Whether you’re trekking the Inca Trail or touring Europe’s finest museums, a comfortable pair of lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable underwear is almost as important as a valid passport!
While cotton underwear can be best for everyday life, they can be quite uncomfortable while traveling since they tend to retain moisture and take a long time to dry. Look for underwear made from breathable, quick-drying fabrics such as merino wool or blends of polyester, nylon, and spandex. These materials can dry in just a few hours after a sink wash meaning you can pack less underwear and free up room in your pack.
Travel underwear tends to be pricey and can cost you anywhere from 10 to 30 bucks a pair, but they are definitely worth the price in comfort and convenience. When returning from your travels, your quick-drying travel underwear will prove valuable during everyday backpacking, running, and skiing adventures.
1) Icebreaker Hipkini Underwear
Although the most expensive of the bunch, the Icebreaker Hipkini Underwear gets my vote for best overall travel underwear. Icebreaker undies are made from super soft merino wool which is naturally odor resistant and moisture-wicking keeping you fresh and anything but stinky on multi-day trekking adventures and backcountry hut trips.
Pros: Eco-friendly wool, naturally odor-resistant, super soft and super comfy.
Cons: Pricey at 30 bucks a pair.
Where to Buy:
2) Ex-Officio’s Women’s Give-N-Go Travel Underwear
Ex-Officio has pretty much pioneered travel underwear with their slogan, “17 Countries. 6 Weeks. And one pair of underwear. Okay, maybe two.” The Ex-Officio women’s Give-N-Go undies were designed with travel in mind so they are moisture-wicking, highly breathable, and quick-drying.
The Give-N-Go’s are treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to control odor causing bacteria so they stay fresh even if it has been a few days since the last sink wash. Available in a variety of colors and styles from high-cut briefs to bikinis and thongs, the Ex-Officio travel undies are great for round-the-world trips or backpacking adventures.
Pros: Available in a variety of colors and styles, quick drying, and anti-microbial.
Cons: Thin coverage and tend to run small.
Where to Buy:
3) Patagonia Active Underwear
Not only are these perfect for the active traveler, but Patagonia Active undies are great for hiking, backpacking, running, and skiing too. The Patagonia Women’s Active Hipster’s seamless waistband and single-sided leg bindings prevent the undies from riding up yet they don’t feel tight and restrictive plus they are environmentally friendly (made from recyclable materials and 100% recyclable), super quick-drying, and cute to boot. Plus I have a pair that I have had for EIGHT years and they are still as good as new!!!
Pros: Environmentally friendly, lightweight, uber soft, and quick-drying.
Cons: Seriously can’t think of any!
Where to Buy:
4) Smartwool Microweight Bikinis
The Smartwool Microweight Bikinis are made from a super fine merino wool that is naturally soft, moisture-wicking, and comfortable. Unlike traditional wool, these merino undies are not itchy and can be repeatedly washed without shrinking. Although, the Smartwool bikinis don’t feel as durable as the Icebreaker Hipkinis they feel just a tad softer and just as comfortable.
Pros: Super light, comfortable, naturally odor resistant, and quick drying.
Cons: Delicate. Make sure to wash by hand, feel slightly thinner and less durable than Icebreaker wool.
Where to Buy:
6) Patagonia Barely Thongs
The Patagonia Barely Thong Underwear are my new favorite travel undies (as well as around the town faves). Made from a recycled polyester spandex blend, the Barely’s are unbelievably soft and super comfy under yoga pants or running tights. They are comfortable, super lightweight, and tagless for no itch. Plus they are made from eco-friendly materials so they are light on the conscience as well as the bum!
Pros: Super light and comfy, tagless, made from recycled materials.
Cons: Expensive for barely any material.
Where to Find Them!