BEST Hiking Underwear for Women in 2024 [Breathable & Comfy]

Reviewed by Elina Ansary
Last updated:

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Short on time? Our pick for the best hiking underwear for women is the Smartwool Intraknit Hipster.

Your guide to the best hiking underwear for women to keep you dry and comfortable on the trails.

I have hiked hundreds of miles in the last 15 years, and you know what, honey? I had underwear on for every step!

When I was getting into hiking, I felt intimidated finding the right gear and wasn’t sure how to suss the truly useful gear from the gimmicky stuff.

Now that I’m a seasoned hiker, my gear setup is dialed, and I’m looking for especially comfy hiking underwear for extended backpacking trips. 

Regardless of where you are on your journey, I’ve got some tips for you. 

I’ve rounded up the best hiking underwear for women, plus I’ve got a buying guide at the end to explain the pros and cons of merino wool versus synthetics, flatlock seams, odor control treatments, and the whole shebang.

The best hiking underwear for women: a young woman wearing shorts and a hiking backpack standing on a rocky vista point, looking away over her shoulder.

Here’s a quick look at our recommendations

#1 Icebreaker Siren Hipkini Briefs

Best Underwear for Day Hikes

Product image for the Icebreaker Siren Hipkini Briefs in grey.

Our Rating: 4.8/5
Cut: Bikini
Material: 83% merino wool/12% nylon/5% spandex

The Icebreaker Siren Hipkini Briefs are a well-loved hiking panty with a nylon core wrapped in merino wool. This extra-soft fabric has an excellent blend of durability, odor resistance, and moisture-wicking capabilities. 

These are tagless underwear, and while there aren’t seams on the underwear sides, the leg holes are not seamless, so you will have panty lines if you wear tight pants. 

Icebreaker is an expensive brand, so you will pay a premium for these. 

You should also note that the colors don’t match the online descriptions well, so if it matters to you, set your expectations accordingly.


  • Naturally odor resistant
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Quick drying
  • Wool certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)


  • Expensive
  • Color descriptions online don’t match the product
  • Panty lines


#2 ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Full-Cut Briefs

Best Long-Distance Hiking Underwear

ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Full-Cut Briefs

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Cut: Brief
Material: 89% nylon/11% elastane
Price: $$

If you’re planning a long-distance hike, your underwear choice is crucial. 

The ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Full-Cut Briefs are an updated version of their original Give-N-Go’s, with “50% more moisture-wicking and 25% more quick-drying” than the OGs. 

Many features make these the best backpacking underwear, including the aforementioned moisture-wicking and quick-drying capabilities, plus ultralight mesh material, a new anti-odor treatment, and flatlock seams to minimize chafing. 

These ExOfficio women’s underwear have a wide waistband that keeps them in place on your backside, and you can hand wash these full-coverage briefs and let them air dry overnight. 

According to ExOfficio, “Easy-care, so you only need two for any trip.” That is quite a claim, but if you can make that work, they’re indeed the best underwear for thru-hiking.


  • Moisture wicking
  • Quick drying
  • Breathable mesh
  • Anti-odor treatment
  • Flatlock seams to minimize chafing


  • Look like granny panties


#3 Icebreaker Merino 260 Tech High Rise Base Layer Leggings

Best Women’s Long Underwear for Hiking

Product image for the Icebreaker Merino 260 Tech High Rise Base Layer Leggings in black.

Our Rating: 5/5
Cut: Long underwear
Material: Wool
Price: $$$$$

As someone who lives in the mountains and runs cold, I have long underwear on approximately half the year, if not more, and I love these Icebreaker Merino 260 Tech High Rise Base Layer Leggings. 

As with all things Icebreaker, you’ll pay top dollar and get what you pay for. 

This mid-weight, high-rise underwear is 100% wool. They are thin enough to be worn under leggings without adding bulk. 

Of course, they wick wetness away and dry quickly. What’s more, they’re sourced according to the Responsible Wool Standard, which means the sheep and the land they graze on are well cared for.


  • Wicks moisture
  • Dries quickly
  • Wool certified to the Responsible Wool Standard 
  • It fits under jeans and leggings without adding bulk


  • Expensive


#4 Patagonia Women’s Active Hipster

Best Women’s Hiking Underwear for Hot Weather

Product image for the Patagonia Women's Active Hipster in light blue stripes.

Our Rating: 4.7/5
Cut: Brief
Material: “Stretchy synthetic blend features miDori bioSoft and HeiQ Pure odor control.”
Price: $$

Summer is undoubtedly the most popular time to hike, so it’s essential you have undies geared for warm weather.

Despite the unclear material specs, the Patagonia Active Hipster is my choice for the best hiking underwear for hot weather. 

