Up until now, ExOfficio boxer briefs have been my go-to travel underwear. They've reigned supreme for me because I've tested alternatives and none of them could meet my standards. When I was introduced to SCOTTeVEST and their version of travel boxers, I was intrigued because of how similar they were to the ExOfficios. With both underwear on a recent camping trip, I put them to the test. This is a review of how the industry's top travel boxers performed.
Travel Underwear Criteria
Before we begin, I have to lay out the parameters of this test and what I look for in travel underwear. It doesn't get any more personal than your underwear because it's on you all day and has to stand the rigours of all the crazy things you do throughout the day.
When you break it down it comes down to the following:
While I didn't push the underwear to the max so to speak, I wore each underwear on two different days of camping to see how they fared.
I can't say we did anything too strenuous while camping but they did go through hour long hikes, mild weather in the 20's (degrees C that is), and a lot of time by the campfire.
When you look at both underwear, you'll notice that the material is almost identical. It's the same super lightweight, odor-resistant (Aegis Microbe Shield), and moisture-wicking. If I didn't put them side by side, To be honest, I probably never would've noticed a difference if I didn't put them side by side.
As such, the comfort of both the SCOTTeVEST (SeV) travel boxers and ExOfficio boxer briefs are both incredibly high. Both performed admirably because they don't stick to your skin even when sweaty, result in less wedgies (don't we hate that) and barely notice that you're even wearing underwear because of how light they are.
Both underwear use a non-binding waistband so they never feel too tight, pinch, or cause any itching. I did notice that the SeV travel boxer's waistband had softer waistband lining on the inside. It's a marginal difference but it's there when you feel both.
To each's own though, the one distinction you do have to make is that the SeVs are boxers and ExOfficios are boxer briefs. I typically prefer boxer briefs but as of now SeVs only come in the boxer variety.
Conclusion: Without long term tests, it's hard to say if comfort ever degrades for either. Both are incredibly comfortable and I can't say that either have an edge over the other but the SeV does have a slight edge because of the nicer waistband.
As a traveller, I'm big on travelling light and a lot of times that seriously means packing only 2-3 pairs of underwear. Your natural instincts are to think that is crazy but when you know what travel optimized gear can do, you'll be inclined to pack this way as well. The key defining factor is simply how easy it is to wash your underwear
Being made of the same material, both underwear were ridiculously easy to wash. Being light and thin as it is, I had no trouble washing them in a bucket of water with soap, rinsing and then wringing it by hand. The drying part is where the magic happens and what makes these so great. They are so easy to wring that you can practically get most of the water out so that when you hang it dry, you're much further along your way when compared to cotton.
In my test, I washed both underwear at the campsite before I went to sleep. Under no sun, overnight and in 15-20 degrees C temperatures (59-68 degrees F), the SeV boxer was fully dry by 10AM and the ExOfficio a tad moist. Personally I thought it took longer than I expected but climate definitely plays a factor. Typically in a hotel, it dries a lot faster because of the higher room temperature.
Conclusion: I didn't expect to see a clear winner here but to my surprise the SeV boxer did dry a little faster in suboptimal conditions.
I never really put much thought into using underwear for more than its original purpose of keeping the goods together but the added bonus of the SeV boxer is that they have two pockets built into the front and back. While I wasn't able to use them much during camping, I did test it in as far as putting my Apple iPhone 6 in the front pocket and it held up admirably. That is to say my phone didn't inadvertently pull my underwear down.
In a separate test on a different trip, I managed to put my passport in the front pocket and I almost forgot I had it there for a whole day. I then had that eureka moment when I realized that, yes, I can actually ditch my money belt when I travel in certain instances where I just want to keep my passport and maybe a few extra bills concealed. BRILLIANT right?
I will say that this doesn't prevent your passport from getting moist in those super hot climates and the one piece of feedback I'd give is that the pockets themselves are a smidge smaller than a Canadian passport so you really have to negotiate it into the pocket and its stretchable material.
I reviewed the ExOfficio boxer briefs WAY back when I first started the blog and things have certainly changed a lot since then. I never thought I'd say this but there's a new player in town and it's called the SCOTTeVEST boxers.
Don't take my word for it and try them out yourself!
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