If you’ve considered buying pouch underwear, but not sure what to expect, this article will answer many of your questions.
The following reviews of Saxx, UFM, and Duluth Trading Bullpen pouch underwear are courtesy of John M.
John is in the process of testing out several different brands of men’s underwear. Though, these are not just ordinary underwear, he is specifically testing those with pouches.
Before we get to the reviews, let’s first answer some frequently asked questions.
What is pouch underwear?
Pouch underwear is a sub-category of men’s boxer brief underwear that provide some form of separation between your penis/scrotum & thighs. Some briefs are also equipped expanded pouch designs.
What is pouch underwear for?
In simplest terms, to prevent the chafing that can occur between a man’s penis/scrotum & his thighs.
What types of pouch underwear are there?
There are various designs of pouch underwear. Some underwear could be equipped with chambers where you place your penis & scrotum into them together, or separate chambers for each. An alternative design could be fabric panels on either side of the pouch.
What is the best pouch underwear?
The most well-known brands of pouch underwear include Saxx, BN3TH (Formerly MyPackage), Sheath, and Separatec. However, they may not be the best. As you will see from the reviews below, each brand of pouch underwear has pros/cons. Which is best for you, will depend on what features match your needs the closest.
Are there pouch underwear briefs?
Yes. Because of their design, briefs naturally provide separation from the thighs. However, there are underwear briefs available that offer expanded pouch designs, over the traditional pouch.
Pouch Underwear: Sizing Information for Context
I’m generally a size Large, with a waist of almost 36”, a weight around 175lb, and a height of around 5’11”; this should help someone wanting to know about the sizing. I also have a fairly long torso and slightly shorter legs.– John
Duluth Trading Bullpen Underwear
Here’s a picture I took of the Duluth Trading Bullpen pouch underwear. They look similar to the Saxx design though not quite the same.
The fabric is a sort of mesh, which feels pretty good and breathes well. Note that the Duluth pair here is a Size Medium, and mostly, though not perfectly, spread flat. I pulled up the waistband in front to show the entire “pouch” area.
In general, I think the flap they use to create the pouch should be a bit bigger/wider but stretchy enough to conform to your body.
One good thing is that the design pictured allows the private parts to move around somewhat as I change posture, which ensures there is no uncomfortable pressure in any position, especially when I’m bending forward. (Unlike the UFM drawstring pouch, or other pouches that try to grab onto the back of the private parts to keep them steady.)
These are a bit small for me, but while the legs are bit too tight and the pouch is a little small, the overall rise and fit isn’t bad.
The waistband is definitely snug, though I usually prefer that to ensure they stay put, and the rise is about right.
While the Medium is a bit small, when I got them some time ago I tried size Large first, which felt like it hung too low for the flaps to keep proper isolation, and the legs were a bit loose rather than snug.
It’s possible the Large size would fit slightly better now as I’m a bit bigger, but given that the Medium size still barely fits I doubt the Large would be comfortable.
I bought them in a store, and was able to exchange the large size that didn’t fit for the medium size. Their online policy (which I haven’t tried) is great too: free returns, with free online exchanges coming soon.
Product Info: duluthtrading.com | Sizes tested: Medium & Large
UFM Boxer Briefs
The polyester fabric of the UFM boxer briefs was quite soft and felt fairly thin (it feels thinner and softer than their polyester briefs). I think it breathes well and dries fairly fast.
It has a mesh front pouch, which is great, but the fly they provide is a joke. It’s just too small.
Their signature drawstrings do provide support, but they need to go further back into the pouch. I found it too easy to slip out of the pouch if I bend over too much.
The UFM drawstring also feels a bit lumpy to me, and the pressure from it can get uncomfortable after a while. Also, because of the slipping out issue, I still experienced some chafing against my leg.
Finally, I’d say that the back of these boxer briefs comes up too high. I needed to pull them up too far to get any support.
Based on my experience with the briefs, I doubt a size Medium would help; it would just be too small.
I previously had tried the briefs in size Medium, and while the overall size of the briefs felt about right for a Large, the drawstrings proved hopeless for me, only causing uncomfortable pressure and discomfort. In my opinion, the drawstrings need to go further back into the pouch.
The polyester brief was snug — sort of like the low-rise Jockey Sport Mesh Brief.
