Mens Underwear Recomendation

OK, this may be a bit bizarre, but believe me, when you live in a climate that routinely remains between 100-114 degrees for five months, comfortable underwear is a must.  I have tried nearly every type and brand, from briefs to boxers, and have recently discovered some new ones that are great.  They are made by Under Armour, which is an entirely familiar clothing line to everyone here in Phoenix because they handle heat and sweat so well.  My kids live in the Heatgear, though I opt for the Loosegear since I no longer have the body for form fitting clothing. 

The underwear is made of that silky under-armour fabric, but is very comfortable and seems to wick sweat away from your body.  The downside is that they are nearly $20 a pair, but they don't shrink and so far have held up well. 

PS- I know my friend Scott in San Francisco tried a pair as well - he may be able to give us a review in the comments of whether he liked them or not.

Final Note: To those of you who suggest "none", you haven't lived in a really hot climate.  "Freefalling" may be OK on a breezy day on the California coast, but in a Phoenix summer or in my birthplace of Houston, you are going to regret it.

Really Random Tangent: Someone sitting with me in my office this morning commented that "the only reason we think it is hot when it is 98 out is because of our clothes.  If we were naked, 98.6 would be the perfect temperature because that is our body heat."  This is actually a misconception and ignores several principals of thermodynamics.

The key fact is that the body generally is a net producer of heat.  To be comfortable and maintain body heat, the body must shed this heat, which humans do in two ways.  First, we transfer heat to the surrounding air from our skin - to do this well, the surrounding temperature needs to be less than our body heat.  The more differential, the more heat transfer.  Air motion (via wind) provides convective heat transfer, which accelerates this process.  Second, we sweat.  When sweat evaporates, it pulls heat from the surrounding air and adjacent body.  Sweating cools us therefore based on evaporation rates, which is one reason why drier climates are more comfortable -- sweat evaporates faster. 

In addition to shedding the body heat we produce, we also have to shed any heat we pick up by radiative transfer.  Radiative heating is the heat we feel on our skin when we are in direct sunlight, and is why one can be cooler in light than dark clothing (dark colors absorb more radiative heat). 

All this means that if we are naked, in the shade, in a dry climate like Phoenix on a breezy day, we are likely to be comfortable at a temperature closer to 98.6.  In the direct sun in a calm, humid climate, even naked, we are going to want a temperature much much less than 98 to be comfortable.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~sleepyjackal/index.html Gary and the Samoyeds

    Even if the line about being naked in 98.6 were true, that doesn't apply when it's 109. Actually, that would be an interesting point: at what temperature does clothing reduce the incoming heat more than the outgoing heat?

  • Scott in SF

    The underarmour underwear work well, particularly with shorts made of a similar material. Wearing them under cotton helps a little, but not nearly as much as with other "microfiber" overgear. They run a little small for the stated sizes, so try one on before you just stock up on your usual size.

    And if anyone is wondering why Warren would know what kind of underwear I have, he was there when I bought them. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

  • http://www.beach-swimwear.com S from A

    Here's a tip from a hot climate - Africa.

    Less could be best if you still want to remain cool and have support. Men in ancient cultures wore thong-like items for ease and comfort. Men in the South Americas and Africa still wear them as traditional clothing, and have for millennia…why? Because they are practical and comfortable in hot climates.

    Cultural prejudice aside, they’re obviously cooler than boxers and briefs in warm climates and have stood the test of time.

    Did you know that men wore g-strings or thongs before women ever caught on to them…are you surprised?

    I found http://beach-swimwear.com with top brands & info on men’s and women’s underwear including Under Armour, buy whatever you like, buy a variety of styles for warm climates, just make sure material or blend is breathable.

    PS. No - you don't need to be gay to wear thongs either.

  • http://www.underneath.com Jeff

    You can but Coolmax wicking underwear online at http://www.underneath.com

  • http://www.apollowear.com Lee

    Hey I would try something in a cotton mesh, it seems to work better than the under armour because it bunches. I got some nice mesh brief underwear at http://www.apollowear.com for a cheap price.

  • Cooper

    Why do men assume one is gay to wear a thong?

  • Greg

    Thong underwear is all I wear and I'm not gay. They offer comfort and support and that's important to me.