Meriwool Merino Wool 160 Boxer Briefs Review
Cons: Not ideal seam placement, less refined construction, baggier than most
Compare to Similar Products
Meriwool Merino Wool 160 Boxer Briefs
$26.99 at Amazon
|$19.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$19.73 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$21.00 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$19.73 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Inexpensive, casual fit, good odor control||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|
|Cons||Not ideal seam placement, less refined construction, baggier than most||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|
|Bottom Line||A good pair for merino wool travel underwear that's easy on the wallet||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|
|Rating Categories||Meriwool Merino Woo...||ExOfficio Give-N-Go...||Outdoor Research Ec...||Patagonia Sender||Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief|
|Odor Control (20%)|
|Drying Time (10%)|
|Specs||Meriwool Merino Woo...||ExOfficio Give-N-Go...||Outdoor Research Ec...||Patagonia Sender||Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief|
|Material||100% merino||89% Nylon, 11% elastane||100% Polyester||89% Recycled nylon, 11% spandex mesh||95% Viscose, 5% spandex|
|Inseam (inches)||6.75 in||6 in||6.4 in||6 in||5 in|
|Measured weight (ounces)||3.1 oz||2.7 oz||2.2 oz||2.4 oz||2.6 oz|
|Air Dry Test||2 hrs||1 hr||45 min||1 hr||2 hrs|
|Dryer safe?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, tumble dry low||Yes, tumble dry low|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Meriwool 160 Boxer Briefs aren't quite as refined as some of the other merino wool options. It's not as sleek or well designed as other models we've tested, but the fabric is excellent. We love that the underwear is 100% merino wool, which does well with odor even through multiple days, and it held up decently well to repeated washing and wearing cycles. We do wish the seams were placed elsewhere, and the bagginess isn't great for hot weather or high output activities. The Meriwool Boxer is still a great option for 100% merino wool on a budget.
As with the other merino wool skivvies we tested, we love the fabric. It's soft, smooth, and glides against the skin nicely, but not so slippery that it rides up a lot. We didn't feel hot in these, although they did sometimes bunch up, specifically under more fitted pants or shorts, due to their looser fit.
What we don't love is the placement of the seams. There is a square of fabric on the underside of the crotch that allows seams to rub on either side of our tester's legs, among other things. The waistband is thinner than some and doesn't get too hot, which is a plus.
The merino wool fabric is pleasantly breathable, and the underwear performed well as long as there wasn't bunching due to the looser fit. The fabric is a touch thicker than some of the other underwear we tested, so it isn't quite as breathable as other merino wool options, but we didn't notice it too much. We think that with a slightly more fitted shape they would have scored even higher in this category, as this would stretch out the space between the fibers to promote more breathability.
We love the odor control that 100% merino wool provides, due to the natural antimicrobial properties of the lanolin coating. The fabric is a touch thicker than some of the other wool underwear we tested, and so we sweated a bit more than in some of the other pairs, which may have contributed to the score being slightly lower than some of the other wool pairs.
So far the fabric itself is holding up, but the stitching started unraveling after just a month of use. It seems that the construction of the Meriwool isn't quite up to par with some of the other brands that we tested, as the fabric is also cut unevenly around the waistband, and the hems are coming undone. We aren't sure if the wear came from repeated wearing, or from machine washing, but either way, the durability of these skivvies leaves a lot to be desired.
Because of the thicker fabric, and because the wool fibers themselves absorb water, unlike polyester or other synthetic fabrics, the drying time on the Meriwool Merino Wool 160 was just over two hours, among the slowest we tested. Still, if you're able to line dry them in the sun, they should dry more quickly, as the black fabric will absorb the radiation and dry out nicely, though that may cause some color fading over time.
These are the least expensive 100% merino wool underwear we tested, and so for that, they do stand out in value. However, it seems you get what you pay for, especially in the construction of the product. We think if you're willing to shell out cash for a nice pair of merino wool underwear, it's worth going all the way and getting something a touch nicer or going with something synthetic but better made.
While we liked the fabric and feel of the Meriwool Merino Wool 160 Boxer Briefs, we found the shape and construction somewhat lacking. We think that with some improvements it could be a much stronger contender in the travel underwear category.
— Ethan Newman
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More