Home
Verdict: 
Pants to be pampered in: luxury merino boxers that perform well, eat odour and leave a hole in your wallet
Weight: 
90g
Contact: 
www.rapha.cc

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.

Verdict

Pants to be pampered in: luxury merino boxers that perform well, eat odour and leave a hole in your wallet.

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

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

Flatlock stitching

Foldover fly

Distinctive styling

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Great for sweaty people, I am a sweaty person and these work well.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

They will outlast cotton pants.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

They aren't going to boil your spuds but are warmer than loose cotton boxer shorts.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

If you like things tucked in rather than loose these are as comfortable as you can get without being fur lined.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

Very well.

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.

Overall rating: 8/10

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

 

39 comments

Avatar
WolfieSmith [1400 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Zzzzzz. So bored with the Dave Spart Socialist Worker attitude to Rapha. Want to buy cheap crap every year for three years - or pay more for something that lasts 3 years? Fork out and you'll be able to give a balanced opinion. If you don't wear Rapha for reasons of cost or principle how can you possibly have full personal knowledge of value for money?

I have 12 pieces of Rapha kit: ranging from 8 year old winter jackets to shoe covers and t shirts. All of them are more comfortable and longer lasting than any of the Aldi et al kit I've also bought in the past. Worth asking yourself: Had I not bought 3 cheap jackets and invested in one decent jacket I would now own a decent jacket rather than the latest crap one? And crucially - which one of the four would please you the most?

Would I want a pair of wool boxers? No. But are they value for money? Probably.

Avatar
Neil753 [447 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Just ignoring the usual pricing debate for a sec...

Why doesn't Rapha incorporate nano silver technology into their boxers? It's something that appears to be quite common amongst other high value brands.

I've got Rohan boxers and even a couple of decent shirts with nano silver technology too. Even my Marks and Spencer socks have silver particles in them. So why doesn't Rapha have this?

Not sure how it works, but the technology seems to be incredibly effective.

Avatar
andyp [1600 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

'Why doesn't Rapha incorporate nano silver technology into their boxers'
Prob because it'd be fairly redundant in merino. Excellent in cotton/nylon and other places though.

Avatar
allez neg [496 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

To update Jim Royle - I paid 35 quid for these pants and 20 quid's worth is up my arse!

Avatar
Paul J [966 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Neil753: Silver is a natural antibiotic, so weaving it into fabric inhibits bacterial growth - which otherwise can be a problem with cotton and, especially, synthetics.

Good woollens are coated with lanolin - sheep skin grease - which has an anti-bacterial effect. Much more effective than silver nano-threads, I think. So that's not needed. The lanolin in wool will be removed with washing over time, unless you use a good wool wash, with lanolin in it.

Avatar
Neil753 [447 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes
Paul J wrote:

Neil753: Silver is a natural antibiotic, so weaving it into fabric inhibits bacterial growth - which otherwise can be a problem with cotton and, especially, synthetics.

Good woollens are coated with lanolin - sheep skin grease - which has an anti-bacterial effect. Much more effective than silver nano-threads, I think. So that's not needed. The lanolin in wool will be removed with washing over time, unless you use a good wool wash, with lanolin in it.

So how come some wool items have this silver technology then?

I don't know how this silver technology works, but it's incorporated into my wool socks, and at the end of a hard day lorry driving (which is a tough test for a pair of socks) they definitely stink a lot less than the wool socks that don't have any silver in them.

Just checked the website, and it says, "Sanitized Silver Technology keeps your socks fresh and odour free for the liftetime of the sock".

Avatar
movingtarget [144 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Lanolin's only (to my knowledge) antimicrobial property is by acting as a coating to prevent bacteria/fungus/yeast from attaching to the surface of the wool. Silver nanoparticles in fabrics have a stronger antimicrobial effect by disrupting microbial (bacteria, fungus, and/yeast) cell wall synthesis, DNA/RNA production, and protein function to name a few of the many mechanisms. Silver is a total package, multiple mechanism attack against microbes vs lanolin. Sort of like comparing a biometrically keyed security system with patrolling guards to a single moat defense. Also, since lanolin gets washed out of the wool fibers over time, its efficacy will wane so adding silver to wool fabrics not only increases the antimicrobial effect but also allows you to maintain it over time while utilizing a soft, natural fabric that some people prefer over synthetics. That and you can increase the cost and bling factor. Most of my kit is silver impregnated but synthetic, not wool. Too itchy.

Avatar
FMOAB [289 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Silver pollution is a real concern in marine environments, I personally would avoid clothing that uses nano silver technology.

Avatar
Neil753 [447 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

@ FMOAB
I've been reading about this, and it appears that it is the action of the steel drum inside washing machines that causes the problem
But it is reported that there is no problem with hand washing.
It's certainly an interesting subject.
Maybe a good compromise is to hand wash nano silver technology garments, and to just use them for special occasions when you really don't want to stink after a long ride, and use garments without silver when you don't mind stinking a little bit.

Pages