Underwear Under Boardshorts? Yes You Can! (Shopping Guide)

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Author’s Note: Mack Weldon gave me a free pair of their Stealth Boxer Briefs to review, but I was not compensated in any other way (other than affiliate marketing). My opinions are my own.

My Top Choice

Mack Weldon Stealth Boxer Briefs

✅︎ Designed for the water and is “seawater and chlorine-safe”
✅︎ Nylon/Polyester/Spandex blend – no soggy, wet cotton undies!
✅︎ Available in both 6″ and 8″ boxer briefs for greater leg skin protection
❌ No Fly
💵 Ranges $38-42/pair
➡️ Read my full review here

Buy Now on MackWeldon.com

My 2nd Choice

Saxx DropTemp Cooling Hydro Boxer Briefs

✅︎ Designed for the water and is quick-drying
✅︎ 87% Polyester/13% Spandex blend
✅︎ 5″ inseam boxer briefs
❌ No Fly
💵 $36/pair
⬇️ Read my review below
Buy Now on Saxx.com

Table of Contents

The quintessential underwear question is boxers or briefs? Yet, there are so many better questions to ask about a guy’s underwear to hone in on the ideal pair for a given situation. One of these questions is whether you should wear underwear under boardshorts? It is clearly on many guys’ minds; Google says thousands of guys search Google on this topic per month. My answer is yes – you should wear underwear under boardshorts.

My logic for this is straightforward: boardshorts are just like any other pair of shorts you wear, so if you wear underwear under your regular shorts, why wouldn’t you wear underwear under boardshorts? When wearing boardshorts, you are active either at the beach or in the water. Being active is even more of a reason to wear underwear under boardshorts to support your balls. 

The most practical objection is that while boardshorts perform well when wet, regular underwear does not. Wet cotton underwear is uncomfortable, hard to dry quickly, and potentially damaging to the underwear material (chlorine destroys many fibers). Another objection is that some guys believe underwear and boardshorts do not mix for aesthetic reasons. Thus, showing your underwear waistband is a fashion faux pas akin to wearing socks with sandals. 

I believe both of these objections are old-school ways of thinking. Today, men’s underwear has come so far that we can now buy underwear specifically designed for wear under boardshorts. Underwear that is made to get wet, dry quickly, keep you comfortable, and look good? Yes, this is not a fantasy – you can buy this today.

Underwear under boardshorts – hot or not?

Below are several underwear pairs explicitly made for getting wet and worn under board shorts or swim trunks if you cut out the mesh liner. There are a couple of brands, such as Saxx, that make their own swim trunks with boxer briefs built-in. These are perfect for swimming because the swim trunks and boxer briefs are made for the water, are more comfortable than the usual mesh brief liners found in regular swim trunks, and contain Saxx’s Ballpark Pouch for additional comfort for your balls. However, before we get to the underwear, I want to point out some key features to look for when purchasing underwear for boardshorts.

Never Wear Soggy Underwear Under Boardshorts

As mentioned above, please don’t wear regular cotton underwear under boardshorts or any swim trunks. You need underwear designed to be wet. Here are a couple of essential criteria to take note of:

  • Description: Ideally, the manufacturer will note that they designed the underwear for water. More specifically, it would be best if the description indicated that it was both saltwater and chlorine-safe so that you can wear it at the pool and the beach. Do not take chances if the description is ambiguous.

No cotton underwear when in the water!

