With all that sweating and walking, it really helps to have good hiking underwear to keep you comfortable while hiking. And hiking underwear can do more than just keep you feeling comfortable. Innovative techniques and fabrics can, for example, keep you odor free as well, which can come in handy on extended camping or backpacking trips where taking along a fresh pair for every day isn't really an option.
What to look for when you are reviewing hiking underwear.
Fabric - The fabric that you choose is important when you are picking out hiking underwear. You have a few different choices, but the two big ones are the nylon and spandex blends, or similar materials, and wool. Each have their own positives and negatives.
Tight Fit - This one is directed more at men, but generally, loose boxer briefs are a bad idea that can lead to chaffing. It's best to go with a tight fit, which will cut down on any chaffing and give you a much more comfortable hiking experience.
Best Hiking Underwear
The best in hiking underwear, broken down by gender.
Best Hiking Underwear for Men
ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs - The Give-N-Gos are an extremely popular pair of hiking underwear that could be used for camping, backpacking or just about any other active pursuit. They're a blend of nylon and spandex, which makes for a very comfortable, quick drying fit. One thing that stands out about them, however, is an anti-microbial treatment, which keeps odors from building up, making one pair a viable option for multi-day outings.
Icebreaker Boxer Briefs - The design of these boxer briefs from Icebreaker is much the same as the ExOfficios. The one big difference is the material, which is wool for Icebreaker. Wool controls temperature well, wicks moisture and feels good against the skin when it's the high quality stuff. Wool also does not absorb odors much at all, so you get the same features, but with a more natural fabric. These do cost roughly double what the ExOfficios cost, however.
Best Hiking Underwear for Women
ExOfficio Give-N-Go String Bikini Briefs - These Bikini Briefs from ExOfficio are much the same as the men's hiking underwear above, but with a women's cut. They're a nylon and spandex combination, so they will both dry very well and wick moisture away from the skin in a timely manner. They also have an anti-microbial treatment to keep you smelling fresh, even on multi-day outdoor adventures.
Stoic Merino Boy Boxer - If you would prefer your hiking underwear to have more of a boxer cut, this hiking underwear from Stoic is ideal. They're merino wool, so they regulate body heat very well, and wick moisture as well. Wool also resists odors much better than most other fabrics, natural or synthetic, which can be a nice touch on multi-day trips when bringing multiple pairs isn't always practical.