The following Thinx period panties review was submitted by Caitlin O’Brien.
Periods can be a serious pain, especially on the road. Ever travel to a hot, sweaty place wearing pads? How about running out of tampons only to find there are none where you’re going? How about the insane cost of monthly supplies and the trash produced?!
I believe we’re leaving those days behind! All thanks to innovators producing reusable period products, such as reusable pads and menstrual cups.
For me, my menstrual cup of choice (the Diva Cup) stopped feeling super comfortable after I hit up Planned Parenthood for an IUD. The Mirena effectively solved the complicated (read: extremely volatile) relationship I have had with my period by stopping most of my periods. These days, I don’t bleed as much as I used to, but occasionally get the surprise uterine reminder.
So, what’s a gal to do? Period panties! Period panties are basically underwear that you can bleed into without feeling like you’re wearing a diaper.
Today, I want to tell you specifically what I love about my period panties from THINX.
>>Check out our ultimate guide to managing periods when you travel.
THINX Period Panties
THINX officially started back in 2014 and have shaped their company style around smashing period taboos. While they have drawn some negative attention for not being as feminist as their ideals, their product is undeniably useful.
According to their site, THINX underwear is “antimicrobial cotton, which includes an application of silver. All the other technology is between the cotton interior layer and the nylon/spandex exterior layer (Interior Innermost 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane; Middle breathable PUL, 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane; Outer 89% Nylon, 11% Elastane; Trim 100% Polyester).” Essentially, your blood is absorbed by the under-layer. This leaves you pretty darn dry.
I got my pair of cheeky underwear after recommendations from family members who loved their pairs. Using their $10-off code, I scooped me a pair of drawers for medium days. Typically, I go in for, um, classy granny panties and didn’t trust the cheek cut. However, the comfort won me over. They are a teeny bit thicker than your average underwear, but not noticeably. No problems wearing under skinny jeans or skirts alike. Going on roughly two years with my single pair of underwear and I am super happy that I made the $35 investment!
The Negative Side of THINX Period Underwear?
Actually, I really struggle to come up with a cons list for this product. Nothing in the world can prevent how good it feels to just throw on a pair of sexy underwear and head out for the day. No need to dump blood or change tampons! Just rinse them out at the end of the day and wear a new pair for the evening.
So, what is the negative side?!?
- I haven’t figured out how to really wash these bad boys. By hand? Cycle? I’ve done both. One rubbed off some color on the first go and the other makes them kinda crispy.THINX site answer:
“We recommend that you rinse them by hand first, and then throw them in the cold wash with the rest of your delicates! DON’T use fabric softener as it prevents the antimicrobial and moisture-wicking treatments from working. Finally, hang dry. (Pro-tip: You should treat the rest of your lingerie like this, too!)”
- Moisture. These suckers are absorbent! You’ll probably still need tampons or Diva Cups for sporadically jumping into lakes. One of my best-worst decisions was spontaneously jumping into a Cambodian river…maybe wouldn’t have been great with absorbent underwear. Plus, I can vouch that getting sweaty isn’t the world’s greatest feeling… though it’s still a far sight better than pads.
- Needing more than one pair. I’d recommend getting 3 to wear, wash, dry, and repeat. That’s a bit pricey but I’m trying to convince myself it’s a good investment. Each pair runs between $20-40 before shipping. Ouch.
- Your comfort with blood. If you’re making THINX your travel underwear, think about whether or not you’re comfortable rinsing blood out in a communal sink. That might be a deterrent for some folks.
>>Read about the best eco-friendly travel products.
In spite of the cons listed, if you’re thinking of buying a pair of period panties for traveling, I would absolutely recommend it. These days, they’re the only menstruation product I use.
Every flow is different, so tune into your body before making a decision that is right for you. At this time, you can only purchase THINX period panties at their online store, but they do offer international shipping! Heeeeeey!
To round off, here’s some more menstruation inspiration and innovation. Happy bleeding!
About the author: Caitlin O’Brien is a work in progress, continuously obsessing over communal life, anarchy, and what street food she’ll try next. Follow her on Instagram or check out the blog Back Again Cait for tales of dirt-cheap travel, visiting communes, and whatever else pops into her head.
I’ve owned seven pairs of Thinx over the years, and have run into durability issues despite careful washing and drying. Four pairs of hiphuggers frayed and the waistband eventually separated. Two sport pairs started pilling badly after only a few washes. The thong I tossed after it completely failed to dry during travel to a humid climate – after 48 hours it was getting too smelly for me to want to salvage.
Instead, I recommend the leakproof athletic underwear from Knixwear. I travel now with a boyshort and a thong. Both are easy to clean and dry crazy fast. Knix also makes fantastic travel bras!
It personally grosses me out, I find that being in our period is a pain in general, I don’t feel bringing a few tampons is such a issue, I wish we could just AVOID being in our period (without the side effects associated with the Mirena IU)
I own three pairs of the original and three pairs of the newer cotton ones. I have a strong preference for the cotton THINX as they’re more comfy and breathable. My favorite uses for them are as a daytime backup to a menstrual cup, alone at the beginning/end of my period when there’s just spotting, and overnight backup (either alone or with a cup depending on flow).
But I rarely travel with them. Three reasons:
1. They’re horrible for hiking/getting sweaty. They get damp and stay damp in a weird way.
2. They take forever to dry after being washed. Like 24 hours + in a climate controlled room, and longer when it’s hot and humid. You also need to be in a place where you can set them out to dry for an extended time rather than wash at night and toss them back in your backpack or suitcase the next morning.
3. They’re bulky for packing, and because they don’t dry quickly you really do need at least 3 pairs. This makes their use fairly limited.
Sara Jo says
I absolutely love my Thinx, though they aren’t super plus size friendly or wash friendly. I’ve tried the boyshort, hiphugger and high waisted – the high waisted has been by far my favorite. The hiphuggers lace band frays so fast, has holes and barely stays together. The boyshort rolls up very easily and bunches under pants/shorts. They are super absorbent so rinsing them out can take awhile and I always have to soak in vinegar to make sure there are no lasting smells. They usually dry in a day for me.
The comments have provided some very interesting feedback, as I had been considering trying some THINX panties.
I have been using cloth pantyliners as a backup for the Sckoon cup for a long time now (almost 6 years holy crap) and recently upgraded my system to Lunapads Performa. For me, the benefit of the cloth pantyliners is they are able to hold up all day without feeling too sweaty, and then are usually good to dry overnight after handwashing. I think depending on the person’s menstrual flow and the climate you are travelling to, the pantyliners might be something to consider as well. I have four liners and one mini pad, and could make it through my entire cycle without washing in between if I needed to.
Thing to consider: the silver coating in these period panties might seem useful, but what happens to the water when you wash them? If it kills microbes and bacteria (both the “good” and the “bad” ones) in your underwear, what does it do to the ones in the environment? I would google and read up on the topic before making a purchase.