Patagonia makes incredibly high-quality hiking clothing, and their active hipster is treated with miDori bioSoft, a plant-based fabric softener and wicking conditioner.  

The Patagonia Active Hipster is breathable with a seamless waistband that won’t roll, and Patagonia designed the leg openings to avoid chafing or riding up. 

You’ll enjoy the HeiQ Pure odor treatment on these undies. Finally, Patagonia is an industry leader in paying everyone in their supply chain a fair wage, so you gotta love that.


  • Lightweight fabric
  • Extra wicking capabilities
  • HeiQ Pure odor control
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Seamless waistband


  • Expensive
  • Material specs are unclear


#5 Merinnovation 100% Merino Wool Boxer Briefs for Women

Best Women’s Hiking Underwear for Cold Weather

Product image for the Merinnovation 100% Merino Wool Boxer Briefs for Women in dark blue.

Our Rating: 4.8/5
Cut: Boy shorts
Material: 87% merino wool/13% nylon
Price: $$ (per pair)

For cold-weather hikes, I like full-coverage boy shorts made from Merino wool. The Merinnovation 100% Merino Wool Boxer Briefs for Women check all those boxes. 

First, I have to point out that, annoyingly, these aren’t 100% wool; they have some nylon mixed in. 

It’s annoying that Merinnovation advertises them that way, but in reality, a little synthetic mix-in adds durability and stretch to the undies, so the fabric blend is ultimately a positive. 

These boy shorts come in a pack of two and, due to the high merino content, help to regulate your body temperature whether you’re hiking in hot or cold weather.


  • It comes in a pack of two
  • Breathable
  • Wicks moisture
  • Naturally odor resistant


  • Wool sourced from unknown sources

#6 ThighSociety The Cooling

Best Women’s Hiking Underwear to Prevent Chafing

Product image for ThighSociety "The Cooling" short in black.

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Cut: Mid-thigh shorts
Material: 78% Sensil Breeze nylon, 20% spandex, 2% cotton
Price: $$$$

Hiking can be very uncomfortable if your inner thighs touch while you walk.

If you suffer from thigh chafe, ThighSociety has you covered, literally. The Cooling is their ultra sheer mid-thigh short. 

These full-coverage shorts are ideal for hiking, but they’re also perfect for everyday wear, like under a sundress in summer. 

They offer more coverage than any other hiking underwear on my list (aside from long underwear), don’t roll up, and can cool your body temperature by up to one degree Fahrenheit. 

The Cooling comes in all different colors, is super stretchy, and pulls moisture and heat off your body. These are sheer shorts, so you can’t wear them by themselves.


  • Coverage to mid-thigh prevents chafing
  • It doesn’t roll up
  • Cools skin by up to one degree Fahrenheit
  • Stretchy
  • Moisture-wicking


  • Can’t be worn as shorts

#7 Calvin Klein Women’s Invisible Seamless Hipster Panties

Best Seamless Women’s Hiking Underwear

Product image for the Calvin Klein Women's Invisible Seamless Hipster Panties in red, white, and blue with white stars.

Our Rating: 5/5
Cut: Brief
Material: 73% nylon/27% elastane
Price: $ (per pair)

No one likes a panty line. Not only does it look tacky, but with enough miles, it can start to chafe and cause discomfort. 

If you hate panty lines, but you’re not interested in wearing a thong while hiking, check out these Calvin Klein Women’s Invisibles Seamless Hipster Panties

These hipster brief panties offer more coverage than a thong but have no seams, even around the legs. 

The Invisibles Seamless panties use a nylon and elastane blend. This lightweight fabric is super quick to dry and has durability that Merino wool underwear lacks.

This product comes in a multipack of three with fun color choices and is reasonably priced. 

The most consistent negative comments about these panties are that they run small and ride up in the back. 

The latter isn’t surprising, considering these underwear don’t have a seam on the leg holes (it’s a blessing and a curse).


  • Multipack of three
  • Totally seamless
  • Quick drying
  • It comes in fun colors
  • Reasonably priced


  • Runs small
  • Rides up

#8 Fruit of the Loom Women’s Lightweight Microfiber Underwear

Best Quick-Dry Women’s Hiking Underwear

Product image for the Fruit of the Loom Women's Lightweight Microfiber Underwear in purple, blue, turquoise, and grey.

Our Rating: 4.7/5
Cut: Brief
Material: 92% polyester/8% spandex
Price: $

Good old Fruit of the Loom. 

It was good enough for your five-year-old butt, and it’s good enough for your 35-year-old butt. Fruit of the Loom has a multipack of Lightweight Microfiber Underwear that is a perfect, reasonably-priced, quick-drying hiking panty. 

