Updated on: August 16, 2017
Underwear is important as it acts like moisture transfer layer to keep you dry enough in all the right places.
Some materials breathe better, some are lightweight, some keep you warmer, some are more efficient when it comes to keeping at distance odor bacteria.
The most common materials for men’s hiking underwear is polyester and Merino wool. Polyester might be combined with a little Spandex and is great as it dries fast and breathes pretty well.
Merino wool is not only warm, but also doesn’t let odor-causing bacteria building up. It wicks moisture pretty well, but it’s not as long lasting as polyester.
If you want to go commando (no underwear), there’s nothing stopping you. Apart from the discomfort and the sweat that might cause inner thigh chafing.
What to check on your hiking underwear?
Good men’s hiking underwear has odor resistance abilities and Merino is the best material for the long run when it comes to that. Polypropylene is not highly efficient and some “odor-resistant” fibers are treated with antimicrobial materials that work only in the beginning.
You need to take good consideration on the dry time of your underwear. If you want speed, polyester is the best choice as it dries the fastest. Merino and spandex dry rather slowly. You need not to forget this aspect on your hiking underwear.
Even though a loose fit feels nice and ventilates great (airflow is always good), a more form-fitting underwear minimizes the risks for chafing. Elastic leg cuffs mean the underwear doesn’t ride up and this is nice, especially when hiking or high-stepping.
When it comes to waist band, we sit in the middle. If it’s too small or too big, it’s not good and your kind of need to experiment until you get the right waist band that is both comfortable and doesn’t bind on long days either.
It’s very important that your hiking underwear prevent chafing so stay away from cotton underwear. Cotton soaks in your sweat and sticks to your skin. Not to mention the seams that always rub your skin.
Might be tempting, but you also have to stay away from underwear made of modal, rayon, lyocell, bamboo, viscose. They are made of wood fibers so are similar to cotton when get wet or damp.
You should look for hiking underwear that is efficient when it comes to breathability also. Cotton, for instance, doesn’t breathe well and holds in sweat. This gives an unpleasant feeling. You need underwear that allows air circulation and also wicks sweat away from your body. High-tech fabrics, along with the Merino wool, are able to do this.
You can’t give on warmth, even though you want breathability from your underwear. Even in the wintertime you sweat, so you want underwear that provides warmth and breathes well, at the same time.
Hiking light is great so you’d want your hiking underwear to be also lightweight. This is handy not only when wearing it, but also when backpacking.
Let’s not forget that is always a great thing if you get versatile underwear and you also get to use it at home, not only when hiking.
Your hiking underwear needs to be easy to clean and machine washable/machine dryable is always something to wish for.
Read carefully the instruction and don’t ruin it by using the dryer when you’re not supposed to.
The more you pay, the higher the quality and the performance of your hiking underwear. But you can also find decent underwear for less money, also.
TOP 5 Men’s Hiking Underwear Reviews
Comfortable and breathable, the Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica Boxers with Fly are a great choice when hiking or developing all kinds of outdoor activities.
The boxers are made of 100% other fibers, but keep you warm without getting sweaty.
The design of the boxers is well thought out and they feel comfortable with the contoured pouch with functioning fly.
The flatlock stitching keeps at distance chafing. The boxers have a smooth outer surface so it’s easy and cozy to overlay. The label at center back waistband is subtle and doesn’t bring discomfort.
The 1.3-inch Icebreaker Satin jacquard waistband ensures a snug fit and doesn’t move around.
The boxers are built with very soft, stretchy and long lasting Merino wool blend. They are breathable and keep you dry no matter how much physical effort you develop.
Thanks to the Merino wool, the boxers are efficient also when it comes to odor-resistance.
The boxers are easy to clean and to take care of.
Let’s make a short list of pros:
- The boxers are warm and breathable
- The boxers are comfortable and give a snug fit
- The boxers are soft and allow easy overlaying
- The boxers are odor resistant and durable
As for the cons, there are some we have to mention:
- The boxers might be a bit thick for summer
- The waist band rolls into a tube at times
As they are comfortable, warm and breathable, the boxers make a good choice as hiking underwear for men.
