As men, we’ve been doing underwear wrong the whole time. Fortunately, 2015 is the year men’s underwear is getting sophisticated and real.
There are three “below the belt” underwear epiphanies every man should experience in his life. First, the switch from tighty-whities to boxers. Next comes the support of boxer briefs. Finally, the crucial change from cotton to magical materials and advanced engineering. That’s where this article begins.
‘Year Of The Package’
Men’s underwear went unchanged for years. But 2015 seems to have sparked a revolution for the industry. We were certainly curious about it all so we decided to put a few high performance pairs to the test. We rated them on the following:
Comfort: How comfortable are they day to day and during activity?
Smell: How long can you wear them before they start to smell really bad?
Wool’s great for this, see related article: Wooly Bits: Why Merino Underwear Rocks.
Feel: How do you feel about yourself in them, and how likely is your significant other to feel you while wearing them?
Overall: An evaluation of the total package and price.
Saxx Kinetic Review
Saxx claims to make “truly life changing underwear.” The magic comes from internal mesh panels that create a “cave” of sorts for you to nestle into. Well doesn’t that sound nice? We were curious skeptics, but as we settled into our first pairs we can say things really did change downstairs.
Comfort: In both daily wear and rigorous activity these were very comfy. The mesh panels didn’t interfere or rub while riding a bike, hiking, or rock climbing.
The knit of the Saxx Kinetic underwear is slightly rougher than other pairs in the Saxx line. It’s not abrasive by any means, but it’s not plush or luxurious like some others in this test. The waistband is also the thickest in the test group. They hold well on the hips but it adds some weight (3.2 ounces, size small) and lengthens the dry time a bit.
Smell: Definitely wash these after a day of use, especially if you do any physical activity. As an 85% nylon blend they aren’t made to be used for more than a day without a proper cleaning.
Feel: The exotic feeling these offer is what makes them stand out. When you first put them on you feel like a superstar. As a bonus, throughout the day the mesh walls will gingerly brush against you to remind you that you’re wearing Saxx.
Overall: Damn they are pricy! But $37 is worth it just for the life experience. The Saxx Kinetic are great pair of underwear all around. If $37 is too much to drop on an experiment check out the brand’s sale rack for pairs at $20.
MyPakage Weekday Review
These sure got the wife’s attention the first time she saw them. And really, that’s not a bad thing, right?
MyPakage is a pretty funny company, and make no bones about the brand’s “keyhole” built to support your “package.” And, quite frankly, it works really well. These things are great.
Comfort: If you like to be “cradled,” and I do, these are great. We like, and agree with, how the company puts it: “The 3-dimensional internal pouch provides both unparalleled support and comfort. By cradling the male package, our KeyHole Comfort Technology allows absolute freedom and eliminates the need for any shifting and adjusting.”
It tends to make you point straight ahead, and your lady will notice. The waist band is wide enough to go unnoticed, even on a long day.
Smell: Made primarily of modal (a type of rayon) with a little spandex for stretch, the Weekday line of MyPakage should be laundered regularly. I’ve worn them a couple days in a row and not noticed much stink, but these aren’t an alternative to merino or other anti-microbial fabrics.
Feel: The Weekday is soft, smooth, and cool against the skin. These are really nice, and they do keep your “package” nicely, and gently, supported.
Overall: I really like these, but again, $30 is a fairly steep investment for underwear you wear day in and day out. Then again, what’s it worth to you to keep your boys happy? If you like the idea of extra comfort down below, the price starts to look not so bad.
Naked Silver Review
Silver bonded underwear?! Who wouldn’t want to try that? The Silver boxer briefs from Naked are made of 99.9% pure-silver that is bonded to nylon thread. We put the brand’s claim of “underwear that can be worn longer than it should” to the test.
Comfort: The silver thread works well and gives these boxer briefs a noticeable cooling effect. However, our favorite feature is the horizontal fly. It gives quick access for desperate bathroom dashes.
Smell: Silver is naturally anti-microbial which helps ward off stench. One tester averages wearing them for 3 days before changing. They preform well during physical activity but should definitely be washed afterwards. The silver can only handle one session of heavy sweating.
Feel: These are a favorite for day to day wear. They feel nice and are at the top of the underwear fun scale. The Naked’s were a clear favorite with the ladies as well. Whether that was science or coincidence we were okay with it either way.
Overall: At $38 these are the most expensive pair in the test. All things considered it’s probably not feasible to replace your entire drawer with these but, if you are packing light for off-the-grid adventure, these will stay less stinky, longer.
ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Review
ExOfficio is a longstanding favorite for adventurers and travel junkies. Designed to be a quick-drying, synthetic alternative to merino wool these undies are treated to keep the stench at bay. The Give-N-Go served as the benchmark pair throughout our test.
Comfort: Soft and stretchy, these are as comfy at our desks as they are on the trail. They are well-designed and give you the support you need for every kind of adventure. At 2.3 ounces (size small) they are the lightest in the bunch, which helps them dry fast when wet.
Smell: As expected the Give-N-Go underwear stay fresh a bit longer than most. For daily wear we were able to squeeze four days out of them. Two days was the max if we did any sort of activity.
Fun fact: GearJunkie friend and polar explorer Eric Larson once wore these on an expedition for 55 days straight without a wash. Ewww.
Feel: These are the least sexy of those tested. They give a “we’re going on an adventure” feeling. We liked the incredibly light and airy nylon/lycra blend. The only downside is that after a while they tend to pill in spots where they’d rub against my pants.
Overall: Of the four pair tested, these are our choice for any multi-day activity. At $30 for the 6″ inseam option they are on par price-wise, and they’ll become a trusty companion on many adventures.