Owner Review - Ex-Offico Give-N-Go Briefs - Roger Caffin
- Owner Review - Ex-Offico Give-N-Go Briefs - Roger Caffin
All Hail to the Editors
Herewith a new OR for entertainment. The HTML is at
<ExOfficio1.jpg> (This contains the heading and author)
Reviewer: Roger Caffin
Weight: 60 kg (133 lb)
Height: 166 cm (65")
Clothing Size: Medium
Email address: r dot [surname] at acm dot org
Home: Sydney, Australia
I started bushwalking (the Australian term) at 14, then took up rock
climbing at University with the girl who became my wife and is my
walking partner. Later on we took up ski touring and canyoning. Winter
and summer, we prefer long hard trips by ourselves: about a week in
Australia, up to three months in Europe/UK. We prefer fast and light
in unfrequented trackless country. We would be out for at least three
months a year. Over the last four years we have reduced our pack
weights from 18 - 20 kg (40 - 45 lb) each to about 12 kg (26 lb),
including food, for week-long trips. I designed and made much of our
lightweight gear myself.
I am also the maintainer of the Australian aus.bushwalking FAQ web
Product Name: Give-N-Go Brief (top pic) and SportBrief (this pic)
Year of manufacture: 2007
Country of manufacture: unknown
Materials: Body Fabric: 94% Nylon/6% Spandex
Waist band: elastic webbing 32 mm (1.25") wide
Measured weight: Medium: ~60 g (2.1 oz)
Style: See Photo
Colours available Black, Charcoal, White, (Green, Blue)
ExOfficio Sport Brief, but I am not the model.
(Picture courtesy ExOfficio>
I have slightly paraphrased the claims listed on the company web site:
Travel-friendly Give-N-Go Stretch 94% Nylon/6% Spandex knitted fabric
Air-dries within hours
Extremely breathable, moisture-wicking, odor resistant finish
Terry elastic back and 'functional' fly
Sizes: S - XXL
Semantic confusion: in Australia we call them 'briefs' with an 's',
but ExOfficio calls them 'brief' without the 's'. I see the logic of
omitting the 's', but I find it hard to do so.
Just how should I describe these? The safest thing might be if I just
say that they are lightweight briefs for a male. The pictures do the rest.
In fact, the Give-N-Go Brief comes in two styles and I have included
both here because there is little difference between them. The 'Brief'
has a slightly higher side of about 100 mm (4") while the side on the
Sport Brief is 75 mm (3") high. As far as I can see that is the only
real difference, except that while both styles are available in Black,
Charcoal and White, only the Brief is available in Green and Blue.
They come in a little soft plastic pack with a hanger and a
2-press-stud closure. ExOfficio suggest reusing the plastic bag to
hold something like a passport - it might be suitable at that. The
heading on the included card says "17 countries. 6 weeks. And one pair
of underwear" but does not give the product name. Down the bottom
there is a sort of logo which says "Protected by the aegis microbe
shield", but I could not find any more information about this. (The
link on the ExOfficio website did not work.) There are some
instructions about washing etc on the bottom of the card.
Normally I wear Australian-brand briefs made of cotton knit; these
ExOfficio ones are synthetic. I had resisted buying any purely
synthetic underwear because of concern about the fabric being sweaty,
and I had mentioned this concern (in the abstract) in the FAQ I
maintain. However, the Australian representative of ExOfficio gave me
a pair of each style to try out, hoping to persuade me that their
models were not sweaty.
Well, I have worn them now for several months, interleaved with
wearing my Australian cotton ones. That includes several weeks in the
mountains walking. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to find
that they were not sweaty at all. In fact, the fabric is quite light
and breathable, and possible a fraction less warm than the poly-cotton.
I initially favoured the slightly lower-cut Sport Brief style (second
photo), but I eventually switched to favouring the larger Brief style
(lead photo): it seemed just slightly looser all around. Yes, that is
for the same nominal size of Medium. I think the higher side on the
Brief compared to the Sport Brief gives the fabric slightly more room
to stretch as required. I hasten to add that the difference is small -
I noticed it because I was looking carefully for any difference.
However, it is something else which has pleased me most about the
design of these ExOfficio briefs: the waist band. My Australian-brand
underwear has two different sorts of elastic. One version comes in a
tube some 15 to 20 mm (0.6 - 0.8") high and made of the basic fabric,
as shown in the left hand panel here. There are two Australian brand
pairs on top of one of the ExOfficio Briefs. The other sort consists
of a sewn-on band, as shown in the right hand panel. The latter is
similar in style to the ExOfficio brand. The fabric tube version is
fine but very slightly bulky when I have a pack on and the hip belt
done up. Nothing particularly noticeable, mind you. But clearly
visible in the right hand panel is the tendency the Australian elastic
band versions have to roll up, and I find that quite annoying.
Somewhat to my surprise, the elastic waist bands on these ExOfficio
briefs do not show the slightest sign of rolling up. They stay very
nicely flat - and comfortable.
The washing instructions are as follows:
'After washing them, simply wring them out, lay them flat on a dry
towel, roll it up like a burrito and stomp on it. Then hang the
underwear in a well-ventilated location. Unless you are in an area of
high humidity or cold temperatures, they should be dry in about 2-4
hours.' (Does one normally stomp on a burrito? I wouldn't know.)