The warm and comfortable Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Kancamagus Midweight Bottom is a piece to get as most men’s hiking underwear reviews talk about how great Merino wool is for underwear.
The bottoms are made of 100% Merino wool and come in a pretty wide range of sizing.
The bottoms keep you warm and comfortable. They are odor resistant so they keep you fresh for long time.
The mid weight base layer s moisture wicking and fire resistant. The flatlock seams don’t allow chafing and provide amazing comfort. On the plus side, it creates a soft outer surface that makes comfortable and easy to overlay.
The bottoms have anti-microbial abilities as they are made of Merino wool. They keep you warm and the stretch cuffs trap the warmth inside. The bottoms are tag less, which means more relief when wearing them.
The bottoms may be machine washed and machine dry. They dry fast and have a natural flexibility.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The bottoms are made of 100% Merino wool
- The bottoms keep you warm, dry and odor-free for long time
- The bottoms feature flatlock seams and are comfortable
- The bottoms are flexible, wick moisture and have anti-microbial abilities
As for the cons, there are only few:
- The bottoms are a bit itchy in the beginning
- Some hesitate to machine wash them as it seems it lowers their life span
For the warmth, breathability, comfort and so many other good things, the bottoms are an item to have for your hiking underwear.
Merino wool is not the only material that is great for hiking underwear and Patagonia sure has the proof of that. The Patagonia Capilene 2 Crew Baselayer Top – Men’s is a piece of hiking underwear made of synthetic fibers that provides warmth and breathability at the same time.
The base layer top is made of Polartec Power Dry, 100% Polyester: solids, 59% recycled, heathers, 43% recycled.
The Patagonia base layer top is long lasting as it’s double knitted. It has 20-UPF sun protection and Plygiene continuous odor control.
The top is stretchy and gives a sung, yet comfortable fit. It has a smooth face so it’s easy, nice and cozy to overlay. The open inner knit ensures efficient wicking also.
The base layer top dries fast and you can either wear it alone or as base layer in the colder winter.
The rib-knit neckline feels soft to skin and the top slides easily on. The offset side seams are efficient, whereas the offset shoulder seams keep chafing at distance under shoulder straps. The thumb loops provide good hand coverage and doesn’t allow the sleeves to move when over layering. And they also seal the warmth inside.
The top has good breathability, wicks moisture and provides warmth. The back is tag less and the top has a subtle, elegant tag on the front.
The fabric is Bluesign approved, which means it keeps you safe and secure the whole time.
Let’s make a very short list of the most important pros:
- The top is made of Polartec Power Dry
- The top provides warmth, breathability and comfort
- The top features Polygiene continuous odor control and 20-UPF sun protection
- The top has flatlock seams and thumb loops
As for the cons, we only have two minor problems:
- There are only two colors for the top
- The top is not exactly on the low-priced underwear zone
As it’s breathable, comfortable, warm and perfect for over layering, the top is a long lasting option for many men hikers.
When you sit on a fence and can’t decide if you should go for Merino wool or polyester, you can try the Patagonia Merino Midweight Zip-Neck Top – Men’s Classic Red, as it has both.
The top is made of 80% Merino wool and 20% recycled polyester, so it features qualities of both materials.
The mid weight top is comfortable to wear and the flatlock seams create a smooth surface that allows nice, cozy and easy over layering.
The top keeps you warm and wicks away moisture just as well. The breathability is efficient and the top feels nice to the skin. The fit is slim and the top is long. The thumb holes are elastic so the sleeves remain in place when moving or over layering.
The ½-zip makes it easy to put on the top. It also seals inside the warmth and provides good ventilation when in need.
The top is a versatile base layer that is also odor resistant, since it contains 80% Merino wool. The added recycled Capilene fibers improve the fast-drying moisture abilities of the top.
The offset shoulder seams minimize the discomfort from the backpack shoulder straps.
Here are the most important pros are:
- The top is made of 80% Merino wool and 20% recycled polyester
- The top is warm, breathable and wicks moisture
- The top is easy to put on and is soft for comfortable over layering
- The top is odor resistant
Let’s make a short list of cons:
- The top is not low-priced
- The top comes in red, which might not be everybody’s favorite color
Despite the minor issues, the top is a warm, breathable, comfortable, reliable and long lasting item for any hiker.
