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The Best Underwear Just Got Better

The new men's Saxx Kinetic HD Briefs got a serious upgrade from the previous model—and they're way better for high-output activities

The redesigned second-generation Kinetic, renamed the Kinetic HD, is now available from all Saxx retailers. (Photo: Andrew Skurka)
The redesigned second-generation Kinetic, renamed the Kinetic HD, is now available from all Saxx retailers.

The original Saxx Kinetic, my previous go-to boxer-briefs for hiking and backpacking, has been redesigned and replaced with the Kinetic HD, which is now available from all Saxx retailers. I was sent production samples for review in December 2019.

The HD is available in two lengths: boxer-briefs ($38), with a five-inch inseam, and a longer-leg version ($40), with an eight-inch inseam.

There are noticeable visual and functional differences between the original Kinetic and the HD. In short, the new model has an updated paneling design and a more stabilizing hold. It’s better for high-output activity but less comfortable for low-output use and everyday wear.

Construction

The Kinetic HD panels were entirely redesigned. The color blocking—which, according to a PR rep, Saxx felt was “old-fashioned looking”—has been eliminated, and the new panels follow more natural lines.

These changes are largely aesthetic. Like the original, the HD contours the body nicely and has a generally snug fit (“semi-compression,” in Saxx parlance). I have noticed only one difference: the HD briefs are marginally tighter around the thigh, which reduces any ride-up.

Boxers
The original Saxx Kinetic (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Boxers
The Kinetic HD, released in January (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Fabric

The main fabric is unchanged: a four-way-stretch micro mesh made of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex, with a double layer over the jewels to reduce fabric sheer and increase support. I’ve found that this fabric has good air permeability, wicks moisture well, and dries quickly.

The waistband is still a wide one and three-quarter inches, but it’s less thick and boardy. This band will still retain more moisture and dry slower than the mesh fabric, but it’s an improvement on both fronts. 

BallPark Pouch

The defining feature of all Saxx underwear is the BallPark Pouch, a hammock-like cup with mesh side panels that keeps anatomical parts nicely organized.

The pouch on the Kinetic HD is newly designed. Compared to that of the original Kinetic, side panels are closer at the lower attachment point, instead of spaced apart, and the top attachment points were moved downward. The front of the pouch was also reshaped to provide more of a forward dimension and a narrower, more stabilizing fit.

Boxers
The original BallPark Pouch on the Saxx Kinetic (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Boxers
Notice the changes: the sides on the BallPark Pouch come together at the bottom and don’t go as high. Also, the paneling is different. (Photo: J Lai)

The result of these changes is a more stabilizing hold, one that’s better suited to activities like running but not as comfortable for casual or everyday use. Bringing the side panels together at the bottom attachment point lifts the scrotum slightly and keeps it farther away from the thighs. Moving down the upper attachment points creates less area for the genitalia to float around.

Personally, I thought the original Kinetic was ideal for hiking but a little light on support for running. The Kinetic HD is just the opposite: I found it comfortable on runs up to 12 miles, but I no longer wear it for, say, nordic skiing or office work.

The new BallPark Pouch design will be used in two other products: the Kinetic Hyperdrive ($50), new compression boxer-briefs, and, beginning in spring 2021, the Kinetic 2N1 shorts series (starting at $75), which have integrated Kinetic boxer-briefs. Other styles will retain the original iteration of the BallPark Pouch. For hiking and backpacking, I’d now recommend the Saxx Quest (starting at $32).

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Filed To: RunningHiking and BackpackingSkiingClothing and ApparelStyle
Lead Photo: Andrew Skurka

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