Best Hiking Underwear: Our Top Picks Reviewed [2021]


best hiking underwear

Hiking boots – check! Backpack – check! Waterproof – check! Best Hiking Underwear – what?

Underwear is one of the most underrated pieces of hiking equipment. We all spend a lot of money on backpacks, shoes and tents but have probably never considered buying specialist underwear for a day out on the hiking trail. However, as a piece of clothing which is in direct contact with sensitive skin this part of your hiking apparel is one of the most important. As a result, we think that it is not a good idea to look for shortcuts or cheap options. Instead, you should be choosing the best hiking underwear on offer.

The best hiking underwear will offer comfort and improved performance by preventing chafing and minimising rubbing. For longer trips, you can buy anti-microbial hiking underwear which will help you pack lighter and smell better.

The best hiking underwear should be comfortable, breathable and quick-drying. We have created a list of our best hiking underwear choices and reviewed them to make your buying decision quick and simple.
So, let’s get going!

This section contains options for men

Table of Contents

Best Hiking Underwear - in detail

MERIWOOL Mens Boxer Briefs Merino Wool Underwear Base Layer for Men

Quality

4.8/5

Cost

4.5/5

Key Features

  • 100 Merino Wool which offers excellent breathability and natural antimicrobial properties.
  • Silky-smooth fineness for maximum gentleness on your skin.
  • Available is sizes S-XXL.
  • Machine washable and good to tumble dry.
  • Merino wool’s natural wicking and odour-resistant properties keep you dry and comfortable while active in cold weather.
  • Includes a 1-YEAR limited manufacturer’s warranty, which covers manufacturing and material defects.

Ridge Merino Men's Ridge Boxer Brief - Merino Wool

Quality

4.2/5

Cost

4.5/5

Key Features

  • 84% Merino Wool, 12% Nylon, 4% Spandex.
  • Flatlock seams offer reduced rubbing and chafing.
  • Merino wool permanently resists odor and wick moisture away from your skin to prevent clamminess.
  • Machine washable.
  • Perfect for backpacking, camping, skiing, climbing; fishing, yoga, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Natural antimicrobial properties means these briefs will be fresh and odourless days after use making them ideal for extended trips away.
  • Soft, no itch, ultra-fine 18.5-micron fibers feel great against your skin allowing you to stay cool and relaxed whilst hiking.

ExOfficio Mens Underwear | Mens Boxer Briefs | Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 3" Boxer Brief

Quality

4.5/5

Cost

3.9/5

Key Features

  • These breathable mens performance mesh boxer briefs are great for cycling, hiking, trail running, or any other outdoor pursuit.
  • Fabric dries quickly so you can wash, wear & go.
  • Breathable mesh keeps you cool and comfortable.
  • Odour-eliminating Silvadur technology keeps you feeling fresh.
  • Lightweight fabric makes this the ideal choice for strenuous outdoor summer activities.

Arc'teryx Phase SL Boxer Men's

Quality

4.3/5

Cost

3.7/5

Key Features

  • Made from 100% polyester which uses advanced technology to pull moisture away from the skin and disperses it across the entire surface area of the garment for quick drying.
  • Superlight design and materials make this the ideal choice for summer activities such as camping and hiking.
  • Inbuilt flatlock seams improves next-to-skin comfort.
  • Comfort waistband with laminated, soft-brushed finish.
  • Stretchy fabric allows you to move more freely.

Icebreaker Men's Anatomica Boxers

Quality

4/5

Cost

4.5/5

Key Features

  • 83% merino wool, 12% nylon, 5% elastane.
  • Merino wool’s natural fibre temperature control properties, moisture wicking and odor resistant abilities make it the perfect material for everyday underwear comfort.
  • Super-soft, stretchy and highly durable making this one of the best hiking underwear options.
  • Flatlock seams eliminate chafing when youre on the move, and the contoured pouch offers additional support.

Buying the Best Hiking Underwear - what is important?

Material

The main purpose of hiking underwear is to provide comfort and support for whoever is wearing them. Therefore, it needs to be made of a material which doesn’t rub or cause chafing. To do this, the material needs to be breathable and quick drying because without this the material will stick to the skin and begin to rub causing rashes and sores.

The best hiking underwear is made of natural materials such as merino wool or other (synthetic materials) such as polyester or nylon. In order to add to the durability of natural materials nylon fibres are often added.

Seam

The best hiking underwear should use flatlock seams because they offer great comfort. This is different from normal seams. This is because normal seams can chafe your skin by rubbing against it repeatedly. 

Antimicrobial

Underwear which is antimicrobial will remain fresh and useable after days of use. The fabrics used in hiking underwear such as Merino wool have natural properties embedded within the fabrics. Other fabrics will have antimicrobial properties added to the production phase. The benefit of this for hikers is that they are able to pack lighter and conserve space by reducing the amount of underwear they need to take with them on the trail. In addition to this, if you end up hiking for an extended period of time you can relax about whether you are letting off any bad odours. 

Durability

Hiking underwear should be machine washable and maintain its properties after regular washing. For the best results wash on a cold heat or wash by hand. The quick dry capabilities of the fabric makes them ideal to wash (and try) whilst camping.

Style

We would always recommend boxer style underwear briefs. They offer a tight fit and effective get rid of perspiration from the skin to the outer layers. The tight fit also protects a larger area of skin from chafing. A top tip is that if you do suffer from extreme chafing of the thigh muscle area then wearing long boxer briefs will offer support and protection which allows you to enjoy your hike in greater comfort.

Conclusion - Best Hiking Underwear

Hiking underwear is often forgotten when preparing for an adventure. Nevertheless, it is a vital piece of apparel. Given its proximity to sensitive areas of the body having the right clothing can offer support, comfort and increased performance. All of the option in this list have great properties and features. If you are after a great all-round product for use in winter and summer we recommend the Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica Boxers. The combination of fabrics offer great versatility whilst maintaining all of the great properties which you need for hiking underwear.  

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Joe

I have been a keen outdoorsman since the age of 5, being exposed to the wondrous mountains of the Lake District, UK. Hiking has become more than a hobby for me as I completed survival skills training and competed in endurance challenges across Europe.

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