Tested and Tried: First Lite Red Desert Merino Boxer Shorts

Underwear are likely to be the most overlooked piece of hunting gear, but it’s important. Let’s be realistic – when it comes to scent control, the groin area is often going to be responsible for a significant amount of human scent.

Not to mention, walking around the woods in sweaty, smelly, uncomfortable underwear is never fun – especially on a hot day or long-term backcountry hunting trip with minimal gear. First Lite has once more created a piece of gear that solves many of these problems.

The First Lite Red Desert Boxer Shorts is the next generation of undies for the serious hunter and outdoorsman. First Lite addressed the problem of backcountry hunting underwear because it is such an overlooked issue. Climbing up and down hills all day in cotton boxer-briefs, on a warm early-season day, can be grueling and uncomfortable. And it is sure to hurt your confidence in finding any dear, due to the fact that you begin to smell yourself after a few hours of sweating.

Performance underwear made with synthetic fabrics offer a bit better ventilation along with a quicker dry-time, but they are often not adaptable to a cold climate. Synthetics also do not help much with scent-control. The Red Desert Boxers are made out of 100% Merino wool, like many of First Lite’s other products. First Lite also carries the reputation for having the finest and highest quality Merino wool in the entire hunting industry. I cant absolutely attest to that claim.

These underwear are incredible. They are adaptable to any climate, whether it be hot or cold. This is insanely important in underwear because it is the one garment that a hunter may never have the opportunity to remove in a layering system – it is the base layer among base layers. It is also made from 170 gram “Ultrafine” Merino wool, leaving it extremely fine and soft to the touch.

The flat-lock stitching is almost completely unnoticeable, and the garment is mended in a way that prevents any chafing, when on the move. If I can describe these undies in one word, it’s “comfortable”. All these little details may seem miniscule, but trust me, when you are in the field, climbing a mountain, chasing a buck, and the thermometer is topped out at 105 degrees, these features matter more than they ever have before. Not to mention, the softness and fine texture of the fabric will be instantly noticed when you pull these bad-boys on.

The best and most important feature of the Red Desert Boxers is their inability to retain scent. Merino wool does not hold scent because it does not provide habitat for bacteria to live and grow. As one of the stinkiest places on your body, a lot of sweat and odors will collect in your groin, regardless if it is a hot day or a cold early morning. These underwear have proven to be totally scent free. I have rocked these undies on many long-term hunting trips, all over the western states, in various climate ranges. Each time I take them off, it takes only one quick whiff to make me realize why I bought them. They are comfortable, they fit well, they don’t ride up, and they don’t hold any scent at all.

Photo credit: Youtube