  • Material: Continuing from the description, underwear in this category will be made from synthetic materials. Cotton – in any amount – is not acceptable as cotton retains water and leads to sogginess. Most pairs contain a blend of +/- 80-85% polyester/nylon and 15-20% elastane or spandex. If you have read my Ultimate Guides, you’ll quickly note that more elastane or spandex lends to greater stretchiness and comfort.
  • Inseam length/style: Below, you’ll find I chose pairs including briefs, trunks, and boxer briefs so all guys can find pairs matching the underwear style they wear regularly. However, take a moment to consider what activities you’ll be performing while wearing boardshorts. If you’ll be mainly at the beach and on land – lounging, sunbathing, or playing frisbee or volleyball – you may want to choose briefs or trunks for improved air circulation and temperature control, assuming your thighs don’t get irritated. On the other hand, if you will be surfing or in colder ocean waters (California, for example), you may want to choose boxer briefs or even 8” long boxer briefs. This will provide some warmth in cooler water and help protect against chafing on your legs.

Comparison of men's underwear inseam lengths
Graphical comparison of 3″ trunks, 6″ boxer briefs, and 8″ long-leg boxer briefs. Note the increased leg coverage found in long-leg boxer briefs, which can be important when surfing to help prevent leg rashes.
  • Boardshorts color: If you are wearing lighter color boardshorts, stick to lighter color underwear. Otherwise, if you wear dark underwear with light boardshorts, your underwear may show through, especially after you come out of the water and everything is wet.
  • Branded waistband: If your boardshorts hang a little low on your waist, most likely the waistband of your underwear will show. This is as much of a fashion choice as choosing the color and pattern of your boardshorts. If you are more conservative with your fashion choices, choose underwear that has a plain, non-branded waistband. That way you aren’t an advertisement for your underwear and instead, your underwear will blend in well with your boardshorts. On the other hand, if you want to show off your underwear, go for those big, bold waistbands.

With that said, let’s get to six pairs below that you’ll want to consider purchasing to wear under boardshorts. Also, make sure to check out my other blog post regarding shorts with built-in underwear, including my review of Saxx’s Oh Buoy swim shorts. Like the options below, men’s boardshorts and swim shorts with built-in boxer brief liners aren’t the mesh liners of yesterday; they contain high-quality boxer briefs for ultimate comfort.

Mack Weldon Stealth Boxer Briefs

Mack Weldon is a premium underwear brand for men, yet unlike other premium underwear brands, I feel that Mack Weldon does a great job of streamlining its underwear offering. In other words, Mack Weldon focuses on pure quality over quantity (read my full Mack Weldon guide here). In this context, I am somewhat surprised that Mack Weldon developed a boxer brief specifically for getting wet, as it is a niche product. On the other hand, I am not surprised as Mack Weldon has been forward-thinking, and they know what men are looking for in underwear.

I own two pairs of Stealth boxer briefs, and you can read my full review here. I thought they were quite comfortable when wet and also comfortable while damp afterward, so I recommend them when getting in the water. In fact, you could also wear them as “swim jammers” because they look great. Just remember, though, that Mack Weldon prints the tag on the back right leg, so if someone recognizes the tag, they’ll know you are wearing underwear. 😂

Interior view of Stealth’s Flyless MotionCTRL Pouch.
The waistband blends in with the rest of the Stealth boxer brief.

  • Description: Mack Weldon states that these boxer briefs are “seawater and chlorine-safe,” so perfect underwear for swimming.

  • Inseam: Boxer briefs with 6” and 8” inseams. The eight-inch model’s extra two inches could help surfers prevent rash or chafe with the surfboard. Be careful, though, that if you purchase the 8” model, your boardshorts are at least 10” long to prevent these boxer briefs from showing out of the bottom of your boardshorts.

  • Price: $38 for the 6″ version and $42 for the 8″ version. With all of the features these boxer briefs offer, I dare say the price tag is justified. Mack Weldon’s prices are in line with a premium product from a premium brand. Note: If you are in the US military, a First Responder, a teacher, a student, or nurse/doctor/medical staff, you may be eligible for 15% off your first purchase! NEW: Mack Weldon now offers a subscription program for 10% off with each shipment. NEW #2: Mack Weldon now has a Pack Builder, offering 6-13% discounts when buying three, six, or nine pairs at one time.

