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Underwear Rub

How can I stop the elastic on my underwear from chafing me under my hipbelt?

Question:

How can I stop the elastic on my underwear from chafing me under my hipbelt?

Submitted by - Rex - Seattle, WA

Answer:

Hmmmm, good one. Let’s try to dissect the problem a bit. The way I see it, the problem comes from either your skivvies, your pants/shorts, or your hipbelt. One or more of them isn’t doing you justice. Let’s assume that your pack and its hipbelt is good quality and fits you just fine. The problem probably comes from undies or pants that aren’t as smooth or chafe-free as they should be.

Let’s start with undies. Lots of people just use their standard cotton Fruit-of-the-Looms under their hiking clothes. Big mistake. First of all, wearing cotton next to your skin kind of defeats the purpose of all that high-tech, wicking material that you pay an arm and a leg for. To really build a high performance layering system you should start at the skin. There are lots of great undies designed for comfort and wicking. Look for a synthetic or fine-gauge wool material with a smooth, wide and seamless waistband. Most likely, it’s seams or bunching that’s causing you friction. Good undies designed with pack-hauling in mind have the simplest, smoothest of hipbands, like I/O Bio’s Men’s Contact Boxer Briefs or Women’s Contact Boy Briefs.

Next, examine the waistband of your pants. Are there belt loops or stitching or seams that are causing the rub? You want hiking pants that are as smooth as possible in the hip area. Again, there are lots of good choices but Mountain Hardwear does a really nice job with all of their hiking pants, like these. They use what they call “Seamless Conical Waist, which is just a fancy way of saying that the waist area is really smooth under a pack.

Hope this helps! Happy hiking!

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