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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > ExOfficio Ws Give-N-Go Boy Shorts > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto
Product Information Back to contents
Product Description Back to contents
(Okay, big breath) The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boy Shorts for women seems like a really long name for a simple pair of underwear, these however, are anything but simple. In fact, I'm kinda leaning toward describing them as super undies, that is, if they can live up to the impressive list of features the manufacturer claims they have. Here's their list: Quick Drying due to the Sport Mesh fabric, Odor Resistant because of an antimicrobial treatment called Silvadur®, Breathable, Moisture Wicking, and Ultralight-weight with Flatlock Seams and a Smooth Waistband. Whew! Now, I won't know if most of that stuff is actually true until the end of this test but from what I can observe of these underwear so far, the Sport Mesh fabric is very light-weight and silky. They do have nearly undetectable flatlock seams with a waistband that is indeed smooth. The style I chose has the shorter 2 in (5 cm) inseam, which looks to be a bit longer when I measured it. The pair I have are all black.
Arrival Condition and Informational Material Back to contents
The Sport Mesh Boy Shorts I received fit correctly and look to be in perfect condition. No blemishes in the fabric or defects along seam lines.
As one would expect for an uncomplicated item like underwear, the accompaniment of informational material was minimal. (Don't worry, unless this is your first experience with skivvies you'll be able to figure everything out!) Essentially there were two areas providing info, the garment hangtag and the product display box, which houses the underwear. The box supplies details in four languages about the various features of the Boy Shorts. In addition to English, I'm guessing the other languages are French, German and Spanish. The garment hang tag repeats some of that but offers up an extra nugget of info about "easy care on the road" or trail as the case may be. This was only in English and French. When followed, these guidelines claim the Boy Shorts will be dry within 2-4 hours after washing/rinsing, depending on humidity levels.
Disappointingly for me, the country of origin was not listed on either of these more exterior/obvious data points. For ethical reasons I like knowing in what country exactly the stuff I'm thinking of purchasing was made. Simply listing an item as "Imported" is weak sauce in my opinion. As such, I very much appreciate it when the company makes that info readily available on the packaging and online.
Finally, while looking up the sizing
details for this report I noticed a discrepancy on the back of the product
display box. In the XL column the conversions for hip sizes are in centimeters
and inches, these are inconsistent. Inches is listed as 44.5 - 46.5, while
centimeters is listed as 108-113, which is equivalent to 42.5 - 44.5 in inches.
Expectations and First Impressions Back to contents
If I have to pick the two things that will drive me mad the fastest while hiking, it's hair in my face and underwear crawling up my backside with every intolerable step. Given that, the most important quality I look for in undies is comfort. All those other bells and whistles are icing as far as I'm concerned. Nonetheless, I'm excited for the Boy Shorts' potential. I live in a hot climate, I mean ridiculously hot, needless to say for about 8 months of the year we sweat A LOT. I have no doubt I will be pushing these skivvies to their limits regarding wicking, breathability, quick drying and odor resistance. I'm planning to wear them twice a week with only an "on the road" type rinsing between washings to evaluate how well they hold up and so I can test that 2-4 hour drying time. I'm already very impressed with how comfy and airy the Sport Mesh feels against my skin. Although, for as gossamer as they seem, I'm a little concerned about overall durability of the material. I shall see how this all goes and then I will write about it so you'll know too.
Over the last couple of months I've worn the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boy Shorts far less than I expected I would. Only four times to be exact. The first outing was a short evening hike of about 2 miles (3 km) just to see how they felt. This took place in Phoenix, Arizona at one of our local desert preserves. Temperatures were in the upper 90's F (37 C) at an elevation of 1,400 ft (430 m). With such a wealth of exciting features, my high hopes were quickly dashed as soon as I started walking around my house and gathering my gear for the hike. Well before I hit the trail I could tell they were not going to be as comfortable as I wanted. I'm going to disclose up front that I'm not an "underwear in my crack" kinda girl. I know that's common practice among many of my sisters but I personally try to avoid that business altogether whenever possible. Unfortunately, the Give-N-Go Shorts have a proclivity to "give" me a wedgie that doesn't "go" away!
I skipped bringing them on a three-day camping trip I took in June because I was going to be doing lots of hiking and I didn't want to risk the discomfort. I did, however, bring them on a trip in July to San Diego, California where I was living on a boat for four days. The weather in SD was sunny and hot with high temperatures in the low 80's F (27 C). I really wanted to test how well the Boy Shorts would handle the humid conditions and the quick drying aspect of the Sport Mesh fabric. Humidity on the ocean is a bit more fierce than humidity in Phoenix.
