Exposing myself in more ways than one.
(If you prefer not to hear the long-winded back-story of a new, hesitant Travel Blogger, then by all means, jump right down to the review below).
Five months ago I was a fairly introverted guy that liked to do a bit of traveling whenever I had the chance. I mostly kept to myself and usually shied away from any form of public scrutiny, preferring to hang out in the background, watching other people interact and have fun…live their lives.
I’m an observer, not so much a participator.
I used to laugh at my grandmother, as I’d watch her shuffle up to her front door, get up on her tippy toes and peer out through the little diamond-shaped glass window to watch what was happening in the world outside.
Now I understand her.
I love to just sit and watch people. It’s a comfortable feeling. I’ve never felt at ease going to parties or being in large groups since I didn’t have the confidence to jump into conversations with strangers. I’ve lived by a simple motto:
“Hey, don’t look at me!”
It’s not a mean, finger pointing, “I’ll cut you!” kind of “don’t look at me”, but more like a little kid with a blanket over his head thinking, “Ha, nobody can see me. They don’t even know I’m here”.
It’s only when I am with my closest group of friends that I find the confidence to come out of my shell.
But then one day last fall I was wandering around the Internet and I came across a travel Blog. It intrigued me. It entertained me. And it made me think, “I want to do that!”
“Huh?” my internal voice said. “Where did that come from?”
My head was confused. Hold on here, you are the quiet guy. You don’t do things like that…remember? Those people talk about themselves and about things they’ve done. Some of them even…ech…post videos of themselves on You Tube.
How are you going to do that? You can’t do that? Where is that damn blanket???
I chose to ignore the voice and move ahead. I read a bit, picked a simple name, found a provider and began to design my blog. The one piece of advice that I read again and again is to just be you.
Geeky, naïve, introverted me? OK.
I’m going to take that blanket off and pack it in the bottom of my suitcase. And if I’m going to begin to expose myself for the world to see, let’s jump right in and start with something very intimate.
So with that (and with this really long introduction) I am presenting my first official I’m Heading Out review:
I Love My Underpants!
I Really Do
REI Boxer Briefs – Men’s
The REI Boxer Briefs are an excellent first layer for aerobic activities, and they also offer excellent comfort during regular wear.
I was at my local REI and had been looking for things that I could pick up for my upcoming trip to Peru in August. It was the beginning of another hot summer in Chicago yet I was looking for a few warmer items since the altitude and hemisphere change would mean a serious drop in temperature. I was really shopping for a jacket or a hoodie, but then I came across these briefs.
I needed new underwear.
I seriously needed new underwear.
My current cotton briefs were beginning to show signs of stress. I noticed the last time I did laundry that the elastic bands were beginning to separate and I didn’t want to be the guy that takes off his sweats at the gym to reveal a tattered pair of Calvins; it would be tragic.
No, I swear, tragic!
You have to understand, I live in an area of Chicago called Andersonville, which has become over the last few years a really popular neighborhood for the LGBT community. I go to the local gym…Cheetah…Yes; it’s really called that. Rarrr!
It’s a small, local chain, but I think my location would actually be better off being called Peacock.
Head into the men’s locker room on any evening after work and it’s a carnival of preening studs strutting around in brightly colored orange, turquoise, acid yellow, fuchsia, and cerulean blue underpants. In more ways than one, it is a rainbow of men.
My shabby Calvins were not going to last much longer so I picked up a couple of pairs of the REI Boxer Briefs, hoping that they would live up to their hype. They even came in an almost flashy blue color, which would mean that I could marginally fit in with the other birds at the gym too!
Soft fabric blend of nylon and spandex breathes well, moves moisture away from skin and dries quickly.
They do breathe well. I’ve tried other brands with various combinations of cotton/nylon/spandex but have never found them comfortable. After a bit of activity I always felt like I had been walking around wearing a plastic garbage bag, or worse yet, a terrarium. Hot and sweaty with no breathe-ability, I half expected a small fern or snail to fall out when I peeled them off at night. The REI briefs were just the opposite. There is something about the weave that really does make them seem to breathe. I feel powder fresh after wearing them!
Excellent dry time makes the REI Boxers Briefs great for travel.
In Peru I did launder them in the sink of the hotel at night and in the morning they were ready to roll again.
Fabric provides UPF 50+ sun protection, shielding skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Okay, I GUESS this is a bonus feature, but I’m not one for walking around in the noonday sun in my skivvies. This feature seems to be better suited to their t-shirt counterparts, but I haven’t tried those yet. I’ll have to take them at their word about the UPF rating.
Brushed waistband with high elasticity ensures a comfortable fit outing after outing.
By far this is one of the best features. I’ve had other brands that claimed to have comfortable waistbands, but they never do. They’re always cutting into my delicate flesh, or losing their elasticity after a while, and nobody likes saggy briefs. I’ve had these for close to a year, machine washed them countless times, and they still fit perfectly.
I did rip off the little white tag on the inside of the band because those normally get kind of scratchy. At least I thought I had. I noticed the other day that I had missed one, so hats off to REI for even having comfortable tags. And Inspector 37, I thank you for your quality control, job well done.
Flatseam construction is soft and non-chafing next to skin.
This is one of the reasons I like them so much more than other “Travel” brands that I have tried. These feel like they are painted on and the seams are located in areas that don’t seem to rub annoyingly at bum. With others I was constantly squirming because a seam shifted or the nylon stitching cut into my hips. Not with these.
Well stated. I guess it would be sad if it wasn’t functional and just there for show. What would the point be?
The one warning I do have is that these underpants run a bit large. Luckily REI has the sense to have a pair of each style and size hanging on display. No need to rip open the packaging and pull them out of the box to see what they look and feel like. I’ve done that plenty of times in the past, and can never get them folded back into the box the right way. Hanging there, it was easy to see that my normal mediums would be too large, so I picked up the smalls, and I’m glad I did. They were perfect.
I am extremely happy with my REI Boxer Briefs. I wear them all of the time now, not just when traveling.
I have finally found the perfect underpants!
This is a non-paid endorsement. I have no affiliation with REI.
All images of underpants were taken from the REI website. (Except for the ones in the sink).
•Have you ever worn REI Boxer Briefs? What about the other styles? I haven’t tried those yet and I am curious if they are just as comfortable.
•Are you an underwear inspector? What’s that job like? I bet it’s hard work; lots of repetitious snapping. Call me.
•Do you want to read another Travel Blogger that has an amusing reference to her underpants? Check out unbravegirl, she’s always very entertaining.
•Hey, are you a Peacock too? Maybe you’ll want to try these UPF 50+ sun protection REI Boxer Briefs the next time you find yourself gyrating on a float in a Pride Parade. It’s coming up you know, and these babies won’t chafe. I’m just saying.