The implications of the short drying time are interesting, especially
for use on very long trips. On our really long overseas walks my wife
and I are walking for months on end, and we normally wash our
underwear every couple of days. We dry it by hanging it on our packs,
as shown here in the Pyrenees. In the past my cotton stuff usually
took a full sunny day to dry. My experience so far (at home) is that
these ExOfficio briefs do dry in a couple of hours, as promised. This
is good, and might let me wash them more often.
These briefs have been worn and washed and worn and washed, and show
little or no sign of wear in the several months I have been trying
them out. I am extrapolating here on very limited evidence, but I
suspect the synthetic fabric may last longer than the cotton knit in
the Australian-brand ones.
This is the only real sticking point. The MSRP for one ExOfficio brief
is US$18. The price of a department store pack of three of the
Australian-brand ones (made in China of course) is less than that.
Mind you, if the ExOfficio ones last as long as I believe they will,
the price will not be a major factor in my 'cost of living'.
Not bad. I might buy some more.
Not sweaty Not cheap
Flat waist band
You have inspired me to write an OR on underwear. But dude, I am
seriously going to model my own.
In some ways, you have allowed my mind to go to bad places, I hope you all enjoy
- Roger, Roger, Roger,
For an OR you cannot use a manufacturer's photo (sigh). The editors will rap
You must be the model. Don't be shy showing off your budgie smugglers <g>
Ralph (who loves his budgie smugglers when hiking)
[mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of rcaffin
Sent: Thursday, 8 May 2008 7:19 AM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Owner Review - Ex-Offico Give-N-Go Briefs -
Owner Review - Ex-Offico Give-N-Go Briefs - Roger Caffin
All Hail to the Editors
Herewith a new OR for entertainment. The HTML is at
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> You have inspired me to write an OR on underwear. But dude, I amIt's called Leadership by Example ... :-)
> seriously going to model my own.
> In some ways, you have allowed my mind to go to bad places, I hope you all
> For an OR you cannot use a manufacturer's photo (sigh). The editors willOK, so I just relabel them ...
> your knuckles.
But I am not quite that hairy.
Anyhow, I don't recollect that being the rule, and many of us do regularly
use manufacturer pics in ORs. After all, why not use the best pics for the
Actually, for any who might be concerned, these photos were provided by
ExOfficio at my request for the purpose of this OR. Accordingly, they are
being used with full permission of the company. No problems at all.
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- Hi Roger,
I have some comments and edits below. When you've made your edits, please upload the
OR here: http://tinyurl.com/5onv3z.
Shoot, I don't see one of my edits down below, I must've lost it. Please also fix the
parentheses under the 2nd photo on the OR (the Sport Brief photo).
> Backpacking BackgroundComment: This has to be an Australian thing, but I'd say you "are out". "Would be" makes
> We would be out for at least three
> months a year.
it sound to me like you don't actually make it out for some reason.
> Product Name:EDIT: Sport Brief should be two words (according to their website).
> Style: See PhotoComment/Edit: Why not give these a style type here? I'm not that familiar with tighty
whities, but you could at least say "briefs" here as opposed to boxers.
> Colours available Black, Charcoal, White, (Green, Blue)EDIT: Add a colon after "Colours available" to stay consistent.
Comment/Edit: What's with the colors in parentheses? Oh, I saw this further down in the
> Travel-friendly Give-N-Go Stretch 94% Nylon/6% Spandex knitted fabricEdit: Nylon and Spandex don't need to be capitalized.
> Semantic confusion: in Australia we call them 'briefs' with an 's',Comment/Edit: They're called "briefs" in the US, too, so this is just a weird ExOfficio thing.
> but ExOfficio calls them 'brief' without the 's'. I see the logic of
> omitting the 's', but I find it hard to do so.
I think you could drop this note.
> Product descriptionEdit: This title is smaller than the others. Also, other two-word ones have both words
> Just how should I describe these? The safest thing might be if I justEdit: While probably only one male wears any given pair, I believe they are manufactured
> say that they are lightweight briefs for a male.
for (plural) men.
Comment: Yeah, good description. I didn't want to have to ask you questions about them!
> In fact, the Give-N-Go Brief comes in two styles and I have includedEdit: How about some quotes on the Sport Brief to stay consistent in that sentence?
> both here because there is little difference between them. The 'Brief'
> has a slightly higher side of about 100 mm (4") while the side on the
> Sport Brief is 75 mm (3") high.
> real difference, except that while both styles are available in Black,Edit: Colors needn't be capitalized.
> Charcoal and White, only the Brief is available in Green and Blue.
> ExOfficio suggest reusing the plastic bag toEDIT: suggests
> hold something like a passport - it might be suitable at that.
Edit: might be suitable for that.
> heading on the included card says "17 countries. 6 weeks. And one pairComment: GROSS!!!
> of underwear"
> Down the bottomEdit: on the bottom
> instructions about washing etc on the bottom of the card.Edit: In this country it is necessary to use a comma before "etc" and to always use a period
after "etc.". In this case, you'd also need a comma after that period. "instructions about
washing, etc., on the bottom of the card." Ignore me if this is an Australian difference.
> In fact, the fabric is quite lightEDIT: possibly
> and breathable, and possible a fraction less warm than the poly-cotton.
> (Does one normally stomp on a burrito? I wouldn't know.)Comment: I don't, but I also don't put underwear in burritos!