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Review: Ibex Balance Sports Top

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For trips and during expeditions, it is often easy for guys to pack light in the clothing department. For me — and most girls I know — it is a different story. I like to change my underwear every day (shock!) even when on an expedition or a mountain trip.

Ibex’s Balance Sports Top, $59, is a tank top with a built-in shelf bra. The seamless garment is made primarily of fine merino wool plus there’s a little bit of nylon and spandex, too. The result? Because wool is naturally antimicrobial, this is a bra I can wear multiple days in a row outdoors and on trips.

During a recent six-day trip, I wore the top the entire time — no changes needed. It was comfy and plenty supportive when I was biking and kayaking. I would have liked a little more support for running, but I realize that this top was not designed for “high-impact” support.

Ibex Balance Sports Top

Thermally, it kept my core warm during the trip and it never got that clammy feeling I get from synthetic materials. I often struggle with being either too hot or too cold when outside. But the Ibex top regulated my temperature nearly perfectly — it felt warm when I was cool, and it was cool and breathable when I was warm.

On a sexy side note, I am happy to report that the built-in bra did not create the dreaded “uni-boob” effect.

One caution: The Balance Sports Top runs a little small in the size range. I am normally an XS, but this was a bit on the tight side for me. In perusing Ibex shoppers on the Web, this seemed to be a fairly common note from other women. “[It] feels a little tight but still way more comfortable than many bras,” noted a commenter.

For me, the size issue meant that during certain activities it rode up and exposed a bit of my belly. A small sacrifice for an otherwise reliable, high-performing product. https://www.ibexwear.com

—Chelsey Gribbon is a member of the YogaSlackers.

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