If you go through the best men’s hiking underwear review you see that avid hikers that go in the coldest winter up in the mountains would rather put on some underwear for the entire experience. The Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight One-Piece Suit – Men’s is a good example on this, as you don’t need to worry the whole day about being too cold or too sweaty when having this on.
The one-piece suit is made with Polartec Power Grid fabric. The fabric consists of 92% recycled polyester and 8% spandex. This combination brings durability, flexibility and a snug fit just as well. Due to spandex, the suit gives freedom on the move and comfort even when over layered.
The one-piece suit has a smooth face for easier and cozier layering. The fabric’s open grid pattern next to skin means more warmth, breathability and moisture-wicking abilities.
The high collar is soft and the self-fabric hood s efficient. It has an anatomical shaping for warmth and relief. The suit is easy to put on thanks to the long-center front zipper. This zipper also ensures good ventilation of the body heat. The kissing welts ensure comfort without adding bulk to the suit.
The suit also features a functional fly and a fully closing drop bottom. The gusseted crotch gives you mobility and the flatlock seams don’t allow chafing. The offset shoulder and side seams help you wear comfortably any pack straps.
Capilene Thermal Weight is Bluesign approved, which means it’s safe for your body in all circumstances. The suit has Polygiene permanent odor control and keeps you fresh for long time.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The suit is made with Polartec Power
- The suit is breathable, warm and wicks away moisture
- The suit is comfortable and gives freedom on the move
- There are many useful and efficient details: self-fabric hood, gusseted crotch, fly, offset shoulder and side seams
When it comes to the cons, we can only complain about the price. When it comes to performances and quality, the one-piece suit is a great investment anytime.
Best men’s hiking underwear for the money/best value
If you can’t really decide how much money you are willing to pay for your hiking underwear, place yourself in the middle and get the Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Chocorua Midweight Crew. For the money you pay, you get good quality and you play it on the safe side.
The top is made of 100% Merino wool so it presents all qualities that Merino wool provides: warmth, breathability, odor resistance.
The sizing is pretty wide and the top comes in several color combinations.
The Interlock knit construction gives you a soft, nice to feel item. The mid weight base layer has flat lock seams that forbid chafing. The outer surface of the top is soft, smooth and lets you over lay easy and comfortable.
The top is also tag less and has stretch cuffs. They seal warmth inside and don’t allow movement of the sleeves. The top remains snug throughout the entire hike.
The top is also fire resistant and is highly efficient on moisture wicking. It’s odor resistant so it keeps you fresh after a long day. The top insulates when wet and is lightweight.
When it comes to cleaning, we have to mention the top is machine washable and machine drying.
Let’s make a short list of the most important pros:
- The top is made of 100% Merino wool
- The top is warm, breathable and odor resistant
- The top is comfortable and wicks away moisture
- The top is soft and easy to over lay
The list of cons is even shorter:
- The top feels a bit baggy for some
- There is some piling after several washes
Despite the minor issues, for a fair price, you get a reliable, warm, comfortable, odor resistant underwear item for hiking.
Best cheap/budget men hiking underwear
For the short budget, a reliable and efficient piece of men’s hiking underwear is the Sportown®Men’s Lightweight Merino Wool Full-Length Bottom Pant with Fly.
The pants are made of 100% Merino wool so are warm, breathable and moisture wicking.
The pants are easy to slide on and have a soft outer surface that makes nice and easy the over layering. The flat lock seams help with the soft outer surface and the nice feel to the skin.
The wide elastic waistband doesn’t roll up when developing high energy level activities. It actually lets the pant to remain smooth and flat.
The pants feel soft, comfortable and are lightweight. They absorb moisture and keep you fresh the entire day. They provide also UV protection, have anti-static abilities and dry very fast.
When it comes to taking care of the pants, it’s better to wash them separately.
The most important pros are:
- The pants are made of 100% Merino wool
- The pants provide warmth, breathability and comfort
- The pants are odor-resistant and wick moisture
- The pants are soft, lightweight and easy to over lay
As for the cons, we don’t have many:
- The pants could give more warmth
- The material picks up everything
All in all, for the money you pay, the pants are dependable item to begin with when looking for budget hiking underwear.
