Saturday, 26 May 2012

Travel Essentials: Ex-Officio vs Uniqlo

I travel for business regularly. As I mentioned in my earlier postings, it is important to keep things light for one's travels. My objective is to keep things simple. 

For underwear, I would rather avoid any washing because it might not dry in time, leaving a soggy underwear. I cannot send for laundry because the company will not pay. So I used disposable undies. I started out the with the paper undies and then moved to the cotton disposable undies. It was easy and light. After used, disposed. But at the end of the day, I just feel that the disposables is not giving me the right 'support'. I would be out and about the whole day for appointments and meetings. And I will only be back in the hotel room after dinner, which is around 8pm or 9pm. By that time, the disposable undies will be really fit for the bin. The cotton disposables absorb moisture but retains it, making it very damp and sticky. That is not the feeling I want at the end of a long day.

I have heard of technical underwear from my hiking friend for quite sometime and he swears by it. Just wash by night and dried by the next morning. I googled it and this Ex-Officio Give-N-Go brief underwear keeps coming up

I bought 2 pairs from Amazon and shipped it to my vpost US address. The Charcoal grey costs USD13.97 and Black costs USD16.99 with free local shipping. Definitely cheaper than the Ex-Officio website.

 It arrived the other day in the office.



I do not know why the ICA sticker is there. Is it a matter of national security what undies I buy?

Opening the box.

That is their tag-line, 17 countries, 6 weeks and one pair of undies. Wow!

 What it says at the bottom:
'Engineered with ExOfficio Give-N-Go fabric, this underwear is incredibly quick-drying and treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to control odor causing bacteria.

Save valuable space by packing one or two pair. Wash one at night while you wear the other for unmatchable support, comfort and convenience. Pack less. Do more.'

The icons, from left to right:
Quick Drying; Wicking; Odor Resistant; Lightweight; Breathable.


 Behind the pack. According to the instructions:
'Washes in a sink, dries in mere hours.
After washing this underwear with soap, simply wring it out, lay it flat on a dry towel, roll it up like a burrito and stomp on it. Hand dry in a well ventilated location. It should be dry in about 2-4 hours depending on humidity.'
It says soap and not washing detergent. That is good. Soap is mostly available in hotel rooms but not detergent.


It is quite light.The material feels nice and cooling.

I came across another technical underwear, this time in Uniqlo. Its called the Smooth Dry. According to the tag-line 'Innerwear with a smoothness that almost makes you forget you're wearing it.' Very cryptic. It was on sale for SGD6.90.

On the back, what caught my eye was 'DRY: Perspiration is quickly wicked away to prevent a sticky feel.' That is important. It must be dry fast after washing and also perspiration.

Despite the looks, this is taken fresh out of the packaging.

Verdict: I just got back from a short trip to Jakarta and I used both undies. Both are comfortable. The Uniqlo gave a very cool and smooth feeling. It has a modern stylistic profile i.e. low-rise trunks. The Ex-Officio is what I would call 'granny undies' style. It can be quite unflattering to wear it if you pulled it up.

I followed the instructions of washing and drying it. Both dried overnight. Both kept me dry the whole day. Both are comfortable. Its difficult to choose when both are quite good. I would continue to use both for my trips. But maybe, I would also use the Uniqlo for everyday as well. My CKs would have competition it seems.

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