FUNKIER SESTRIERE SEAMLESS BOXER SHORTS
119g M/L Grey/Black (as tested) £34.99
Despite ridicule by a touring companion that padded undershorts could easily be mistaken for continence pants by the kindly Czech couple who offered to do our laundry when we stopped for a night in Trebic, Moravia, I’ve found them a very useful part of the touring kit. They’re also very handy when Lycra/Spandex are out of context, but you still want to soften the ride. Likewise, perfect for sporty MTB jaunts. I’ve found Funkier’s Sestriere Seamless Boxer Shorts extremely effective, comfortable, and none too intrusive. In short, shorts to cherish.
Pros: seamless comfort, cool, snug fit.
Cons: nothing not to like, but maybe a little light for all-round use.
Having worn undershorts that have been more brief than boxer, I’ll begin by voicing approval of the boxer design. Offering more protection from upper thigh chafing, they also add some of that pressure to the femoral artery that can speed up blood flow and aid muscle recovery. Were, I wild about PBs, that would be a big plus. As it is, it is just a plus, in my opinion.
Made from 88% Nylon, 2% Polyester, and 10% Spandex, you’ve got a recipe for a snug fitting, light-weight second skin. As you’d have gathered form their designation, there are no seams, or seem to be. There’s four way stretch for all that wiggling about in the saddle. Mesh in-lays are there to improve moisture removal and ventilation. That’s not just great for summer use, but also when wearing heftier garments in winter.
Needless to say – and you’d expect this at the price point – the quality of the second-skin is not stymied by a thoughtless pad. The B9 is a single layer of antibacterial foam, dense enough to be relatively thin, and perforated for temperature control and moisture removal. On the downside, some might find them a bit light-weight for winter, but I suspect they’d be great as a base-layer under winter longs (unpadded, of course).
Size and fit 4/5
I plumped, in line with the size guide, for M/L. Available in XS/S and XL/XXL, I could have gone a size up, but, I prefer undershorts to be snug, even a tad tight. I was not disappointed, and the M/L have proved to be spot on. I’ll admit that fitting into to anything even vaguely medium did wonders for my vanity, too. They certainly live up to their second-skin description.
Waistband and leg hems are broad, providing a tactile grip without being too tight.
Handwashing is recommended by Funkier. OK, that’s not ideal when it comes to getting things dry without a spin. I have bunged them in a cool machine wash, along with other cycling gear, and only a short, relatively slow spin cycle. There have been no obvious ill-effects, but I’d only do it of things were urgent.
Line drying in the sun took a couple of hours, but in less favourable conditions, expect several hours. Indoors, say at a hostel or hotel think overnight; longer if there are no facilities and the weather isn’t smiling in you, if you are camping.
Good news, but not totally surprising, is that washing has so far failed to induce bobbling or sagging. Mind you, that anti-bacterial pad seems to do its stuff pretty well. I’ve worn them for daily rides in hot (by UK standards) weather, and not offended anyone with nasty niffs on the train home.
I’ve worn these for long day rides under touring-style shorts (Showers Pass Gravel Shorts and their Cross Country DWR siblings) as well as gravel blasts under MTB-style baggies. For a touch of ‘Devil’s advocacy’, I’ve worn them under civvies for the commute and a day in the office. Temperatures have ranged from the mid-teens C to the mid-twenties.
There’s no doubt that they are cool. Long climbs and attempts to be speedy have not lead to any build-up of sweaty unpleasantness. Even the failure of the office air-con on the hottest day of the year, didn’t make things uncomfortable. Certainly, they knock my old budget models for six on that front.
I really like the tight fit, too. Firstly, there’s no hint of creasing. Secondly, “second skin” is no idle boast. The synergy between body and garment is, in my opinion, just about as good as it could get. Thirdly, the do offer some compression. True, that is not as strong as you get from weightier shorts or compression specific garments. Even so, despite it being hard to quantify, I’ve certainly felt good at the end of a ride.
The pad is not the thickest, but has been perfectly adequate for road riding and mixed surface riding, as well as short off-road blasts over bumpy trails. I imagine that enduro riders might want something thicker, but mere mortals, such as I, will probably be perfectly happy. By the way, all bikes ridden have leather saddles.
Needless to say, but contact points and the padding that you put between yourself and a saddle can be very personal things, as can the fit around the groin. The light-weight fabric of the Funkier Sestriere is a real plus. Some cheaper rivals miss out on this. However, there are a number of cheaper models available that will do a good job, although many are described as being suitable for short to medium rides.
Altura, Gore, Decathlon, and Endura that come in in the mid-twenty-pound mark. Having said that, the all-round quality of the Funkier Sestriere is hard to beat.
In the long run, there are shorts that offer a mix of stretchiness, temperature control, padding, ergonomic fit, tactile fabric: Funkier’s Sestriere offer them all.
These are grand undershorts for long rides, with great climate control. OK, they are a bit pricier than many and tactility and fit of these garments can be a very personal thing. However, I’m looking forward to many more day’s riding with these, especially on the tourer. I’ll also be trying to keep them out of the grasp of the MTBing family members.