synthetic briefs

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    shannon stoney


    I usually wear cotton briefs, but I am trying to find two or three pairs of cheap synthetic briefs to take on a trip to South America. It seems silly to spend $15 on coolmax or some other briefs when Walmart has synthetic briefs for $3. I wonder if people like the nylon ones or the polyester ones better. Is there a reason to prefer one over the other: ease of washing, breathability, wicking, etc?

    Or, if you believe in investing in more expensive high tech briefs for some reason, I’d like to know your reasons too. But if you are going to be gone for two weeks and two pairs of fancy ones cost $30, for the same price you could buy cheap ones and just throw them away instead of washing them.

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest

    i use capilene boxers, so i can’t really advise here. i bought the capilene on the advice of a co-worker who swears by all things capilene. i got them on sale on the Patagonia website, or i might not have purchased them. On sale though they were still expensive cp. to the price you mentioned for Walmart. They function real well, but not owning any cheaper ones, i can’t compare.

    one suggestion however. if you have the time b/f your trip & the cost is small, as you say, buy one of each from Walmart. Try them out on a day hike or aft/eve hike. See if either performs well enough for you to want to buy more & take them on your trip.

    If they fail the test, then you’re not out much $$ & you’ve at least got two pair for yard work, etc on those hot, humid TN days.

    Addendum added after B. Tang’s post:

    I haven’t tried the Duofold VariTec briefs, but I have tried D/f Varitec tops. They seem to perform, IMHO, nearly (not quite, but nearly – 80%-90% ???) as well as some Patagonia Capilene tops that i have. So, i think Ben has given you good advice. I bought my Duofold at Campmor (click this link) (often on sale – very inexpensive for reasonably good quality $6-$7 for some of the tops; briefs might be cheaper???). I’ve done quite a bit of business with Campmor – no problems on any order. They’re in New Jersey. I’m in CT. Normal delivery (non-expedited) is 2days once order ships (usually 24-48hrs after placing the order).

    BPL Member


    I too wear 100% cotton when at home. However, I wear synthetics when traveling — for their quick-drying property. This is what I have, and I recommend them highly (feels practically like cotton):

    Duofold VariTEC™ 360° Stretch HydroDuct™ Brief

    Mike Storesund


    I have used the Duofold boxer briefs and Ex Officio boxer briefs and I prefer the Ex Officio. IMHO, they breathe well, dry very quick and help prevent chaffing.

    Joshua Mitchell


    Locale: Kansas

    If you go to target, Merona (target’s house brand) has just release some nylon trunks (short boxer-briefs) 6$ and shirts 10$. The shirts suck (way too thick of material), but the trunks are (IMO) hella comfortable and dry quickly.

    Also, Champion C9 (7$?) Dry (Moisture Management) Trunks or Boxer-Briefs are very nice as well.

    BPL Member


    Locale: SoCal

    I’m sold on synthetic underwear. My old cotton stuff just doesn’t satisfy anymore.

    I’ve had good luck with the Wal-Mart boxer-briefs. I think they’re under the label InSport, or something like that, a polyester/spandex blend. Nice, snug fit, no bunching or wedging, also proven pretty durable. It also seems like odor control is better than others I’ve tried. If you’re not into the cycle-length style, you could probably find some synthetic ‘boy shorts’ or ‘euro-style’ boxer-briefs.

    As for nylon v. polyester, I’ve never noticed too much difference in my running shorts, although polyester seems more popular. For me, if I’m choosing underwear for the long haul, when thorough washing and drying may not be convenient or even possible, I like some spandex in there, too, to keep the fabric from getting all stretched out and baggy and misshapen.


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