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Hiking underwear for both women and men is one of the most undervalued pieces of hiking gear. That is, until you’ve experienced painful chafing from underwear that rubs.
Or hiked in uncomfortable underwear soaked in sweat. The right ones will keep you comfortable and dry for the duration of your hike, whether you’re hiking in cold or warm weather.
If you’ve ever had a bad experience with chafing, whether it be thigh chafing, underarm chafing or somewhere else, you know how important it is. And if you haven’t, trust me, you don’t want to. I’ve had chafing so bad that it actually bled!
There’s even quick-drying and moisture-resistant active underwear, backpacking underwear perfect if you’re doing a multi-day hiking tour and want to keep your load light since you arrive late afternoon; wash it, and it will be dry the morning.
And of course, hiking underwear is your important base layer to keep you warm in cold weather when the temperature dips on winter hikes.
You may also be surprised to learn that the right underwear for hiking can actually keep you cool in hot weather as well.
Underwear for hiking is more expensive than regular underwear, especially cotton underwear, which makes you very sweaty. But the extra price for a pair of hiking underwear is worth it for all the benefits they offer.
While merino wool is my personal choice because it’s a breathable fabric and much better for the environment than other synthetic materials, if you’re looking for underwear for hiking at a more affordable price, look for ones that contain a wool blend with synthetic fibres. These will usually be cheaper than 100% merino wool.
Given its importance, I’ve come up with the best hiking underwear for women and men. Merino wool underwear is still the best in my book, and I’m a huge fan of anything by Smartwool, Icebreaker, ExOfficio or Patagonia for their high-quality underwear that last but read on to see which one fits you and your needs the most.
Best Women’s Hiking Underwear
SmartWool Underwear for Women
Smartwool uses 100% climate-positive wool which I love. Their base layers help you stay warm and stay out longer. I also love that they offer women’s plus-size base layers, a market that frequently gets left out when hiking underwear should be available for any BODY type who wants to get out on an adventure.
This lightweight base layer is an excellent choice when you only need light insulation. Its moisture-wicking capabilities will help keep you dry when you sweat. It's a great performance layer when hiking in warmer conditions.
- Has a slim fit
- Designed with a crew neck and long raglan sleeves perfect for backpacking trips
- Made of 77% merino wool, 13% nylon
With moisture-wicking technology and odor control thanks to antimicrobial properties these Smartwool Women's Merino 150 Bikini style briefs fit well and help regulate your body temperature. This breathable underwear are also quick-drying, making them a perfect choice for multi-day hiking trips or backpacking.
- Quick- dry underwear
- 88% Merino Wool/12% Nylon
This seamless strappy bra offers good support, and the knit cups are designed to provide lift and shape so you don't have to worry about having a mono-boob as you do with some sports bras. Being seamless, you also don't have to worry about underarm chafing when you sweat. However, if you have large breasts, you may find that it doesn't offer the support you want. But it's a good choice for hiking and to wear if you have an active lifestyle.
- Merino fabric keeps you dry and odor-free
- Engineered knit cups that provide shape and lift
Has removable padding so that you can use it while hiking, or lounging around
Best Icebreaker Underwear for Women Hikers
I love Icebreakers’ philosophy of the relationship between people and nature, focusing on kinship and not conquering. Driven by the belief that nature has the solutions, they provide products made of natural fibres instead of synthetic-based to create a healthier, more sustainable future.
This pair of underwear is great for winter. Icebreaker Spite's merino wool underwear will keep you warm and dry. It's a great fit that is slimming yet comfortable, as they are ultra-soft on the skin. You can't go wrong with this great pair of merino wool briefs
- Made of 85% Merino wool and 15% synthetic fabric
- Features jersey corespun fabric and nylon fibres for added strength and durability
- Low-rise Merino underwear with full coverage
If you don't like wearing underwire bras, then the Icebreaker Siren is an excellent option for you. It doesn't have side seams, so is chafe-free and allows for better movement and comfort while hiking. The elastic strap design gives you additional versatility.
- A sleek design with no-side-seam construction for everyday comfort and easy layering.
- A top-rated fit with thin adjustable elastic straps.
- Made of 83% merino wool, and a blend of nylon
Best Exofficio Underwear for Women Hikers
Since 1987, ExOfficio has been making lightweight, wrinkle-free fabrics brilliantly designed with bug, sun, water, and odor protection since1987.
You only need two pairs on any trip since they dry so far, so they’re perfect as high-quality travel underwear or as backpacking underwear. And did I mention how comfortable they are?
ExOfficio Give-N-Go offers a few different underwear styles so you'll find something according to your personal preference. Made with breathable mesh, the ExOfficio Give-N-Go bikini briefs keep you dry and comfortable.
They're made with odor resistant technology and are machine washable and can be washed in warm water. They retain their shape and won't stretch out. They're great for daily wear and are also a great pair of backpacking underwear.
- The quick-dry featuremakes them high quality travel underwear or perfect for multi-day hiking trips
- Made with 94% Nylon, 6% Lycra Spandex blend
- Designed to provide airflow and prevent odor and moisture
These hiking panties are excellent for multi-day hiking, travel and everyday wear. This quick-dry underwear and made with a breathable mesh, so it's moisture-wicking and odor resistant. You won't find a more comfortable bikini brief.
- Breathable mesh hiking underwear to keep you comfortable
- Made with 93% Nylon, 7% Lycra Spandex fabric blend
- Smooth and soft waistband
If you're looking for a different style of underwear, this string bikini fits the bill. With an excellent active fit, this hiking underwear will give you optimum comfort on your hikes. . The mesh fabric is odour resistant, quick-drying and moisture-wicking. They also come in a wide range of prints and colors.