This (almost) fully synthetic hiking underwear has minimal panty lines, is tag-free, and the microfiber fabric is super soft. 

It has a 100% cotton liner, which I don’t love (see my note about cotton in the buying guide), but it isn’t a deal breaker, especially for the price. 

Note that the colors don’t always match the online descriptions well, and Fruit of the Loom’s sizing system doesn’t correspond with average pant sizes, so be sure to read the fine details to get the right size.


  • Quick drying
  • Reasonably priced
  • It comes in a multipack
  • Soft fabric
  • It comes in plus sizes


  • Cotton liner
  • Colors don’t match online descriptions
  • Sizing doesn’t correspond with pants sizing

#9 Reebok Women’s Underwear

Best Boyshort Hiking Underwear for Women

Product image for the Reebok Women's Underwear in black and grey.

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Cut: Boy short
Material: 94% nylon/6% spandex
Price: $

Personally, I like boy short styles as hiking underwear because I like the coverage, so I’m jazzed about the Reebok Women’s Underwear

These synthetic boy shorts are seamless and tag-free, with a wide logo waistband and a long leg to help minimize chafing. 

I also noticed in the comments that these are great for postpartum, so there you go. 

Reebok sells these boy shorts in four packs, and they’re very reasonably priced (I love that–hiking gear is expensive enough, am I right?). 

The main downside to these is that the top may roll slightly. Some users also said they rode up, and although there aren’t seams on the body of the fabric, there are seams on the leg holes, so you will see these under leggings.


  • Seamless and tag-free
  • Long leg helps minimize chafing
  • Four pack
  • Reasonably priced


  • The top may roll/bottoms may ride up
  • Leg seams are visible under leggings

#10 Smartwool Women’s Intraknit Hipster

Best Merino Wool Women’s Underwear for Hiking

Product image for the Smartwool Women's Intraknit Hipster in white.

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Cut: Brief
Material: 87% merino wool/13% nylon
Price: $$$$

Merino wool comes from Merino sheep; everyone loves it because it’s not scratchy.

Merino wool hiking underwear is some of the best underwear for long hikes because of Merino’s natural ability to regulate body temperature, resist odor, and wick moisture.

Almost all merino wool has *some* synthetic material blended in to give it better stretch and durability, and these Smartwool Intraknit Hipster panties are no different. 

I love that the Intraknit Hipster is seamless, has responsibly-sourced merino wool, and a sports bra to match it. 

Merino is naturally odor-resistant. While no garment will remain odor free forever, especially after hiking, merino’s odor-fighting qualities will keep them fresh for longer.


  • Seamless
  • Responsibly sourced merino wool
  • Sports bra to match
  • Natural odor minimization


  • Expensive


#11 Icebreaker Siren Thong Underwear

Best Thong Underwear for Hiking 

Product image for the Icebreaker Siren Thong Underwear in nude.

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Cut: Thong
Material: 83% merino wool/12% nylon/5% Lycra spandex
Price: $$$

A thong is a great choice if you like to hike in tight leggings or you overheat easily. Turn to the Icebreaker Siren Thong Underwear when nothing but a thong will do. 

This Icebreaker women’s underwear has a nylon core wrapped in merino wool, an excellent blend of durability and great moisture-wicking capabilities. 

Icebreaker put the side seams on these panties towards the front so they won’t rub. As with all good merino/synthetic blends, these dry quickly and are breathable. 

The downside to this hiking underwear is the colors; nude and black. A few users commented that the gusset sits too far back for ideal coverage.


  • Quick drying
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Seams are towards the front to avoid chafing
  • breathable


  • It only comes in two colors
  • The underwear gusset sits too far back


Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Women’s Hiking Underwear

A female hiker wearing a backpack, a purple shirt, and long black shorts hiking behind two children on a grassy trail with a clear blue sky behind them.

What to Look for in Hiking Underwear


Seamless underwear isn’t just about avoiding panty lines (although that’s a plus). Women’s hiking underwear with flat seams (sometimes patented as “Flatlock seams”) help you avoid chafing. 

Seamlessness is especially important on a backpacking trip, where you’ll have a tight hipbelt on for days. 

In addition to flat seams, look for hiking underwear with a flat waistband. 


Some people still put tags on their undies. Choose tagless underwear for the comfiest fit. 


The best hiking underwear fits snugly but isn’t overly tight. You also don’t want loose underwear because that can bunch up and chafe. 

Quick Drying and Moisture Wicking

No one likes a swampy butt. 

Pick hiking underwear with quick-drying, moisture-wicking qualities for a swamp-free experience. 

A merino wool blend usually has a good combination of these qualities. Merino wool is naturally moisture-wicking, and when blended with synthetic fibers, you’ll get quick-drying undies too. 


Breathable underwear is essential for hiking in both hot and cool weather. 

