Cotton undies, or synthetic?

This is a serious post. My insulating layer under my wet suit is synthetic, of course, but my panties are cotton. Well, not actually panties – they are boxers and hold a lot of water when wet.

So far this hasn’t been a problem, but I’m thinking it may be a problem if I’m immersed for a long time.

Please advise.

I always wear my whitie tighties
everywhere I go.

I don’t care if it’s dangerous or inappropriate.

I like them.

If you have a dry suit on the top…
…it probably won’t matter, but if you have a

wet suit or less, you’re going to get cold and


And besides, while you are struggling with your

dry top and your paddling companions come up

behind you, would you rather have a cotton or

synthetic wedgie?

I choose synthetic for paddling.
Cotton undies take away heat too fast and cause excessive shrinkage. I can’t afford any amount of shrinkage so I wear synthetic.


I don’t think you are going to get a significant difference in cooling effect with saturated cotton undershorts vs synthetic under your insulating layers. I’d think that boxers might bunch under a tight wetsuit and get your knickers in a twist, but wear what’s comfortable for you.

Monkey Butt!
If you paddle in cotton undies for long paddles in salt water you surely will get what we call monkey butt around here! Asked one of the gails in our club who is an ER physician what the professionals call it and she said “monkey butt”.

Monkey butt!!!
I think I know what it is…

Do NOT wear cotton undies under a wetsuit. They’ll get wet and leave you with a nasty rash. I learned the indignity children go through having a greasy layer of Desetin smeared on their bum.


Especially on a wave ski …
It’s better to wear nothing than cotton undies… I usually do until the water gets colder then I use a nylon swim suit or I have thin neoprene shorts made by Oneil, they keep your uh … well toasty warm .

if it’s that bad
maybe you shouldn’t be wearing any at all???


either dress regimental or wear jogging shorts, they dry quick and no one calls the cops when u change cloths…

Best Wishes


Cotton will soak, synthetics get 'manky’
but ah loves my Smartwool wool boxer tights.

I agree - jogging shorts
I usually wear jogging shorts under my wet suit. Sometimes a bathing suit. No undies or cotton for me when paddling.

I stick with the standard survival tip…
Cotton + cold = death

I like silk boxers, they dry fast, and wear oh so smooth.

Only danger is chafing
Wearing cotton boxers under synthetic everything else isn’t going to make you die of hypothermia.

I get cold
Wearing cotton underwear when I’m exercising is guaranteed to get me chilled.

I sweat, the cotton gets wet, and does not dry.

Soon as I stop working I start getting cold.

Even the synthetic underwear gets wet at the elastic so I wear a bathing suit under my wetsuit and fleece pants only under my drysuit.

That’s what keeps me comfey.


Cheap speedo style swimsuit
Wouldn’t be caught dead in the swimming pool or at the beach in one. But they are pretty good as underwear under wetsuits, running pants, etc. Take up little room, dry fast.

why wear anything underneath.
I’m taking you seriously. Why wear anything - it’s a wetsuit. If it fits you well chafing should not be an issue. If your kayak is skirted with neoprene or a neo-blend it will keep you plenty warm below the waist. So why would you want to wear underwear at all?

I was wondering when
this would come up…

Anything underneath a drysuit weakens it’s insulating abilities as soon as it gets wet.

While going ‘comando’ isn’t a good choice for hygiene reasons, a fast drying swimsuit/brief would be the best choice. Cuts also down on the danger of ‘zipper damage’ for us men…

Cotton is definitely a bad choice-you won’t die of hyperthermia because you’re wearing cotton undies-but besides arash you might get a bladder infection through these wet, cold pants…

one word:
poo suit

I used to not care about that layer much
until on a week long trip I forgot to bring anyway (yeah, I know…). So, I figure - no worries, I have a my neoprene shorts under my wet suit. After a week of that - the, uh… chafing of… uh… well, I kinda got rubbed raw, if you know what I mean. Made the home coming with the wife less exciting than hoped.

I like synthetic boxers now, and always carry an extra pair :slight_smile: