Proper hiking underwear is an article of clothing every hiker should invest in. Hiking underwear ensures that you are comfortable on the trail. It’s a technical piece of clothing that is often overlooked when picking out hiking gear but extremely important.
The best hiking underwear fits snug around the skin, dries fast, is comfortable, and breathable. You should be able to wear trekking underwear all day without even noticing it is there. Still buying proper hiking underwear can be tough, so we narrowed down the best pieces for you!
What to Look for When Buying Hiking Underwear
The material that goes into a good pair of hiking underwear is important. You’re engaging in outdoor activity that is oftentimes very strenuous. That means sweat and discomfort can build up if you don’t have the proper materials. Hiking in a lacy thong, or undergarments that are too tight will only make your day worse. This could even mean redness, swollenness, or chaffing – which are never good signs.
You’ll want to invest in underwear that is breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. Good hiking underwear is often made out of merino wool, and nylon or lycra, and they are words you’ll see mentioned a lot throughout this article.
Cotton, though inexpensive, does not dry quickly and can cause chaffing. Products made with lycra are ultralight and breathable, have anti-odor technology, as well as reduce chafing. They are also easy to care for and wash yourself if you are in the backcountry.
Cut and Style
Pay attention to the cut and style of the underwear for hiking that you buy. There are many different offerings for both men and women and it’s all up to you and what is comfortable. It’s important to remember that you are hiking and engaging in physical activity and should pick a type of style that will fit nicely underneath hiking pants and won’t ride up. For men, different options include briefs, boxer briefs, and boxers. For women, different styles typically include thongs, hipsters, or bikini briefs. Many of the hiking underwear included here come in many different styles.
When you’re hiking you’re probably going to sweat down there. Even more so than you normally would. It’s important to find hiking underwear that is antimicrobial so that you keep fresher longer.
For most of these products listed, you’ll pay much more for underwear than you would regular underwear. $20-$30 is the average price to pay for hiking underwear. While it may sound expensive it’s important to note that hiking underwear is made with durability in mind. They are designed to hold up well to the natural elements and keep you comfortable for days on the trail. Things like Flatlock seams to reduce chaffing, and antimicrobial are built for hiking.
When choosing hiking underwear for men and women look for a fit that is snug, but not too tight. Underwear for hiking should form to your body, but not cause discomfort because it is too tight. If the hiking underwear is too large it can cause bunching and rubbing. Pay attention to the fit guides when purchasing hiking underwear.
If you plan on doing multi-day hiking trips it’s important to pay attention to the care instructions for your hiking underwear. You won’t have access to a washer and dryer and should be prepared to wash your clothes by hand. This is where hiking underwear with quick-dry capabilities comes in handy.
The Best Underwear for Hiking
Best Hiking Underwear for Men
Designed for hardcore adventurists and heavy exercise, the SAXX Hyperdrive is both supportive and comfortable. If you’re used to sweaty thighs and chafing after you’ve been out hiking for a day, it might be time to upgrade to the Hyperdrive underwear.
Features of the SAXX brand include Flat Out Seams, meaning that the stitching has been reversed to put the flatter and softer side of the seam against your body. This helps prevent itching and discomfort, particularly when you’re exercising and moving around.
Everything is kept in its place with the Ballpark Pouch design, which puts an end to any skin-on-skin friction you might have been dealing with in the past. Plus, the moisture-wicking material keeps you cool and dry even when hiking in hot weather.
There are a variety of SAXX Quest boxers and underwear to pick from, each with a great design meant for heavy exercise. Like other SAXX models of underwear, the Quest has Flat Out Seams to keep the flatter side against your body and moisture-wicking material to prevent sweat from building up.
If you prefer more coverage, there are longer-leg varieties of the Quest model, which might be better if you’re wearing long pants or for winter hiking. Shorter versions are perfect to go underneath exercise shorts and keep you cooler during hot weather.
There are also tight-fitting and looser fitting variations of the Quest underwear. Since they all feature the Ballpark Pouch design, they each provide support, and it comes down to personal preference about how you like your hiking underwear to fit!
Made from a recycled material fabric, not only are the Odlo Active Dry underwear durable and practical, but they’re also eco-friendly! They have a tight-fitting but comfortable design and a wide elastic waistband making them a great option of hiking underwear for men.
The fabric is also fast-drying, which prevents sweat from building up during long hikes and maintains its breathability when you’re out on the trails. In the front, there’s a paneled pouch to prevent skin-against-skin friction, so you stay comfortable while hiking.
If you’re looking for a sustainable clothing brand, then Odlo Eco underwear is the way to go. Although they are designed for exercise and outdoor activities, they are comfortable enough to be worn on a day-to-day basis if you want a bit of extra support and prefer the breathable material.
Made from a breathable Adventure Mesh fabric designed to stay cool and fresh even with rigorous outdoor exercise, the Kuhl Boxer Briefs are a perfect fit for any hiker. This underwear for hiking is form-fitting for maximum support, but not constricting to allow for ease of movement while exercising.
Depending on your preference, you can pick boxer briefs with or without a fly and select from a variety of colors and sizes. All models are made with an anti-itch microfiber waistband for a comfortable fit underneath any hiking pants or exercise shorts.
This trekking underwear is 92% Adventure Mesh and 8% Nylon, creating a breathable yet very durable piece of clothing. It’s advisable to air dry this underwear to keep the fabric in top condition for the longest time possible.
Patagonia are well known for their adventure clothing and equipment, and the Hydro men’s hiking underwear meet the brand’s high standards. Not only are these underwear great for outdoor exercise and sports, but they are also Fair Trade Certified sewn if you like to be mindful about clothing purchases.
As the name might suggest, the Hydro underwear holds up well to wet conditions. In addition to hiking and trekking, they are also the perfect underwear for surfing and other water sports. The moisture-wicking material combination of recycled nylon and stretchy spandex gives you breathability and ease of movement.
The Hydro are also designed to be tight enough to stay in place and not ride up but not become constrictive. All the seams are flat in order to be chafe-free even after use in the water or on long hikes.
You can wear the Hydro underwear comfortably under almost any shorts, swim trunks, or hiking pants thanks to the anti-rolling waistband. Even on days when you’re not hitting the surf or hiking mountains, the underwear also make for a great casual wear option thanks to their comfortable fit.
The slim fit of the Icebreakers Anatomica underwear give you support and keep everything in place, while the stretchy material still offers a full range of motion. These boxers also feature a contoured pouch and fly.
Since they are incredibly soft and lightweight, the Anatomica boxers will dry out quickly and remain comfortable in warm and cold weather meaning they are great backpacking underwear. You can also easily wear them for everyday boxers as well as outdoor sports and hiking trips.
Anatomica boxers come in a variety of sizes and colors, so whether you like neutral greys or fun, bright colors, there’s an option to choose from.
Since they are so lightweight and easily packable, they also are the perfect underwear to bring with you when traveling. They can easily be washed and dried overnight and be ready to go for whatever hikes or trips you have planned for the next day.
The Give N Go boxers come in a variety of lengths, so you can pick whatever size is most comfortable for hiking, traveling, or merely day-to-day use. Each pair is made from a super breathable mesh material that is both quick-drying and soft to maximize comfort.
Since it’s also very durable, these underwear can withstand the rough conditions of an adventurous lifestyle. From working out at the gym to international traveling, the Give N Go’s are an ideal underwear choice.
To help with motion, the fabric of each pair has a 4-way stretch and a wide waistband, which helps the boxers maintain their shape and prevent odor from building up. All of the seams are of Flatlock design to prevent chafing and allow for a more comfortable fit with the seams flat against your skin. ExOfficio products are some of the best quick dry underwear on the market and caring for them is incredibly simple.
The ExOfficio Give N Go Sport Mesh model is just like the Give N Go’s mentioned above, only a slightly enhanced version. This style of hiking underwear for men is four times more breathable, 50% more moisture-wicking, and 24% more quick-drying compared to the original Give N Go.
It’s all in the durable sport mesh fabric that has chafe-reducing flatlock seams and improved anti-odor treatment. This underwear isn’t just ideal for hiking outside, but will also take you to the gym and back comfortably. As mentioned ExOfficio are quick drying meaning they are some of the best underwear for backpacking on the market.
Featuring a double layer pouch and elastic waistband, the Boody boxers provide not only an excellent range of motion but also score points for style and are a great boxer brief for hiking. The boxers are a bit longer than briefs, but still shorter than trunks, giving you a perfect middle-ground option.
Another unique feature of the Boody boxers is the sustainable material choice. Bamboo constitutes the primary material of the fabric, blended with some nylon and spandex for comfort and stretch.
Not only does bamboo make a super soft and comfortable fabric choice, but it’s also eco-friendly if you are conscientious about where you’re putting your money.
The side seams are flat and slightly offset to provide more comfort. Thanks to the bamboo and spandex combination, the boxers are also very stretchy, which is perfect for both long days of hiking or just relaxing on a lazy day off.
Best Hiking Underwear for Women
REI is always a good bet for comfortable and durable outdoor activewear. Producing consistently high-performing clothing products, REI has continued to upgrade its brand with new and better material.
These activewear bikini underwear are made from a polyester-spandex mesh that is lightweight and highly breathable. It also features “barely-there” seams to prevent any discomfort while wearing them.
The fabric is also treated with an antimicrobial product to keep the underwear fresher longer. This, along with the moisture-wicking quality of the material, keeps the fabric fresh even after day-long hikes.
Combining comfort and style, these Odlo lightweight boyshort cut underwear give you secure coverage for any hike or outdoor activity and are some of the best hiking underwear for women. The fabric is both extra soft and highly stretchable to provide a full range of motion while on the trails.
The underwear features a “Push-Pull Effect” to take care of the moisture by quickly drawing sweat away from the skin to keep you cool and dry. This, in addition to the anti-odor treatment given to each pair, ensures that you stay fresh and dry throughout the day.
Thanks to the lightweight material and moisture-wicking qualities, the Odlo active underwear are great for any weather – from chilly mountains to tropical rainforests. Since they’re so fast drying, these also make excellent travel underwear, as you can easily wash them and dry them out overnight.
The Kuhl bikini is the perfect solution for long sweaty hikes, made from an Adventure Mesh fabric blended with nylon and spandex for stretch and breathability. In addition to the superior material, these hiking underwear for women are also treated with an ionic solution to keep them fresh longer.
This women’s hiking underwear won’t ride up on you even during long treks, and the light and breathable waistband keeps the underwear secure but also incredibly comfortable. If you’re traveling, the lightweight and easy-dry material makes the Kuhl underwear simple to pack and wash while on the road.
You can pick from a few different color schemes, whether you want something plain and black or with a bit of color to change things up.
There’s nothing more annoying than an itchy seam on your undergarments, particularly when you’re out on the trails for a long hike. As the name suggests, this seamless bikini is the perfect comfort solution for outdoor activities.
The interior lining is 77% merino wool for ultimate softness, which is then blended with nylon to create a more durable pair of underwear. To prevent any chafing or discomfort, the elastic waistband is also covered.
Merino wool is a popular material for hiking due to its comfort in a range of climates. In cold temperatures, it helps keep you warm, while in hot and humid weather, it helps prevent moisture and sweat from building up.
Thanks to the versatility, these make a great selection for underwear for strenuous activities as well as day-to-day use to stay comfortable and fresh regardless of the outdoor temperature.
Patagonia’s reputation for high-quality athletic wear is only strengthened by these excellent women’s hiking briefs. The perfect solution for hiking, working out at the gym, or simply lounging around, this underwear is simple, durable, and stylish all at the same time.
The seamless design ensures you won’t have to deal with itching or scratching while on the trail, and the moisture-wicking material keeps you cool and fresh all day. In addition to being lightweight and stretchy, Patagonia makes Fair Trade Certified products, so you can rest assured that you’re supporting a reputable brand.
You can also pick from a variety of solid colors, prints, and stripes, depending on your preference. Since the material is so easy to wash and dry, you only need a pair or two if you want to travel light; simply wash and let them dry overnight and you’ll be set to go the next day.
If you prefer an activewear hiking thong, the Icebreaker Siren model is the way to go. Both comfortable and stylish, the Siren is simple and made for a minimalist style, perfect for hiking, sports, or just day-to-day use.
Made from a merino wool blend, you can comfortably wear this hiking underwear for women at any time of year and count on breathability and freshness in any weather. Since the material is also highly durable, with proper washing and care, one pair can last for years before needing to be replaced.
Unfortunately, the Siren doesn’t come in too many color varieties, but for how comfortable they are, this is a negligible downside to their overall comfort and performance quality.
