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Stoic Merino Performance Boxer Brief Review

Good for general use and comfortable for traveling, but a bit baggy for higher performance.
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Price:  $50 List | $39.99 at Backcountry
Pros:  Soft fabric, comfortable waistband
Cons:  Baggy fit, not super durable
Manufacturer:   Backcountry
By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 14, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

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.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $39.99 at Backcountry$33.75 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Soft fabric, comfortable waistbandDurable, soft, good odor controlGood fit, soft fabric, breathableBreathable for synthetic, soft meshInexpensive, supportive, breathable
Cons Baggy fit, not super durableHeavy, 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 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
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
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7
Breathability (20%)
10
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7
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7
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8
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6
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5
Odor Control (20%)
10
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7
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5
Durability (15%)
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7
Drying Time (10%)
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9
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
Fly? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Flat-lock seams No Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

Performance Comparison


The Stoic Boxer Briefs dried in about two hours  with the thick waistband taking the longest to release all its moisture.
The Stoic Boxer Briefs dried in about two hours, with the thick waistband taking the longest to release all its moisture.

Comfort


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.

Breathability


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.

Odor Control


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.

The Stoic Performance Merino wool seemed to be a little looser knit and pill easier than the other merino boxer briefs.
The Stoic Performance Merino wool seemed to be a little looser knit and pill easier than the other merino boxer briefs.

Durability


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.

Drying Time


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 Performance Merino Boxer Brief doesn't pack down as much as some of the other pairs  due to it's relaxed fit and thick waistband.
The Stoic Performance Merino Boxer Brief doesn't pack down as much as some of the other pairs, due to it's relaxed fit and thick waistband.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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