I wore the Boy Shorts on and off several times over the full trip and once overnight. I rinsed them daily and then hung them where they would catch a sea breeze to dry. Despite the damp ocean climate, the abnormally warm temps we were having allowed them to dry within ExOfficio's 2-4 hour prediction during the day. Drying overnight was not as successful, which to be fair, makes total sense since all of our gear was damp in the mornings as is typical in this environment.
We did hike a bit on our second day and I wore them for that little adventure despite my comfort issues. They're light and silky feel on my skin was a welcome change from my cotton underwear. It's hard to tell how breathable and moisture wicking these undies were in such a high humidity situation when every part of my body was soaked with sweat. What I can say for certain is they were leaps and bounds more breathable and moisture wicking than cotton, so much so, I was happy to tolerate the ride-up problem simply for the benefit of feeling dryer.
Comfort issues aside,
I do plan to try to wear the Boy Shorts for a few longer hikes in the next
couple of months in hopes maybe I will just get used to the way they ride.
Pros and Cons Thus Far Back to contents
I'm not a fan of how they creep up my backside
Collective Use and Field Conditions Back to contents
I've given the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boy Shorts two more tries over the course of the long-term test period bringing my total use time to seven outings. Both opportunities were on night hikes in desert locations north of Phoenix, Arizona. The first was a five hour hike/meteor watching combo in the Agua Fria Conservation area. Elevation in this preserve averages about 1,800 ft (550 m). Weather conditions were mostly clear with warm temperatures in the upper 90's F (36 C). The second hike was also to the Agua Fria River but at another recreation spot a bit farther north. This desert wetland sits at about 3,000 ft (915 m). The night we were there was quite humid with temps in the low 90's (33 C).Long Term Conclusions Back to contents
Underwear tends to be one of those hiking items I don't put much thought into. There are just so many other things vying for my attention, like watching were I step so I don't land on something dangerous or keeping track of my water supply. This is of course unless they are annoying, in which case it's difficult not to think about them. This has sadly been my experience with the Give-N-Go Boy Shorts. Regardless of all their other fantastic qualities, they are just flat-out not comfortable, which is a shame because I really do like everything else about them.
Take for example their weight or rather the weightless feel of the fabric. Ultralight doesn't really do it justice. The elasticity and sheerness of the Sport Mesh fabric combine with the Smooth Waistband and Flatlock Seams to create what I can only describe as a near-nude feeling. Even around my thighs, where the silky material allows the inseam to ride up a bit, I haven't experienced any binding as I move or sit. And as an unexpected bonus, the flat seams make them next to impossible to detect under clothing (no panty lines). If not for the encroachment issues I'd absolutely forget I was wearing them.
Another quality I love about these undies is their moisture control. The mesh pattern allows them to breathe very well and although I know cotton, as a natural fiber, is supposed to be superior for this, I actually think the Boy Shorts performed better than the cotton undies I usually wear. I've tested the Boy Shorts in pretty high temps resulting in lots of sweat but since the material doesn't cling to my skin when it's wet like cotton does, I felt much dryer overall.
At this point in the test I've washed them three times in my machine and rinsed them another two times in just clean water in between uses. I was skeptical of ExOfficio's odor resistant claim because I've owned many polyester garments in the past and they all, at some point, become funky. So far the Boy Shorts are doing well in this area. I've yet to notice any odor retention. I also haven't noticed any breaking down of the fabric. For as thin as these are I was expecting them to be less durable but that's not been the case.
Final Thoughts Back to contents
In conclusion, I really
like what ExOfficio has put together in the Give-N-Go Boy Shorts, I'm just
not a fan of this style I guess. For ladies who don't mind "ride up"
they may work just fine. This test has piqued my interest into what other
styles ExOfficio might offer in their excellent Sport Mesh fabric. As I mentioned
at the beginning of this report, comfort is my top priority for skivvies,
not providing that one quality is a deal breaker for wearing or recommending
the Boy Shorts but I certainly would suggest folks look into the Sport Mesh
My thanks to ExOfficio
and BackpackGearTest.org for making this test series possible. I hope my report
has been helpful.
Read more reviews of Ex Officio gear
Read more gear reviews by Jamie DeBenedetto
Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > ExOfficio Ws Give-N-Go Boy Shorts > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto
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