The fact about the survival saying "cotton kills" is that plain and simple, it is true. Cotton is a naturally hydrophilic fabric which means it absorbs water and much like a fat kid with a donut won't let it go at any cost. Cotton pants, shirts, socks, coats, gloves, etc…all are shunned by outdoors enthusiasts because we all recognize that water retention by cotton can really do a number on us. In clothing it chills our bodies and can quickly cause us to go hypothermic while detractors will say it is fine in an arid desert environment the reality is that once the sun goes down that desert gets pretty damn cold and having a sweaty cotton garment on is not a good idea. But some folks won't give it up because they love the feel or the durability and relatively cheap cost. Or maybe they just want to be the cool guy in cut off jeans on a hike.
Well for all of the cool guys and gals out there Polarmax has released AYG 365 cotton outdoor clothing. Made with 95% cotton and 5% spandex this garment moves well with you as you hike with no appreciable bunching (which could cause chaffing) and to be honest a minimal moisture build up. To be fair when I hike I usually go commando (no underpants) or I wear triathlon shorts which are very minimally padded and made much like spandex bike shorts, so when testing these I could definitely tell a difference. These briefs wore well and stayed true to claim when it comes to breathability and relatively quick drying. Polarmax also claims they are anti-microbial and bacteria fighting…well I'll take their word on it but as far as I know I am microbe and bacteria free!
After some hikes, climbs, a few rides, and even a trail run I think that AYG has passed the snuff test for me at least for shorter duration (a day or less) on the trail. As I mentioned I noticed no restriction in movement and the moisture build up was quite minimal, and I think I will add these to my gear list for one or two multi day adventures knowing full well that I can always take them off should they become saturated. I think that the advancements that Polarmax has made actually allow their AYG line to be considered for an adventurer and I look forward to testing these garments this summer once we get a true bit of heat. To be honest I think the best market for these are the folks that like to mix in a slight bit of play in their work day where they take a break to hike or they ride their bike to work, and not for the true full day of adventure.
Be sure and look through the Polarmax line as they offer tops and bottoms for both men and women and I am sure you will find something that will suit your needs.