At first sight, we were intrigued by the Under Armour UA Pure Stretch Hipster. Its nearly seamless design and ridiculously thin and soft material set it apart from the competition, and we weren't sure how it was going to perform. After weeks of testing, we found it to be very comfortable and quick-drying, though our testers couldn't agree on the fit. We liked its style, however, and as one of the lightest pairs of undies we tested, we had no qualms awarding our Best Buy Award. It may not have excelled in one category, but its solid performance across all four metrics at a bargain price has us giving it two thumbs up.
Under Armour Pure Stretch Hipster ReviewPrice: $12 List | $11.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, soft, quick-drying
Cons: Annoying fit
Bottom line: The UA Pure Stretch Hipster is soft, stretchy, and quick to dry, all at an amazing price.
Weight (oz): .7 oz
Flat-lock Seams: Seamless
Manufacturer: Under Armour
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Our Analysis and Test Results
At only $12 per pair, the Pure Stretch Hipster is nearly half the price of its closest competitor in this review. And with an exceptionally lightweight and quick-drying construction, we found it to be an incredible buy. Its soft material had us reaching for it morning after morning, and at such a great price, we're sure to be stocking up.
Here at OutdoorGearLab, we sometimes let ourselves get carried away with performance. We count ounces, do rigorous testing, and meticulously weigh the pros and cons of everything we test. We pride ourselves on this commitment, but when it came to underwear, we were forced to relent. If your underwear isn't comfortable, the other metrics don't matter!
Fortunately for us (and you), the Under Armour Pure Stretch Hipster is mind-blowingly comfortable. Constructed with a nylon/elastane blend and a cotton gusset, our initial impressions of this product stayed true no matter how long we wore these undies. For next-to-skin softness, we could hardly imagine a product scoring higher marks than this one.
The material of the Pure Stretch is incredibly thin, and the lack of seams along the leg openings or waistband made for a smooth (and panty line-free!) fit. We loved wearing these undies under leggings or yoga pants for this reason. We also found the thin material to aid in breathability, and although there were others we might pick for super hot weather, we found the airflow to be adequate.
The Pure Stretch was the only pair of undies we tried with a cotton gusset. This is the only part of the product that isn't synthetic, and while not great for odor control, this could be a winning feature for buyers whose bodies require some cotton. If you're in the dark as to why we obsess about underwear materials, we discuss cotton and all of its pros and cons more in our Best In Class article.
To adequately detail all the different ways these undies felt on our bodies, we separated "fit" from "comfort".
For this metric, we looked at sizing, waistband, stretchiness, and, of course, the dreaded wedgie. Overall, we found the fit of the Pure Stretch to be above-average but still not our favorite.
The coverage is decent but not exactly modest on this product. The leg openings are relatively high, giving us the occasional wedgie despite the attractive cut. To maintain this "seamless" look, the only seam is located along the butt crack, which was not one of our favorite design features, though it wasn't too noticeable while in use.
The Pure Stretch is, just like the name might imply, super stretchy, making this an excellent choice for activities that require our full range of motion. Whether running or practicing yoga, these undies were anything but constricting. While the Patagonia Barely Hipster has too-tight legs and the Smartwool Merino 150 a too-tight waistband, the Pure Stretch is essentially an elastic band, guaranteed to keep up with all your crazy movements.
Nothing puts our clothing to the test like traveling across the world and hiking into the Andes, but sometimes we need a good old-fashioned experiment to level the playing field.
For our drying time test, we took every pair of undies in this review, soaked them in water, and hung them side-by-side to dry in the warm California sun. The lowest-scoring models took more than an hour and a half to dry, while the fastest we could put back on in less than forty-five minutes.
The Pure Stretch was one of those winners. Completely dry in just 42 minutes, this metric boosted this product's overall score. We're more confident than ever that we could easily rinse these undies out in the sink of our hostel or in an alpine lake and put them back on the next day. Other models that dried in similar times were the Arc'teryx Phase SL Brief and the Smartwool Merino 150 Bikini. If you're willing to pay a steeper price, we'd enthusiastically recommend the Merino, but we'd ignore the Phase SL unless you don't care about being comfortable.
When measuring tents or sleeping bags, we're often discussing pounds of difference, a metric that really changes our enjoyment while traveling.
We wanted to discuss weight differences in undies, too, but we do want to issue a reminder that the difference between our heaviest and lightest undies was just over half an ounce! So while ounce-counting may be one of your favorite hobbies, we recommend using this metric as a secondary test to the first three properties we discussed.
All that aside, at .7 oz, the Pure Stretch Hipster is tied for the lightest pair of undies we reviewed, giving us the ability to pack two pairs of these undies for the same weight as one of the heavier models. The thin, stretchy material stuffs easily into a backpack or suitcase space, as well.
The Pure Stretch Hipster was an all-around high scorer, and we reached for it more and more when range of motion was key. As one of the fastest driers in our test, we'd also recommend this product for hot weather or for when the ability to rinse and wear is particularly important. Additionally, the smooth cut was the only one that didn't give us unsightly pant lines, so we loved pairing this with our favorite leggings and yoga pants. We did get the occasional wedgie, though, so it was less comfortable to pair these undies with loose-fitting pants.
The Pure Stretch rings in at just $12, nearly half the price of the second-least expensive pair of undies in our review. We can't believe what a good value this product is. It's comfortable, stretchy, and breathable-- what more could you want? Yes, we got the occasional wedgie, but at such a reasonable price, we just might be able to deal with it.
While the Under Armour UA Pure Stretch Hipster didn't take home the very highest overall score, it did have an impressive rating for being the least expensive model in our review. It was more comfortable and faster to dry than many of its much more expensive competitors, leaving us no choice but to happily award it our Best Buy Award-- then get online and order five more pairs. We'd happily recommend these for anyone intrigued with synthetic underwear who isn't willing to shell out a dinner's worth of cash. That being said, if fit is paramount, we would look to our other award winners.
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Most recent review: April 26, 2018
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