Travel Knicker Debate!

Today I enter the great knicker debate, although from what I’ve read there isn’t that much debate, or am I wrong? Are Ex-Officio the best travel undies? I’m on a mission to find out!

A couple of days’ ago I ordered 3 pairs of Ex-Officio from zappos, 2 for me and 1 for Chris, who has kindly agreed to participate in a little bottom soul-baring. I’m trying the Give-N-Go Bikini brief and Lacy Bikini, and Chris has the brief in charcoal, large.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the hardly ever pondered question, does Chris wear boxers or briefs, is briefs!

We are testing them out today. Phase one is today in San Jose, expected temperature and humidity: 82*F/28*C, 59% humidity.

Occupations: I’m going to start prepping and painting some of our closet doors to more neutral white. We like the little bit of sunny yellow against the vanilla ice cream of the walls, it feels warm, but staging to sell is different from painting to your own taste. So closet doors and all trim should match, preferably white. [Official apology: the knicker report collided with the staging report, normal service will now resume!]

Chris’s “test the undies” day will be spent emptying filing cabinets, sorting papers and scanning important documents.

Then perhaps I’ll wash them in the sink, but more likely we’ll wait until we do the next load of laundry to report on how quickly they dry.

Basic info and first impressions: oh they’re both nude, damn, I thought I’d ordered one in black, oh well it feels soft. Chris reads the label “100% nylon” forget the nylon, just try them on. Umm, feels good, seems ok, let’s try them.

They feel very soft & comfy, we both agreed on that. I had a hot sweaty day of painting, and yes of course they got damp, but no worse than any other knickers, and possibly better than most. Chris’s work was not as sweaty as mine and he agreed they were comfortable.

I did rinse mine out in the sink, and we’ll see how quickly they dry. Update: Well they did indeed dry very quickly, I think overnight drying will work just fine. And now we have a full review from Chris on his Ex-Officio undies.

If you’re reading this blog, then you know we’re planning on travelling extensively, with the minimum amount of luggage.  To achieve this, reducing the amount of clothing we take with us, including underwear, is critical.  From our earlier travels, we already have some lightweight, quick drying, multipurpose trousers, shirts, & even towels, so we’re now looking into underwear.  This may be more information than you want to know, & if so, you can stop reading here :^)

So, what should we be looking for when evaluating travel underwear?  I’ve detailed what I think are the key features in the following table:


Conventional Jockey

Exofficio Travel

Material 90% cotton, 10%   Spandex 94% Nylon, 6% Spandex
Weight Nothing on their web   site & we don’t have a scale, but definitely more than 2.5 ounces.  7.5 ounces maybe? 2.5 ounces
Bulk 8 of these are a   squeeze into a shallow drawer Could get 20 of these   in that same shallow drawer
Fit I wear briefs, which   are initially comfortable, but tend to drift downwards during the day,   particularly when setting up the PA system for a gig, when I’m doing a lot of   stretching & bending.  So, need   regular adjustment, and I know they are there. These are deeper than   my Jockey briefs, and if I pull them up all the way, they would show above my   Levi jeans, so I turned the elastic down for a shallower fit.  They did not require any adjusting all day,   even during a very strenuous workout, and I forgot all about them – more on   this below.
Absorbency Being cotton, they do   grab moisture & they do hold on to it, which can become uncomfortable   when working up a sweat. Didn’t notice any   dampness, even during recent strenuous workout.
Wash & dry time Need quite a bit of   dunking & rinsing, to make sure all the soap is out.  When travelling, we’ve been reduced to   drying cotton underwear on the parcel shelf & dashboard of our car, as it   just won’t dry enough overnight.  And   in humid climates, anything cotton always attracts moisture & feels   clammy. Less washing &   rinsing than cotton, and dries easily overnight.
Looks I think these look   pretty good Their briefs are only   available with a high waist, which in my view is much less attractive.  However, Jockey have introduced a line of   travel underwear with a lot more styles, so I’ll try some of them as well.
Price Around $8, can drop to   $4 with Jockey’s 2 for 1 sales promo $20 from Exofficio,   Jockey versions cheaper at $16

While I was originally skeptical, and wasn’t looking forward to wearing the travel undies, I ended up being very impressed.  I first wore a pair on the day I had to spend 2 hours in the crawl space, moving backwards & forwards on my back & front.  Had I been wearing my usual cotton Jockey briefs, at the end of this they would have been soaked with sweat, and I’d have been regularly pulling them back into position, and yes, I have been there & done that :^)

By comparison, I completely forgot I was wearing the travel briefs on this most recent excursion into the crawl space.  They stayed in place, & while every other piece of clothing I was wearing (light cotton one piece overall, over shorts & tee shirt, socks & work boots) was soaked in sweat, the travel briefs were remarkably dry!

So, I’ll give the travel briefs 7 out of 10 – points lost for looks, fit & price – and the cotton briefs come in a very poor second with only 3 out of 10.  They compare so badly with the travel briefs, I can’t believe I’ve worn them uncomplainingly for most of my life.  Perhaps this explains Rod Stewart’s penchant for wearing his girlfriend’s underwear!

So for Chris, it’s Ex-Officio. Danila just couldn’t get on with the Ex-Officio styles, they really didn’t fit me too well, so it’s back to Jockey’s microfiber for me. They’re lightweight, comfy, and dry quickly, that works!

Click here to read his packing list, or here for her packing list.

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