In warm weather, the breathability keeps you cool; in cold weather, it helps disperse moisture which will suck the heat off you.

Merino wool hiking underwear is breathable, and synthetic breathable mesh fabric options are also available. Bamboo underwear for hiking is fairly breathable too. 

Odor Resistant

Merino wool underwear is naturally odor-resistant, and some synthetics have an antimicrobial treatment too. 

That said, we’re talking hiking underwear here, so… don’t expect miracles. Your hiking clothing will stink regardless, so I don’t put much stock or faith in odor resistance. 


There are three major fabric players in women’s hiking underwear: merino wool, synthetic materials, and blends. You can find high-quality underwear in all three categories. 

Merino wool: Fans of natural fabrics should opt for Merino underwear. Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking and retains its insulating properties when wet (something cotton underwear can’t do). Still, it doesn’t have the durability of synthetic materials. 

Synthetic fabrics: Synthetic underwear is usually a blend of polyester, nylon, elastane, or spandex. The best quick-dry underwear is generally synthetic. Synthetics tend to dry faster than merino wool, and they’re more durable. 

Blends: A fabric blend is a great way to achieve the best qualities of merino wool and synthetics. 

Check out this video to learn more about merino wool vs. synthetic base layers. This review is for hunting gear baselayers, but the basics apply to underwear. 

Note: The underwear fabric you should avoid is cotton. Your cotton undies are not good insulators and don’t dry quickly. 

Types of Hiking Underwear for Women

Three female hikers wearing shorts and backpacks seen from behind walking abreast on a wide, pebbly trail leading through a grassy valley.

Hiking underwear for women mainly differs based on the cut. At the end of the day, you know what works for your booty better than me, but these are my recommendations based on my experience.


Thongs are an excellent underwear style for day hikes or if you like to wear leggings on the trail. 

Bikini Style

The bikini style offers more coverage than a thong but is usually cut with a high-hip and may be low riding in the back. These are great, tried-and-true undies. If you’re anti-panty lines, you can still have rear coverage with seamless styles. 


Briefs are granny panties. High rise in the back, standard cut around the thigh. If you have a fuller backside, this might be a good choice for you while hiking. 

Boy Shorts

Boy short styles are great for a longer hike or backpacking trip because they help you avoid inner thigh chafing. Boy shorts also give you the most modesty when using “the Little Girl’s Tree” or if you have difficulty changing clothes inside your tent. 

FAQs About Women’s Hiking Underwear

The lower halves of a male hiker and a female hiker, both wearing brown khaki shorts walking along a rocky trail through the forest.

What is the best underwear to wear hiking?

The best hiking underwear for women fits snugly but isn’t overly tight or loose. Choose material that dries quickly and is moisture-wicking. A merino wool and spandex blend is an excellent choice for hiking.


What’s the difference between hiking underwear and regular underwear?

While regular and hiking underwear can be similar, the best hiking underwear for women wicks sweat and is incredibly breathable. 

You’ll find hiking underwear made from merino wool or synthetic blends rather than cotton to have those qualities. 

Is bamboo underwear good for hiking?

While the bamboo fabric is moisture-wicking, it’s not the best fabric for hiking underwear. It doesn’t dry very quickly, it’s expensive, and it isn’t very durable. 

Bamboo is similar to other fabrics, like cotton, that you should avoid when choosing hiking gear. 

How many pairs of underwear do you need for hiking?

It depends on how often you hike! When packing for a camping trip, I like to pack underwear like I’m going to poop myself daily. 

Underwear is lightweight. Unless you’re serious through hiker, you can probably afford a fresh pair (weight-wise) every day. 

Do you need special underwear for hiking?

No, you don’t need special underwear for hiking. There are lightweight and moisture-wicking specialty undies on the market, but don’t let a lack of fancy panties stop you from getting on the trail.  

Should underwear be tight or loose for hiking?

Hiking underwear shouldn’t be tight or loose. Instead, it should just be snug. Tight underwear will chafe, and loose underwear will bunch up. 

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Hiking Underwear for Women

A pair of grey women's underwear held by yellow clothespins on a clothing line with out of focus foliage behind it.

The best women’s underwear for hiking will pull moisture off the body, dry quickly and protect against chafing. 

Everybody is different, so while you’ll know better than me what works for you, my top recommendation is the Smartwool Intraknit Hipster. 

I love that the Intraknit Hipster has a high merino wool content. Merino wool has a natural ability to wick moisture, resist odor, and perform well in hot and cold settings. 

The Intraknit Hipster is seamless and has a cute wool sports bra to match it, plus both products use responsibly-sourced wool. 


author bio - Meredith Dennis

Meredith Dennis

Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is chef’s kiss next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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