Best Women’s Hiking Underwear that Stay Put & Wick Sweat

Here are the best women’s hiking underwear that don't chafe and that efficiently wick moisture when you’re active outdoors.
Here are the best women’s hiking underwear that don't chafe and that efficiently wick moisture when you’re active outdoors.

A bad pair of women’s hiking underwear can really put a damper on an otherwise amazing trip. They can be uncomfortable, distracting, and even not the healthiest choice for your body. So if you’re in the market for a new pair, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite underwear for hiking and provide a few tips to help you choose the right pair for your active pursuits.

Discover the best women’s hiking underwear that stays put and wicks sweat while out on the trail.


Best Women’s Hiking Underwear At a Glance


lululemon InvisiWear Mid-Rise Boyshort Underwear

Best Seamless Women’s Hiking Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $20 each
  • Style: Hipster/boyshorts
  • Materials: Nylon, lycra
  • Sizes: XS-XXL

Check Price: lululemon

three pairs of lululemon boyshorts women's underwear

As someone who hikes and lives an active lifestyle, I need my underwear to stay in place so I’m not constantly picking out wedgies. I also hate panty lines, since I almost exclusively wear leggings. I was so happy to discover the lululemon InvisiWear Mid-Rise Boyshorts, since they check both of these boxes.

These underwear are lightweight and have a barely-there feel. The edges are seamless, making them truly invisible under leggings.

I wouldn’t say these fit like a traditional boyshort, however. The coverage is more like what I would call a hipster. They cover your whole butt, but they don’t go down over your leg. For reference, I weigh 140 pounds and wear size 8 pants, and the medium in this underwear fits me well.

These also come in a 3-pack which I’ll be picking up now that I know how much I like them.

ExOfficio Sports Mesh Underwear

Best Quick Drying Women’s Hiking Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $24-26 each
  • Style: Bikini briefs
  • Materials: Nylon, elastane
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Check Price: Backcountry | REI

ExOfficio Women's Hiking Underwear

ExOfficio makes versatile clothing designed to keep travelers comfy and active. So it’s not surprising that their women’s hiking underwear also gets the job done. We love the ExOfficio Give N Go Sport 2.0 Bikini Brief Underwear because they are lightweight, flat-seamed, breathable, and high-performing – meaning they can keep up whether you’re roaming the streets of a foreign city or going for a trail run at home.

The mesh fabric is incredibly breathable and dries fast, so if you’re traveling and need to do laundry in the sink, these are a great option.

Depending on what pants you wear, panty lines might be visible, especially in leggings. We have also found that these stretch out over time, but they should last you for plenty of adventures.

Patagonia Women’s Active Hipster Underwear

Best Medium Coverage Women’s Hiking Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $24 each
  • Style: Bikini
  • Materials: Polyester, nylon, spandex
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Check Price: Backcountry | Patagonia | REI

Patagonia active hipster briefs women's hiking underwear

If you prefer medium coverage, you’ll be a fan of Patagonia’s Active Hipster. This mid-rise underwear has flat-lying seams that won’t budge or roll over as you move. The fabric is a blend of recycled spandex, polyester, and nylon that has antimicrobial properties.

Most importantly, these are breathable, so you stay fresh and dry all the time. They’re also available in briefs if you want more coverage.

Boody Women’s Full Briefs

Best Full Coverage Women’s Hiking Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $16 each
  • Style: Full briefs (other styles available)
  • Materials: Bamboo, nylon, spandex
  • Sizes: XS-4XL

Check Price: Boody

Boody eco-friendly underwear

Besides having a great name, Boody makes eco-friendly bottoms out of bamboo. They’re also one of the most budget-friendly women’s hiking underwear on this list.

I love the Boody Full Briefs because they provide full coverage and a high waist, which is great for comfort and staying in place while hiking. In addition to these, you can also choose from hipster bikinis, classic bikinis, thongs, and boy short styles. Each style is breathable, thermo-regulating, and even hypoallergenic. Grab a pair in one of their neutral colors for a no-worries day outdoors.

