Review: SAXX Kinetic HD Boxer Briefs || For higher output activities than original

When I learned that SAXX had redesigned its Kinetic Boxer Briefs (my long-term review), I was frankly nervous. Over the past two backpacking seasons I’d worn them for over 100 days in Alaska, the High Sierra, Colorado Rockies, and Appalachians, and I’d yet to identify a flaw. So a redesign struck me as risky, with little to gain but a lot to lose.

Review: SAXX Kinetic HD

The redesigned second-generation Kinetic, renamed the Kinetic HD, will be available from all retailers starting February 1, 2020. Inventory of the original Kinetic will be closed out. I was sent production samples by SAXX for review.

The HD will be available in two lengths:

Differences between the original Kinetic and Kinetic HD are noticeable, both when comparing them visually and when wearing them. In short, the HD has a new paneling design and a more stabilizing hold. They are better for high-output activity, but they’re less comfortable for low-output use and everyday wear.

Construction

The Kinetic HD panels were entirely redesigned. The color-blocking — which SAXX felt was “old-fashioned looking” — has been eliminated, and the new panels follow more natural lines.

These changes are largely aesthetic. Like the original, the HD contours the body nicely and has a generally snug fit (“semi-compression,” in SAXX parlance). I have noticed only one difference: the HD are marginally tighter around the thigh, which was possibly done to reduce ride-up.

The original SAXX Kinetic
The Kinetic HD, released in January 2020

Fabrics

The main mesh fabric is unchanged: a 88/12 nylon-spandex 4-way stretch micro mesh, with a double-layer over the jewels to reduce fabric sheer and increase support. I’ve found that this fabric has good air permeability, wicks moisture well, and dries quickly.

The waist band is still a wide 1-3/4 inches, but it’s less thick and boardy. This band will still retain more moisture and dry more slowly than the mesh fabric, but it’s an improvement on both fronts.

Ballpark Pouch

The defining feature of all SAXX underwear is the BallPark Pouch, a hammock-like cup with mesh side panels that keeps the anatomical parts nicely organized.

The Kinetic HD uses a new BallPark Pouch design. Compared to the BallPark Pouch in the original Kinetic:

  • The side panels are closer at the lower attachment point, instead of spaced apart;
  • The top attachment points were moved downward; and
  • More shape was added to the front of the pouch.
The original BallPark Pouch on the SAXX Kinetic
Notice the changes: the sides on the Ballpark Pouch come together at the bottom, and don’t go as high. Also, the paneling is different. Photo: J Lai

Overall, these changes cause the Kinetic HD to have a more stabilizing hold. So the HD is better for high-output activities like running, but less comfortable for lower-output activities like hiking or everyday wear. By bringing the side panels together at the bottom attachment point, the scrotum feels slightly lifted, and is kept further away from the thighs; and by moving down the upper attachment point, it creates less area for the genitalia to float around.

Personally, I thought the original Kinetic was ideal for hiking, but a little light on support for running. The Kinetic HD is just the opposite: they’ve been comfortable on runs up to 12 miles, but intentionally I no longer wear them for, say, Nordic skiing or office work.

Extension of the new BallPark Pouch

The new BallPark Pouch design will be used in two other products:

  • Kinetic HyperDrive ($50), a new compression boxer brief; and,
  • Kinetic 2N1 Shorts series, which have an integrated Kinetic boxer brief, starting in spring 2021.

Other styles will retain the original iteration of the BallPark Pouch. For hiking and backpacking, I’d now recommend the SAXX Quest, not the Kinetic HD.

Questions about the Kinetic HD or have an experience with them? Leave a comment.


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Posted in , on January 13, 2020
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16 Comments

  1. Don Ferren on January 14, 2020 at 6:46 am

    Looks like these will be perfect for my long training runs, but the “Buy Now” button isn’t working.

    • Andrew Skurka on January 14, 2020 at 9:07 am

      I think you’ll like them. I’ve been out for up to two hours in them, perfect.

      • Nathan A Taylor on January 14, 2020 at 11:58 am

        Any experience on an ultra-marathon wearing the Saxx 2n1’s?

