While we love the wool fabric on the Stoic Performance Merino Boxer Briefs, we found most of the other aspects of the underwear somewhat lacking. The fit and design seemed to be a bit off in some ways, and they didn't prove to be overly durable. In general, we think that there are better options out there if you're willing to spend this amount of money on a pair of underwear. They're fine for everyday wear, but we didn't love them for more active pursuits, as they tended to bunch up on our legs, and the fly is annoying to use.
Stoic Merino Performance Boxer Brief Review
Cons: Baggy fit, not super durable
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Stoic Merino Performance Boxer Brief
|Price||$21.99 at Backcountry||$32.73 at REI|
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|Pros||Soft fabric, comfortable waistband||Durable, soft, good odor control||Good fit, soft fabric, breathable||Breathable for synthetic, soft mesh||Inexpensive, supportive, breathable|
|Cons||Baggy fit, not super durable||Heavy, extra thick waistband||Piping is annoying, lots of seams at crotch, not incredibly durable||Fabric runs easily, nylon holds some smell||Doesn't block odor well, not durable|
|Bottom Line||Good for general use and comfortable for traveling, but a bit baggy for higher performance.||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||Stoic Merino Performance Box...||Merino 150 Boxer Brief||Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers||Patagonia Sender||Give-N-Go Boxer Brief|
|Odor Control (20%)|
|Drying Time (10%)|
|Specs||Stoic Merino...||Merino 150 Boxer...||Icebreaker...||Patagonia Sender||Give-N-Go Boxer...|
|Material||100% Merino wool||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)||5 in||6 in||4.5 in||6 in||5.5 in|
|Measured weight (ounces)||3.0 oz||3.2 oz||2.9 oz||2.4 oz||3.2 oz|
|Air Dry Test (hours)||2 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
Generally, we were not overly impressed with the Stoic boxer briefs. We did like the merino wool fabric, but for some reason, it seemed less durable than the other wool underwear in the review. We think that with a redesign the Stoic skivvies could have scored a fair bit higher than they otherwise did.
There were a few things that the Stoic does well. We like the design of the waistband; it's soft, supple, and feels nice on our hips. We also liked the merino fabric, as it's our preferred baselayer material for both its feel and functionality at the skin level. However, there are some flaws that took away from the underwear in this metric.
While we recognize all bodies are different, and that they may fit better on others, the fit did seem a bit off. The legs were disproportionally tight to the relaxed fit of the crotch, and we think it contributed to the tendency of the legs to roll up when doing anything active. Also, the fly was a bit small, and the cut of fabric made a double layer of merino all the way under the crotch, which bunched a bit. We can't say it's a terribly supportive pair of underwear either.
Like all merino wool underwear, the Performance Merino breathes well, although the fabric seems fuzzier than the other pairs. The looser knit of the fabric made the boxer briefs feel a touch less breathable than the other wool underwear, but still better than the nonwool options.
Again, like the other wool underwear, the merino Stoic used for their boxer briefs performed well in keeping odor to a minimum. Perhaps the double layer of merino underneath the crotch kept odors for a touch longer than some of the lighter weight wool underwear, but it still far outperformed the synthetic and semisynthetic pairs.
We didn't see a ton of initial wear on the Stoic Boxer Briefs, but there were a few minor trends that signal some breaking down over the testing period. The waistband got progressively more wrinkled over time, indicating that the elastic inside is separating from the overlying layer of wool. Secondly, the knit seems to be a bit looser than the other merino wool boxer briefs and pilled a bit more.
After a year of extended testing, this pair actually faired the worst of the test bunch, sporting several holes where the fabric has worn thin and through. For the price, we wish we could get more mileage out of this pair.
Although they weren't the fastest drying underwear, they dried adequately both indoors and out. In the sun it took them about two hours to fully dry on a sunny winter day in Southern Utah.
The Stoic boxer briefs are the most expensive underwear in the entire review, and we think that there are both better and less expensive options. For five dollars less you could get the Editors' Choice Award-winning Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Brief, and for half the price you could get the ExOfficio Give-N-Go, which won our Best Buy Award.
The Stoic Performance Merino Boxer Brief has good fabric and waistband, but we found the fit and construction somewhat lacking to really want to recommend these over other options. We believe that for less money there is higher performing men's underwear out there.
— Ethan Newman