The Best Moisture-Wicking Underwear for Summer

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Growing up, I was always told that cotton underwear was the best so my nether regions could “breathe.” However, cotton holds onto moisture and can leave one feeling a bit swampy when they sweat. Since then, underwear has gotten high-tech, and some newer textiles are great for airflow and wicking away moisture. Living in the Washington D.C. suburbs, summer is hot and humid, and a great pair of moisture-wicking, breathable underwear can make or break one's enjoyment of the season. This year, I'm on a mission to find the best moisture-wicking underwear for summer.

Searching for The Best Moisture-Wicking Underwear for Summer

A little about me: I am 5'3″ with soft curves. At 49, my body has fluctuated with changes to my life, my health, having a baby, and fitness. I have a bit of an apron belly and have had far too many pairs of undies roll down and under at the most inopportune moments. However, being petite, I often find briefs too high rise, and they peek out from my jeans and shorts.

Please note this post is specifically for underwear/briefs. I found a pair of size-inclusive cooling slip shorts I love wearing under dresses; here is my detailed Thigh Society review, along with a discount code.

I am looking for undies that keep me cool and dry in the summer but also fit soft curves comfortably and stay in place all day. I tried six different brands and styles of underwear and think I've found some serious winners! However, I want to share all the styles I tried because each has positive aspects that may be perfect for you!

model wearing a gray t-shirt tied at her waist and a pair of black Wooly bikini brief underwear. She is looking out a window with a bug in one hand.

Wooly Bikini Brief

Merino wool may be known for keeping one cozy on a winter day, but it is also moisture-wicking, moisture-repelling, and it doesn't hold odors like synthetics. I have always heard merino underwear is fantastic for hiking, travel, and being active but never tried it until now. Wooly is one of the most well-known brands for merino underwear and has a better size range than others (underwear to fit sizes 0-20). I also appreciate that Wooly shows models who are a range of sizes and shapes.

As previously mentioned, I don't usually order bikinis, but Wooly had a high-waisted brief that I just knew would be hitting my ribcage, and the bikini brief looked to be a higher rise than usual. Reviews said the underwear runs a tad large, and I often find XL underwear too big, so I went with a size Large. I'm glad as the Large was roomy.

The Wooly bikini briefs have the same rise as the modern brief at Soma. The fabric is soft and thin with stretch. The design is very traditional; exposed elastic waistband and leg openings but it does have a double-layer merino sewn-down gusset.

I wore these for a Hydrow 36-minute row, and kept them on after as I ran errands on a warm sunny day. Later, I took a 1.5-mile walk still wearing the same pair. And these undies held up! I never felt damp, and they didn't get funky in any way. They were machine washed cold and tumbled dry and came out like new. The only issue was the second wear, I did find them when sitting for spans of time to be a bit itchy on the seat. If you have any wool sensitivity, these are not for you.

Wooly bikini briefs come in sizes XS/0 to XXL/18-20. In seven colors, these undies retail for $27.99 each.

model wearing a white tank top and navy Bamboo Cool moisture-wicking briefs
Bamboo Cool Moisture-Wicking Briefs as seen on the Amazon product page

Bamboo Cool Moisture-Wicking Briefs

Like merino wool, fabric made from bamboo is moisture-wicking, antibacterial, and breathable. Made from FSC-certified 92% bamboo viscose and 8% spandex, a friend recommended Bamboo Cool briefs as a budget-friendly option. Positive reviews on Amazon sealed the deal, and I purchased a 5-pack in size Large.

I wore the Bamboo Cool briefs for a 45-minute row on my Hydrow and they quickly dried and didn't give me a wedgie or slide down in the process. I washed and rewore another day and liked so much I wrote a positive review here. But then I wore them to a music festival and had to change the review.

These did not hold up to 9 hours outside, walking and sweating and walking some more. They not only stayed soggy, they stretched out and bunched up under my overalls. Machine dried seems to stretch them out, while line drying gets them dry quick while keeping the shape. These aren't bad everyday undies, but not major gamchangers. A three-pack of Bamboo Cool briefs, available in sizes S-XXL, is under $40.

