Okay, people. The time has finally come for a post that’s a little personal in nature. That’s right, today I want to tell you about my underwear. (And Griffin’s.)
Yeah, underwear. Why? Well, it’s pretty important when you think about it.
Underwear doesn’t get too much attention until you’re preparing to make do with only what you can roll up and fit into your backpack for a year. So, it may sound strange, but we did a lot of research about the subject. To the shock and horror of our friends and family who learned of it, we chose to go with wool underwear.
WHAT? WOOL UNDERWEAR? ARE YOU CRAZY?
That was pretty much the response we got. But we’re not talking about your grandmother’s wool knit caps here. I wouldn’t want to put on crocheted undies, either. We’re talking about fine Merino Wool. The bottom line, so to speak, is that merino wool is not itchy. As a matter of fact, it’s some of the softest stuff you can put on.
So, why go with wool instead of other, more readily endorsed intimates? Here are some facts about merino wool underwear that may have you giving your skivvies more scrutiny.
First, they are extremely comfortable. Like I said before, they are not remotely itchy and they actually have a little smoother feel to them than cotton. Comfort is the highest priority when it comes to underthings, as I think we can all agree. They are also temperature regulating, which means warmth to me and coolness and breathability to Griffin.
Next on a backpacker’s list is care. Sink laundry is not ideal, but it is sometimes necessary. Hanging wool items to dry over night is all you need and, get this, they even come out wrinkle free! Who knew? Plus, wool is a long lasting and tough material, so I’m not going to need to mention my unmentionables to some street vender in India.
Now comes the amazing part. Merino wool is naturally anti-microbial. Why is that important? Because it means that your underwear naturally fights odors. Let me say that again: Your panties will protect you from pungency! I hate to tell you this, but that’s already been put to the test on our trip. While trekking to Everest Base Camp, showers were a luxury. For those that know me, you know that feeling dirty is something I absolutely hate. It was nice to know that my undergarments were fighting dirtiness on my behalf. Plus, they are moisture wicking, which is great for exercise, like trekking, or just making sure you’re comfortable on hot days exploring a new city.
After a lot of searching for the perfect panties (and boxers), we landed at PULSE Activewear, a Denver, Colorado based company specializing in wool undergarments. What first appealed to us about PULSE Activewear was the field testing they have done to ensure the comfort and performance of their products. They tested their designs on athletes before finalizing the product line. Their materials come from New Zealand, world renowned for its merino wool, but the products are actually manufactured in the U.S.A. Pulse Activewear had the pieces and designs we were looking for and at reasonable prices.
We each selected three pairs of underwear and I also decided to try out the V-Neck Sports Bra. I’m serious when I tell you, I may never be able to wear synthetic underwear again. We’ve both been impressed with the level of comfort that we’ve found and Griffin, in typical guy fashion, likes that they need fewer washings, if you get what I’m saying.
The only, and I do mean only, negative we have found is solely cosmetic. The lighter colors tend to attract dyes from other fabrics, which left our beige briefs with black and blue splotches. It doesn’t really matter since no one will see them, but you should either stick to dark colors, or be very careful with what you wear and wash with the lighter colors.
Throughout our travels, I plan to let you know about which travel products we’ve tried and which ones we recommend. Well, tried and true, the wool underwear from Pulse Activewear is something I would recommend to everyone who wears underwear. And if you don’t wear underwear, I don’t need to know…
P.S. Go like their Facebook page and then contact them for a 25% off discount on their products. Tell them Valerie and Griffin sent you;-)
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