The World’s Greatest Underwear
There’s nothing quite like a fresh pair of underwear. (CB Photography)
I have been known to rant and rave about the dangers of shopping and investing emotion in physical goods, but today, I’m proudly going to write a ringing endorsement of a product that is designed for travelers. Just because spending money can quickly become addictive and deplete funds necessary for travel does not mean that you should hiss at every shopping mall you pass, or start knitting your own socks. It does mean that you should, when you spend money, do so wisely, and purchase practical goods of a high quality. I respect quality (despite its ambiguity) in food, cinema, dance, engineering, and especially underwear…It’s not hard to find a list of high quality films, purchase a mink coat, or a take in the beauty of a well designed building, but finding truly extraordinary underwear is rare. Travel puts not only your mind and body to the test, but also your clothing, and none are more tried that socks and underwear. Both are prone to retaining sweat and moisture, smelling bad, and therefore needing frequent washing. On only a one month trip through Central America, the vile stench produced by about half of my socks and underwear confined them to a plastic bag (which wasn’t helping the situation). Washing and drying (difficult in a rainforest…) did nothing to remove the stink, and eventually, they had to be disposed of. Sad really.
But this experience led me to discover the holy grail of underwear,ExOfficio. Heck, they even have their own tagline, “17 countries. 6 weeks. And 1 pair of underwear”. I do own 3 pair however (lavish, I know) so that I can wear a pair while washing another, and as they are very light and packable, the space they take up is miniscule. What makes this underwear truly great is hard to distill to just one point. First off, they make you feel like a superhero. They space-age fabric not only wicks moisture and repels odor, but also is reminiscent of something the Mr. Fantastic would wear. They’re also comfortable, lightweight, and best of all, they dry lightning fast. After being washed in the sink or the shower, you can wring these puppies out, and put them right back on within a few minutes. Dry underwear is a truly beautiful thing.
They come in a variety of colors and styles (brief, boxer, even boxer-brief) in both men’s and women’s (they also have bra’s for the ladies). I also recently bought a shirt from them made of the same fabric, which worked great for any of my more active days on a recent (and very sweaty) trip back to Costa Rica. In the end, it comes down to having a few pairs of dry underwear rather than 7 pairs of soggy cotton boxers. I don’t travel without them.