Rapha's Merino Boxers are pants that really pamper your parts.
Merino is one of those finer things in life, literally: the super fine fibres of merino wool are one of the properties that make it work so well for cycling and also make it feel very nice against your skin.
What better use for this luxurious fabric than having pants made from it; it's like having your goolies cupped by the soft hands of an angel. The fine wool is very absorbent and does wonders at wicking sweat from your nether regions and along with the flatlock stitching throughout helps reduce chaffing even when sodden. These aren't going to make you feel like your genitals are being dragged across an acrylic carpet when things get moist while you are frantically bashing your legs up and down on the pedals. Merino wool is like having climate control in your underwear, it keeps you warm but also does a good job of stopping the thermostat being turned up to 'tropical'.
These trunks are figure hugging and the material is very elastic. The polyester in the mix helps the material keep its shape better than 100% wool. They're not too tight against the skin, still allowing unrestricted movement but there's no jostling about in the barracks: everything is kept in its place.
Another great quality of merino is it's reluctance to pick up a pong. If you have got sweaty and these undercrackers have got damp they aren't going to smell like you have just lifted the blanket off a wet horse. If you are commuter who stays in the gear you rode in on all day, these are made for you. They do feel a little odd at first because they take your sweat away and spread it over the fabric initially making you feel damper than normal, but then it does its magic and starts wicking it away.
What better way of storing your prize cargo than to have them contained in a pair of merino pants? Of course, this amount of luxury comes at a cost, and at £35 it is double what you would pay for a pair of Calvin Klein boxers but they won't offer you the comfort and performance of Rapha's premier division underwear. If I could afford it, my top drawer would be stocked with these for every day of the week. Or you could by one pair and wash them before going to bed because they dry very quickly.
If your ride's a bit too long to go padless, Rapha also offers these with a thin pad, tri-suit style, for an extra tenner.
Pants to be pampered in: luxury merino boxers that perform well, eat odour and leave a hole in your wallet.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Merino Boxers (no pad)
Size tested: Medium Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Provide all-day comfort for city riders - they did this admirably.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Comfortable merino/polyester fabric
Great for sweaty people, I am a sweaty person and these work well.
They will outlast cotton pants.
They aren't going to boil your spuds but are warmer than loose cotton boxer shorts.
If you like things tucked in rather than loose these are as comfortable as you can get without being fur lined.
They are competitively priced for merino pants from equivalent brands but it is a lot of money to spend on pants.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
At first they feel like they are more damp than normal pants then they get to work getting rid of any moisture. The price is high.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and I still am.
Would you consider buying the product? Definely, this is the beginning of my collection.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, to those who have healthy salaries.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
These are a luxury that are also a performance garment if you cycle to work and stay in the same clobber all day.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 179 Weight: 75
I usually ride: Condor pista My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Look KG241, Jean Thomann vintage
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back