When you envision hiking attire, thoughts might turn to mostly outerwear: fleece, hiking pants, boots, and perhaps socks. Yet, have you ever considered hiking underwear as part of the equation? While opting for your regular underwear is certainly an option—and indeed a choice many of us make, we’ll delve into shortly—there exists a diverse array of hiking-specific underwear for women and men that are meticulously crafted for comfort and functionality on the trail. Choosing hiking underwear shouldn’t be a marathon of problems, but an easy take for your next hiking or backpacking trip.
Opinions about the “perfect” pair of hiking underwear can vary widely, but we’re here to present the recommendations that consistently rose to the surface among our team of hikers and high quality underwear testers. After all, hiking clothing should be far from mind while enjoying the beauty of the trail. The ‘Barely There Feel’ is all that is needed when choose hiking underwear for your next backpacking trip or outdoor adventure. While there are many other hiking underwear out there, we have narrowed the choice down to four types for both women’s underwear and mens, with a various underwear style to choose from.
Table of Contents
Why Is Good Hiking Underwear Important?
What To Look For in Hiking Underwear
Best Hiking Underwear For Women
Best Hiking Underwear For Men
Time for a Hike?
Why Is Good Hiking Underwear Important?
Good hiking underwear is important for several reasons:
1) Comfort: Hiking involves long periods of physical activity, often in varying weather conditions. High-quality hiking underwear is designed to provide optimal comfort, minimizing chafing, rubbing, and irritation. It also offers proper support, reducing discomfort during extended periods of movement.
2) Moisture Management: Hiking can make you sweat, and moisture-wicking underwear helps to keep your skin dry. This is crucial for preventing chafing, blisters, and fungal infections. Moisture-wicking fabrics draw sweat away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate more easily.
3) Temperature Regulation: Depending on the environment and weather conditions, you might experience temperature fluctuations while hiking. Good hiking underwear helps regulate your body temperature by wicking away sweat when it’s hot and providing some insulation when it’s cold.
4) Breathability: Breathable fabrics allow air to circulate, reducing the risk of excessive sweating and maintaining comfort. This is especially important in regions where humidity is high.
5) Odor Control: Many hiking underwear options are made with antimicrobial or odor-resistant treatments that help keep unpleasant odors at bay, even after long hours of physical activity.
6) Durability: Hiking often involves rough terrain and contact with abrasive surfaces. Well-made hiking underwear is designed to withstand these conditions, ensuring it remains in good condition throughout your trip.
7) Seam Placement: High-quality hiking underwear is designed with strategically placed seams to minimize friction and irritation, reducing the likelihood of inner thigh chafing during repetitive movements.
8) Layering: Hiking often requires a layered clothing approach to adapt to changing weather conditions. Good hiking underwear acts as a comfortable and functional base layer that works in conjunction with your other clothing layers.
9) Hygiene: Extended periods of hiking without access to regular laundry facilities can make hygiene a challenge. Quick-drying and odor-resistant underwear can help maintain better hygiene during longer hikes.
10) Personal Well-being: Uncomfortable underwear can lead to distraction and discomfort, taking away from the overall enjoyment of your hiking experience. Good hiking underwear contributes to your overall well-being by allowing you to focus on the journey itself.
Remember that everyone’s preferences and needs might vary, so it’s important to choose hiking underwear that suits your body type, the type of hiking you do, and the conditions you’ll be facing. Investing in quality hiking underwear is a small yet valuable investment that can greatly enhance your outdoor adventures.
The Most Important Features to Look For in Hiking Underwear
When choosing the right type of hiking underwear, there are five main features to consider to ensure your comfort and performance on the trail:
1) Moisture-Wicking Fabric: Look for underwear made from moisture-wicking fabrics like merino wool or synthetic blends. These materials draw sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and minimizing chafing and discomfort, especially during strenuous hikes.
2) Breathability and Ventilation: Opt for underwear with breathable panels or mesh inserts in areas prone to sweating, such as the groin and inner thighs. Proper ventilation helps regulate your body temperature and prevents overheating.
3) Seam Placement and Construction: Check for flatlock seams or seamless designs. These prevent friction and reduce inner thigh chafing during repetitive movements. Well-constructed seams should be strategically placed to minimize contact with sensitive areas. The right seamless underwear will have flat seams and full coverage of other fabrics that should be incredibly soft.
4) Odor-Resistant Treatment: Many hiking underwear options are treated with antimicrobial or odor-resistant technologies. These treatments help prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria, keeping you feeling fresh even after extended wear.
