The Saxx Vibe is probably the most innovative pair of underwear in this entire review. It has a unique mesh pouch in the crotch to keep everything centered and to eliminate chafing and "leg stick." We were surprised at how much we liked it. We also recognize that it may not be for everyone, as it does have an unusual feel to it. It took our testers a bit of getting used to it. While we did like the feel of the semi-synthetic viscose fabric, it didn't do great at controlling odor or drying quickly. However, this was our favorite pair to run or bike in, as it kept everything comfortable no matter the movement.
Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief Review
Cons: No fly, not great odor control
Compare to Similar Products
Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief
|Price||$23.73 at REI||$49 List||$36.00 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$31.97 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$36.98 at Backcountry|
|Pros||Soft, excellent nonrestrictive support, less expensive than most||Comfortable, large fly, breathable, odor control||Durable, soft, good odor control||Good fit, soft fabric, breathable||Soft fabric, comfortable waistband|
|Cons||No fly, not great odor control||Expensive, not as supportive as some||Heavy, extra thick waistband||Piping is annoying, lots of seams at crotch, not incredibly durable||Baggy fit, not super durable|
|Bottom Line||The Vibe is an innovative pair of underwear with comfortable features.||These underpants are an excellent all-around pair that works exceptionally well for travel or backcountry use.||The Smartwool briefs are the burly standby for travel underwear, and they continue to perform well over time.||The Anatomica is a comfortable lightweight pair of boxer briefs, but it seems designed a bit more for looks than features.||Good for general use and comfortable for traveling, but a bit baggy for higher performance.|
|Rating Categories||Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief||Alpine Onset Boxer Brief||Merino 150 Boxer Brief||Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers||Stoic Merino Performance Box...|
|Odor Control (20%)|
|Drying Time (10%)|
|Specs||Saxx Vibe Boxer...||Alpine Onset Boxer...||Merino 150 Boxer...||Icebreaker...||Stoic Merino...|
|Material||95% Viscose, 5% Spandex||83% Merino, 12% Nylon, 5% Spandex||87% Merino wool, 13% Nylon core||83% Merino wool, 12% Nylon, 5% Lycra corespun||100% Merino wool|
|Measured weight (oz)||2.6||2.8||3.2||2.9||3|
|Air Dry Test (hours)||2||1.25||2||1.25||2|
|Dryer safe?||Yes, tumble dry low||Yes, tumble dry low||Yes, tumble dry low||no||Yes, tumble dry low|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Vibe is really the only pair of underwear in the review that tried something different. The BallPark Pouch that Saxx puts in several different pairs of their underwear is comfortable, but we did notice it throughout the day, which feels unusual for underwear, and some may not like it. Otherwise, we generally like the fit and feel of the fabric, although we wish they had a fly and better odor control.
First of all, the Vibe is comfortable, but it does feel markedly different than any of the other underwear we tested. It feels sleek, as the viscose fabric has a nice silky smooth texture. The flatlock seams are tightly woven and low profile, which is nice, and although there is a seam running through the middle, it didn't bother our testers.
But the thing we noticed the most is the BallPark Pouch which made us feel, well, "cupped." There are two mesh webs that sit between the legs and the crotch to keep everything separated. It is a pleasant feeling, but it is noticeable, something we generally don't like in underwear. It also feels different with everything centered, as most men are used to tucking things on one side of their pants and underwear. With the Vibe, that isn't possible, but the design of the underwear allows for more room in the front to accommodate the adjustment. This feature is a bit polarizing, making us less likely to recommend it to every single friend. That said, most of our testers enjoyed this innovation and found these to be some of the most comfortable underpants ever. Saxx also sacrificed the fly to accommodate the unique feature, which some of our testers missed.
While the breathability was adequate, we didn't think it breathed quite as well as some of the thinner wool underwear we tried, like the Outdoor Research Alpine Onset or the Icebreaker Anatomica. However, the mesh in the BallPark Pouch keeps things separate and avoids the "leg stick" which makes them feel more breathable (and less swamp-like) than they otherwise might.
Although viscose (similar to rayon) isn't entirely synthetic, as it comes from highly processed wood pulp, it tends to act more like a synthetic fabric than wool or cotton. And just like synthetics, viscose doesn't work great when it comes to odor control. Unlike the rough microscopic texture of wool and a lanolin coating, viscose has a much smoother texture that tends to be friendlier to bacteria. In addition to this, the lack of other antimicrobial coatings leaves the Vibe scoring lower than most others in this category.
During the two month testing period of the Vibe we didn't notice any major wear, despite viscose not always being the most durable, and the mesh webbing seeming fairly delicate. The seams were the cleanest and tightest of any of the pairs of boxer briefs we tested, showing good construction. One of our testers has owned this pair for nine months, and after lots of use, the elasticity of the waistband started to ripple and deteriorate. Pairs like the Smartwool Merino 150 have yet to have this issue after almost a year of use.
Despite how thin the fabric feels, the Saxx boxer briefs dried more slowly than we expected, taking about two hours in the sun. We expect this is because of the absorbent fabric, as well as a waistband on the thicker side and extra mesh in the middle. Still, they will dry quickly enough to have a fresh pair after drying them overnight.
Because of the sleek and supportive design, and the innovative BallPark Pouch, the Vibe is our favorite for going on runs or biking. It wouldn't be our first choice for extended backcountry trips, but for high output activities, the Vibe excels.
The Vibe is the second cheapest in the review, and we think it's a pretty good deal, still being ten dollars cheaper than any of the wool underwear. We didn't give it an award because it's a bit of an unusual pair, but if you're willing to try something different, we think it's worth your time.
The Saxx Vibe is a unique pair of supportive, svelte skivvies. We really liked the BallPark Pouch for its support during runs and biking, but during everyday wear, we missed the fly. We understand that the design isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for a mix between comfy boxer briefs and sporty compression shorts, this is an excellent option.
— Ethan Newman