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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.

Most Luxurious – Icebreaker Beast 150
If you want to put your lap squarely in the lap of luxury, the Beast is the way to go. There were multiple times during an extended hike through the Sierra’s Minarets that I had to stop and try to remember if I had even put on briefs that day; they were simply that comfortable. I had concerns that the wool was going to be itchy in places I never wanted an itch, but it turned out to be a non-issue.

The pure merino regulated temperature in the summer mountain heat with aplomb, and even after wearing them non-stop for three days, they fit just as well as the day I got them. These also smelled the best of the bunch after days of use; although I didn’t come close to the Icebreaker record of 196 days of consecutive wear, I can at least appreciate how someone gave it a try. As a bonus, the Beast also got the highest marks for looks due to their progressive styling. The only real bummer is the price, but if I could only bring two pairs of underwear on a thru-hike or extended tourist travel, I would splurge for these. Icebreaker Beast 150 Boxer Brief with Fly, 3 oz (Men’s M), Sizes: Men’s S, M, L, XL, XXL, $43, icebreaker.com

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