The viscose one was more relaxed, making me think that a viscose brief in size large would have too much rise and maybe be a bit too loose to fit nicely. Though, the viscose fabric itself felt great and dealt with moisture well.
I found the tailoring of the briefs good; the leg bands have an interesting bend on the very outside of the thigh (sort of the mid point) that helps keep them in place.
The fly on these was also a joke.
My summary for the briefs: They felt great, except for the drawstring, which is supposed to be the selling point!
When purchased directly from the brand’s website, they unfortunately only allow returns of unworn, unwashed items with the original packaging undamaged. (Probably because they are a smaller company?) So be sure to only try on one of a particular style if you’re not sure it fits.
Product Info: ufmunderwear.com | Sizes tested: Medium & Large
Saxx Pouch Underwear
I tried a couple in Size L (which is nominally for size 36-38; I’m close to 36”), and they were bigger and looser than I expected, especially for the Volt pair that claimed to be slim fit.
Again, I needed to pull them up too high to get into the pouch. Some chafing was possible depending on the circumstances because of the looseness.
I gave up on Size L and picked up a couple of Sport Mesh briefs in Size M instead (nominal size 33-35). Those felt about right, despite the manufacturer saying that they have a limited amount of stretch and recommending sizing up if you’re near the next size.
Pulling them up for a snug fit put the waist at about the right height and they felt snug but pretty good.
My only gripe with the sizing for the medium size is that the legs are a bit tight and tend to cause some fabric creases due to my pulling them up high for good support. So I guess I have slightly thick thighs.
The leg wrinkling thing seems to happen with almost any boxer brief design for some reason; when I pull them high enough to provide support, the legs seem to get into slightly the wrong angle.
The pouch would also benefit from just a little bit more room in front, though it’s pretty good; it’s on the snugger side.
Their separation panels are a fine mesh, which is pretty comfortable but I think it’s not quite as good as using a nice fabric like the CoolNylon in RibbedTee’s boxer briefs.
The fine mesh used in the separation panels are thin enough that It could potentially allow sweat stickiness between the leg and the privates.
Maybe they’re thinking that the boxer brief hangs down a bit in front instead of fitting snugly like a brief? But then what’s the point of the pouch?
I’m still not sure it’s quite as good as briefs. They do seem to have a bit more tendency to cause chafing, but they’re at least close for once.
After wearing them for a whole day, I found that even the Size Medium Saxx sport mesh boxer briefs don’t quite stay in place. They seem to get dragged down a bit by pants, and the mesh on the left side failed to do its job and keep things inside, so I experienced rubbing on my leg.
So they still aren’t as good as normal briefs.
If purchasing directly from the brand’s website, they offer a Comfort Guarantee. This worked out well for me as I didn’t end up having to pay for the ones that were too large.
Product Info: Amazon | Sizes tested: Medium & Large
Summing It Up: 3 Brands of Pouch Underwear
None of the above “wonder brands” have really lived up to the hype. I think there are some good ideas that could work great if tweaked.
For example, running the drawstrings in the UFM underwear in a slightly different or totally different route, and making sure they don’t chafe or squeeze uncomfortably.
But, considering these brands of pouch underwear are rather expensive, I’d wait till they’re on sale and maybe try a couple to see if you like them.
Though, do keep in mind that they won’t likely be as amazing as the reviews and ads make them sound.
As a final comment, something I have often wondered is why no boxer briefs seem to be designed as effectively a brief with legs added.
That should provide the comfort, support, and isolation of a brief, while giving the look of a boxer brief and also providing the legs with some anti-chafing fabric and compression, and possibly helping disperse moisture by adding more fabric to absorb and wick it away.
But instead, pouch boxer briefs seem to all be designed as a retrofit boxer brief, with something to isolate the private parts.
As I asked in my review of Saxx, does this just have to do with how people like their boxer briefs to feel? Do they not want them to be a little snugger for more support?
So far the most comfortable underwear I have found has all been briefs (or variations on that style).
One thing I’ve occasionally considered and may need to try is using anti-chafing leg bands while wearing regular briefs. This will prevent any leg chafing, while keeping the feel I like up top.
Hope this information helps others make good decisions.
– John M.
For more underwear-related articles, please be sure to check out my Underwear category.
14 thoughts on “Pouch Underwear Review: Saxx, UFM & Duluth Bullpen. Which Is Best?”
To WIlliam: You should not have to buy an insert to correct the design problem of the underwear. The material is the problem. Nylon can’t absorb moisture. Buy cotton underwear, like Jockey. Return the Duluth stuff.
heya jay, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. actually, nylon can and does absorb moisture. so it’s inaccurate to say that nylon can’t absorb moisture.
in fact, most nylon will absorb more moisture than cotton, and dry faster too. sounds like a problem specifically with the duluth underwear, and not nylon in general.
Duluth Trading underwear made from nylon and spandex is inherently a fail. That material is incapable of absorbing or wicking sweat. The result is a form of dermatitis from trapped moisture.
Speaking from personal experience. Don’t buy it. If you did, take it back. Insist on cotton underwear, like Jockey. The Duluth product packaging does not state what the material is. That information is only printed on the inside of the underwear itself. Why Duluth would not prominently display the material information is a mystery, but it is deceitful.
The physical design of the boxer briefs is fine, but the material is unwise in the extreme. I am reminded of Toxic Shock Syndrome from a few decades back. This is not as dangerous, but it is a travesty of a choice of material for men’s underwear.
hey jay — maybe the duluth underwear fabric is treated with something that keeps it from absorbing moisture. or the weave, weight, and nylon type is preventing it from absorbing well.
nylon/spandex itself is capable of absorbing and wicking sweat. many factors go into fabric design, and there are easily hundreds of variations of nylon. it just sounds like the duluth version is not working out for you.
I found the Bullpen briefs to be fine for wicking moisture. They were not the best nor the worst design I tried, and they certainly felt a whole lot less wet than cotton briefs after a hot day. But they really only held it in the usual problem areas.
Duluth’s Buck Naked briefs have some of the best moisture management I’ve experienced.
Their Armachillo briefs were, sadly, not worth it–they didn’t feel like they had much of a cooling effect and held onto more moisture and were less breathable.
heya john! good to see you here again (:
thanks so much for the additional information on the different underwear from duluth trading – great info!
I wonder whether there are absorbent inserts for pouch underwear.
hey william! where do you want to soak up the sweat from? butt, gusset (between your legs under your scrotum), groin?
Just want to clarify a few things regarding the disappointing UFM Review.
No one design of any product is good for everyone, that is why we offer 2 support levels, 2 materials, 4 styles, 9 sizes and several colors for over 500 skus.
1.) “Slipping out of the pouch, drawstring feels lumpy”: John M most likely evaluated our MAX support version.
UFM offers 2 support levels: MAX where the string is further forward and REG where the string goes farther back into the crotch. John M recommended the string extend further back and we began offering that 3 years ago.
The MAX design does put pressure on the back of the scrotum to provide lift. This is desirable to some men and not others.
Interesting back story that may put this into context: Our original pouch design was the MAX and we received similar feedback from some of our customers, so we moved the drawstring path back into the crotch in [2017 Gen 4].
Interesting thing, 50% of our loyal UFM fans loved the change and 50% preferred the original design. To satisfy both, we then decided to offer both, branding the original design as MAX and the revised as REG.
I think this proves my point that we all have different proportions/needs and what works well for one, does not work for another.
2.) Material comments: UFM offers 2 materials: 95% Vicose/5% Spandex and 90% Polyester/10% Spandex.
Polyester weight and knit is the identical material on all of our styles. Same is true for our Viscose.
3.) Return Policy – WE DO NOT SELL USED UNDERWEAR.
When a customer has a size or fit issue, we work with them to make them happy. I would be suspicious of a company that allow you to wear them around and then return them. I suspect some of it is being re-sold as new.
This is clearly disclosed in our website and in every shipment we make this policy clear with an insert card.
We have over 5,500+ glowing reviews and we get a dozen or more every day.
No one brand or model of any men’s underwear product is right for everyone. We have been in this business for 7 years and the one thing we have learned is that people’s needs and fits are very different.
We design to solve problems across the spectrum, not just for 1 person.
Unfortunately the tone of the above review is that UFM is not a good product, well we have 100s of thousands of satisfied customers that would disagree.
The conclusion of the above review should be that John M did not like the specific model he chose to evaluate and would probably reach a very different conclusion if he would have chosen the REG support model which would be a better choice for him.
We normally recommend the REG support unless we have information of a specific need.
