Best Underwear for Survival

I never thought in a million years that I’d be writing this review. Responding to the request that going commando or a paracord G-string being the way to go would have been funny, but top-performing survival clothing is a plausible request and that’s not really the TruePrepper style. Underwear is an important piece of clothing for hygiene, comfort, and stashing in survival kits. There are plenty of types and brands to consider.

This is where I come in. I’ve researched the best underwear for survival and long-term wear, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade pick. If you need undies that’ll keep up in any situation, one of my suggestions will have you covered.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

ExOfficio Boxer Briefs

The Best Underwear

ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0

Lightweight, Comfortable, and Quick Drying

This underwear designed for any environment is easy to maintain and comfortable on the go.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

ExOfficio has been specializing in outdoor performance clothing since 1986 but really brought us something great in 2000 with their Give-N-Go underwear. They are recognized as a top performer by experts in all sorts of active outdoor activities- from backpacking to backwoods bushcraft.

These undies are incredibly lightweight, soft, and dry extremely quickly. I don’t stash them in my kits, but wear them in my everyday rotation.

Here is everything you get with this underwear:

  • 5 size options, 4 color options
  • 89% nylon, 11% elastane
  • 3″ inseam
  • Working mesh fly

With great quality paired with high durability, it’s easy to see why the ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs top the rest.

Under Armour Boxerjock

Budget Underwear

Under Armour Boxerjock

Simple, Inexpensive, and Comfortable

Surprisingly durable for how lightweight they are, these boxer briefs can take a lot of punishment.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This popular option from Under Armour is widely available in a huge range of sizes and colors, and surprisingly durable for their weight. They endured being worn on long-distance runs, in chlorinated pools, and in salt water for several years without showing signs of deterioration.

These are my go-to pick for survival kit skivvy rolls because the price works and the performance is great. Even with options in my drawers that are three times the price, I still mix these into my everyday rotation.

Here is how these basic undies measure up:

  • 9 size options, 48 color options
  • 100% polyester
  • 6″ inseam
  • Working mesh fly

If you are looking for inexpensive undies that will keep up, the Under Armour Tech Boxerjock is the best option.

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers

Upgrade Underwear

Icebreaker Anatomica

Breathable, Soft, and Durable

Bring the power of wool to your briefs with these boxers that are relentlessly soft and durable.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Icebreaker prioritizes performance and their Anatomica boxers show this off. They aren’t cheap, but they use cutting-edge fabric technology blending the benefits of Merino wool and synthetics.

You wouldn’t have thought that wool would work well, or even be worth investing in with boxers or briefs, but the trick is the synthetic blend. They spin their wool around a nylon core, which gives them structure preventing permanent stretch.

Here are the specs:

  • 5 size options, 13 color options
  • 83% Merino wool, 12% nylon, 2% elastane
  • 4.5″ inseam
  • Working fly

With high-tech fabric leveraging the best of synthetic and natural materials, the Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers are the best choice for survival, period.

Everything We Recommend

ExOfficio Boxer Briefs

ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs

This underwear designed for any environment is easy to maintain and comfortable on the go.

Where to Buy

$30* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Under Armour Boxerjock

Under Armour Boxerjock

Surprisingly durable for how lightweight they are, these boxer briefs can take a lot of punishment.

Where to Buy

$15* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers

Bring the power of wool to your briefs with these boxers that are relentlessly soft and durable.

Where to Buy

$45* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Undies We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to a few brands and types of underwear that we compared: Duluth, ExOfficio, Under Armour, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Icebreaker, Calvin Klein, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of underwear, and there are a lot of options out there. Long underwear is interchangeable with base layers, so we took a harder look at that in our survival shirt review.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have some underwear that keeps up, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best survival undies have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Comfort
  3. Durability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find the perfect underwear for the suburbs, inner city, or deep in the woods. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the undies that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like undergarments shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There is a wide range of prices in just our picks, so there is no need to spend beyond your means. Most brands offer savings when you buy multiples, so you can get a whole week’s worth without breaking the bank.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially when it comes to clothes. It’s better to diversify your spending to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


Comfort is always first and foremost with clothes. The military has studied and proven that when uniforms aren’t comfortable they get altered or not worn consistently. What’s the point of getting undies in the first place if you are going to ditch them to get comfortable?


When it comes to survival, all of your gear needs some durability. Underwear is no exception- it needs to be able to survive through sweat, abrasion, a variety of temperatures, and plenty of washings.

Most durability is related to the fabric type, weave type, and fabric weight. Some of it is also related to the construction quality, like the stitching and seaming. We saw a wide range of material types for underwear, from white cotton tightie whities to Merino wool, and plenty of synthetic fabrics in between.

The synthetics really shine because they are lightweight, durable, and have some stretch without memory. Even the very nice wool option used nylon and elastane for structure and stretchiness.

Size & Weight

All underwear is lightweight, and we didn’t encounter any that would make a significant difference in weight once it’s rolled into your pack. Rolling them into a skivvy roll makes them take up even less space.


We won’t go too far into telling you what to do with your undies, but any fabric material or elastic band can come in handy for a wide range of survival applications. Sure, they are best when worn but if they are your backup pair from your bug out bag, why not convert them into a makeshift water sediment filter if that is what you need for survival?

Be resourceful and remember your gear’s versatility regardless of its main use.

Layering Systems

Layering is the key to staying warm, and underwear is the building block to it all. Wearing underwear under your clothes or base layers is also hygienic, as you can swap it out to stay dry and relatively clean.

Vanessa with her Wild Woman Bushcraft channel out in Bavaria takes it to a Naked and Afraid-type challenge to prove that underwear alone with some natural insulation can work below freezing:

Who Needs Underwear?

Underwear isn’t exactly necessary, but most people wear some sort of undergarment. It’s great for layering, hygiene, and comfort if you get the correct size and type.

Because they have plenty of benefits with very little drawback, we consider underwear essential as a worn item in your:

We also list them as essential packed into kits, including:

You can usually combine undies, a shirt, and socks into a skivvy roll in those kits and other specialized kits for easily packed and fast access essential clothing.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best underwear for survival are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Bartels, T. (2005). Physiological comfort of sportswear. Textiles in Sport; Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles. Page 177 – 203. (Source)

Chang, Z., et al. (2018). Research on the male lower torso for improving underwear design. Textile Research Journal. Volume 89. Issue 9. Pages 1623 – 1641. (Source)

Jamshaid, H., et al. (2023). Multi-response Optimization by Using Taguchi-Based Grey Relational Analysis to Develop Chafe Resistance Underwear. ASTM Compass. Volume 51. Issue 5. Pages 1 – 21. (Source)

The Final Word

Turns out that underwear is better for survival than going commando. Comfort, chafing, heat/moisture management, and more can all be tackled with a humble pair of skivvies.

Here are a few other gear reviews and guides our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our testing found the ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Boxer Briefs to be the best option given its value, comfort, durability, size/weight, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Survival Underwear

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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