Best Hiking Underwear to Stay Cool & Comfortable on the Trail

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Best Hiking Underwear – Editors Choice

Icebreaker Merino Men’s Anatomica Boxers

Icebreaker Men's Anatomica Boxers

If you hike a lot, you want a pair of hiking underwear that is going to keep you comfortable all day long. The silky and luxurious Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers are engineered for your movement, making them very comfortable to wear. They also help to regulate your body temperature, don’t retain odors, and protect you from UVB rays and UV light.

Made of merino wool fibers, this is a strong and durable pair of underwear that wicks away moisture, making them very breathable. You get excellent ventilation and airflow, which is essential when you are active and want to stay dry and not sweaty. Plus, it doesn’t matter how much you sweat; this underwear will never smell.

Along with an incredible fit that is perfect for hiking in the mountains, the Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers have an almost skin-like softness. You also get a contoured pouch and a functional fly that comes in super handy on the trail. And, no matter what environment you are in, these boxers will keep your temperature regulated based on the external conditions.

Best Underwear for Hiking and Backpacking

Choosing the wrong underwear can quite literally be a pain in the butt – We’ve test 7 of the best hiking underwear briefs to help you stay comfortable on the trail.

Brian Connelly
Brian Connelly
Last Updated: March 29, 2020

Looking for the Best Hiking Underwear?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • What features to look for in a pair of travel underwear.
    • Reviews of the best hiking and traveling underwear on the market
    • Our #1 pick for the best underwear for hiking

When you think about hiking apparel, underwear for hiking for many newbies is not going to be high on your list.

However, the best hiking underwear is not only of those items most hikers will spend a ton of money on, but it is an essential part of your wardrobe that needs to be comfortable for the full duration of your trip. If you are on a hiking trip, having underwear that wicks away moisture and is odor-resistant can only be a plus.

Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best underwear for hiking your next outdoor adventure.

Considerations When Choosing Hiking Underwear



Usually, breathable underwear will be made of synthetic fabrics. This can include fabrics like nylon and polyester as well as rayon, polypropylene, and a few fabric blends. If your underwear includes spandex, then you will get a great fit from a pair of stretchy and comfortable underwear that isn’t constrictive. If you choose underwear that uses synthetic fabrics, you will notice these features:

Quick-drying: Providing great wicking elements that dissipate sweat, synthetics are the best fabric type to give you a dry feeling.

Durable: Able to withstand abrasion, synthetic fabrics hold up well and are your best option for durability.

Odor retention: Since synthetic materials usually hold onto odors more than other fabrics, some underwear manufacturers use an odor preventing finish that stops odor-causing bacteria from building up. This can be a great feature when you spend multiple days out on the trail.

Merino Wool

Ultrafine, itch-free, and soft, merino wool is an excellent choice when it comes to underwear. Typically, it is blended with another fabric like nylon or spandex to improve durability, fit, and flexibility. If you choose underwear made from merino wool, you will notice these features:

Wicks well: Pulling away moisture from your body and into the fabric, wool can often retain moisture in the core of its fibers. This can make yarn seem wetter than a synthetic fiber, but it won’t make you cold. Plus, it takes longer to dry than other fabrics.

Keeps you cooler: When temperatures rise, the moisture that is held inside the core of merino wool fibers is released, helping you to feel cooler in warm weather.

Moderately durable: If the material experiences constant rubbing, you can eventually wear through merino wool. So, you may notice that the fabric is becoming thin in some places.

Odor-free: Naturally resistant to bacteria that cause odors, wool helps to keep you odor-free, even if you wear it for several days at a time.


Giving you great support prevents chafing, and enhancing moisture wicking, a good-fitting pair of underwear will keep you comfortable when you are out on the trail. Here are a few tips to get the right fit.

Find a snug, but comfortable fit: Find an underwear size that is formfitting, but not that tight that you aren’t comfortable. Also, make sure they aren’t too big so that they don’t rub and bunch, which can be uncomfortable and irritating to your skin. If you like to work out or run, you may prefer to wear compression shorts, but after a few hours on the trail, that consistent pressure can cause your underwear to become uncomfortable.

Improves wicking: You may think that a looser fit can give you better ventilation, but a fabric that wicks well actually needs to touch your skin to work effectively. With that in mind, look for more formfitting underwear when choosing the best pair for wicking.

Longer cuts can prevent thigh chafing: If you want to avoid inner-thigh chafing, look for a pair of underwear that has an extended cut that will cover the spot where you have experienced discomfort.

Features You Should You Look For In Hiking Underwear


It can be annoying to have a tag that scratches your skin while you are hiking. With tagless underwear, your trip will be a lot more comfortable if you don’t have that constant irritation.

Flatlock seams

A scratchy seam can be just as annoying as a tag. Look for flatlock seams that won’t irritate your skin while you are moving. These seams are wide and flat and do not rub.

Comfortable waistband

Another vital consideration is a waistband that will sit comfortably around your waist. If you wear a backpack, your waistband can end up getting pressed into your skin. This can turn a little annoyance into a significant irritation when you are on the trail. Keep in mind that flatter waistbands are more comfortable than those that are bulky and thick.


Whether or not you have a fly in your underwear is a personal preference. If you need a fly, make sure you pay attention as you shop and don’t pick up a pair that doesn’t have one.

Odor resistance

If you hike, you know you will get sweaty. This can lead to a lot of odors. And if you are wearing materials that tend to retain odors, your clothes will start to stink. Look for hiking underwear that uses an antimicrobial treatment that will lessen odors, so you will still smell fresh after a few days of use.

Since these treatments can wear off over time, you need to find materials that have natural antimicrobial properties. For example, merino wool is already odor-resistant naturally, so it will never wear off. You can also check out nylon and polyester that have been treated with Polygiene or other antimicrobial agents that provide antimicrobial properties. But, as we mentioned, antimicrobial treatments can wash out eventually.


While unthinkable, it can be possible for your hiking underwear to start to fall apart when you are in the middle of a multiple-day hike. This can be awkward and eventually painful. Look for hiking underwear that has flatlock seams that give you additional strength and will cut down on chafing since you won’t have that thick seam rubbing up against your skin all the time. The ideal pair of hiking underwear can withstand heavy use and won’t fall apart from a few regular washings.


At a minimum, you want your hiking underwear to be easy to maintain, which means machine washable. They should also look the same and retain their properties after regular washings.

Other Features

Fly Opening – This is the opening in the front that lets you urinate without having to pull down your underwear.

Antimicrobial – This is a property of the underwear’s fabric that will stop the spread of bacteria.

Modal – Also known as rayon, modal is a type of fabric that is very breathable and often used in active sportswear.

Inseam – Starting from the crotch, the inseam is the vertical line that you find inside your boxers.

Best Hiking Underwear Reviews

Icebreaker Merino Men’s Anatomica Boxers

Best Hiking Underwear

Icebreaker Men's Anatomica Boxers

Naturally luxurious, the Icebreaker Merino Men’s Boxers were created to give you comfort all day long. Engineered for movement, this sturdy design helps to regulate your body temperature, is odor-free, and is easy to care for. Breathable, soft, and silky, the Icebreaker Merino Boxers wick away moisture using superfine natural wool fibers.

Providing improved strength and durability, these boxers are built with merino wool fibers that are wrapped around a nylon core. This gives you an almost skin-like softness that supports you through your day to day life and weekend fun. With improved breathability and an incredible snug feel, you also get added ventilation and the most airflow when you are active.

The Icebreaker Merino Boxers feature a contoured pouch that comes with a functional fly while the comfortable elastic waist features a satin-finished label in the back. Soft and stretchy, these boxers regulate temperature based on external conditions, so you stay cool or warm, depending on the environment you are in. They also protect from UVB rays and UV light.

  • PROs

    • They are incredibly soft and very comfortable to wear
    • It doesn’t matter how much you sweat; they will not smell
    • Great snug feel that works well for long hikes
  • CONs

    • The sizes run a little large, especially in the leg area
    • They do not give you as much support as you want
Bottom-Line: Providing a decent fit, the Icebreaker Merino Boxers are super soft and comfortable, plus they will never smell.

Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs

Best Insulated Hiking Underwear

SmartWool Men's Merino 150 Boxer Brief

Stay warm by locking in your body heat with the Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs. Using flatlock seam construction, these boxer briefs were designed to reduce chafing while the wide elastic waistband was created for the most comfort. With lightweight insulation, these boxer briefs use a 13% nylon core and 87% Merino Jersey fabric for improved durability that feels good against your body.

Versatile and warm, the Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs are great for outdoor adventures. While they are super comfortable, they also give you a solid foundation that will regulate your body temperature, resist odors, and manage moisture, plus they come with a fully functional fly. Easy to maintain and clean, just toss these boxers into a gentle, warm water cycle and then tumble dry on a low setting.

Great for all-around comfort, the Smartwool Merino Sports are perfect relaxing at home or hitting a hard trail. You get extra support with the double front panel design. Plus, they keep you fresh in the hot summer months with their breathability and warm in the winter with their blended fabric temperature control.

  • PROs

    • They are very comfortable, and sizing is right on
    • These are perfect for hunting since they don’t gather or bind
    • They stay very dry when you sweat
    • 87% Merino Wool 12% Nylon
  • CONs

    • None
Bottom-Line: By locking in your body heat, the Smartwool Merino 150 Box Briefs keep you warm are on the trail with their lightweight insulation and blended fabric temperature control.

Arc’teryx Phase SL Boxer Men’s

Best Quick Drying Hiking Underwear

Arc'teryx Phase SL Boxer Men's

Quick drying and lightweight, the Arc’teryx Phase SL Boxers wick away moisture creating a breathable and comfortable fit. Featuring a comfort waistband, these boxers include a soft-brushed laminated finish. Made with flatlock construction, the Arc’teryx Boxers give you a next to skin experience.

Providing unrestricted mobility, these comfortable boxers are made of a mechanical stretch textile. They include a non-chafing label and a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement, while the anatomical shaping provides comfort and snug feeling. Using advanced technology, the Arc’teryx Boxers were created for day to day use or high-level activity.

Versatile enough to work well in diverse conditions and activities, these boxers create a quick-dry base that you can build your outerwear on top of. They provide excellent moisture management, which is perfect for high-level activities. And, they are constructed of lightweight materials that are easy to pack as well as durability.

  • PROs

    • They keep everything in place, even when you bend over
    • They dry very quickly
    • These boxers are not too tight at all around the waist
  • CONs

    • They do not come with a fly
    • They do retain odors
Bottom-Line: The Arc’teryx Phase SL Boxers fit well, give you a great next to skin experience, and don’t restrict your mobility.

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Sport Boxer Brief

Best All Temperature Hiking Underwear

ExOfficio Men's Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 6' Boxer Brief

Perfect for any adventure, the ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Underwear gives you an active fit and a low rise that is supportive on multiple day trips. Using odor-resistant technology, the breathable mesh fabric leaves you fresh and comfortable. Plus, the quick-drying fabric will get you back into your adventure in just hours.

Easy to maintain, you can wash and dry this fabric quickly in the washer or the sink. Silvadur technology eliminates odors for the lifetime of the boxers while the lightweight fabric gives you support that doesn’t weigh you down. With breathable fabric, you get better airflow, especially during intense activity. Perfect for running, hiking, and cycling, these boxers offer convenience, comfort, and compression.

An excellent choice for a trail runner, the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Briefs won’t chafe or leave you raw after a long run. You get all-day support with the specially designed fly panel and excellent breathability with the stretchy mesh fabric. With such a great fit, everything will stay in place, no matter how hard you run.

  • PROs

    • They are very comfortable with a fantastic fit
    • The fabric is comfortable no matter what temperature it is or how much you sweat
    • There is no chafing with these boxers, and everything stays in place
  • CONs

    • There are too many color choices and no black option
    • The design causes some parts of you to stick out more than some users are comfortable with
Bottom-Line: With no chafing and a great fit, the ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Sport are soft, comfortable, and ideal for any type of climate.

Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Acadian Boxer Brief

Best Odor Control Hiking Underwear

Minus33 Merino Wool 702 Acadian Men’s Lightweight Boxer Brief - Anti Odor No Itch Renewable Fabric

Providing the ultimate performance and comfort, the Minus33 Merino Wool Boxer Briefs are lightweight men’s briefs that keep you dry and cool. Perfect for the office, running, hiking, or biking, these comfortable and supportive boxer briefs can become a part of your day to day routine. They are machine washable and come with a great selection of colors.

With an athletic fit, these skin-tight boxer briefs have a compression style fit. They work the best as a base layer when layering your garments. If you plan to use them for regular activities and need a relaxed fit, you will want to choose the next size up.

These breathable and quick drying briefs feature a flatlock seam that gives you the most comfort and reduces chafing, which allows your boxers to move with you.

Plus, a flatlock seam is not only stronger but also helps your boxers last longer. They are also machine-washable boxers that do not lose their shape or fade remaining comfortable and soft for their entire lifetime.

Using 100% 17 ½ microns Merino Wool, these boxer shorts only weigh 3 ½ ounces. Naturally able to control odor and wick moisture, these boxes have a UPF rating of 25. The Minus33 Boxer Briefs have great sizes and color options and are perfect for sitting at home or hitting the trails.

  • PROs

    • They do not smell after prolonged use camping or hiking
    • No sweaty underwear, quick dry.
    • They are definitely worth the money with their fit and performance
  • CONs

    • They are a bit itchy at first
    • A little on the expensive side
Bottom-Line: Minus33 Merino Wool Boxer Briefs are a bit expensive, but users say they are worth it for their support and performance.

SAXX Underwear Men’s Vibe Boxer Brief

Best Friction-Free Hiking Underwear

SAXX Underwear Men's Vibe Boxer Brief with BallPark Pouch

Giving you friction-free support, the SAXX Vibe Boxer Briefs use a patented technology that will lessen friction while giving you more comfort. These functional and high-performing boxer briefs are great for day to day wear or weekend adventures. Helping you to stay fresher longer, these use super-soft fabrics that give you the most breathability.

With a barely-there feeling, the fit of the SAXX Vibe Briefs uses an ergonomic construction with nine panels. This creates 3D support around your hamstrings, thighs, quads, and glutes. They are designed to reduce friction and provide functional comfort. And, they also use reverse stitching that places the softer and flatter side of the material against your body.

In addition, they also wick away moisture using a design that lets water dissipate away from your body. The SAXX Vibe Boxer Briefs are machine washable and features a patented BallPark Pouch that gives you friction-free support while keeping everything in place. Perfect for long hikes, you get all-day comfort with fabric that quickly wicks away sweat so you stay comfortable and dry.

MERIWOOL Men’s Boxer Briefs

Best All-Day Comfort Hiking Underwear

MERIWOOL Mens Boxer Briefs Merino Wool Underwear Base Layer for Men

Offering breathability and comfort, the Meriwool wool boxer briefs are odor resistant and tagless. Perfect for hiking or a day in the office, these boxer briefs are designed to fit your legs while staying dry all day long. These all-natural briefs are made of 100% merino wool that allows you to keep cool and confident all day long.

Made with ultrafine 17 ½ micron Merino wool, the Meriwool boxer briefs give you the most airflow while wicking away moisture. With a long inseam, they are easy to layer under your clothes to keep you warm and provide a good fit. While wool may seem like a warm material, they absorb moisture well and keep you comfortable and clean when you wear them.

Designed to give you all-day comfort, you can wear the Meriwool boxer briefs during the most extreme activities in either winter or summer. Available in either black or charcoal gray, these smooth and silky boxer briefs are quick-drying and breathable. They are also machine washable for easy care and maintenance.

  • PROs

    • They have excellent durability and hold up well
    • They have the feel and length of compression shorts but the softness of Merino wool
    • This product helps you stay nice and warm and doesn’t retain odors
  • CONs

    • They run a little large
    • There is a lot of pilling after awhile
Bottom-Line: The Meriwool Boxer Briefs are a great base layer for a hike that gives you the length and feel of compression shorts.

Last update on 2020-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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