You put a lot of effort into picking just the right pants or shorts for your given adventure, but don’t overlook an even more important choice: the skivvies underneath. We’ve tried out some of the most highly rated men’s performance underwear on the market. Here are our thoughts.
Stance Wholester ($35)
We’ve talked about how much we love Stance’s wild take on performance socks, and the love affair carries over into underwear. The Wholester gets all the details right, with a built-in support pouch and flat seams that reduce rubbing. But it’s the incredible softness of the Butter Blend, a milk-protein fabric, that we’re absolutely addicted to. And of course, because it’s Stance, you have some outrageous prints to choose from.
Mack Weldon Airknitx ($28)
Airknitx is Mack Weldon’s newest line of active underwear built from a blend of polyamide, polyester, and elastane microfibers that deliver four-way stretch in a moisture-wicking, anti-stink package. The resulting boxer-briefs are so incredibly light and breathable, you’ll feel like you’re wearing mesh all day.
Saxx Undercover ($28)
Saxx takes its popular Ballpark Pouch and puts it in a pair of undies made from cotton injected with Modal, a synthetic extracted from beech trees, and a bit of spandex. No, they don’t wick and dry as fast as other pairs of Saxx we wear (go for the Platinum if you want pure performance) but they have a next-to-the-skin feel you can’t get with pure synthetics. Mesh panels and flat seams on the pouch keep friction to a minimum, which is key when you’re mobile.
Icebreaker Anatomica ($40)
Cotton isn’t the only natural fiber with next-to-the-skin softness. Icebreaker takes a lightweight merino wool and adds nylon and Lycra for added durability and stretch. The end product is a featherlight pair of boxer-briefs that dry lightning fast and won’t chafe.
REI Co-op Boxers ($23)
If you don’t want the slim fit of a boxer-brief, REI’s traditional boxers might be the undies for you. Their poly/spandex blend dries fast, and they’re looser than the other skivvies on this list, leaving plenty of room in the legs and nethers for a full range of movement. You also get flat seams and a legit fly, which can be handy when you gotta go on the trail.