The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Travel Underwears

By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor
Sunday February 17, 2019

Field Testing

The backbone of any OutdoorGearLab review is the extended field test, and this one is no exception. We started evaluating each pair as soon as we heard the snap of the waistband on our hips. We wore them everywhere, from ice climbing in the canyons of Zion National Park to hiking in New Mexico to skiing in the La Sal Mountains. We wore them on cold days and hot days, periods of high activity as well as lounging about on rest days. We found some to work better than others in cold weather layerings systems, or for high output activities. We also washed them in random sinks found along the way.

Packed and ready to go.
Packed and ready to go.

Lab Tests

In addition to our rigorous field testing, we also did two specific tests to evaluate three of our categories. For breathability and odor control we tested each pair by performing a high aerobic activity for an hour, specifically cycling, and then evaluating for each metric. We also did two dry time tests, one inside and one outside, to determine how fast each pair would dry after hand washing.

Each pair was also machine washed and dried at least five times during the testing period, and we followed the laundry recommendations of each pair as listed on the label. Even in two months, we were able to see signs of wear on some of the boxer briefs.

We spent two months getting to know the ins and outs of each pair of underwear, meticulously evaluating each pair to make the best review possible. We tried to be as objective as possible, using specific qualitative and quantitative metrics to judge each product. We also want to be clear that we did not receive compensation from any of the manufacturers for this review, and purchased every model for testing ourselves.