5) Fit and Support: Choose underwear with a comfortable and secure fit. It should offer adequate support without being too tight or constrictive. A proper fit reduces the likelihood of friction and irritation during movement.
By prioritizing these five features when selecting hiking underwear, you’ll be better equipped to enjoy your outdoor adventures with enhanced comfort, reduced discomfort, and improved overall performance on the trail.
Our Top Picks for the Best Hiking Underwear For Women
ExOfficio Modern Hipster Hiking Underwear and the ExOfficio Give N Go Sport Bikini Brief Underwear
ExOfficio stands out as the top-recommended hiking underwear for women, endorsed by a range of sources, including hiking enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Available in various fabrics and cuts, these synthetic undergarments are equipped with an anti-odor treatment, flatlock seams, and a seamless waistband to combat chafing.
One of the most popular and classified as the best women’s hiking underwear, this addition should be part of any hiking clothes closet.
- synthetic underwear
- Bonded waist and leg openings to provide a line-free look that is universally flattering
- Wick moisture/evaporating HeiQ technology with Fresh Tech resists odors and adjusts to your body heat
- Sheer stripe mesh fabric side panels for better breathability & more flattering fit
- With HeiQ Smart Temp & Fresh Tech, this style will dynamically adapt to your body heat, prevent odor, and remain cool to the touch.
- thong style or bikini brief
Discover the ultimate comfort and support with Balanced Tech brand underwear for women – the perfect choice for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. Crafted from a lightweight blend of 92% Nylon and 8% Elastane, these bikini briefs redefine comfort with exceptional breathability and a silky-smooth feel that keeps you protected all day long. With tag-less labeling, reinforced edges, and seamless construction, irritation and chafing become a thing of the past.
The 4-way stretch elastane-nylon fabric conforms to your body type, offering stay-in-place support and eliminating panty lines. Odor resistance and wicking protection ensure you stay fresh during demanding activities, and the Quick Dry technology is perfect for on-the-go adventures. Elevate your outdoor experience with Balanced Tech underwear – a blend of comfort, performance, and convenience for every hike, exploration, and adventure.
- flat waistband
- naturally odor resistant
- medium coverage
- quick drying fabric
Elevate your hiking experience with New Balance women’s hiking underwear – the ultimate choice for women hikers seeking comfort and performance. Crafted from a lightweight nylon/spandex blend, these seamless hipster panties redefine comfort, breathability, and durability. Say goodbye to odor and moisture troubles, as these panties keep you fresh, cool, and dry throughout your day on the trail.
The innovative fabrication of 93% Nylon and 7% Spandex ensures a silky-smooth feel while maintaining stretchiness for any activity. The superior design features tagless comfort, a seamless no-show construction, and an elastic waistband that offers athletic freedom of movement, making them perfect for outdoor activities. With New Balance underwear, experience the fusion of style and functionality, ensuring a comfortable journey during every hike.
- odor free
- quick drying
- thick seams
- great for hikers trying to avoid cotton undies
Minus33 Merino Wool Womens Micro Boy Shorts
The Minus33 Merino Wool Women’s Micro Boy Shorts are a fantastic addition to any hiker’s wardrobe, offering an exceptional combination of comfort, performance, and practicality.
First and foremost, the use of Merino wool sets these boy shorts apart. The 100% Merino wool construction brings unbeatable softness and warmth to the table. It feels gentle against the skin and offers natural temperature regulation, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This versatility makes them suitable for year-round hiking.
Moisture-wicking capabilities are vital for hiking underwear, and these boyshorts excel in that department. Merino wool is naturally adept at wicking moisture away from the skin, helping to keep you dry even during strenuous hikes. Additionally, Merino wool hiking underwear is odor-resistant, so you can stay fresh throughout your journey.
The micro boyshort design ensures that they provide excellent coverage while staying in place, minimizing the risk of chafing or discomfort. They’re comfortable to wear, and their seamless construction further reduces irritation.
Durability is essential for hiking gear, and Merino wool is known for its ruggedness. These boyshorts can handle the demands of the trail, making them a reliable choice for extended hikes.
Minus33 Merino Wool Women’s Micro Boyshorts are a fantastic option for women hikers. With their Merino wool construction, moisture-wicking properties, comfort, and durability, they offer everything you need to stay comfortable and focused on the trail, making your hiking experience all the more enjoyable.
