After a recent Caribbean vacation, I playfully threatened my wife with the prospect of my donning a Speedo on our next trip to a sandy, tropical beach. Let’s face it. If my European contemporaries are capable of pulling off such a thing, why could I not do it? My wife’s opinion was, let’s say, not quite congruent with mine. Little did she know that I would soon be asked to review the Merino Wool Boxer Briefs by Ridge Merino for the Hunting Gear Deals Community. As luck would have it, I would not have to model the aforementioned garment, although I am fully capable.
Ridge Merino Boxer Brief
The new Ridge Boxer Brief features our new (m)Force™ Technology, a nylon core-spun Merino wool to improve strength and reduce abrasion. There’s also a hint of spandex to provide long-lasting stretch and recovery.
- All new boxer brief cut with 6” inseam
- Natural odor resistance
- Easy Fly
- Gusseted Crotch
- Flatlock Seams
- Printed label and removable care label for max comfort
- Ridge Guarantee
Ridge Merino Boxer Brief Info
Ridge Merino describes the boxer as having improved durability and fit over their original boxer brief. This can be attributed to the use of a nylon core-spun merino wool. They have also included a bit of spandex for stretch and recovery after prolonged wear. This product is offered in a 180 gram per square meter of fabric (83% Merino wool, 12% Nylon, 5% Spandex). Comfort features include flatlock seam stitching, gusseted crotch (for uninhibited movement) and a removable product care tag. It’s offered in three colors – black, navy, and asphalt gray. There’s even a functioning zipper fly if you’re into that kind of thing.
Why Merino Underwear?
The backpacking community has long touted the benefits of merino wool baselayers, and underwear for that matter – naturally anti-microbial (“stink resistant”), temperature regulating (even when wet), and renewable. The benefits of merino are well documented so I won’t further litigate that here. However, I will interrogate the Ridge Merinos and give them their day in my court.
Ridge Merino Wool Boxer Briefs Evaluation
I first wore these boxers on an unseasonably cool April day in Texas that saw morning temperatures start in the low 60s with 87% humidity, but the temperature later climbed to 70. A hunting buddy and I were performing some fairly rigorous work activities at our hunting lease. I tackled more offseason work at the cattle ranch April 28 in about 75-degree weather. I again wore the boxers on another work day about 5 weeks later where the temperature only climbed to about 61.
I felt comfortable the entire time with no clamminess from the humidity or the sweating, nor did I experience any overheating on the warmer days. At the end of these days, the boxers did not smell either.
It’s days like those described above where the beauty of merino wool, especially where it has been manufactured with a bit of synthetic textile, shines through. Its temperature regulation that is difficult to match. There’s a difference in regulation and warmth. Regulation is what your body naturally tries to do, that is, keep your core as close to an ideal temperature as possible. Basically, when cold, we shiver to warm up; when hot, we sweat to cool down. Merino has this unique quality of cooling and warming. Blend in the synthetic, and it transports heat containing perspiration to the surface where it can be evaporated more efficiently. If you happen to sweat or get wet on a cool day, merino maintains its warming quality.
Office / Recreation
I further tested the boxer by wearing them on a few work days at my office day job. After work, I regularly attend a Kung Fu/Tai Chi class that can be a rigorous workout in the evening. I mainly wanted to see if the boxers ever felt uncomfortable or stretched out of their natural shape. Neither of these occurred. Again, the boxers did not smell bad at the end of the day.
The other thing I did was test the drying of the merino boxer. I washed them one evening in a standard “clear & free” laundry detergent on a regular cycle. I hung them up to dry (according to the label instructions) in my laundry room, side-by-side with another manufacturer’s lightweight merino shirt. I keep my home air conditioning somewhere around 68-72 degrees. The boxer (and similar shirt) was bone dry by morning. This is entirely acceptable to me.
To date, I have not worn these below 60 degrees or over 100 degrees, but I certainly plan to close this case by doing so. I also plan to test outdoor drying time a warm night.
Ridge Merino Boxer Brief Review Summary
The Ridge Merino Boxer Brief delivers every bit of the soft, next-to-skin comfort everyone expects from merino. It checks all the benefits boxes for merino mentioned above. The boxer inseam is about six inches, which is markedly better than a standard brief. I have to admit that I’d love to have 2-3 more inches of inseam for high activity (i.e., spot/stalk hunting, backpack hunting) or hanging treestands and such. It’s my thought that the added length would help to prevent chaffing. I found that the briefs would rise ever so slightly, but not quite to a discomforting degree. Granted, a treestand or ground blind hunt itself would likely not be a problem. Perhaps Ridge Merino will offer a boxer with an extended inseam length for active hunters like myself.
Thanks to Dan Course Jr. for writing and Ridge Merino for providing a free sample for this unpaid gear review. Hunting Gear Deals is funded by affiliate commissions. We may receive a small commission when you buy from our partners using the links provided. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting us by using our links when making your purchases.
Dan Course Jr. grew up hunting and fishing in Mississippi but really took to bowhunting in the mid-90s. He has hunted deer in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Oklahoma. During that time, he has also been camping and backpacking with his sons and their scouting organizations. Dan is an “admitted” gear junkie, which is the first step, right?