  • Colors and patterns: Mack Weldon offers multiple colors, with each color displaying the same “Stealth” pattern (the design is neat looking).

My YouTube review of Stealth Boxer Briefs
  • Material and fabric: 37% Q-NOVA Recycled Nylon, 25% Q-NOVA Nylon, 28% Polyester, and 10% Spandex. Quite the mouthful! As I mentioned earlier, Mack Weldone can justify the price tag with what these boxer briefs offer, and the material is a good example. I appreciate the 37% recycled nylon content, although 10% Spandex is on the lower end of what I would expect in this category.
  • Fly: No fly as expected.
  • Ball pouch: Yes, standard single non-separated pouch. On the Stealth series, Mack Weldon calls it the Flyless MotionCTRL Pouch.
  • Branded waistband: No. None of Mack Weldon’s lineup features branded waistbands, so if you are conscious of not advertising your underwear brand to others, Mack Weldon is the brand to purchase.
  • Multipacks: Yes! Mack Weldon offers discounts on three, six, and nine packs of men’s underwear. However, you’ll only find it by going to the Pack Builder page.
  • Design Country: United States

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Saxx – Hydro boxer briefs

Saxx is a Canadian underwear company best known for its BallPark Pouch, a wholly separate area for your balls and penis. Featuring both solid colors and whimsical designs, Saxx is popular nowadays, plus Saxx has an amazing Instagram account. Yet one design missing from Saxx’s lineup was water-safe underwear. Fortunately, Saxx filled this gap last year and introduced its DropTemp Cooling Hydro lineup.

You can purchase Hydro boxer briefs on their own – to wear with your own boardshorts – or you can get Saxx’s own swim trunks with the Hydro boxer briefs built-in, as I did. I felt that Saxx’s swim shorts with the built-in Hydro liner were very comfortable, and I loved wearing Saxx’s Ballpark Pouch in the pool.

Saxx Oh Buoy Swim Shorts boxer briefs visual
My Saxx Oh Buoy Swim Shorts with the DropTemp Cooling Hydro boxer briefs built-in.
  • Description: Saxx notes its Hydro boxer briefscan be worn under unlined board or swim shorts.” This is key – you should wear boxer briefs with unlined boardshorts, not swimming trunks that already have a built-in liner.
  • Inseam: Saxx’s boxer briefs feature a 5″ inseam, quite standard for boxer briefs. No briefs or trunks yet.

  • Colors and Patterns: Saxx only produces plain black DropTemp Cooling Hydro boxer briefs, although Saxx just added a new lobster pattern as of April 2023. If you get Saxx shorts, the built-in Hydro boxer brief liner is gray.
  • Price: $36 as of January 2023. Although hefty compared to the general universe of men’s underwear, the price tag is in line with other premium brands such as Mack Weldon (above) and Bn3th (below).
  • Material and Fabric: 87% polyester, 13% elastane. The elastane content is good and in line with Bn3th below.
  • Fly: No fly, as none of the underwear brands in this category feature flys.
  • Ball Pouch: Yes, Saxx features their single separated pouch branded the BallPark Pouch. I wrote a full review of Saxx’s pouch here.

Saxx Oh Buoy Swim Shorts Ballpark Pouch
Saxx’s I-shaped Ballpark Pouch is found in all of its boxer briefs and shown here in Saxx’s Oh Buoy swim shorts.
  • Branded waistband: Simple faded logo in the front, although I almost wish the lettering was white, so it stood out a bit more!
  • Multipacks: Saxx doesn’t explicitly offer multipacks of its Hydro boxer briefs currently. However, you can get 15% off a purchase of seven pairs – or 20% off 15 pairs – by going through Saxx’s Top Drawer Refresh promotion.
  • Design Country: Canada

Bn3th – Entourage series

Bn3th is heavily focused on making underwear for active guys. Thus, no surprise that Bn3th created underwear specifically to wear under boardshorts: its Entourage series. What I especially love about Bn3th is their company mission also includes being environmentally friendly! Entourage boxer briefs are not only wonderful for wearing under boardshorts – on land or while riding waves – Bn3th manufactures these boxer briefs from recycled plastic bottles.

With features like the MyPackage ball pouch and bold patterns, you may also want to purchase additional Bn3th underwear for wearing at home. Although I don’t own a pair of the Entourage boxer briefs, I own Bn3th’s regular modal boxer briefs, and I love the feel and their U-shaped pouch is cool. My husband loves them too! But don’t wear modal underwear at the beach or in the pool – stick to the Entourage boxer briefs for your water-based activities!

Here is a photo of my Bn3th modal boxer briefs with the U-shaped pouch. Read my full Bn3th review here.
  • Inseam: Bn3th only offers boxer briefs in its Entourage series, with a 6.5” inseam. Bn3th heavily promotes wearing these boxer briefs under boardshorts, so it makes sense to focus on boxer briefs. The longer inseam compared to trunks will help protect you against rashes and chafing from your boardshorts. NEW: Bn3th now sells 5″ and 7″ inseam swim shorts with Bn3th’s pouch underwear built-in!
  • Price: $38, which is definitely in the high-end underwear category. But by joining Bn3th’s rewards program, The Comfort Club, you can sometimes score deals throughout the year.
  • Colors and patterns: Bn3th’s Entourage line-up has mostly image patterns for the design, although you can also get a heathered dark blue or black pair. Nonetheless, if you want bold images to wear under your boardshorts, Bn3th has you covered.

  • Material and fabric: 86% recycled polyester, 14% Spandex. The Spandex level is on the higher end, which means these boxer briefs should be pretty comfortable. And 86% recycled polyester is super cool, especially those of you who love the environment.
  • Fly: No functional fly, although not a surprise considering that Bn3th is a premium underwear brand.
  • Ball pouch: Bn3th advertises its MyPackage pouch and its “3D lift and support.” I thought the V-shaped pouch was very comfortable while wearing Bn3th’s regular modal underwear. I believe pouches are a must-have, so make sure to read my Cheat Sheet on Pouch Underwear to learn how to find your best pouch.

Looking at the three most common men’s underwear pouch shapes.

  • Branded waistband: Yes. There are bold letters on the rear of the waistband with Bn3th’s logo. This waistband is also slightly larger at 1.75″ compared to the 1.5″ standard men’s underwear waistband.
  • Multipacks: None.
  • Design Country: Canada

Shop now for an ultra-soft, breathable & lightweight underwear at BN3TH!

Turq Sport Underwear

Turq Sport is a new entry in the men’s underwear space (I love featuring underwear startups!). Turq focuses specifically on men’s underwear for active situations, including water activities. Because of this hyper focus, Turq’s underwear selection is focused on quick-drying materials and preventing chafing. So no briefs, but also no cotton!

  • Description: Turq never specifically says how its underwear performs in salt or chlorine water. Nonetheless, several of the reviews on their website mention how good they are under boardshorts and in wet situations. You’ll also note a lot of Turq’s marketing images show guys at the beach or in kayaks. Let me know in the comments if you have any Turqs and how they hold up!
  • Inseam: Turq only offers two one style: 3″ trunks – spelled as Trunx and 5″ boxer briefs. While I am not surprised that Turq doesn’t offer briefs, I am surprised that Turq doesn’t sell long-leg boxer briefs (7-9″ inseam category). Guys suffering from boardshorts chafing further down the leg may especially appreciate longer-leg boxer briefs found in Mack Weldon’s Stealth collection.
  • Price: $30-$40 range. Turq is a premium underwear brand, and the price is in line with offers from Bn3th and Mack Weldon, so Turq is reasonable in pricing. Remember that polyester underwear with high spandex content will be more expensive than modal and bamboo underwear (and way more expensive than cotton!). Turq also offers 20% off when subscribing to their monthly underwear shipments.
  • Colors and patterns: Turq offers a variety of colors in the same feathered pattern. I like the pattern and love their colors – mainly in the blue/black/green color palette. As mentioned earlier, Turq has a highly focused selection, making buying easy.

Buy Now: I love Turq’s variety of patterns and colors!

  • Material and fabric: I wish Turq clearly stated the fabric content of their underwear. I attempted to ask, however, I didn’t get an answer.
  • Fly: No-fly.
  • Ball pouch: Yes, however, pay attention to what you are ordering. Freestyle Fit offers a standard non-separated ball pouch, like almost all men’s underwear today. If you want a truly separated ball pouch, then make sure to purchase the Paradise Pouch collection. Note, though that Turq’s pouch is U-shaped, compared to Saxx’s I-shaped pouch and Bn3th’s V-shaped pouch. I find I-shaped and V-shaped pouches much more comfortable than U-shaped pouches. You can learn more on my Guide to Underwear Pouches.
  • Branded waistband: Yes, but let me say I find Turq’s waistbands to have some of the coolest designs in men’s underwear without being overwhelming at all. Turq even offers waistbands with turtles and others with cool artwork.
  • Multipacks: Yes, Turq offers two and three-packs.
  • Design Country: United States

Man wearing Turq Sport boxer briefs.

Buy Now: You can also wear Turq boxer briefs at work too!

Speedo Swimsuits

I’m not a swimmer, but even I know that Speedo is an eponym, meaning that Speedo is interchangeable with the product it sells, essentially swimming briefs. So why include swimsuits in a list of underwear? Because why not wear them under your boardshorts?

Fitted swimsuits – in the style of briefs, trunks, or boxer briefs – can ideally double as underwear for swimming or surfing. Think about this: the only difference between wearing a swimsuit on its own or wearing it as underwear is that as underwear, your boardshorts are covering it. If you look at it this way, the universe of potential underwear for boardshorts dramatically expands. As an added benefit, you can wear swimsuits on their own if the mood strikes you, so you are also doubling your swimming and beach wardrobe. Finally, if you prefer briefs or trunks, Saxx, Mack Weldon, and Turq only sell boxer briefs for boardshorts, so choosing a swimsuit instead provides you with options that suit your style.

Note whether the swimsuit you choose has the waist drawstring on the interior (against your skin), not on the exterior (where everyone can see). I want to emphasize the drawstring location because if your swimsuit appears above your boardshorts, having two drawstrings will look weird. I own a pair of underwear with the drawstring on the exterior and it feels like a jumbled mess with my shorts. Yet, if it is in the interior, you might feel less comfortable with the drawstring rubbing against your skin, which defeats the purpose of buying comfortable underwear. Ideally, there would be no drawstring at all, just a simple elastic waistband.

Therefore, let’s add the original Speedo to this list of boardshorts underwear!

  • Description: Speedo notes that they are “chlorine-resistant” and suitable for the beach.
  • Inseam: Wide variety! Speedo’s lineup includes hip and regular briefs, square-cut trunks, and long-length boxer briefs (called “jammers” in swimming circles).
  • Price: varies greatly, from around $20 to $50+. Much like Mack Weldon, premium models will demand premium pricing, and Speedo is no different.
  • Colors and patterns: With a plentiful array of colors, patterns, and prints, you can comfortably wear Speedo’s pairs without boardshorts. If you are getting a few pairs, you’ll love the variety.

Last update on 2024-04-04 at 07:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-04-04 at 07:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Material and fabric: Generally around +/- 80% nylon/20% Spandex/elastane, although note that some of Speedo’s briefs have 0% Spandex/elastane – please avoid these models. Speedo also offers recycled and eco-friendly nylon blends as well for the environmentally conscious.
  • Fly: No-fly.
  • Ball pouch: Not really. Some models advertise a “front gusset,” which means there is an extra seam to reduce stress at tight seams. The gusset may provide some flexibility around your penis, but I do not consider it a ball pouch. If you are used to having a pouch, this may feel tighter around your penis and balls.
  • Branded waistband: Usually not. There are logos on some pairs around the legs, visible if wearing a Speedo alone, and possibly if wearing wet, thin boardshorts in a lighter color. Otherwise, the logo most likely won’t be visible peeking out of your boardshorts waistband.
  • Multipacks: No.
  • Design Country: United States

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I believe that you should wear underwear with boardshorts if you wear underwear under regular shorts. Furthermore, if you go to the beach, you will probably be active somehow (swimming, surfing, volleyball, frisbee, etc.). You will want support for your balls and underwear to capture sweat. 

Underwear under boardshorts gets a bad rap due to outdated public opinion caused by guys not choosing the right underwear for boardshorts. You will need to purchase underwear made for both saltwater and chlorinated water (for swimming pools). Underwear in this class will also be quick-drying underwear, so you aren’t bogged down by soggy underwear when you are out of the water.

With Saxx, Bn3th, and Mack Weldon now offering underwear designed explicitly for boardshorts, there is no reason not to purchase underwear for beach days. If you further consider wearing actual swimsuits under your boardshorts – and with guys shifting towards briefs and trunks as their regular underwear, this is more tolerable today – then the options are almost endless.

To summarize your options, this is what I would choose:

Everything in this post is perfect for both beach boardshorts and great underwear for swimming. Let me know in the comments below what are your favorite pairs of underwear to wear at the beach or the pool!

BONUS: American Eagle Swundies

DISCONTINUED (December 2021) They are back July 2022 (Discontinued again March 2023!): I am leaving this up purely for the historical record and also so when AE decides to sell them again, I don’t have to rewrite this paragraph. One day someone will be researching the history of American Eagle, come across this article, and I’ll get a citation in someone’s paper! Or if you are an underwear aficionado like I am, try using this fun fact in your next conversation.

Here were the details:

American Eagle has quite an extensive underwear collection for men; thus, it is no surprise that American Eagle developed underwear for boardshorts. Called Swundies – swim undies – they are specifically “swim-safe underwear perfect to wear under board shorts,” according to the product description. How do they stack up against my Ultimate Guide criteria?

  • Description: American Eagle notes that these boxer briefs contain “chlorine and saltwater safe fabric.”
  • Inseam: Boxer briefs with only 4.5″ inseam, although I wouldn’t be surprised if American Eagle develops a trunk style soon. That is, if American Eagle keeps producing Swundies.
  • Price: Around $25, which is quite a bit higher than American Eagle’s regular boxer brief lineup. Swundies are a premium product, so a premium price tag is not unwarranted. However, with sales and coupons, $10-$15/pair is not unreasonable.
  • Colors and patterns: As of April 2021, American Eagle offers two solid colors and four tropical-themed patterns. If sales pick up, I expect American Eagle to expand this selection.
  • Material and fabric: 80-82% Nylon, 18-20% Elastane. The elastane percentage is at the higher end of underwear models, so I expect these boxer briefs to be quite stretchy and comfortable. With a nylon base, expect the feel to be similar to microfiber underwear you may already own.
  • Fly: No-fly, which is typical of American Eagle’s higher-end boxer briefs.
  • Ball pouch: Yes! As readers of my guides know, I consider a penis pouch a must-have.
  • Branded waistband: Yes. American Eagle tends to design waistbands well, so I wouldn’t mind showing this off at the beach.
  • Multipacks: No. Unless you go to the beach every day, you probably won’t need more than a couple of pairs. 
  • Design Country: United States

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Eric at MensUnderwearGuide.com

Eric is the creator and writer of MensUnderwearGuide.com. He loves boxer briefs and trunks, exploring the new world of briefs, the soft feeling of modal and the lightness of mesh microfiber, and of course writing and researching the world of men's underwear.

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