- natural fibers
- wide waistband
- prevent chafing
- wicks sweat
Our Top Picks for the Best Hiking Underwear for Men
ExOfficio Give N Go Sport Boxer Briefs
When it comes to selecting the perfect underwear for hiking, the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Boxer Briefs for men stand out as a game-changer. As avid hikers, we have put these boxer briefs through the paces on various trails, and can confidently say that they are a stellar choice for any outdoor enthusiast.
One of the most impressive features of these boxer briefs is their advanced moisture-wicking technology. Hiking often involves long hours of physical exertion, and the last thing you want is discomfort caused by sweaty, chafing underwear. The moisture-wicking fabric of the Give-N-Go Sport Boxer Briefs ensures that sweat is quickly drawn away from your skin, keeping you dry and preventing chafing even during the most challenging hikes.
- great for warm weather or winter hiking
- synthetic fibers
- elastane blend
- blocks odor buildup
Meriwool Mens Boxer Briefs
Experience unmatched comfort on the trail with men’s Meriwool hiking underwear. Crafted from 100% all-natural ultrafine 17.5-micron Merino wool, this merino wool underwear boxer briefs offer a silky-smooth feel that’s gentle on your skin. Their 180g/m2 weight interlock-knit design provides snug support while ensuring breathability – keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.
These quick-drying boxer briefs are a versatile choice for camping, hiking, skiing, and more, featuring a convenient loop for hang drying. Merino wool’s wicking and odor-resistant properties keep you dry and comfortable, making them an essential addition to your outdoor gear. With easy care and durability, these boxer briefs are ready for your next adventure including longer backpacking trips.
- wick sweat and quick drying
- naturally antimicrobial treatment
- personal preference for wide waistband or boy short styles
- hand wash
32 Degrees Performance
Embark on your hiking adventures with the 32 DEGREES COOL Men’s 4-PACK Quick Dry Performance Boxer Briefs, and experience the perfect blend of comfort and performance. These boxer briefs are designed to elevate your outdoor experience with their exceptional features. The quick-dry performance fabric ensures that you stay comfortable and dry, even during strenuous hikes. The comfort elastic waistband provides a secure fit that doesn’t compromise on comfort, allowing you to move freely on the trail.
What sets these boxer briefs apart is their versatility – whether you’re hiking, camping, or engaging in any outdoor activity, they offer the right balance of support and breathability. The moisture-wicking properties keep sweat at bay, preventing chafing and discomfort. Their lightweight and durable construction makes them a reliable choice for extended hikes.
The 4-PACK convenience ensures that you’re always prepared for your next adventure. With these boxer briefs, you can confidently tackle the trails, knowing that you have reliable and comfortable gear to support you every step of the way.
- built so you don’t experience inner thigh chafing
- full coverage with synthetic materials
- quick dry performance fabric
Columbia Cotton Stretch Hiking Underwear
Columbia’s Cotton Stretch Men’s Hiking Underwear is a game-changer for hikers seeking comfort and performance. These boxer briefs are tailored to elevate your outdoor experience in multiple ways.
First and foremost, the cotton fabric blend and stretch fabric ensures an unbeatable combination of softness and flexibility allowing for more coverage. They feel incredibly comfortable against your skin while allowing for unrestricted movement on the trail. This balance between comfort and stretch is essential for long hikes and strenuous climbs.
Additionally, these underwear come with moisture-wicking properties, effectively managing sweat wicking and keeping you dry even during the most challenging hikes. The breathability of the fabric is another standout feature, ensuring you remain cool and comfortable, regardless of the weather.
Durability is crucial for hiking gear, and Columbia doesn’t disappoint. These boxer briefs are designed to withstand the rigors of the trail, offering long-lasting performance and reliability.
Columbia’s Cotton Stretch Men’s Hiking Underwear strikes the perfect balance between comfort, moisture management, and durability. Whether you’re a casual hiker in hot weather, or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, these boxer briefs are an excellent choice to enhance your hiking experience.
- quick drying material
- synthetic pair made for hot or cold weather
- anti odor treatment
Time for a Hike?
In the world of hiking gear, where boots, backpacks, and outerwear often take center stage, the understated yet crucial role of hiking underwear can easily be overlooked. However, as any seasoned hiker knows, the right underwear can make all the difference between a comfortable, enjoyable trek and one marred by discomfort and irritation.
From moisture-wicking prowess and temperature regulation to seamless construction and durability, hiking underwear silently champions the cause of hiker well-being. So, the next time you’re preparing for an adventure, don’t underestimate the power of quality hiking underwear – an unsung hero that ensures every step is taken in comfort, allowing you to truly embrace the journey and the great outdoors.