The Best Hiking Underwear

By Elizabeth Enochs

When it comes to hiking, choosing the proper apparel is key — and that includes your undies. Whether you’re planning to hit the Pacific Crest Trail or go for a short hike at your local state park, it’s crucial to your comfort and your health to make sure you’re choosing the best hiking underwear on the market. That’s why I’ve rounded up some of the highest-rated hiking undies Amazon has to offer.

Although gynecologists seem to agree that cotton is the best fabric for vaginas, hikers seem to agree that cotton is the worst fabric for hiking — especially if you’re into long-distance treks. The primary problem with wearing cotton underwear for hiking is that it is anti-moisture wicking, and hikers need undies that will wick sweat and dry quickly, especially if you're washing your undies in the river every night for a week-long hiking trip.

Whichever type of hiker you are, you’ll want to make sure you’re hiking underwear is made of nylon, lycra, merino wool, bamboo blends, or even a rayon material, according to seasoned hikers, because those fabrics are breathable and more quick-drying than cotton. You can also search for hiking underwear that’s made with antimicrobial-treated fabric, if that’s important to you. Some hiking underwear even boast thermo-regulating and odor-fighting properties, and seamless undies are always a good bet when it comes to comfort and avoiding chafing.

There isn’t one perfect style of undies for hiking (that's about your personal preference), but whether you prefer a classic bikini cut, boybriefs, or hipsters, know that the best hiking underwear come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

1. The Best Classic Bikini

Boody Body EcoWear Women's Classic Bikini undies are seam-free, moisture-wicking, ultra-breathable, thermo-regulating, and promise to be great for sensitive skin. This pick is made from 80 percent breathable, bamboo-rayon, 13 percent nylon, and seven percent spandex for extra stretch. Plus, Amazon shoppers give these undies an impressive 4.4-star rating after hundreds of reviews. They’re also available in a boyshort cut.

What fans are saying: “Bought these for camping and hiking because I knew that they would dry quickly, even when it wasn't particularly warm or sunny (we camp off-grid with no laundry facilities, showers, flush toilets, etc.). … They are crazy comfortable, don't ride up, and don't give you that ‘swamp crotch’ feeling when you sweat (in Texas in the summer, that is especially important). I actually like them better than all of my other underclothes.”

  • Available sizes: XS-XL

2. The Best Bikini Brief

ExOfficio Women's Give-n-Go Sport Mesh Bikini Briefs are made of 93 percent breathable nylon and seven percent spandex for added stretch. The antimicrobial-treated fabric uses odor-eliminating Silvadur technology, and the breathable mesh fabric supplies airflow to keep you cool. This pick also features flatlock seams and a smooth fabric waistband to prevent chafing.

What fans are saying: “My second pair purchased. Love these for backpacking (as well as other sports, but were mainly purchased for backpacking purposes). They are really comfortable, fit as expected, and breathe well. They were also very easy to clean in the river, and dried quite quickly hanging on a clothesline. Definitely recommend!”

  • Available sizes: XS-XL

3. The Best Merino Wool Underwear

The Merino Siren Bikini by Icebreaker is made of 83 percent core-spun, breathable merino wool, 12 percent nylon, and five percent spandex for extra stretch. Additionally, the side seams on this pick are moved forward for added comfort, and Amazon shoppers give this option a 4.1-star rating.

What fans say: “These are absolutely wonderful. Wore them on my Inca Trail Hike in Peru...aka no showering for four days. They held up great!”

  • Available sizes: XS-XL

4. The Best Hipster

Balanced Tech Women's Seamless Hipster Panties are made of nylon fabric blend, and they boast odor-resistant and moisture-wicking technology as well. Their tag-less labeling and seamless design promise to eliminate chafing and panty lines, and Amazon shoppers seem to love them, giving the undies a 4.4-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.

What fans are saying: “Absolutely love these! They are very comfortable for working out and hiking and the best wicking underwear I've had!”

  • Available sizes: XS-XL

5. The Best On A Budget: A Multi-Pack With 4-Way Stretch Fabric

This hipster panty multi-pack by New Balance is made of 62 percent breathable nylon and 38 percent spandex for maximum stretch. They’re also tag-less, seamless, and promise zero panty lines.

What fans are saying: “These underwear are wonderful. They are very light and thin with no seams so you can wear them instead of thongs. They are great for running as they dry quickly and also great for travel as you can rinse them by hand and have them ready the next day.”

  • Available sizes: M

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