Model wearing a black bralette and the ExOfficio Give-n-Go Brief in black
ExOfficio Give-n-Go 2.0 Full Cut Brief as seen on the brand website

ExOfficio Give-n-Go 2.0 Full Cut Brief

If you read any travel advice for women, you will likely read recommendations for ExOfficio underwear. Lightweight, moisture-wicking, and quick drying, these are a favorite with travelers because they don't harbor odors, and you can wash in your hotel sink and have them dry and ready to go the following morning. I tried ExOfficio long ago, I believe, before I even started Wardrobe Oxygen, but my body has changed since then, and I no longer own them or even remember my thoughts on them.

Since then, ExOfficio has been bought by Newell Brand Co, which owns Marmont, Coleman, and a few other outdoor brands. ExOfficio also changed the fabric and design of their classic Give-n-Go brief, hence this one being called 2.0. Loyal customers state that the new version has different elastic and a ligher-weight, silkier fabric. I ordered a pair in Large (they come in sizes XS-3X which is waist sizes 24″ – 43.5″).

Not knowing the previous version, I find these briefs pretty nice. They are just below my belly button, the crotch is a good width, the seat stays in place, they wick moisture super fast and kept me feeling cool during a 45-minute Peloton bike ride, a warm day clearing out the garden, and a day of hectic errands and activities when it was rainy and muggy and I was overdressed for the temps.

These wash great, too. Washer, dryer, they come out like new. I did try hand washing at night and hanging up; they were dry and ready the next day. They are available on the ExOfficio site, but ExOfficio also has a storefront on Amazon where they are sometimes cheaper. Now the negatives…

If you use disposable pads or panty liners, these briefs won't work. Nothing sticks to this fabric, your pad will slide right off. I know this is a dealbreaker for many, and seems like such a silly design flaw. If your pants or shorts are thinner fabric, you will have a bit of VPL. Also, ExOfficio doesn't stamp their label, they have old-school tags. They can be snipped out, but I also find this to be a silly design flaw. That being said, these were a comfortable, quick-drying, odor-free, non-wedgie-fying pair of undies. These were my second favorite wicking undies.

On the ExOfficio site, these briefs are $24. On Amazon, I scored a pair in navy/Ink for less than $15, but the other colors were $24.

Model wearing a beige bralette and matching Huha Mineral Undies Brief
The Huha Mineral Undies Brief as seen on the brand website

Huha Mineral Undies Brief

Huha advertises its undies as sustainable and healthy. The Huha Brief is 90% TENCEL™ Modal Micro and 10% Spandex, with a lining that is 88% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 10% Lyocell (smartcel™ sensitive), and 2% Spandex that is “protected with smartcel™ sensitive, a functional fiber using pharma-graded zinc oxide. Huha states that it usesTENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, which are derived from sustainably managed forests, and theTENCEL™ Modal x Micro fibers are mainly manufactured from the renewable raw material beech wood, sourced from sustainable forests in Austria and neighboring countries. The smartcel™ sensitive is made from FSC-certified wood.

I liked the idea of a sustainable pair of undies, and was intrigued by the zinc oxide addition. None of the styles looked great for my petite soft curves and apron belly; it was low-rise or small, or else a brief that looked quite high rise on all the models. I ordered a pair of the briefs in size Large.

These are straight-up granny panties. They go up beyond my belly button and have low-cut legs that are almost boyshorts on me. These are also the heaviest and thickest undies in the batch, with a very visible panty line. Due to their weight, they could not keep up with a really sweaty workout, and it took longer than was comfortable to dry.

These are good sleep undies because they keep their position and provide good coverage. And unlike the ExOfficio, a pad will stick to them. But, they could not keep up with a six-hour car ride and then a couple of hours of yard work. No scent, but they didn't wick much. While they laundered well the first time, the second time, they seemed to have to grown and now look like a teal version of a man's pair of well-worn tighty whities.

Huha briefs are $24 each. The sizing is a bit weird; don't go with your clothing size but your waist/hip measurements. Huha offers XXS-3XL, but the size chart says a 3XL is an 18-20 but a 44-47″ waist. But I got a Large, which is supposedly like a 10, but is also a 34-36″ waist and it fits like a 34-36″ waist and I think I could have done Medium.