We have reached out to John M and offered a REG support model for him to evaluate. We have not received a response as of this writing.
This is John from the UndershirtGuy.com review.
I spoke with Josh Beyler about the UFM boxer briefs some time ago when I tried them. For me, it was probably a 3-star experience (the review I wrote for the UFM boxer briefs was that).
I also sent the message below to John Polidan in an email that TUG forwarded me with the concerns from UFM.
I didn’t intend to be “overly negative,” but I will say I have generally had poor luck with “pouch boxer briefs.”
I normally wear briefs, but the pouch boxer brief style has intrigued me lately as providing chafing protection for the legs and a few other potential advantages.
I really wanted to love the UFM designs; I still think it has some great potential and upsides, especially not being stuck with “one-size-fits-all”.
Let’s go through the list of concerns you listed.
1) I bought the briefs and boxer briefs from the UFM website. (Briefs some time ago at the Thanksgiving sale.)
2) See above, there should be an email or two and my email should be on the purchases.
Conflict of interest: I don’t sell anything, and while I have talked with some reps from a few brands, I have given them a fair amount of constructive criticism.
I have purchased every product I reviewed, with the exception of Bandelettes leg bands, which were provided in exchange for the review, as noted in the review.
3) I really wanted to like them.
(And if it was successfully published, I ironically gave the UFM briefs a 5-star review in response to the request for reviews email because they seemed great from a quick try-on. I later found they didn’t stay so comfortable throughout the day.)
4) I bought polyester and viscose briefs and polyester boxer briefs.
The poly brief was made in China while the poly boxer was made in India, which could be why the fabrics felt different. At first touch, the boxer brief felt thinner; going back and feeling it they are probably the same thickness.
However, the boxer brief feels softer and more pleasant to the touch, and perhaps more flexible. I think it also handles moisture better.
All the ones I got were regular support, not max.
I didn’t intend to make the return policy sound like a secret. “Unfortunate” is with respect to other brands that offer a money-back guarantee, though it’s understandable if you can’t. It doesn’t mean it’s a secret.
5) I don’t sell anything, and while I have talked with some reps from a few brands, I have given them a fair amount of constructive criticism.
I have purchased every product I reviewed, with the exception of Bandelettes leg bands, which were provided in exchange for the review.
I have a preference for companies based in the USA, and those that make things there, but my top priority in clothes is comfort without excessive cost.
It is possible I’m a little difficult to fit (though then again I don’t mind wearing plain old FTL “tighty-whities” as long as I don’t get too warm).
I try to list almost every detail in my reviews, whether good or bad; a simple “fit great” or “too tight” doesn’t actually say that much.
I listed several downsides to the Jockey Max Mesh brief, for instance, though overall they are some of the better briefs I’ve tried. (I also said it was unfortunate that they were made in China; the website says “imported.”)
I still believe there’s some great potential in the drawstring concept. For me, it seems to constrict a bit too much sideways/in the back, though.
Perhaps an alternate routing of the strings (maybe going around the back and anchoring on the outside of the leg, which would also prevent ride-up in briefs) could give the size/support adjustability without putting pressure directly on the back of the scrotum.
Or a minor redesign of the back of the pouch, such as using a flap of fabric and flat drawstrings. I don’t think I mind the pressure, but tend to feel caught in a back “corner” of the pouch or find the thickness of the string sitting right under the scrotum a bit uncomfortable when sitting down.
A couple additional comments based on Matt’s comment above:
I haven’t seen an offer to try REG support models, though it’s possible the offer was buried somewhere and I just missed it.
The ones I reviewed were REG support, though, so it probably won’t make a difference. I hear the Gen 5 boxer briefs have a bigger pouch, which could help, though.
One other comment: neither of the other brands worked that well either, with SAXX either being tight or not preventing chafing, and Duluth being rather tight.
EDIT: references to my email refer to an email conversation. Emails are naturally hidden on this website for privacy.
I have a pair of UFM Drawstring briefs (REG) and they are GREAT! My credentials are a bit larger than most so the pouch is a little small but overall, the underwear are wonderful. I told my wife that it’s like being a kid again. Since my package is so well supported by the UFM briefs, I don’t even notice my balls until I take the underwear off.
Just wanted to give you guys a tip: if you have a Cabela’s in the area it could carry Saxx and it has a great return policy.
great tip janzig! thanks so much for letting us know (: