You know that uncomfortable, swampy feeling in the nether regions? We’ve all experienced it one way or another – hot weather, long days, tedious travels, you name it. With the evolution of travel nowadays, every possible gear, gadget, and accessory have had some form of innovation to make traveling convenient, comfortable, and memorable. Underwear is no exception with the arrival of the quick dry travel underwear.
At A Glance: Our Top Quick Dry Underwear for Travel
Still not convinced? Here are some top picks that may just revolutionize what you pack for your travels.
MEN'S BEST FOR GENERAL OR CASUAL TRAVELS
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MEN'S BEST FOR SPORTS & ADVENTURES
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WOMEN'S BEST FOR CASUAL TRAVEL
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WOMEN'S BEST FOR SPORTS & ADVENTURES
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ExOfficio has long been known for its line of travel-friendly and breathable travel underwear. The ExOfficio Give-N-Go underwear line brings it a step further, especially when they claim “17 countries. 6 weeks. One pair of award-winning underwear. (Ok, maybe two.)”
The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Men’s Boxer Briefs (also available in briefs and boxers versions) is made of breathable mesh fabric that gives a novel experience. It allows the skin to breathe more than any other travel underwear, and the diamond mesh weave technology, while snug, has a lot of give making it extremely flexible.
These boxer briefs are also meant to take a lot of movement. It’s made of durable fabric and a reinforced waistline to ensure that the garment keeps it shape and resists stretching. That reinforced waistline may be tricky though because it’s more snug around the waist than your regular pair of underwear. The rest of the garment stretches to fit being made of 94% Nylon and 6% Lycra Spandex.
The Silvadur antimicrobial treatment lasts the life of the underwear. It reduces odor and keep the garment sanitary despite days of wearing the same pair.
As a standard for any quick dry underwear, you can toss this into the wash and wear them just a couple of hours later. If you’re going camping or you simply don’t have luggage space, having two pairs of this will last you for your entire trip, no matter how long.
The SSmartwool Men’s Bottom Layer 150 Boxeris an all-natural travel underwear that beats the odds at comfort.
Made of 87% Merino wool and 13% Nylon fabric giving this boxer brief is delicate, soft, and completely breathable. It keeps your skin cool and molds itself around your body without feeling too restricting.
The Smartwool is knit in Vietnam. Aside from the fabric, the small details incorporated into the garment make a world of difference when it comes to comfort.
The seams are well-placed along natural creases of the body to prevent chaffing. They are also flat-locked so the seams are secured and durable without digging into the skin even a little bit.
The seam at the waistband is also off-set to the side and not at the back like most other underwear. This is an important feature if you’ll be carrying a heavy backpack throughout your trip.
Merino wool is naturally quick-drying, wicking, and antimicrobial. Its anti-odor features are even better than the proprietary coating of synthetic underwear as even the smallest fibers of the wool have this natural property.
Of course, no underwear is perfect. First of all, this pair is one of the more expensive options in the market. And even though Merino wool has a lot of benefits, it’s still a delicate material and doesn’t feel as durable as synthetics. It is also more susceptible to sagging and stretching after extensive use.
For the more active and athletic traveler, the Arc’teryx Mens Phase SL Boxer is the best men’s travel underwear option.
It’s a little more snug than its counterparts, but that is what you’ll look for when you go on rigorous treks and adventures. This men’s travel underwear also lends excellent support for rough sports.
While it’s snug, it’s definitely stretchy with its 70% Polyester 30% Polypropylene material. Whatever your active pursuit is, your jewels won’t easily be jostled in this garment.
It has a gusseted crotch that tailors the fit to provide space and support for your nether regions. Unfortunately, this means that the underwear doesn’t have a fly, but it will do the best job at keeping everything in place.
The seams are also flat-locked so there is much thought into making the quick dry travel underwear non-intrusive and comfortable. Its Phase SL fabric is also very soft to the touch and controls odor and bacterial growth.
It is also the lightest option by a large margin and extremely quick-drying. This won’t be your best option for a casual trip around Europe, but this should be your only option for some mountaineering or river rafting.
ExOfficio, that travel apparel we love, also has a range of Give-N-Go underwear for women. The most practical in this line is the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Low Rise Bikini Brief (also available in thong, string bikini, bikini, and non-lace versions).
ExOfficio has a wider range of styles and cuts for women, so you have many options depending on personal reference.
Just like the men’s version, this travel underwear are lightweight, breathable, and antimicrobial.
The diamond mesh weave is heaven sent for women who tend to feel very swampy even on non-travel days. It’s so lightweight and breathable that you will almost feel like wearing no underwear at all.
The fit is a little tricky. Again, the waist runs snug, but the leg holes run a little big. Depending on which minor flaw you’d rather deal with, make sure you inquire carefully about the sizing.
An almost-all-natural option for women is the Icebreaker Merino Women’s Siren Bikini (also available in thong and hot pant).
