EXOFFICIO 4 INCH BOY SHORT
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
September 26, 2016
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mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
132 lb (60.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California: desert areas in the winter months and mountainous areas in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: ExOfficio, LLC.
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Made in China
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.exofficio.com
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g)
Available Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
I am testing the M size for my 39 in (99 cm) waist
Also available as 2 inch boy shorts (MSRP $34)
My ExOfficio 4 in (10 cm) boy short Give-N-Go underwear arrived inside a cardboard packaging with a small plastic window that showed its nude color. Other available colors are black and hot coral.
On the back of the cardboard packaging, the hip sizes for the five available women's sizes XS to XL are shown in inches and centimeters. Additionally, the special features of this sport mesh underwear are explained: quick drying, odor resistant, breathable and wicking.
I pulled the lightweight, soft underwear out of its packaging and my first thought was that the packaging accidentally contained the boy shorts with the 2 inch (5 cm) leg length instead of the 4 inch (10 cm).
|Photo Copyright ExOfficio|
|Front view with dimensions|
The leg length in the manufacturer's website image to me looks quite a bit longer than the leg length of the boy shorts in my hand. I measured the actual leg length and yes, it is 4 inches (10 cm) from the crotch middle seam. Quite a visual difference between website image and actual product, I feel.
The boy shorts have a center front and a center back seam, as well as a seam on the left and right sides. All seams are flat which should be very helpful while bike riding on a firm saddle. The crotch has a small triangle of double fabric. Each leg has a hem (0.75 in/ 1.9 cm) with double stitching. All fabric and seams are in flawless condition.
The fabric has a soft and cool feel. At its top, the underwear has a 1 in (2.5 cm) smooth woven, flat 2-layer waistband (93% Nylon/ 7% Spandex). This waistband is relatively firm with little stretch. The body of the underwear is a 1-layer thin fabric (81% Polyester/ 19% Spandex) and has a lot of stretch when I pull in different directions. This stretchy, thin fabric has a structured mesh pattern:
Held against light, the thin fabric mesh is nude-translucent.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The 3 in (7.6 cm) long double-fabric tag sewn into the waistband seam explains in 11 languages that this underwear is suited for machine washing in cold water with like colors but without bleach. It may get tumbled dry on a low setting or line dried in the shade. It could get ironed on a low setting (who irons their underwear? while traveling?). It shall not get dry-cleaned.
ExOfficio describes as one of its Give-N-Go underwear great features that the fabric is ideal for travel where the underwear can get hand washed in a sink with soap ... or even be worn in the shower ... and is easy to rinse. It shall then get wrung out and rolled up in a towel to get remaining moisture out. If hung for drying in a well-ventilated area, the underwear should be dry within a few hours.
ExOfficio explains that this underwear contains Silvadur. It is an Antimicrobial fabric treatment that releases silver ions which destroy microbes when bacteria is present. This helps the fabric stay fresh and pleasant smelling.
TRYING IT OUT
Following the sizing chart on ExOfficio's website, I had selected the boy shorts in size M. I tried on the boy short underwear and the M size fits me very well. The fabric feels soft and pleasant on my skin. The waistband lies flat and fits comfortably.
Thin & soft
Feels cool when touched
Super flat seams
Probably looks super cool in Black or Hot Coral
Nude color looks a bit boring
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Little Jimmy and Mount Islip, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 7500 ft (2290 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
7 mi (11 km) R/T
Temperatures: 60 - 42 F (16 - 6 C)
Big Bear area, Southern California, USA
Elevation: 7800 - 9950 ft (2380 - 3030 m)
3 days of day hikes
Temperature: 75 F (24 C)
Scodie Mountain, Kern County, California, USA
Elevation: 7492 ft (2284 km)
2 day/ 1 night base camping and day hike
7 mi (11 km) R/T
Temperatures: 100 - 70 F (38 - 21 C)
Alta Peak, Sequoia National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 7300 - 11200 ft (2225 - 3400 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
18 mi (29 km) R/T
Temperatures: 79 - 45 F (26 - 7 C)
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 7900 - 10000 ft (2400 - 3048 m)
4 day/ 3 night backpack
23 mi (37 km) R/T
Temperatures: 74 - 43 F (23 - 6 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Before wearing the ExOfficio 4" boy shorts for the first time, I quickly hand-washed them in the sink with some liquid soap and hung them to dry in the evening. They were ready to wear the next morning.
