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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Woolx Merino Boxer Briefs > Test Report by joe schaffer

Woolx Merino Wool Boxer Briefs


 Test Series
Long Term Report
October 8, 2014

by Joe Schaffer


REVIEWER INFORMATION:
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahooDOTcom
AGE: 66
GENDER: Male
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Hayward, California USA

    California's Sierras draw me in every month. I aim for at least my age in nights out a year, half solo. As a comfort camper I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. For summer trips of a week to 10 days I carry 40 lb (18 kg) and hike 5 miles (8 km) a day. Winter outings are most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,800 to 2,100 m) for 2 to 3 nights. Snow camping loads average 50 lb (23 kg) and I'll suffer that maybe 4 miles (6 km) on snowshoes.
author
Initial Report
May 21, 2014


The Product:

   Woolx Merino Wool Boxer Briefs
                        WoolX Boxer briefs xLite
Manufacturer:
   Woolx
   Web site: www.Woolx.com

Received:  May 17, 2014

My boxers:  Medium
   Weight: 2.375 oz (67 g) 
   Relaxed waist circumference after wash/dry: 25.25" (64 cm)          
   Relaxed leg circumference after wash/dry: 17" (43 cm)
   Waist-to-leg length: 14.5" (37 cm)

Factory specs: (from Woolx.com)
   100% 17.5 micron Australian Merino Wool
   170 g/m2 jersey construction

MSRP: USD $35

Product Image:  Courtesy of Woolx

Manufacturer Product claims:
    Non pill / No Itch
    Our lightest weight superfine merino wool
    Inseam gusset for amazing comfortable fit
    Flatlock-non chafe seams
    Double panel fly
    Contoured back rise
    Non-rub interior label
    Washable and Dryable -- guaranteed


Product description: 
    These are lightweight wool boxers with an overlapped access panel in front about 6.5" high (17 cm) by 3.75" (10 cm) wide. The panel has a vertical crescent opening about 3.75" (10 cm) high on the right side, with a mirrored twin on the under panel inside left. Laid flat, the horizontal center of the waist hem in front is about 1" (25 mm) lower than the same spot in back. Waist band hem is about 1" (25 mm) wide. Leg band hem is about 0.875" (22 mm) wide. Garment is straight fabric across the back with a single seam centered vertically from waistband to the crotch, where the seam meets up with leg seams. At the crotch apex, a panel about 8.5" (22 cm) wide by 2.75" (7 cm) joins the garment back to the garment front. Seams are flat-sewn. The inside back panel has a painted logo about 2.25" (57 mm) wide x 1.375" (35 mm) high; situated about 1" (25 mm) from garment horizontal center and about 2.5" (64 mm) below the waist hem. The left leg front bottom hem sports a sewn-on cloth logo patch about 0.875" (22 mm) wide x 0.5" (13 mm) high. Product in testing is black. The garment appears to have no elastic or reinforcing material.

Initial review:
   I sat around in the product for 3 hours the day it arrived; and followed up the next day with a 3 mile (5 km) sidewalk jaunt in 75-degree F (24 C) warmth. I threw it in the washer and dryer with a bunch of other stuff, paying it no particular mind.

Observations:

    I wear a wool hat in case I ever need to eat it. I love wool. The initial hand (a little industry jargon to show how fabric hip is me) absolutely delights. The material feels soft as warm butter and just as smooth. I do not well tolerate inferior wool; and I've always been skeptical of wool shorts. So far I've felt no itchy-scratchy whatsoever anywhere. The product seems to be sized for a very snug, almost compression-like fit (unless I'm a chunkier 34 than the sizing chart would anticipate.)  I find that not as suitable for couch work as for active wear, the latter seeming the more intended purpose of the product. I would expect the fabric to breathe well and it does. I did wet the wool a bit in my sidewalk jaunt, and it remained as comfortable as out of the bag. I experienced no bunching, rubbing, chafing or other such tortures. I didn't notice the painted logo until I scoured the garment for something to describe. Perhaps now I'll complain of loss of breathability in that area as I would admit to suspecting. The fabric is so thin I can hold it in front of the computer screen and read what I've typed.

   I forgot to measure the garment before washing, but my fit impression is that it did not shrink. I did not notice any bleeding of dye. Most often I can't wear new garments without washing them first or the dye causes rash. That did not happen with this product.
  
   The trade-off I'd suspect in the comfort of such fine and thin fabric might be to sacrifice durability. I also wonder how well the garment will retain its shape and snug fit without any kind of reinforcement. I'll put a few backpacking miles on 'em over the holiday weekend to see if they show any premature evidence of wear or stretching. I should also have some pretty good indications of how well comfort persists over 6 days of backpacking; and perhaps the practicality and/or aromatic necessity of laundering in the wilds.

Field Report
July 29, 2014
   
Field Conditions:
    I've worn these boxers for a total of 238 hours and 108 miles (174 k) of hiking. I've washed them 7 times in the machine, 4 times in the woods with plain water and twice with CampSuds.

    laundrylineThe wearing experience included 7 backpacking trips of 4-7 days each. Conditions ranged from about 45-90 F (7-32 C) with 2 days of light, brief sprinkles. Most of the time they were under hiking shorts. I often though not always slept in them. Twice I went swimming in them (under hiking shorts) and kept them on until they dried. My typical day of backpacking is about 4 hours. The boxers would dry before bed time while being worn. I hiked 20 miles (32 k) one day and found the boxers made the trip more enjoyable than my previous commando assaults on the route.

    The longest excursion was the 7-day trip. One hiking day was cold and blustery enough I put on gloves. That day was the only one where I felt I needed the boxers as a warmth layer. Most days, though, were summer hot with mild evenings.

Observations:
    The product has held shape remarkably well given that it has no retaining structures. There are no indications of wear. Me tender skin has suffered absolutely no insult of scratching or chafing; and in fact rather enjoys the comforting touch of the fabric.The longest I went in continuous wear was 3 days. The product was still comfortable and not yet drawing flies.

    On the cold day I felt better having the boxers as a warmth layer. The miracle of wool front shotis that it also feels better on hot days, and the product extended all the benefits of that miracle. I find my hiking shorts dry faster and in fact don't get as wet as when I wear nothing under. Moisture wicks away and does not make things so nasty wet. The fabric takes much longer to dry than synthetic, but remains comfortable when wet. In fact, only once did I hang the product to dry. It took several hours and thereafter I simply squeezed them out and put them back on.

    The legs still fit snugly and I have to remember to pull them down to prevent too much support. They do not ride up.

    I don't find any issues sleeping in them, but I prefer looser clothing when I'm sedentary. For hiking I find the boxers add a welcome increment of comfort in any weather conditions. I like the drier feel and added support.

    I can't scratch while answering nature as the scissor opening on the front panel does a terrific job of keeping things back where they otherwise belong. Never did I have anything present itself without many fingers at work to bring matters forward.

    The only question lingering for me at this point is if I'd be willing to spring for the retail price. I won't know the answer to that until I get these worn out.

    I know the pictures are lame, but I can't think of any way to take a selfie without it seeming like I'm in Congress.

Long Term Report
October 8, 2014

Field Conditions:
    I've now worn these boxers a total of 615 hours; sleeping in them 28 nights; and hiking in them 195 miles (315 km). I've washed them 13 times in a machine; 7 times with plain water and 6 times with CampSuds.

    The Long Term Report includes 5 trips of 11 days, 10 days, 9 days, 8 days and 8 days in Emigrant Wilderness in the California Sierras. The first two trips included very diverse weather, ranging from cold, wet and windy to warm. The last trip was quite warm. The longest single stretch of wearing them was 4 days, which included 3 days of hiking.

    I pack as light as I can and underestimated the risk of low temps in two of my August trips, perhaps because I spent more time at higher elevations than I expected. Above 9,000' (2,750 m) campfires are not permitted, so I didn't have opportunity every evening on those trips to get warmed up as much as I might have liked before going to bed.

Observations:
    The product remains in excellent condition, showing no signs of wear. I've experienced minimal stretching at the leg openings and no shrinking. There are no holes or loose threads.  The circumstances of this final report support the comfort conclusions already reported.

    My 40-degree F (22 C) bag after 100 uses doesn't seem quite as warm as it used to be. (Can't be that I'm getting older--has to be the bag.) Might be that my single-wall tent isn't as warm either. The point is, I got cold several nights when the temps got to freezing. The boxers didn't completely alter that circumstance, but they helped. After the first night of waking up pre-dawn and not being able to go back to sleep until the sun came up, I subsequently pulled on the boxers before a base layer and camp pants and slept a little better.

    I love wool. These boxers are so light and add so much comfort that they have become gotta-have-em in my kit.

My impressions:

    a) Light
    b) Comfortable
    c) $$$

Many thanks to Woolx and BackpackGearTest for providing the opportunity to test this product.  The test is concluded.



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Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Woolx Merino Boxer Briefs > Test Report by joe schaffer



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