Model wearing a gray bralette and lavender pair of the Fruit of the Loom Breathable Micro-Mesh Low-Rise Brief Panty
Fruit of the Loom Breathable Micro-Mesh Low-Rise Brief Panty as seen on the brand site

Fruit of the Loom Micro-Mesh Low-Rise Briefs

PrePan, I used to get a style of Fruit of the Loom moisture-wicking undies from Amazon. They were the perfect rise, didn't give wedgies, washed great, and kept me cool and dry during workouts and the hottest days of the summer. And then I ordered another pack and they were NOT the same. Typical Amazon, they had a weird name that didn't match the brand site or any other retailer, I didn't keep the packaging, and I tried several styles to try to find them again. I think these are what replaced them.

The Fruit of the Loom Micro-Mesh Low-Rise Briefs are not as great as that original pair I tried. They are higher rise, they have a cotton gusset, which holds onto moisture, and the leg openings are smaller. I don't think they do much for cutting odor from sweat and being a perimenopausal woman. Don't put them in the dryer; if you do they will need to be trashed in a season.

A six-pack is less than $17 at Target, and these are relatively comfortable if you don't have thick legs. If you are on a budget, these aren't bad; just wash on gentle and line dry to get the most mileage possible. These briefs come in sizes 5-9; the plus size version I found on Amazon in sizes 9-13.

Model in a black bralette and matching Tommy John Air Brief
Tommy John Women's Air Brief as seen on the brand website

Tommy John Women's Air Brief

My husband is a fan of Tommy John underwear so I decided to try the brand. The Air Brief is made from a very lightweight, breathable, and antimicrobial mesh with a cotton gusset. Unlike any other styles I tried in this review, these claim to be panty-line-free. I ordered the Air Brief in a size Large (they are available in XS, which is a 25-26″ waist to XXL, which is a 38-40″ waist).

These are light as air; lighter weight than the seamless microfiber undies many brands carry and far lighter than any other pair reviewed in this post. They really are panty-line free and once on and warmed to your body, feel like you're wearing nothing at all. I wore them with jeans, with loose pants, and they stayed in place. They also washed up nicely even when thrown in the dryer. They seemed good but could they hold up at a music festival?

I wore these for ten hours on a warm, sunny day where I sweated a lot. Not only that, I wore them under lightweight loose parachute pants, so nothing to ensure they'd not roll down or ride up. And you know what? They performed perfectly. Completely invisible under the thin fabric, kept me from having any sweat spots when sitting on a plastic chair in the heat, and they didn't ride up or roll down. I am utterly obsessed, and will be buying more because these will be worn all summer and beyond. The Tommy John Air Brief is $22, or three for $48.

the best moisture wicking underwear for women for summer

Did I miss your favorite moisture-wicking underwear in this review? Do share in the comments. Clearly I have found some winners, but I am still on the hunt for a “holy grail” pair. What you recommend may be my next purchase, or exactly what another member of the Wardrobe Oxygen community has been looking for!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

Did you like what you just read?

Consider tapping here to buy me a coffee in thanks. The best gift you can give a content creator is the gift of sharing. Consider sharing this article on Facebook or Pinterest. Thank you so much for your support!

Similar Posts


  1. My current favorite is the Buck Naked line at Duluth Trading Co. I wear the briefs; on me, they fit like a regular brief, but they do have a tendency to look more like granny panties than some others I’ve tried, especially if you get the sizing off. They come in standard and plus sizing up to 3x, though plus is a separate offering from standard sizing. One caveat is that I’ve found black seems to run smaller for me than beige, close to a full size. I don’t have a lot of experience with the prints as of yet. The one pair I have has a beige/ivory background and fits the same way as my plain beige ones do.

    1. For some reason I don’t love the Buck Naked line that much, but I really like the new Armachillo panties that Duluth Trading has. I wear them in the summer under scrubs for work and they perform really well.

  2. I love the Tommy John Air Briefs. I do notice them rolling down at times, but generally, they’re great!

  3. I needed this review; thanks. I ordered the Tommy Johns with hopes that they’ll keep me cool and dry this summer.

  4. My favorite is Boody, seamless, made from bamboo fiber. Light, comfortable, breathable, long wearing and reasonably priced. I like them even better than silk.
    Thanks for the thoughtful review, always enjoy your reading your comments.

  5. For merino wool, I like the REI house brand. Anything I wear for exercising, I change of as soon as possible.

  6. When I am gardening in the heat I change my underwear every time I come in the house! I am excited to try the Tommy John ones first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *