It’s strange some of the things we get pitched for review… but a kickstarter campaign for Adventure Undies? That was something that caught my eye.
Although the Kickstarter campaign starts today, these black babies are already in limited pre-production.
This review is based on the review pair I was sent from the last production run. I’ve been told there have been some updates to production and I’ll touch on that in the following review.
First thought on unpacking: these look like pretty nice boxers! 100% Australian Merino wool makes for good breathability and quick-drying and they’re silky smooth.
But that doesn’t make them adventure undies… just good travel undies.
The Sugargliders brand is out. They’re now branded as ‘Adventure Underwear’.
What makes them Adventure Underpants?
The cunning placement of two plastic pockets inside:
According to the press release, these plastic pockets are “certified waterproof up to 200ft deep by Scuba Schools International. The patented waterproof pockets are made in the USA from new age polyethylene, so they’re 100% recyclable and even rated food safe by the FDA.” I didn’t have a 200ft deep pool and Berlin is a little far from the sea, but they held out to my bathtub testing without any worry.
The sizes really make sense: one is big enough for a passport and smartphone (fits my iPhone 4 + passport) and the other is designed for cash and cards.
Why do I want waterproof pockets in my undies?
Ever worried about pickpockets? You’ll have to be pretty intimate before anyone slips anything out of these pockets!
Ever got caught in a monsoon and ruined your electronics? No? You’ve never been to Southeast Asia then!
Ever been at the beach and didn’t want to swim because your car keys (with their fancy electronic car alarm) were sitting in the sand for someone to take?
Ever wanted to freak out a store owner when you reach into your pants to pay for something? Me neither.
These are designed for no access or very occasional access. You probably don’t want to be reaching for your crotch every time you buy a beer. But that’s how you’d use any security device: keep things in there you don’t want to leave behind or keep some spare cash in there in case of emergencies.
Are they comfy?
The wool and general feel of the undies are super comfy, but the pockets are not comfortable. There’s a sharp corner on each of the pockets and I found them scratching a little when active or sitting for a long time*. Things were especially noticeable when I really loaded up the pockets: phone, passport, cards… They take up space and that made the undies quite tight along the thigh, although it didn’t restrict movement.
A grain of salt: I’ve been told the style of the pockets have changed for the final run: they now have material completely covering the top of the pocket which gets rid of the sharp-edge issue; and they’re now removable. This will remove my only major issue with them.
The small team has gone through eight iterations of design and product testing to make something that balances security, awesome waterproofness, and comfort. It’s not easy and they’ve done very well. That said, iteration seven still didn’t feel perfect to me.
I was impressed by how ‘natural’ they looked with things in the pocket. Wearing a pair of board shorts, things were virtually invisible. Wearing a tighter pair of trousers, it was less noticeable than having the same objects in your pocket.
Should I buy them?
I wouldn’t use them for everyday wear, but I would take them whenever I’m heading to beach or river, somewhere I’m not planning on swimming but might be convinced to: perfect. I’d consider wearing them in high-pickpocket areas, so that I could keep extra money and ID in there. I’d definitely wear them under a wetsuit if I was swimming, diving or surfing somewhere with lots of unknown people around: not needed on a small dive boat, but much better than leaving your valuables under your towel. And I reckon I could have really used them when we lived in Mui Ne, Vietnam and the town flooded with some regularity.
For everyone? Well, they just come in men’s styles now so that cuts out a lot of people. And guys? If you can imagine yourself in any of the situations above, they’ll be good for you too.Support the Adventure Underwear on Kickstarter