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Stink Test: One Ski Bum, One Week, One Pair Of Boxers

Stink Test: 1 Ski Bum, 1 Week, 2 Pairs Of Boxers: Polygiene treated Patagonia underwear review
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You know that old base layer that smells no matter how or how many times you wash it? One company claims that’s a thing of the putrid past.

Polygiene treated Patagonia underwear review

Last week I traveled from Colorado to Senja, Norway, to ski big lines with Pure Ski Touring. I am a larger-than-normal human, which means big gear and lots of baggage fees. I trimmed the fat where I could.

Thus, I brought just one pair of boxers for ski and travel. I chose a Polygiene-treated pair of Patagonia boxer briefs (I did bring a second pair to wear at night).

I was part of a group of testers Polygiene brought over to put its product through the wringer. Polygiene is a silver chloride odor-control treatment that destroys the yucky odor footprint left behind in gear and garments. It works by inhibiting bacterial growth, and thus the stink of dirty skivvies.

Polygiene treated Patagonia underwear review
The author working up a sweat

I am a gross sweaty beast, so I figured I’d give ’er a test drive.


  1. Just fine
  2. Doin’ alright
  3. Interesting enough to whiff twice, maybe thrice
  4. Something is amiss
  5. Dear sweet lord, gross

Sniff Schedule

I hung the Patagonia briefs at night and sniffed in the morning prior to the day’s events. OK fine, sometimes I sniffed at night, too. That’s not gross. It was in the name of science, an impartial secondary sniffer could not be found, though many were asked.

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Day 1

Day’s Activity: Full day of travel to Stockholm – 17-ish hours, handful of flights and one taxi ride, mostly sitting.

Stank-o-Meter: 2. A little spicy, but generally OK.

Day 2

Day’s Activity: Walking around Stockholm, enjoying many cafes, cups of coffee (fika rocks!), and pastries.

Stank-o-Meter: 1. We’re stylin’ after only a few hours of hanging up.

Day 3

Day’s Activity: Travel day to Senja, two flights and a bus ride, lots of sitting.

Stank-o-Meter: 2. A little sharp but still good.

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Day 4

Day’s Activity: Ski touring! Kaipen tour, three laps, great skiing, pretty damn sweaty.

Stank-o-Meter: 1.5. I got in late, hung the briefs up for only a few hours, surprisingly OK.

Day 5

Day’s Activity: Little Horse to Big Horse, we walked forever, sweaty until whiteout on ridge, great skiing… once you could see.

Stank-o-Meter: 2.5 – 3. Interesting… very interesting, definitely smelling yesterday’s sweat-logged tour.

Day 6

Day’s Activity: Four roadside laps, grey bird and windy ridges but great powder in the Aspen trees, hoops-n-hollers, hugs-n-high fives.

Stank-o-Meter: 2.5. Wow, still good, but how?.

Day 7

Day’s Activity: Snaufjellet tour, 800-meters… or a million, best of the trip, f*ckin’ rad!

Stank-o-Meter: 2. How’d it get better?! Last day and I’d be cool with using these as a coffee filter. Well, ok, that’s gross. But really, the smell wasn’t that bad.


Wow, I am a Polygiene believer. Prior to the trip, I was pretty skeptical, thinking that maybe it will keep garments stink-free for lil’ dainty baby humans, but I am an enormous 6’5”, 240-pound sweaty Irishman.

Stink Test: 1 Ski Bum, 1 Week, 2 Pairs Of Boxers: Polygiene treated Patagonia underwear review

Curdled sausage gravy flows from my pores during ski touring… or thinking too hard. I thought there was no way Polygiene-treated boxers will stay stank free with me.

Well, I was very wrong. I was blown away with the results — or lack of them. After a week through the wringer, the undies didn’t smell. Nor did the Polygiene treated base layers I’d been wearing for four days straight without deodorant.

Perhaps Polygiene will develop an ingestible pill to defunk my psyche.

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