Available in both a hipster and a bikini model, the Give N Go hiking underwear are great for both outdoor activity or just relaxing. Each pair is made of a Sport Mesh material to ensure maximum breathability to keep you cool and comfortable for any exercise.
To prevent chafing and itchiness, the seams feature a flatlock design to keep the fabric smooth against your skin. The wide waistband helps retain shape and prevent the underwear from rolling or twisting when you’re hiking.
Both the bikini and hipster varieties can be used in any type of climate, and all pairs are treated with an anti-odor solution to keep them fresher longer, even in hot, tropical weather. Since they are quick-drying, they’re also a great underwear option for travelers because they pack small and can dry overnight. Seeing the label ExOfficio means you can also expect quick dry underwear for women!
These are among some of the best women’s hiking underwear for hot weather. The ExOfficio Give N Go Sport Mesh model is just like the Give N Go’s mentioned above, only a slightly enhanced version. This style of hiking underwear for women is three times more breathable, 50% more moisture-wicking and more quick-drying compared to the original Give N Go.
It’s all in the durable sport mesh fabric that has chafe-reducing flatlock seams and improved anti-odor treatment. This underwear isn’t just ideal for hiking outside, but will also take you to the gym and back comfortably.
Comfort, practicality, style, and eco-friendliness combined may seem like a tall order, but not for Boody Bikini underwear! Primarily made out of bamboo-based material, not only are these underwear a sustainable option, but they’re also super comfy – whether you’re hiking or just going about your day-to-day routine.
Each pair has seamless sides to maximize comfort and an anti-rolling waistband to keep the underwear from bunching or sagging even when you’re exercising. Bamboo is also a highly breathable material, so even when you’re sweating, these underwear will help keep you dry.
You can pick from a selection of natural, earthy tones, which can be ordered as singles or multi-packs if you discover you love them.
Hiking Underwear Terms
The property that prevents the spread of bacteria while hiking.
Some men like to have a fly in their underwear so it’s easier to pee in the backcountry.
A common component to hiking undewear.
Hiking means you’re going to get sweaty, so it’s important to pick clothing items that won’t stink. Merino wool is a natural odor-resistant material and won’t break down over time.
Properties that rid of moisture when sweating.
Many hiking underwear optoins are tagless so you don’t have something itchy always against your skin. It’s a great aspec to look for when shopping. Of course if you prefer you can always cut the tags off yourself.
Wide seams that won’t cut into you or scratch you are important. The best ones are flat and wide seams (in other words called “flatlock seams”
Trekking Underwear for Women Styles
Women’s briefs offer solid all around coverage and sit above the hips. If you want full coverage go for a pair or women’s briefs.
Bikini style underwear are just what you may imagine – like a bikini! They provide coverage in the back and front, just not as much as the brieds. They often have a lower waistline and less rear coverage.
Women’s boxer briefs have a longer cut on the leg that extend to the top of the thigh. They are incredibly comfortable and reduce inner thigh chaffing with the extended cut.
Thongs provide the least amount of coverage, but they are lightweight and very small. Because of this they are quick drying.
Trekking Underwear for Men Styles
The loosest fit for men are boxers. Boxers provide a loose fit while hiking, but because of this can often lead to scrunching which isn’t comfortable.
Good comfortable support that sits snug against the legs. The are shorter than boxers and boxer briefs so they may cause chaffing.
Boxer briefs blend the best of boxers and briefs into one product! They are longer than traditional briefs so provide more coverage while still offering a snug feel.
Thanks For Reading
- What To Wear Hiking In The Mountains
- 75 Backpacking Essentials That Are So Incredibly Useful!
- Best Hiking Backpacks in 2019
- Best Backpacking Stoves
- Best Daypack For Travel Around The World
- The Best Travel Backpacks For Europe & Abroad
- Best Travel Water Bottle To Carry On Your Next Trip
- Best Travel Towels For Backpacking Around The World
- The Ultimate Canada Travel Guide
- Best Lightweight Hiking Boots!
- What to Pack for a Day Hike!
- Best Hiking Sandals for a Day on the Trails
- Best Mens Hiking Shirts
- Best Camera Backpack for Hiking
- Best Hiking Shirts for Women
- Best Hiking Leggings for Women