ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Brief Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, soft fabric, dries quickly
Cons: Odor control could be better, not as breathable as we'd like
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ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Brief
|Price||$25.95 at Backcountry|
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|$30.00 at REI|
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|Pros||Lightweight, soft fabric, dries quickly||Inexpensive, very breathable, thin fabric, very fast drying||Breathable for synthetic, soft mesh||Soft, excellent nonrestrictive support, less expensive than most||Inexpensive, casual fit, good odor control|
|Cons||Odor control could be better, not as breathable as we'd like||Thin waisband, legs roll up||Fabric runs easily, nylon holds some smell||No fly, not great odor control||Not ideal seam placement, less refined construction, baggier than most|
|Bottom Line||An affordable lightweight pair of performance boxer briefs at a reasonable price||These boxer briefs feel lightweight, cool, and breathable for fast-moving travel at an excellent price||An improvement on Patagonia's previous synthetic underwear, this pair is light and breathable, but not as durable as we'd like||The Vibe is an innovative pair of underwear with comfortable features||A good pair for merino wool travel underwear that's easy on the wallet|
|Rating Categories||ExOfficio Give-N-Go...||Outdoor Research Ec...||Patagonia Sender||Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief||Meriwool Merino Woo...|
|Odor Control (20%)|
|Drying Time (10%)|
|Specs||ExOfficio Give-N-Go...||Outdoor Research Ec...||Patagonia Sender||Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief||Meriwool Merino Woo...|
|Material||89% Nylon, 11% elastane||100% Polyester||89% Recycled nylon, 11% spandex mesh||95% Viscose, 5% spandex||100% merino|
|Inseam (inches)||6 in||6.4 in||6 in||5 in||6.75 in|
|Measured weight (ounces)||2.7 oz||2.2 oz||2.4 oz||2.6 oz||3.1 oz|
|Air Dry Test||1 hr||45 min||1 hr||2 hrs||2 hrs|
|Dryer safe?||Yes||Yes||Yes, tumble dry low||Yes, tumble dry low||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Exofficio has been making the Give-N-Go line of underwear for a while now, and with the 2.0 update, the boxer briefs have improved in some areas. It's still a very comfortable pair of synthetic underwear with exceptional durability, adding to its value. The updated (and in our opinion, improved) fabric is 89% nylon, 11% elastane, and we tested the six inch length. Important to note, the Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs still have the same benefits and pitfalls of synthetic underwear; great on the drying time, not so good on the odor. We like them enough for this pair of underwear to go into the weekly line-up of our head tester's clothing.
The fabric on the Give-N-Go 2.0 is nice and smooth, which we found pleasant against the tester's skin. The fabric texture is low profile, which makes it a bit smoother than the previous iteration's fabric, which we really like. The inside of the waistband is also slightly fuzzy, which was nice, but it's still a thin enough band to not get too hot. We also liked the low profile flatlock seams, and the quality of construction is excellent, removing chances of chafing from errant fabric overlaps or extraneous sewing.
We did have some issues with the legs riding up sometimes, especially with tighter pants or shorts. The crotch is also kind of baggy compared to the more fitted legs, which is decently comfortable, but not the most flattering fit. The fly has considerable fabric overlap, which causes some inconvenient delays occasionally when nature is urgently calling. We didn't notice the underwear under our pants, though, unlike some of the bulkier models we tested, and in a way that is also a mark of comfort.
While the Exofficio underwear is pretty breathable for a synthetic pair of underwear, it's still synthetic, which just can't hold a candle to natural fibers. When it gets hot and damp with sweat during vigorous activity it still feels a touch plasticky, which we didn't love. We noticed it most when temperatures were at extremes, i.e. aerobic movement when it's cold. Still, the updated fabric does help, and it wicks sweat decently. When it got soaked in sweat the pair would feel unpleasantly damp, but it does dry relatively quickly, so the swampy feeling doesn't stick around forever.
Although Exofficio did add odor control to the Give-N-Go 2.0, it still cannot compete with natural fibers like wool. Their website claims that they have added improved anti-odor treatment, which was a modest improvement, but again, it's not great. We couldn't find specifics about exactly what the anti-odor treatment is on the website, and while it sort of works, there's certainly room for improvement.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon just seem to absorb body stink like a sponge. However, after washing, either machine or by hand, the stink goes away, which is not necessarily a given when it comes to synthetic base layers. Nylon is better in this regard, as it isn't quite as welcoming to odor-causing bacteria as polyester. Airing them out during backcountry trips seems to help somewhat, but the funk builds up quicker than natural fiber underwear and would stick around until the next wash.
So far, we've been pleased with the durability of the Give-N-Go 2.0. The older version of this underwear seemed to pill and run a bit in the fabric, but the newer version is holding up well, despite much use and repeated machine washings (as per tag directions). The stitching, fabric, and waistband have all held up well to daily use and abuse. The legs and crotch do stretch out a bit after multiple days of wearing, but that's true of most clothes, and they tighten back up after washing. The waistband and stitching holds well regardless of where the skivvies are in the wash/wear cycle.
Despite the fabric feeling a bit lighter on this model than previous ones, the weight is the same, so hopefully it will continue to have the same excellent durability for years to come. In our multi-month testing period for the Give-N-Go 2.0 boxer briefs, they've held up quite well.
As expected, these dried up among the quickest we tested (one hour in our line-drying test). Perhaps it's because the individual fibers of synthetic fabric don't absorb water the way wool and cotton do, these skivvies shed water quickly, especially if line-dried in the sun or using our towel-wringing trick. We think this makes up a bit for the quick build-up of odor, as you can easily wash these out in a sink or basin on a trip, and have them dried enough to wear shortly thereafter.
Despite the Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs being an update from the classic product, they've retained their excellent price point. These are less expensive than most of the other products we tested while performing quite well in many of our tested categories. We think it's a worthy contender for travel underwear on a budget, and will likely last you a long time.
All in all, this is one of our favorite pairs of synthetic fabric underwear we tested. It breathes well for nylon underwear (better than polyester fabrics), is fairly comfortable, and is easily washed and dried for the next round. We think that with the performance we've experienced, and the excellent price point, the Exofficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs are worth your while if you're looking for a pair of travel underwear that is easy on the body and the wallet.
— Ethan Newman