I guess I have never thought about my underwear that much while hiking! The first few hours of the Little Jimmy hike to camp, I had to get used to the 4 in (10 cm) leg. Not at all that it bothered me: just the fact that there was fabric at the top of my legs. A couple of times we had to climb over fallen trees and the boy shorts moved perfectly with every leg lifting or body twisting. Overall the boy shorts fit super well, the leg length never traveled up.
ExOfficio recommends - among other things - wearing the boy shorts for cycling. I go to the gym for spinning classes 3 times a week and have worn the boy shorts a few times over the last two months. I am wearing polyester/spandex bike shorts during class and the boy shorts are sweat soaked at the end of the class, just like any underwear would be as well. Unfortunately, I feel the boy shorts are not that well suited for those spinning classes. I feel the center front seam is not ideal for women's underwear - anatomically unsuited. The boy shorts do not have the perfect fit in the crotch area, I feel.
I have only sporadically noticed the unfortunate front seam while hiking, maybe because my hiking pants are very loose fitting.
|Wearing the boy short in the cold|
The Yosemite National Park backpacking trip ended at a lake and after several days in the dusty, dry wilderness, we were all happy to jump into the cold lake water. Most hikers jumped into the lake in their black underwear. With my boy shorts in nude color, the underwear blended in with my skin color. So I better jumped into the lake wearing my hiking pants over the boy shorts. Had I worn the boy shorts in all black, I would have probably jumped into the lake without hiking pants.
I have not once washed the boy shorts on an overnight backpack. The first two times at home, I machine-washed the boy shorts in cold water. Yet I felt that the seams were tighter after each machine wash. So since then, I have mostly hand-washed the boy shorts, about 20 times. I always wash them in the evening and they are dry the next morning.
extended leg does not roll up
ok for hiking
not ideal for spinning class
front seam not ideally situated
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Momyer Trail to Dobbs Cabin and Saxton Camp, Southern California, USA
Elevation: 7240 - 8400 ft (2200 - 2560 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
18 mi (29 km) R/T on trail
Temperatures: 90 - 61 F (32 - 16 C)
7-day bicycle tour in the Netherlands
29 mi (46 km) ride one day
Temperature: 77 F (25 C)
Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap, California, USA
Elevation: 6585 - 9399 ft (2000 - 2865 m)
8 mile (13 km) R/T on trail
Temperature: 80 F (27 C)
Kearsarge Pass Trail, near Independence, California, US
Elevation: 9200 - 11700 ft (2800 - 3565 m)
2 day/ 2 night car camp
Temperatures: 70 - 50 F (21 - 10 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Over the course of the last two months, my testing has shown that the ExOfficio 4 inch boy shorts do not fit me that well whenever I am wearing tight-fitting pants.
At the beginning of this test series, I was hiking with my old super-comfortable, a bit oversized, very loose fitting hiking pants. I recently switched to tighter fitting hiking pants and have to say, the boy shorts are not that comfortable to wear underneath these tighter fitting hiking pants. The front seam of the underwear is in an inappropriate location for women's underwear, in my opinion.
During the Momyer Trail backpack, we had high temperatures around 90 F (32 C) with unusually high humidity and I was sweating quite a bit due to the heat and steep elevation gain. It felt as if the extended leg was clinging to my upper leg skin. I was asking myself why I am wearing underwear with a 4 in (10 cm) long leg during these temperatures ... it seemed like unnecessary extra fabric on my skin.
During my 7-day bicycle tour in the Netherlands, I was wearing typical polyester/spandex bicycle shorts each day. The day I wore the boy shorts underneath the bike shorts, I was not happy with the boy shorts fit. I frequently had to adjust the underwear due to the odd front seam cutting in. I did not wear the boy shorts a second day.
|Inside look at the front seam & crotch area|
I have worn the boy shorts to the gym as well. I go between three to five times a week and take cycle (spinning) and several cardio classes, such as Cardio Kick and BodyBlast. My polyester/spandex capris for the cardio classes are tight fitting which again results in the front seam of the boy shorts cutting in.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
odd location of front seam, not well suited for women
uncomfortable under tight-fitting hiking and work out pants
no benefit in the 4 in (10 cm) leg length
Unfortunately, the ExOfficio 4-inch boy shorts are not as comfortable as I had imagined.
Thank you to ExOfficio and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this unusual pair of womens underwear.
Read more reviews of Ex Officio gear
Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke