Summer adventures are all about freedom, adrenaline, epic scenery and massive wedgies.
When rounding up gear for an outdoor adventure, many overlook the importance of packing the right underwear. Creeping, constricting or constantly damp undergarments can turn a minor article of clothing into a source of major stress. Whether you’re slaying trail or chilling around the campfire, the last thing you want to think of is a pesky pair of undies.
We’re lucky to live in a time when underwear options abound, and there’s something out there for everybody. Who knows what Lewis and Clark had under those breeches, but chances are, it wasn’t pretty (nothing screams exploration like waiting for your onesie to dry at camp).
By the turn of the 20th century, undergarments were evolving to fit our active lifestyles, but the question of “boxers or briefs?” hadn’t yet been posed. Women were still cinching up in painful contraptions, and a matrix of buttons and drawstrings made it hard to heed nature’s call in a hurry.
Conspicuous branding reined the latter part of the 1900s, and more focus was given to the name on your waistband than the functionality of your drawers. Athlete endorsements associated underwear with sports, but it wasn’t until the modern era that engineered patterns and performance fabrics really took the industry to the next level.
What good is scientific advancement if we can’t use it to keep our most important assets comfy and dry? From microfiber to merino wool, and bikini briefs to compression shorts, we’ve now got more choices than ever.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, we’re here to help! We’ve assembled a quick guide to finding the perfect pair for your activity and body type.
Outdoor gals may not need as much support as guys in the nether regions (bras are an entirely different ball of wax), but panties with pinch points and lacy or constricting fabrics are bound to cause unnecessary distress. If your idea of “breathable” is that ancient pair with all the holes, perhaps it’s time to update the ol’ underwear drawer.
Find the right fit and performance fabric with a few of our top picks:
While, historically, men have paid less attention to their underwear than women, today’s designers are putting technology on the task of balancing support, performance and comfort. For the endurance athlete, compression, breathability and friction-free movement are key. Savvy adventure travelers (and people who sit next to them) appreciate new, sweat-wicking, fast drying, anti-funk fabrics.
Check out our recommendations for the rugged guy on the go:
When it comes to finding the right pair of underwear for your next adventure, we encourage you to go with your gut (or butt) reaction. Don’t be afraid to try a few different styles, then listen to your body and stick to what works for you.
There’s more to life than worrying about underwear, and finding the right fit will free you up to get out there and take on the world.