Travel Underwear Saves Space While Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants

Web: — E-Mail:

15/02/08 – Travel Underwear Saves Space While Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants

When I pack light, trying to carry as much as I can in only a legal carry-on backpack and a legal “personal item,” I try and shed as much excess bulk as I can. An item that most people ignore as “excess bulk” is underwear. Don’t laugh, you can save space for at least one extra medium lens, or an extra flash, by eliminating excess underwear!

As travelers we tend to pack a pair or underwear for everyday we are on the road, which makes sense for hygiene and comfort reasons. For years I packed white Hanes boxers in my bag and threw out a pair as I was done wearing them to gain space. This sort-of-worked for me, until it dawned on me that I while I was gaining space as I traveled, I was losing space at the start of my trip! Well for my last journey I tried out a nice idea and purchased two pairs of “travel underwear.”

What exactly is travel underwear? It is underwear that you can wash in your hotel room and quickly air dry in your hotel room overnight and wear the next day! This underwear is light weight, quite comfortable, itch resistant and it takes up very little space when packed. I was hesitant that it would really be as comfortable and dry as quickly as advertised, but my hesitation went away quickly and now I can’t imagine how I survived on the road without this essential item in the past!

The pair of travel underwear I tested out was the Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) Techwick Boxers. This underwear is made of an odor and bacteria resistant fabric that is extremely light weight. The ability to save space and wash-and-wear overnight (less than 4hrs to dry if you really wring them out good) is fantastic! At $20 a pair they are worth every penny.

Two other companies that make travel underwear are Tilley Endurables and ExOfficio. I plan on trying these other brands of travel underwear as well on future long haul journeys.

Happy Flying!


–Click On The Image Below To Enlarge It–


  1. I am a huge fan of Ex Officio. I spent 2 weeks in Europe last summer (it was hot) on only 4 pairs of underwear. I probably could’ve done with 2 or even 1, if I wanted to push it, and be diligent about washing them daily.

  2. I agree on ExOfficio, although I’m a briefs kinda guy…best for me for all that bending and squatting in extremely hot and humid (and binding) conditions where I often work.

    Extremely important accessory: Small bottle (also from REI) of Camp Suds soap. Rinses out fast and completely.

    Tip: Wring the clothing out in a towel. Cuts drying time in half.

    Rick Wallace

  3. Fish….I am going to try these but a little concerned about polyester underwear! I like my cotton now…but heck you only live once!

  4. Hey Fish,
    You will LOVE the ExOfficio stuff. I spent a month and a half in New Zealand with only TWO t-shirts (and other non-t items) and wore them every day. The grey ones look clean for a long time (bonus!) and they do not stink no matter how much you sweat in them – they just don’t hold smell. The fabric is also very light and breathable. Cost… is up there. But its worth it IMO. Oh and weight? You wont know its in your bag.

    I, like you, am a weight weenie when traveling. I cut my toothbrush, have titanium everything, carbon tripod.. you name it.

  5. I have been traveling with these same exact boxers for about 4 years now on long trips of 2-3 months. I take 4 or 5 pairs (for that long I do not like to wash them every night) and could not have been happier. I love these boxers and wear them almost all the time now. I also tried the under armor ones, which i didn’t like, they do not dry as fast. They hold up great and are an essential part of my travel kit.

    I also have been wearing mostly running socks/really thin smart wools for the same reason. They pack down to almost nothing and dry really fast, and don’t smell too bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.