- Made with 94% Nylon and 6% Lycra Spandex
- Anti-odor treatment keeps this underwear feeling fresher and longer
- Breathable mesh improves airflow, enhancing comfort while travelling
Best Patagonia Women’s Underwear for Hikers
At Patagonia, alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business for silent adventures that don’t require a motor or cheers from a crowd. The reward is the hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.
Patagonia also donates at least 1% of their sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.
While it is expensive, I do love Patagonia Women’s line, and it is high quality.
More Merino Wool Underwear for Women Hikers
The Lapasa thermals are made with rib-knit merino wool and will keep you warm and comfortable. They are stretchy and will keep you warm in cool conditions. This is a great choice when you want a matching top and bottom.
- These thermal underwear are soft and smooth feel without the itchy feel
- Features effective insulation while maintaining breathability
- Can be worn as a base layer that will wick away moisture while keeping you cosy.
Quick-drying and odour resistant, this merino wool underwear are great for hiking. They offer you great comfort and are light enough to use as a base layer without weighing you down.
- These are odour resistant to keep you feeling fresh all-day
- Made with breathable fibres
- Ideal for layering as it is lightweight
This base layer is made with high-quality merino wool that will keep warm and comfortable on your hike.This microbial underwear is odour resistant and quick-drying, so you won't have to worry about changing too often on a long hiking adventure. This hiking underwear also comes in stylish colours.
- Made with 100% all-natural superfine 18.5-micron Merino wool ensures comfort all day long
- Slim-fit thermal shirt
- Breathable and odour resistant to keep you feeling fresh all-day
More Women’s Hiking Underwear
Reebok Women's underwear have been crafted with moisture-wicking fabric, which means they stay dry all day long. They're also made out of breathable mesh so you won't feel hot during those summer days when temperatures soar above 90 degrees F (32 C). In addition, these shorts feature a contoured elastic waistband and flatlock seams. This ensures that the shorts fit comfortably all day long.
- Reebok Women's underwear features super soft microfiber fabric that provides supreme comfort and support
- Offers a flattering shape and no panty lines
- Gives you complete coverage and prevents unwanted bulges
The Pure Stretch Thong is laser cut, ensuring that you have no seams to cause discomfort. They fit perfectly, and the fabric also offers odour control. You won't have a problem keeping dry with them either, as the material is moisture-wicking.
- Made of 68% Nylon,32% Elastane
- New super-soft stretch fabric delivers excellent all-day comfort for any activity
- Laser-cut edges offer a hem-free construction for a smoother and more flattering silhouette
Best Men’s Hiking Underwear
The Best Merino Wool Underwear for Men
These 100% merino wool briefs are super comfortable. The specific knit allows for optimum breathability and moisture-wicking. They also include a loop for easy hanging no matter where you are. This hiking underwear is a must-have for winter explorations.
- These fit snuggly and provide gentle support
- They have a natural wicking and odour-resistant property
- Quick-dry underwear made of merino wool
This merino blend brief offers you comfort and great mobility. You'll be able to move freely in these boxers, leaving you with less chafing. This hiking underwear is excellent for any activity and will keep you warm in winter.
- These are slim fit and very stretchy
- Made with 83% Merino Wool, 12% Nylon, 5% ElastaneMade for next-to-skin softness
- Breathable for all-day comfort.
With its ergonomic fly, you'll be guaranteed comfort and support. The Apex Merino has a longer leg is designed to reduce chafing on your upper legs.
- Made from 100% Australian merino wool
- Lightweight, sweat-resistant comfort all day long.
- The front pouch offers better support and stability
The Meriwool Base Layer offers the ultimate comfort. Made with ultrafine merino wool fibres. Y,ou won't find softer hiking underwear. It is perfect as a base layer and will keep you dry and warm. Best of all, they're easy to care for and quick dry underwear
- These fit snuggly and provide gentle support
- They have a natural wicking and odour-resistant property
- A quick-drying blend of merino wool hiking underwear
These Smartwool boxer briefs have a fullyfunctional and a flatlock seam to eliminate chafing. They're naturally odor-resistant and breathable and are sure to keep you dry on your hike.
- 87% Merino Wool 13% Nylon
- Machine washable in warm water
- Microial underwear so that they're odor-resistant and breathable
- Quick-dry underwear
More Men’s Hiking Underwear
These Exofficio Men's Give-N-Go boxer briefs are lightweight, comfortable, breathable and odor resistant. This hiking underwear is perfect for under your base layer. These quick-dry underwear are perfect for multi-day hikes
- Ultralight breathable mesh fabric to keep you cool
- Durable synthetic underwear
- Microbial underwear for Improved anti-odour treatment to keep you fresher, longer
The ExOfficio Men's Give-N-Go Sport Mesh briefs are made with antimicrobial properties to help reduce odour, making them great for all kinds of outdoor activities. They include a versatile mesh, which allows for better breathability. They're super easy to care for, just wash in warm water.
- Made with antimicrobial properties to reduce odour
- The versatile mesh allows better breathability
- Ultra quick-drying hiking underwear
This hiking underwear is made with 4-way stretch fabric, which will ensure you can comfortably move around. Every seam has been added with careful thought to ensure that these briefs remain comfortable even if worn for an extended period.
- Ultra-soft and breathable
- No side or back seams for ultimate comfort
- 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
The Ridge Boxer Briefs will wick moisture and add comfort to your hike. This hiking underwear is made with flatlock seams to ensure less chafing. They are also odour resistant and are made to be durable and long-lasting.
- Made with a mesh fly to provide ventilation and support
- With no-ride-up legs and strategically placed breathable mesh
- Wicks away moisture so you can stay cool and dry.