried them once and have stayed with them ever since. Cool and comfortable, and smooth enough to prevent bunching up or chafing.

October 31, 2014
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