        • Andrew Skurka on January 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm

          No, I do not. With a race of that distance, you would definitely want to test first hand the clothing you are considering. Online reviews would not be a reliable indicator of how they will perform on you.

          My tried and true clothing system for my lower body is a pair of jockey briefs and roadrunner short tights with about a 7-inch inseam. YMMV.

  2. Johnny on March 1, 2020 at 8:18 am

    I recently purchased the HD and the ball pouch did not cross like your photo. Maybe your preproduction version has been changed?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 1, 2020 at 9:41 am

      That’s possible, but I’d be surprised at a somewhat significant change that late in the game. Are you sure you have the HD version? The other telltale sign will be the horizontal seam near the top of the pouch, below the waistband. Also the packaging will have said HD.

      • Johnny on March 1, 2020 at 10:00 am

        Yes it’s HD. I purposely bought the HD version since i also owned the original version.

        • Andrew Skurka on March 1, 2020 at 10:40 am

          Interesting. They didn’t mention anything about this change when they sent me some early samples, I was under the impression they were early production samples.

          More importantly, how different do you find them versus the original kinetic?

          • Johnny on March 1, 2020 at 10:47 am

            The new ones are more snug. I feel they are better than the previous version. I don’t like the other brands that lift the package too much. This one feels more natural and in place. I haven’t wore it long enough to feel the difference.



          • Andrew Skurka on March 2, 2020 at 2:26 pm

            I have a response for you:

            The production-ready version is the panels touch in the back, rather than cross over. We wear tested it both ways and determined that there was not a noticeable difference and decided to go with the version that most closely mimicked our “regular” look and feel.



          • MT on May 14, 2020 at 2:22 am

            So in this article you concluded that the Kinetic HD wasn’t as comfortable for hiking/office as the Kinetic orig. It’s better for running.

            Now, from Johnny’s contributions do I understand correctly that the newer “production-ready” version of the Kinetic HD changes that fact and are now on par with the Quest and the Kinetic orig. for hiking purposes?



          • Andrew Skurka on May 14, 2020 at 7:36 am

            The production HD version is still more suitable for running than it is for hiking, and for hiking I would still recommend the original kinetic or the quest.



  3. MT on May 16, 2020 at 9:50 am

    So, when running in the summer heat with the Kinetic HD, do you (still) wear a pair of shorts over these? Or does that just look like you’re, well.. running in your underwear?

    Especially that patterned one looks to me like it wouldn’t be so weird to run in only that and nothing else. But I would want to try it on for a sec. to be the judge of that.

    I mean, if I were to be wearing shorts over these anyway, then I might aswell just buy the 2N1 Pilot and skip the Kinetic HD?

  4. Johnny on May 16, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    The Kinetic HD is not deigned to be weared alone. You can opt to wear a lightweight pair of shorts over the Kinetic HD instead. But I get your point on the Pilot 2N1 for running since the fabric is lightweight, but the fabric may not be as good as your favorite shorts. Also the Pilot liner is not the same as the Kinetic HD or even the Kinetic version.

    I did find a site reviewing a bunch of SAXX 2n1 shorts, maybe you can read it?
    https://www.wearviews.com/

  5. Michael on July 14, 2020 at 10:49 am

    The redesign has broken a great pair of underwear for me. The new pouch design is causing chaffing issues underneath the scrotum as the bottom attachment point is now both closer together and higher.

    The overall quality of the product has seriously declined with this redesign. After only a few washes i have noticed elastic thread coming loose around the waistband.

    This is really disappointing. I wish companies would realize that changing the thing that made you succeed is a dumb idea.

  6. Neal on August 3, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    I have been wearing the Quest SAXX for the last 2-3 years. They also have some nice “office wear” designs that are very comfortable.
    My wife bought some Haynes that looked similar to the Quest for me, but they are in a different ballpark, or another league if you don’t like wordplay.
    I love the Quest unders, and will be choosing them over the competition every time! (If I’m consulted, that is!)
    P.s., I’m 60 years old and hike in the Smokey Mountains near Gatlinburg. Lot’s of leg movement!😜

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