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Stance Poly Blend Review

While these are seriously stylin' boxer briefs, we think there are better options out there for travel underwear.
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Price:  $20 List | $13.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to use fly, good waistband
Cons:  Seams aren't super durable, doesn't breathe well, holds odor
Manufacturer:   Stance
By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 10, 2019
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 7
  • Comfort - 35% 6
  • Breathability - 20% 3
  • Odor Control - 20% 4
  • Durability - 15% 3
  • Drying Time - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Stance Poly Blend is one sharp-looking pair of boxer briefs, and while they might be great for a night out that may involve one or more layers coming off, they aren't as well suited to travel applications. We like the array of patterns they come in and the fit, and while hanging out they are comfy. However, when we wore the Stance boxer briefs in active situations, they weren't super breathable, and like most synthetic underwear, they retained stink. We also began to see some wear at the seams between the legs with six weeks of regular and active usage.


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Stance Poly Blend
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $13.99 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, easy to use fly, good waistbandDurable, soft, good odor controlGood fit, soft fabric, breathableBreathable for synthetic, soft meshInexpensive, supportive, breathable
Cons Seams aren't super durable, doesn't breathe well, holds odorHeavy, extra thick waistbandPiping is annoying, lots of seams at crotch, not incredibly durableFabric runs easily, nylon holds some smellDoesn't block odor well, not durable
Bottom Line While these are seriously stylin' boxer briefs, we think there are better options out there for travel underwear.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.An improvement on Patagonia's previous synthetic underwear, this pair is light and breathable, but not as durable as we'd like.The Give-N-Go is a relatively inexpensive pair of performance underwear that will get the job done.
Rating Categories Stance Poly Blend Merino 150 Boxer Brief Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers Patagonia Sender Give-N-Go Boxer Brief
Comfort (35%)
10
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6
10
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7
10
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6
10
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8
10
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7
Breathability (20%)
10
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3
10
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7
10
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8
10
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6
10
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5
Odor Control (20%)
10
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4
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8
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8
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5
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5
Durability (15%)
10
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3
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9
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6
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7
Drying Time (10%)
10
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9
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6
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9
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9
Specs Stance Poly Blend Merino 150 Boxer... Icebreaker... Patagonia Sender Give-N-Go Boxer...
Material 90% Polyester 10% Elastane 87% Merino wool, 13% Nylon core 83% Merino wool, 12% Nylon, 5% Lycra corespun 89% recycled nylon, 11% spandex mesh 94% Nylon, 6% Lycra spandex
Inseam (inches) 7 in 6 in 4.5 in 6 in 5.5 in
Measured weight (ounces) 2.9 oz 3.2 oz 2.9 oz 2.4 oz 3.2 oz
Fly? No Yes Yes No Yes
Flat-lock seams Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Air Dry Test (hours) 1 hrs 2 hrs 1.25 hrs 1 hrs 1 hrs
Dryer safe? Yes, tumble dry low Yes, tumble dry low No Yes, tumble dry low Yes, tumble dry low

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Poly Blend boxer brief is a polyester and elastane pair of underwear from a company that mostly makes synthetic and lyocell/modal fabric socks that we thought might be an interesting take on travel underwear. Unfortunately, it's not particularly well suited for traveling.

Performance Comparison


Our tester wishing the Stance pair breathed more effectively in the desert heat while scrambling up Lady Mountain in Zion National Park.
Our tester wishing the Stance pair breathed more effectively in the desert heat while scrambling up Lady Mountain in Zion National Park.

Comfort


There are a few things that go into comfort; fabric feel, fit, and how well the boxers move with your body. We generally liked the fit, as these were a pretty flattering cut on all sides, although for those with longer torsos and shorter legs, the seven-inch inseam might seem a bit long. The fabric is soft and doesn't have that weird synthetic feel that some polyester clothing does, although it's not overly breathable. We liked the waistband, as it was thick enough to feel durable without feeling like an elastic belt. The fly was also big enough to use without being loose and laid flat enough not to be noticeable.

The flat texture of the polyester fabric in the Stance made the underwear feel sticky when hot.
The flat texture of the polyester fabric in the Stance made the underwear feel sticky when hot.

Breathability


Unfortunately, despite the light feeling fabric, the Stance boxer briefs breathe like a two-pack-a-day smoker walking uphill in a Mississippi summer. The untextured polyester fabric clung to our tester's skin to the point of swampiness. This was the only pair we tested that we actively noticed the lack of breathability without prompting.

Synthetic underwear dries faster than most wool  due to synthetic fibers' hydrophobic qualities.
Synthetic underwear dries faster than most wool, due to synthetic fibers' hydrophobic qualities.

Odor Control


The Stance boxer briefs are made of polyester, not nylon. Although they feel similar, the former is a poor choice for odor control. Nylon and polyester are both petroleum products, and made similarly, but have a different chemical makeup and structure that makes them act differently. Nylon fabrics absorb a slight amount of water, up to about 3-4%, whereas polyester is completely hydrophobic and does not absorb water, which makes it dry a bit faster. This is why they are good wicking fabrics because the capillary action of the fabric draws water away from the skin, but the material doesn't absorb the water.

However, polyester, unlike nylon, is oleophilic and will hold on to skin oils, where some body odor comes from. This is why polyester clothing can retain the stink of your last trip even after repeated washings. This is also why the Stance scored lowest on the odor control category, as it now is fully imbued with our tester's body odor forevermore.

Durability


Again, these boxer briefs seem better suited for looking good than they do working hard. The seams began to wear quickly and fuzz out, and we could see the ragged edges of the fabric through the seams get more ragged as we wore them. The waistband did seem to hold up, though, and the rest of the fabric hasn't pilled up yet.

Some wear and fly-aways at the seams between the legs.
Some wear and fly-aways at the seams between the legs.

Drying Time


Due to the hydrophobic quality of polyester, the Stance boxer briefs dried out faster than almost any other pair. They are easy to wash and do dry quickly (especially with the towel roll trick).

Value


The Poly Blend from Stance is the least expensive option in the review, but if you're looking for a high quality pair of underwear to travel, we think your money is better spent elsewhere.

The Poly Blend boxer briefs are certainly stylish and come in a lot of designs if you're feeling less floral  but they aren't great for extended travel applications.
The Poly Blend boxer briefs are certainly stylish and come in a lot of designs if you're feeling less floral, but they aren't great for extended travel applications.

Conclusion


We had hoped that the Stance Poly Blend boxer briefs would be one snazzy pair of underwear to wear around the world, but we just can't really recommend them due to the breathability and odor factors. For high-quality underwear, we'd rather something made of a better synthetic mesh or wool.

Sweating it out on the summit of Lady Mountain in the Stance.
Sweating it out on the summit of Lady Mountain in the Stance.


Ethan Newman