Worn for seven days straight on a canoe trip in Northern…
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I received a sample of this product from the brand or its representatives for the purpose of this review.)
Worn for seven days straight on a canoe trip in Northern Maine during variable weather in august!!! Amazing!!!
- Holds shape when wet
- Does not stink
- Modest coverage for swimming in public
- Super comfortable
- Too much packaging
We outdoor industry dedicatees remember the Ex Officio campaign claiming that their underwear could take you around the world and beyond. That their undies are so great that with a simple weekly sink washing whenever you happen into a hostel your drawers will smell of roses and no crotch rot will ever inhibit your adventuring.
As is my way, I put them to the test. They were good, I’ll admit. But no matter how many quick rinses in hotel showers or mountain lakes there was always a bit of an overarching stank after day four that never really went away (and still hasn’t).
I was fortunate enough to find a pair of Minus 33 Acadian Men’s Lightweight Boxer Briefs in my mailbox just a day before a week long canoe trip into the Maine Wilderness. This company is out of Ashland, New Hampshire, so naturally I want to like the product right away as New Hampshire is my adopted state.
My first impression was that the packaging was a little much for my liberal-leaning, preservationist mindset toward sustainability. But I have been selling gear for almost two decades now and having run my own shop for five years, I know that packaging is key to getting the customer to notice the product. So I looked closer.
The packaging is large and bright, good for marketing, but more importantly it is covered with important user information like a huge sizing chart and Merino Wool facts! All of us in the business know that the two layer questions we get most are, “Is it itchy?” and, “What size would I be?”
So I get the product, I explore the packaging, I see all that I want to see to that point, so I roll the dice. I head into the wilderness of central Maine with my canoe and two dry bags and one pair of undies for a week.
Day One: Sun and light breeze blow across the lake. I’m with two couples in their thirties. The Minus 33 Acadians are modest enough to wear as swim trunks with their snug waist, well designed pee-hole, and long, below mid thigh leg length. Jumping in and out of the lake and in and out of the canoe all remained covered and where it was supposed to be.
Day Two: Cooler, maybe low 60’s, light breeze. The Acadians dried wonderfully first with a towel wrap for maybe ten minutes than with my soft-shell pants worn right over the damp briefs. By an hour later, out of the water and moving around with Acadians and my soft shells were dry. I hiked around all day exploring the Maine lakeshores and gathering firewood. There was no chafe and barely any wedgies beyond what any normally shaped hiker can expect.
Day Three: Cool, rainy. Hunkered down in camp under a big tarp brewing coffee for most of the day. Nobody was dry, nothing was dry, but my middle section was wreckage-free and without odor or discomfort.
Day Four: Sun! I spent the day in and out of the lake. My Acadians served once again as my swimwear. I used a large tech towel to dry off the big wet upon exiting the water and making my way to the wine cooler. Within 25 minutes of the tech towel wrap I was wrapping up with a cotton sarong and chilling comfortably.
Day five: A paddling day, cloudy, cool, moisture in the air. Considering I have never been comfy and cozy while paddling two foot whitecaps across a huge lake in my canoe, the fact that the Acadians felt good the whole time is a miracle. Intermittent rains fell on us but the weather was so warm I couldn't bring myself to don my rain pants. So I paddled in rain jacket and PFD, Acadians, and softshell shorts, and Chacos for a day. My muscles were used up and my core was toast, but my nether regions were comfy and I was able to sleep in the same Acadians for a fifth night.
Day six: Intermittent sun. We chilled on an island doing bushcraft projects. It was one of those days where the fire is too hot and the air too cold. I was taking off layers to jump in the water during any kind of sun. Then I would towel off as best I could and put on soft-shell pants and hoodies to survive the breezy cloud cover and continue to carve my spoon. Still the Acadians were comfy, dried quickly, and never lost their shape.
Day seven: As per usual our departure day offered the best weather of the entire trip. Sun and swimming, packing and paddling, take out and car packing. Done. But I will admit that I put my car clothes on over my Acadians and went out for burgers and drinks and did not feel shame nor discomfort.
These briefs were a sample in exchange for this review so I do not know that they cost at retail. However, I own dozens of pairs of Smartwool, Ibex, Ex Officio, Patagonia, and others that range within about $10 of each other and I will gladly pay that price for a couple more pairs of the Minus 33 Acadian Men’s Lightweight Boxer Brief in a Black Medium to fit my size 33 waist.
Disclosure: The reviewer received a sample of this product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.