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.

On Bearfoot Theory, we mostly 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 favorite underwear for hiking and other active pursuits to help you out.

Here’s the best women’s hiking underwear that stay put and wick sweat as well as what kind of underwear to avoid.


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.

For more female hygiene tips for backpacking, camping, and van life, check out this blog post.


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. We have found that they stretch out over time, but they should last you for plenty of adventures.

Ex Officio Give-N-Go Sports Mesh underwear // Some of the best womens hiking underwea

Check Price: Backcountry / Moosejaw / REI

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.

Patagonia’s Active Hipster Underwear // Some of the best womens underwear for hiking and active outdoor adventures

Check Price: Backcountry / Patagonia / REI

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. 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.

Boody Underwear // Some of the best budget friendly women’s hiking underwear

Check Price: Amazon

Smartwool Women’s Merino Seamless Underwear

Smartwool’s seamless merino underwear is just as effective at regulating your body temperature as their base layer tops and bottoms 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. Note that many women agree these run a little small, so you may want to size up.

Smartwool Merino Seamless Underwear // Some of the best womens underwear for hiking and other outdoor activities

Check Price: Backcountry / Moosejaw / REI

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.

ExOfficio Modern Travel Bikini Brief // A seamless womens underwear for hiking

Check Price: REI

Icebreaker Siren Hipkini

Icebreaker is a New Zealand company known for its high-quality merino wool outdoor apparel. They make a bikini and a sport hipkini style of underwear that gets rave reviews. We love the hipkini for its full coverage and awesome odor control capabilities.

Icebreaker Siren Hipkini // Some of the best womens hiking underwear

Check Price: Backcountry / Moosejaw / REI

REI Co-op Active Hipster Underwear

REI Co-op has their own new line of active underwear for women. They’re made from stretchy polyester mesh and they are designed to be moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and antimicrobial so they’re perfect for long, hot days on the trail. We noticed that they do run a little small so you may want to size up or go with the brief version for a little more coverage.

REI Co-op Active Hipster Underwear // Some of the best active womens underwear for hiking and outdoor activities

Check Price: REI


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.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, we receive a small compensation at no added cost to you. Any purchases you make help keep this blog going and our content free. We truly appreciate your support!

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.

One comment 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.

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