BEST WOMEN’S HIKING UNDERWEAR THAT STAY PUT & WICK SWEAT
On Bearfoot Theory, we mostly to talk about all of the fun stuff: incredible hiking and backpacking routes, ways to save up for that big trip, and how to become a better skier, just to name a few. Yet there’s also the basics and the nitty-gritty details that enable us to get outside and be comfortable that aren’t always as exciting. Enter: women’s hiking underwear.
A bad pair of women’s hiking underwear can really put a damper on things. They can be uncomfortable, distracting and at times, not the healthiest choice for your body. Plus, who wants panty lines?
The best outdoor underwear does the opposite and ironically, you’re likely to forget that you’re wearing them. That’s the kind we like to buy.
If you’re in the market for a new pair or want to upgrade your closet, we compiled a list of our favorites to help you out.
Here’s the best women’s hiking underwear that stay put and wick sweat.
The Worst Kind of Fabric for Women’s Hiking Underwear
This un-coveted award goes to cotton. Similar to other outdoor, travel or athletic clothing, cotton is never a good fabric to wear when you’re staying active. The reason for this is because you’re likely getting sweaty or even just raising your body temp enough to create some moisture, and cotton is not a breathable fabric. The best outdoor underwear is moisture wicking and prevents chafing when you’re breaking a sweat.
On top of that, cotton underwear will absorb and trap moisture and odors, which isn’t comfortable, and can lose its shape over time – which can become a serious problem if you are backpacking. While they are comfortable for lounging around at home, they aren’t suitable for the outdoor enthusiast at play; trust us on this one.
The Best Women’s Hiking Underwear
ExOfficio Sports Mesh Underwear
This brand sells versatile clothing designed to keep the traveler comfy and active. So it’s not surprising that their women’s hiking underwear also gets the job done. We love their Give-N-Go Sports Mesh underwear because it’s lightweight, flat-seamed (no panty lines or chafing), breathable and high-performing; meaning it can keep up whether you’re roaming the streets of a foreign city or going for a trail run at home.
Patagonia Women’s Active Hipster Underwear
If you prefer more coverage, you’ll be a fan of Patagonia’s Active Hipster. The rise is higher, although still technically a low-rise, and it has flat-lying seams that won’t budge or roll over as you move. The fabric is a blend of recycled jersey spandex, polyester and nylon that has antimicrobial properties. Most importantly, it’s breathable, so you stay fresh and dry all the time. They are also available in briefs.
Boody Women’s Hipster Bikini
Besides having a great name, Boody makes eco-friendly bottoms that are some of the best women’s hiking underwear — and the most budget-friendly pair on this list, at $10.95 each. They make briefs, bikinis, thongs and boy short styles with breathable, thermo-regulating and even hypoallergenic material. Grab a pair in one of their neutral colors for a no-worries day outdoors.
Smartwool Women’s Merino Seamless Underwear
The Smartwool’s seamless merino underwear is just as effective at regulating your body temperature if not more, thanks to their Core Spun technology that blends merino with nylon fibers. In short, it has a next-to-nothing feel with a comfortable fit that won’t ride up, bunch or show panty lines. This pair is a little more pricey but definitely worth the investment. Just note that many women agree these run a little small, so you may want to size up.
Athleta Performa Thong
A nylon/spandex blended fabric with mesh details makes Athleta’s Performa thong perfect for active outdoor enthusiasts (if thongs are your thing). It’s designed for high-intensity activities so you don’t have to worry about sweating with its quick-drying properties. Plus, Athleta is a Certified B-Corporation, meaning that their products are made in line with high ethical and environmental standards.
ExOfficio Modern Travel Bikini Briefs
Another nylon favorite from ExOfficio is the Modern Travel Bikini Brief. In addition to being lightweight and breathable they are seamless, so no panty lines. Plus, the mesh side panels help you stay fresh and are form fitting underneath your clothes. They run a little small but I find that they do stretch out a little in between washes.
Icebreaker Siren Hipkini
Icebreaker is a New Zealand company known for high-quality merino wool outdoor apparel. They make a bikini and a hipkini brief style of underwear…we love the hipkini due to its full coverage and awesome odor control capabilities.