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What do a weekend hike through the mountains and a 24 hour flight from New York to Australia have in common? Besides being a traveler’s dreams come true, both occasions call for a different kind of underwear than what you’re used to wearing every day. Spending boundless hours becoming one with the wilderness and / or parking your bum in a tight seat in a hot metal tube overnight place some pretty heavy comfort demands on your body. You need to be kept cool and dry, and you gotta make sure your odor control is amped up, too. No matter what kind of adventurer you are, trust us when we tell you that regular underwear just won’t cut it. What you need is hardcore performance underwear.
When adventure calls, go for it with gusto, but first put on a pair of these high-tech performance underwear to keep you cool, comfortable and hygienic. Here are our expert recommendations–performance underwear made to go the distance.
ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief
Available in briefs, boxer briefs and boxer shorts; $20-$30
The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief is performance underwear you can wear for extended periods of time with almost magical quick washing abilities.
They’re made from diamond weave mesh fabric designed for ultimate breathability, and treated with microbe shield to eliminate odor causing bacteria. After you’ve given them a run for their money, simply throw them in the laundry or wash in a sink and the quick dry fabric will have you in a fresh pair of undies in a matter of hours. Wear them as long as you want and stay fresh and dry the whole time. More wear time and less washing means you can pack less pairs than regular underwear, too–how’s that for efficient packing?
Many guys already wear these as their everyday underwear, thanks in part to the fact that they come in multiple colors. ExOfficio prides itself in leading the “travel underwear revolution,” and if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll definitely see what they mean.
Icebreaker Anatomica Brief
Available in briefs and boxer briefs; $45-$50
The Icebreaker Anatomica Brief packs a one-two punch of long-lasting benefits. The first is the fabric, the brand’s famous super fine merino wool. Push away all thoughts of itchy wool sweaters–this lightweight genius fabric is treated to be luxuriously soft while fiercely durable. It insulates against the cold and ventilates when it’s hot, and is incredibly odor resistant. More than one reviewer boasted wearing them for over a week without washing, one even reporting “freshness like it was day one.” This performance underwear is great for basically everything that gets your heart pumping, from climbing Mount Everest to running the New York Marathon.
The other benefit comes with the curved seam pouch, specially designed to better accommodate a guy’s anatomy. It keeps everything in place through any level of activity, reducing bounce, chafing and rubbing. There’s no time to adjust when you’re suspended from a mountain, 3,000 feet in the air, so choose the right pair of performance underwear before you start the climb.
Equmen Precision Trunk
Available in briefs, trunks and boxer briefs; $49-$55
The Equmen Precision Trunk features a high-tech detail known as “Helix Mapping Technology” that’s basically a network of compression zones that criss-cross around your sides and bum providing a supportive, ergonomic fit. The light compression stimulates better core support for increased longevity. Core support is what keeps you comfortable when you’re sitting or standing for long periods of time, by the way, so jet setters will find this trunk absolutely essential. The precision fit pouch is engineered for a perfectly anatomical fit, and the moisture-wicking fabric and mesh inserts allow for constant airflow, keeping you dry and odor-free.
For more intense core support and performance compression, Equmen also makes a variety of t-shirts and tank tops designed to deliver the same benefits to your upper body as the performance underwear, with the benefit of a slimmer physique. It’s torso-trimming, instant-slimming shapewear that can actually improve your physiological health. What more can you ask for from your underwear?
Saxx Ultra Boxer Brief
Available in briefs, boxer briefs and long johns; $25.95-$57.95
The Saxx Ultra Boxer Brief is an ideal performance underwear choice for the busy guy who is always on the go. The most outstanding feature is the articulated pouch, designed roomy enough to allow a man’s package to rest inside naturally; plus, it lacks an inner seam that could cause irritation, when worn for many hours. Flanking both sides of the pouch are two mesh panels that act as a barrier between your package and your thighs, preventing rubbing, squishing and stickiness.
If you’re one of those guys for whom a typical day starts before the sun rises and ends after it sets, this is the performance underwear you need that will keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Under Armour Charged Cotton Boxerjock Boxer Brief
Available in 6″ and 9″ boxer briefs; $22
The Under Armour Charged Cotton Boxerjock Boxer Briefs are made with a quick dry cotton fabric that feels super soft, like the cotton you’re used to, but dries in a flash to prevent moisture buildup. These boxer briefs are among the most versatile performance underwear out there. They come in two lengths–a 6″ trunk that’s great for everyday wear, as well as for a variety of athletic activity, and a 9″ boxer brief that is ideal for layering under workout wear when you engage in high motion activities, like cycling or running in cool weather. In addition to drawing moisture away from your body, the length protects against rubbing and chafing, and the waistband is lined on the inside with plush that provides a barrier against squeezing and pinching.
Photo Credit: Details magazine; “The Avengers‘ Chris Evans: Just Your Average Beer-Swilling, Babe-Loving Buddhist”