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Gear Review: Boxers or Briefs?

Although perhaps not as sexy as a brand new Gore-Tex Pro hardshell, the most basic of baselayers is a crucial component of your backcountry enjoyment. We put three mens' styles to the test.

Best for High Octane Days – Under Armour O Series BoxerJock
When it comes to putting the family jewels on lockdown, no performance underpants I’ve ever worn could compare to the security of the O Series. The fit felt suffocating at first, but once I got going I could actually feel the cooling effect of Under Armour’s HeatGear Technology. This is the material that first put Under Armour on the performance clothing map, which is essentially a lightweight proprietary moisture-wicking fabric that effectively keeps you cool and dry.

It was a little disconcerting for the first hour (and maybe it was the uber-secure fit), but my nether regions have never felt that actively cooled by any other fabric I’ve worn. These BoxerJock’s also benefitted from “Strategic Ventilation,” which is apparently marketing code-speak for mesh fabric on the front door. I can’t say I noticed a material difference (pun intended), but I appreciated the thought. On the downside, even though the smell wasn’t too bad on day one, by day three they were certainly the most offensive to the olfactory. Thus I keep these close by for high speed day hikes (or any of the myriad other active sports I enjoy), but limit their use for extended trips.

The O Series also got high scores for their good looks, although I suspect it was more to do with the snug fit than sophisticated styling. Under Armour Men’s O Series BoxerJock, 3 oz (Men’s M), Sizes (in both 3” and 6” length): S, M, L, XL, XXL, $20,

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