Made of 83% Merino Wool, 12% Nylon, 5% Spandex, this pair of comfortable women’s travel underwear provides semi-full coverage and a good, stretchy fit.
Merino wool is naturally quick-drying, wicking, and antimicrobial. Its fibers perform better in these aspects than synthetic coating, and will be great for odor control. The garment dries under 3 hours, so you can just bring two pairs to your trip and just keep throwing them in the wash. The synthetic blend of this garment makes it more durable and not too delicate, which means it will withstand several washes without sagging.
In terms of comfort, the Icebreaker Merino does not disappoint. The side seams are moved forward for comfort and won’t dig into the hip. The seams at the waist and leg holes are hemmed with comfortable fabric to avoid chaffing.
Unfortunately, the sizing is not very versatile. If you’re on the heavier side, or if your backside is a bit more plump, the semi-full coverage doesn’t really apply. It tends to bunch up or roll down for women with fuller bottoms.
The Boody EcoWear Women’s Full Brief comes in a different cut and unique materials compared to other travel underwear.
The material is a blend of 80% Rayon made from organically grown bamboo, 13% Nylon and 7% Spandex. This makes for a pair that’s smooth to the touch, lightweight, and stretchy for a comfortable fit.
This travel underwear provides full coverage with a high waist, so this is also an ideal pair if you’re about to go on more active travels.
The design is also built in a way that it won’t ride up, roll down, and move around. It’s also seamless for added comfort and will reveal very minimal pantylines, if any at all.
Because of its natural material, this is great for sensitive skin. With a combination of synthetic treatment and natural properties of the bamboo fabric, the Boody bikini is naturally quick-drying, wicking, and antimicrobial. It’s also thermo-regulating, making it ideal for both hot and cold weather.
The Boody travel underwear withstands several washes and holds its shape quite well. The large band and firm fabric also lends excellent support. It’s comfortable enough as an everyday pair, but also sturdy and effective enough as a travel pair.
There are some inconsistencies with sizing as the nude pair seems to be cut slightly bigger than the black pair. The black pair of travel underwear has been true to size, but it would be better to inquire about the sizing for the perfect fit.
When you think travel underwear, do you want to go full synthetic, or all-natural? Do you want something stretchy or delicate?
Materials dictate a lot of how the underwear will perform and how much support it gives. It also affects the comfort level of your underwear. Generally, more movement requires more support, therefore synthetic fabrics work best. If you also plan on using your travel underwear as your everyday pair, a lighter and more delicate option would be better.
While this is more important for men, support is also crucial for travel underwear. The worst thing that can happen is for your jewels to be jiggling around while you’re doing some exploring.
It’s also not great for your underwear to bunch up or roll down, and it all boils down to how much support your underwear can provide.
Men’s underwear are generally less stylish than women’s but it still matters. The style of your underwear not only makes you feel sexy or playful or quirky, but it also matters when it comes to the type of clothing you wear. Some underwear show pantylines through leggings and tight clothing. Some also tend to run too long or have a thick hem that will show through jeans.
It’s pretty much a given that travel underwear is meant to be comfortable, durable, antimicrobial, and quick-drying. However, some brands pay more attention to details than others. Some garments are seamless, flat-locked, adjusted to the front, and all other ways to keep the material from chaffing.
Travel underwear is not merely a trend. These new wave of quick dry travel underwear are made of hi-tech fabrics that can spell the difference between a great or an uncomfortable trip. Most underwear are cotton, which take over 24 hours to dry or don’t let enough air through to let the skin breath. While travel underwear can be more expensive, you’ll only need 2 or 3 pairs anyway (unless you discover how great it is on and off travel and you replace your entire drawer). On the plus side:
Quick drying. For long-haul travelers or backpackers, hand-washing clothes is a part of the journey. Quick dry underwear will dry in mere minutes, so you can just bring a few pairs and wash them at night. This saves a whole lot of space for your luggage. For trips that are more fluid and can run for weeks, you don’t have to worry about packing a dozen pairs and looking for blow dryers when you run out of pairs to wear.
Odor control. Trapping your sensitive parts in tight and constricting material promotes bacterial growth that causes odors. Quick dry underwear are coated with anti-bacterial material or treatment that keeps this problem at bay.
The kind of underwear you will like will largely depend on what kind of travel you’ll be doing. All options in general deliver the quick-drying feature we all love, but when it comes to specific activities:
Sporty individuals and strenuous adventures need excellent support. The Arc’teryx brand for men and the Boody brand for women deliver this very well. They’re meant to be snug but comfortable. They are guaranteed to stay put regardless of how much movement you make.
For more general or casual travels, the ExOfficio Give-N-Go line for both men and women are an excellent choice. They’re not as pricey as most travel underwear, but they provide the best features of what travel underwear should be. You’ll remain comfortable and sanitary for days, and these underwear are very easy to care for.