Stuart in the Mountains
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Backpacking UnderwearMost people don't fail to get the important backpacking equipment right, like tents and sleeping bags, but many do miss a few often overlooked essential, like backpacking underwear. You might be able to get by with your everyday underwear for backpacking, but if you don't want to have to haul along a different pair for every day, or if you are looking to cut down on chaffing and odors, then what you need is a good pair of backpacking underwear.

Backpacking Underwear

Features to look for when shopping for backpacking underwear.
  • Fit - For women, not much changes as far as fit goes for switching from everyday underwear to backpacking underwear, but for men who are used to a loose fitting boxer shorts kind of underwear, a few changes are in order, the main one being that you should be going for a tight fit, especially in the thighs, which helps to avoid chaffing.
  • Fabric - Another important criteria for selecting backpacking underwear is the fabric. You definitely do not <!--more-->want to go with something like cotton. There are many excellent fabrics available with all kinds of features, like antimicrobial coatings to cut down on smell, that are available when buying underwear for backpacking.

Best Backpacking Underwear

The best backpacking underwear, broken down for both men and women.

Men's Backpacking Underwear

  • Icebreaker Boxer Brief - Wool probably isn't the first material that most people think of when they think of backpacking underwear, but wool is actually a great choice for a few different reasons. First, it is naturally antimicrobial, meaning you wont smell nearly as bad after a long day of backpacking. Wool also feels great against the skin, and is a natural material, which will be a definite plus for some people. Finally, Icebreaker does wool garments extremely well.
  • ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs - On the other hand there is a synthetic option from ExOfficio. These are similar in size and fit to the Icebreakers, but are made of a combination of nylon and spandex for a nice, stretchy fit. They breath well, dry quickly and have an antimicrobial coating so that just like with the wool, your boxers will smell fresh at the end of the day. Best of all, they're half the price of the Icebreakers.

Women's Backpacking Underwear

  • Stoic Merino Boy Boxer - A boxer brief fit for women. This pair of backpacking boxers from Stoic are merino wool, which is actually an excellent material for this kind of garment. Wool breathes well, dries quickly and best of all, is a natural antimicrobial, so you will smell as fresh at the end of the day as you did when it began.
  • ExOfficio Give-N-Go String Bikini Briefs - Very similar to the ExOfficio boxers found above in the men's category, but with a woman's fit. They're made of a blend of nylon and spandex, which feels good against the skin and provides an excellent fit, and are treated with an antimicrobial coating, so that you will smell fresh at the end of the day. The nylon also wicks moisture extremely well and dries quickly, which is ideal when you are being active.