If you want to keep the looks of your stylish pants, you should consider hand washing them in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent, and hang them to dry. Now, that you know of different styles and varieties of underwear, keep them in mind when you step up with different dresses to keep yourself comfortable. Underbust circumference - Measure around your chest, just under the bust but make sure the tape measure lies straight all the way around and not too tight.
Offering the best front pouch of any boxer brief we tested, these soft undies also stay in place better than the competition for a truly wedgie-free, riding-free, rubbing-free experience. The Patagonias have the best fit, comfort, and style out of all the panties we tested. The nylon material is fast-wicking and better than most synthetics for odor-proofing, making it well suited for athletic activities.
The Active Hipster is lightweight and packable, and is the fastest-drying underwear we tested—making it perfect for minimalist travelers who go weeks at a time with just one or two pairs. Aside from a few gifts from mom, travel underwear is the only kind I own.
For feedback on the challenges undies may face internationally, we pinned down global nomad and author of The Hidden Europe Francis Tapon during the Sudanese portion of his five-year walk through all 54 African countries.
Anyone who wants to travel light or needs more room in their luggage for the fun stuff will appreciate the convenience of ditching cotton underpants.
The thinner material takes up less space in your bag. They also dry about twice as quickly as typical underwear made of cotton. If you can commit to handwashing nightly before bed , you can travel indefinitely with just two pairs of travel undies. The only major downside is that travel underwear tends to be a bit more expensive per pair than typical cotton undies. For example, Uniqlo makes both cotton and synthetic boxer briefs, and the cotton version is about half as expensive.
And though synthetic materials have a slick, silky feel that many people love in underwear, they tend to feel less luxurious than the softer modal-blend skivvies popularized by companies like MeUndies. Travel and performance underwear needs to meet basic standards for underwear, plus excel on other criteria. The panties and boxer briefs that made our lineup met these standards for travel underwear:. Each pair was run through a vigorous set of tests back home, including washing, drying, and sniff tests.
Our ultimate goal was to determine how each pair ranked according to:. We started simply by trying everything on. We then wore the top performers for two days in a row, before conducting a sniff test. Testers also noted whether the pair felt grimy or otherwise gross. To test durability, in addition to usual washing after wear, we washed each pair of underwear three times straight with a few pairs of jeans to simulate a rough wash. Because drying time is an essential component of travel underwear, after running all the underwear through the spin cycle, we line-dried it.
We touched each pair every 20 minutes to determine whether it was dry and order of drying time. We then moved onto real-world testing on some trips we had preplanned. These included backpacking miles throughout the city of Portland, Oregon; six weeks backpacking the Canadian Rockies, walking from the lowest point in the Continental US to the highest; and road-tripping to the national parks of the West.
And of course, wearing them on all the flights that got us to our destinations. Afterward, we checked for signs of wear, such as breaking apart at the seams and pilling on the fabric. As we continued to test the finalists, we repeatedly checked for durability problems. ExOfficio made its name as a travel underwear company with its long-lasting classic Give-N-Go model which we also tested and is still available.
The Sport Mesh version has the features that made the Give-N-Go famous, but with a better, softer, stretchier fabric 2 percent more Lycra than the Classic. It also has a 3D front panel, a major improvement over the flat front panel on the original Give-N-Go. Our tester felt supported and contained, regardless of his movement.
What set the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh apart from the rest is that it transfers moisture away from the body better than the competitors. It is the ideal pair of undies for sweaty activities and hot locales.
It also had better odor treatment than most of the pairs we tried, a feature appreciated by athletes and lazy launderers alike.
They definitely combat odor. These ExOfficios were designed with the lightweight traveler in mind. Another advantage ExOfficio has over other brands we tested is that it offers the widest variety of cuts, colors, and sizes.
They are also among the most widely available performance underwear. Our personal experience after years of wearing the original ExOfficio Give-N-Go shows that the odor-proofing antibacterial treatment eventually fades, and with it, the ability to wear them for multiple days in a row. But the fabric itself is nearly indestructible. The same can almost be said of the Sport Mesh version.
During backpacking trips, the six-inch boxer brief caused our tester some slight chafing between the thighs he attributed this to the size of his thighs, as this is a problem he had with all the underwear. This issue could be mitigated by opting for the longer, nine-inch model, which we did not test. Our tester also attributes chafing to the fact that he wore the same pair for a few days, allowing the accumulation of salt, dirt, and other substances that could contribute to or exacerbate rubbing.
Our tester also noted that although the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh wicks away sweat and dries quicker than the competition, the times when you do manage to get them soaked, they can stick to the skin and be harder to remove than our other picks. Amazon reviewers and Snarky Nomad warn that sizes run large, so size down if you can. What made the Tommy Johns stand out for our tester was that it had an easily accessible fly and the best front pouch of any boxer brief we tested.
The fly allows exit from the top not the side, which our tester found convenient. He said this design allowed for a great flow of pee while also reducing pressure on the urethra to reduce dribble.
Snarky Nomad also likes the Tommy John boxer brief, despite the price tag and some pilling issues. It also lacks seams that can rub in an area that really should not be chafed.
Another benefit of the Tommy Johns is the wide range of sizes—from small to 4XL. However, color options are more limited compared with ExOfficio. The company also offers free return shipping labels within 30 days for unused products. The Patagonia Active Hipster has soft reinforced openings for the legs that prevent wedgies or riding up.
We also enjoyed how the underwear is seamless, reducing areas where chafing or rubbing can occur. Some Amazon and REI reviewers complain that the fabric is thinner than on earlier models, but we found that to not be a problem. Patagonia has an even thinner model, the Barely Hipster Briefs , which we tested last year. It bunched and moved around, but the Active Hipster stayed perfectly glued in place. We noticed no loose seams or pilling issues so far, but will continue to test for durability.
Patagonia has among the best return and repair policies in the industry, but does charge for a return label. Our biggest complaint and a common one among user reviewers is the cutaway tag. It must be cut to not rip the stitching in the seam. Wool also has natural antimicrobial features that can reduce your chance of developing infections, or at least reduce odor.
Merino does have its drawbacks as a travel underwear: The National Institute of Health says that one way to reduce your chances of developing vaginitis, including yeast infections, is to choose underwear made of natural fibers.
Natural fabrics often allow the transfer of air and moisture aka breathe better than synthetics like nylon. That heat and moisture confined against the skin could be a factor related to yeast infections.
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