Best summer hiking underwear for men
Hiking in the summer time is fun and you don’t want to worry about being too hot or too sweaty. The Terramar Men’s Thermasilk Tall Crew Neck Top is made of 100% filament silk so it manages to keep you warm when in need, and cool in the hot summer.
The top is easy to put on as it slides on easily. It has an amazing soft feel to the skin (remember the phrase “silky feel”?) and allows easy over layering just as well. The over layers also slide easily with minimum risk of bulky feeling.
The rib crew neck and cuffs with spandex give a snug fit and the top remains close to your body, in a flexible way. The top gives freedom on the move. The drop shoulder and contoured back hem mean also a lot for the comfort when wearing the top.
The ec2 Quick-Dri Thermoregulation Comfort Technology means the top is able to wick efficiently moisture and breathe very well.
Even though it’s lightweight, the top is strong and long lasting due to the natural strength of silk.
The top is a versatile base layer, not bulky, made to last quite some time.
Here are the most important pros:
- The top is made of 100% Filament silk
- The top is lightweight, breathable and strong
- The top is versatile and comfortable
- The top has many features that increase performance and quality
On the other hand, there are also some cons:
- The top is really thin and it’s see through
- You need to pay attention when cleaning it
Despite the minor issues, the top is a great solution for your summer hike.
Best men long underwear for hiking
For the hike in the colder conditions, a warm, cozy long underwear option is the Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Katmai Expedition Bottom.
The bottoms are made of 100% Merino wool so they deliver all the good things that Merino wool naturally wears. The bottoms keep you warm and wick moisture just as well.
The breathability is reliable and the bottoms have natural odor-fighting properties. They keep you fresh for a long time.
The interlock knit construction is efficient and the warmth is locked inside.
The mid layer bottoms feature flat lock seams for more comfort on the wear. The flatlock seams create a smooth outer surface so any additional layer slide on easily and comfortable. There is no chafing either.
The bottoms feel soft and give no itching. They are wind resistant and don’t have a bulky feel.
Let’s sum it all up and list our pros:
- The bottoms are made of 100% Merino wool
- The bottoms keep you warm, moisture and odor free for long time
- The bottoms are comfortable, soft and easy to over lay
- The bottoms are machine washable and machine dryable
When it comes to the cons, the list is very short:
- You need to turn inside out the bottoms when machine wash them
- They run a bit small
As they provide all the amazing features of the Merino wool, the bottoms are a good long underwear to get when in need.
Best backpacking hiking underwear for men
A good piece for any man backpacking hiking is the Woolx Men’s Merino Wool Shirt – Moisture Wicking Heavyweight Merino Base Layer.
The shirt is made of 100% Australian Merino wool so it has all the qualities of any good quality Merino wool: warm, breathable and moisture wicking.
The shirt is designed to keep you toasty in the coldest days. The shirt is thick, warm and features Interlocking knit for better sealing. And, it has no itchy feeling whatsoever either.
The shirt is breathable and has natural moisture wicking abilities. And, let’s not forget the natural odor fighting powers.
The 3” cuffs not only seal the warmth inside but also come with subtle, comfortable thumb holes to cover more of your hands. The sleeves don’t move and the shirt remains snug on your body. The gusseted underarms allow great flexibility and durability to the shirt.
The flat lock seams create a soft outer surface and a nice feel to the skin. The shirt feels nice and allows comfortable and easy over layering.
The fabric used is very soft, doesn’t shrink or stretch in the washing machine or dryer. Always turn it inside out before put it in the washing machine, though.
The most important pros would be:
- The shirt is very warm and great for backpacking hiking
- The shirt is breathable, moisture wicking and odor resistant
- The construction allows great freedom on the move
- The shirt is comfortable and long lasting
On the other hand, there are also some cons:
- The shirt might seem pricey for some
- The thumb holes are a tad difficult to use when stretching your arms
But, as it’s warm, breathable, comfortable and flexible, the shirt makes as a reliable option when backpacking hiking.