Ex-Officio Give-N-Go Briefs.
I should start by explaining that the photo here is a stock photo from Ex-Officio. My arms are not that hairy. OK.
Ex-Officio make two similar models of briefs: the Briefs shown here and some Sport Briefs. The latter are shorter in the waist, but otherwise identical as far as I can see. I will focus on the Briefs because I find them much better for walking.
Incidentally, Ex-Officio actually call them "Brief," in the singular. This is the same as talking about "trouser" – I can see the logic, but I can’t do it.
The company claims that the fabric "air-dries within hours" and is "extremely breathable, moisture-wicking, odor resistant finish." I can confirm the fast drying bit. I would say ‘fairly breathable’ as they do get just a little sweaty during a hot Sydney summer day of 35 C and 80% RH – but so does the rest of me. I can neither confirm nor deny the ‘odor-resistant’ bit.
Frankly, the fabric alone is not enough to justify them. But look at the photo here of a range of (Australian) underpants. On the right you can see the Ex-Officio ones compared to two other sorts. There is a big difference in the bulk of the waistbands. On the left we have some (Australian) underpants with similar flat waist bands – but look at how the elastic has curled up during use. The Ex-Officio waist band does not curl up.
The third feature I like is the design. The Briefs are taller in the waist region than many other (Australian) underpants. But the other ones seem to fight many hipbelts, getting either pushed down (most often) or pulled up. Neither is satisfactory. The waist region of the Ex-Officio Briefs is flat enough that they seem to stay nicely in position on my waist despite the movement of the hipbelt.
Drying socks on the pack.
These Ex-Officio Briefs have been my choice for a three-month long walk through France in 2007 and a two-month long high-altitude walk through Switzerland in 2009. They have also been used for pretty well all my other walks in Australia in that time – walks typically under seven days, but up to nine or ten days occasionally.
In Australia I usually don’t bother with a spare pair, so maybe the odor-resistant bit has some truth to it. But in Europe we often wash our socks and underwear every few days – depending on opportunity. Sometimes it took a couple of days for our wool socks to dry properly, but the Ex-Officio Briefs seemed to dry within a few hours in the sun – strung across our packs.
I should add that the pair of Briefs I took to France in 2007 also went to Switzerland in 2009 and are still in current use. To say ‘long-life’ seems appropriate.
|Main Material||Body Fabric: 94% Nylon/6% Spandex|
|Waist band||Elastic webbing 32 mm (1.25") wide|
|Colours||Black, white, green, blue, charcoal|
|Sizes||S to XXL|
|Weight (measured)||Medium: ~60 g (2.1 oz)|
- Quick drying
- Long life
- Stay up
What’s Not So Good
- Nothing really comes to mind
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review this product to the manufacturer under the terms of this agreement.