Icebreaker Siren Hipkini

Best Merino Wool Women’s Hiking Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $35 each
  • Style: Hipkini
  • Materials: Merino, nylon, lycra
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Check Price: REI | Backcountry

Icebreaker Merino Wool underwear

Icebreaker is a New Zealand company known for its high-quality merino wool outdoor apparel. Bearfoot Theory’s team member Courtney loves the Siren Hipkini Underwear because they stay in place and don’t ride up while hiking. The merino wool is also much softer than other synthetic underwear, so they’re great for long days on the trail. They also resist odors and don’t trap moisture thanks to the great moisture-wicking capabilities of the fabric.

Icebreaker also makes these in a bikini-style if you prefer that cut.

This pair is a little more pricey than other options on this list but definitely worth the investment.

Icebreaker Siren Thong

Best Women’s Hiking Thong Underwear

Key Features:

  • MSRP: $30 each
  • Style: Thong
  • Materials: Merino, nylon, lycra
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Check Price: REI | Backcountry

Icebreaker Siren thong

If you prefer to hike or work out in a thong, the Icebreaker Siren Thong is a great choice. Made from a blend of merino wool, nylon, and lycra, it’s lightweight, breathable, and resists odors naturally. We also love that even for a thong, it stays in place and is comfortable on long or short hikes. Plus, you don’t have to worry about panty lines, especially if you wear leggings.


The Worst Kind of Fabric for Women’s Hiking Underwear

Similar to other outdoor, travel, or athletic clothing, cotton underwear is never a good fabric to wear when you’re active. Cotton is not a breathable fabric, so if you’re getting sweaty or even just raising your body temp enough to create some moisture, cotton won’t help keep you dry or cool. In the worse conditions, it can even cause chafing.

On top of that, cotton underwear will absorb and trap moisture and odors, which is definitely not desirable, and it can also lose its shape over time. This can become a serious problem if you are backpacking. While cotton undies are comfortable for lounging around at home, they aren’t suitable for the outdoor enthusiast at play – trust us on this one.


We hope you found this post on the best women’s hiking underwear helpful! Did we miss one of your favorites or have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Kristen Bor

Hey there! My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. I discovered the power of the outdoors in my 20s, at the time I needed it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal at Bearfoot Theory is to empower you with the tools and advice you need to responsibly get outside.

6 comments on “Best Women’s Hiking Underwear that Stay Put & Wick Sweat

  1. I’m a pear shape, and I haven’t tried most of these, but did find the Exofficio to cause panty lines. To add another nomination to the list, my go-to stay-put unders are Tommy John’s Second Skin Brief.

  2. The above provided collection of underwear list above are the great choices these are cute and decent choices that provide great ease for wearing this way women and girls feel comfort all time.

  3. I have so much confusion about cotton! You say that “cotton is not a breathable fabric,” and you are certainly not the only one to say so; time and again, as I’m looking for hiking clothing, I’m told to avoid cotton because it’s not breathable. And yet, in the very first underwear link in this article (Lululemon) we see that the underwear boasts a “breathable cotton gusset” (click the plus sign by “Smooth Lightweight Fabric”) and a quick google search of “is cotton a breathable fabric?” turns up heaps of “yes” answers.
    I tend not to think highly of cotton for outdoor activities anyway, because it holds on to moisture, but this question of whether or not it is breathable seems to have no difinitive answer — so confusing!

    1. Hi Michele,

      Totally understand the confusion! Cotton retains moisture and water, and tends to be a thicker material than synthetics or wool. We personally opt for non-cotton on most adventures, and with the Lulu undies, only the bottom section has cotton (the “gusset” – which is normally reinforced so there is a little more breathing room from added layers). We know people who hike in cotton undies and have no problem – it really comes down to personal preference, how much you sweat, if there’s rain in the forecast, etc. Socks and t shirts are where we really stay away from cotton since those can be sweatier/higher friction areas. I hope this helps clear some of the confusion up!

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