- 1 Best for most men
- 2 Softer, better-fitting, but expensive
- 3 Best for most women
- 4 Naturally resistant to odor and bacteria
- 5 For men
- 6 For women
ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 6″ Boxer Brief
Best for most men
Durable, quick-drying, and relatively inexpensive, this soft-fabric version of ExOfficio’s time-tested Give-N-Go undies will get the job done for years.
The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 6″ Boxer Brief is the best men’s underwear for travel because it balances fit, comfort, odor-proofing, and value better than anything else we’ve tested. The Sport Mesh fabric excels at breathing and wicking and has better odor-resistance than other fabrics. It feels soft on the inside and smooth on the outside so it slides against your pants instead of creating friction, reducing potential for chafing. It also features a sculpted crotch area that gives wearers some much-appreciated support without feeling stifling. They dry quickly, pack compactly, and weigh less than almost all the other boxer briefs we tried—basically they’re everything you’d want from a pair of excellent travel underwear.
Tommy John Air Boxer Brief
Softer, better-fitting, but expensive
Well-tailored and comfortable, these extra-soft, adjustment-free boxer briefs are a treat at a premium price.
If you’re willing to pay more for better fit and fabric, the Tommy John Air Boxer Brief feels like a fine-tailored garment with the price to match. Offering the best front pouch of any boxer brief we tested, these soft undies also stay in place better than the competition for a truly wedgie-free, riding-free, rubbing-free experience. They’re a bit long in the legs—not ideal for pairing with short shorts—but other than that, we have no complaints if you can afford the hefty price.
Patagonia Active Hipster
Best for most women
These light, stylish, quick-drying hipsters stay in place whether you’re walking, flying, or hanging upside down.
The Patagonia Active Hipster doesn’t appear special upon first glance. Only after trying everything else and living through their failures to stay put did we remember what “special” really means in a pair of underwear: Feeling as if you’re wearing nothing at all. The Patagonias have the best fit, comfort, and style out of all the panties we tested. The nylon material is fast-wicking and better than most synthetics for odor-proofing, making it well suited for athletic activities. The Active Hipster is lightweight and packable, and is the fastest-drying underwear we tested—making it perfect for minimalist travelers who go weeks at a time with just one or two pairs. But these same characteristics make these panties great for any traveler looking for something comfortable and packable, regardless of where you’re going or what you’re doing.
Smartwool PhD Seamless Bikini
Naturally resistant to odor and bacteria
These wool undies have less odor than the synthetics, but they’re expensive and dry more slowly.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $35.
If you’re willing to pay more for the natural odor-prevention and antibacterial properties of wool, we found the Smartwool Women’s Seamless Bikini almost equals our top pick’s comfort and ability to stay put throughout the whole day. Like our previous runner-up pick, the Ibex Balance Brief, these soft, stretchy panties won’t constantly slip down or ride up. However, wool can be warm and doesn’t dry quickly, making it a worse option for summer or tropical travel.
Uniqlo Airism Boxer Brief
Comfortable, compact, and fast-drying, these are a great value but don’t fit quite as nicely and aren’t as supportive in the crotch.
Uniqlo Airism Seamless Shorts HipHugger
Similar fabric to the Men’s Airism, with a no-ride cut for women, these underwear are the least expensive of any we tested and among the best performing.
If you want great performance at an even more budget-friendly price, Uniqlo’s Airism line is a great choice for men and women alike. Despite keeping the same Airism name, our testers found that this year’s new fabric wicks and dries better than the last Airism model. However, the fit isn’t as nice as you’d get with our other picks: The legs on the men’s underwear are a bit too short and the women’s version had issues with sagging at times. Also the odor resistance isn’t as effective or durable compared with pricier boxers and panties. But for a more than reasonable price, you’re still getting great underwear that wicks, breathes, supports, and dries as well as the best travel underwear available.