I love just about everything about my Minnesota summer vacations…except what happens to my cotton underwear. Extreme heat and humidity leave me feeling soggy and grumpy. This year I tried something new: Smartwool’s Merino 150 Bikini.

First, they’re noticeably lighter in weight and thinner than my cotton underwear. That’s good for comfort and for packing light. Smartwool describes the 150 Bikini as “mid-rise,” but I find the fit to be decidedly low-rise, and I like that (although I wouldn’t have minded a slightly higher rise, either.) I also appreciate the way they finish off the edges of the material so it lays flat against my skin and isn’t visible under a skirt.

Made out of¬†87% Merino Wool and 13% Nylon Core, this slim fitting women’s brief has kept me comfortable for days during blistering temperatures, a four-day college reunion, a few heat-stroke temperature days, and chaperoning a group of children to a sculpture garden. No matter what, I kept my cool because wool helps regulate body temperature, it breathes, and it is naturally resistant to odor. Not to get too personal, but these three features are key for my summer activities. Nobody wants soggy, smelly underwear. I wouldn’t wear any underwear more than one day, but because the Smartwool Merino 150 Bikini dries quickly, I can wash it out in the shower at night and wear it again the next day. Bonus for my “carry-on only” travel mantra.

I usually wear a size M in Smartwool bottoms, but found a good fit in a size L since I’m about 40 pounds heavier than the last time I tested some of their under garments. The material has plenty of stretch, so I didn’t experience any binding. Overall, the¬†Smartwool Women’s Merino 150 Bikini performed well in warm, hot, and very hot conditions.

Sizes XS-XL, color: black. Also available in a patterned style and in men’s styles.

$30 at Amazon


Smartwool Men's Merino 150 Pattern Tee