From high impact sports bras to stink-free camping options to all-day comfort bralettes and everything in between, we’ve found the best sports bras.
For the past year we’ve been busy testing bras: Running, hiking, washing, and wearing them day after day.
Through snow, rain, sun, and sleet (even pregnancy and nursing!); from sun up to sun down we found the best options. Rest assured knowing we’ve put these bras to the ultimate test for you.
Review: Best Bras For Active, Outdoorsy, and Adventurous Women
1) Yoga, Hiking, Medium Impact Support Bra: Patagonia Active Compression ($55)
Made from moisture-wicking, quick-drying synthetic fabric, this bra keeps your temperature regulated no matter the weather. We’re happy to report no boob or back sweat was felt during tests.
Even during a 100-mile mountain bike ride in the high altitude and heat of Telluride, Colorado, multiple laps down Mt. Bachelor this winter and bike commuting around town.
The shutdown compression cups plus the seamless design both support and separate so you don’t have to worry about the dreaded “uni-boob” look. C cups and bigger should note: this is a medium impact bra and may not offer enough support for running or HIIT workouts.
But it is a great hiking bra, camping bra, or lower impact bra. And for A to B cups, this could be your one bra to rule them all!
Alternatives: Yoga, Hiking, Medium Impact Support Bra
2) Cleavage Coverage, High-Neck: Athleta GiGi High Coverage Sports Bra ($69)
Sometimes you just want a little more coverage, (hello yoga inversions and box jumps) and that’s where the GiGi has you covered.
The higher neckline keeps everything tucked away while the double-molded compression cups keep it in place.It also happens to be a great high-impact sports bra option for C and bigger women.
Petite and busty women are forewarned, this might not be the best option for you as the band may be too loose. It’ll take a bit of practice to get in and out smoothly, but it’s worth it for a supportive, full-coverage sports bra.
Alternatives: Cleavage Coverage, High-Neck Bras
Made in Canada the Daub & Design Kennedy Racerback Bra ($69) is a favorite with yogis and women who love high-quality, fun prints, and matching leggings. If you like to lift heavy the Chestee Tiffany Sports Bra ($62) is for you. The ladder back design keeps it cool and the light padding on the edges protects your collarbone from barbell bruises.
3) Running & Jumping: High Impact Sports Bras – Brooks Rebound Racer ($50)
If we could only get one sports bra, this is our pick. What sets this bra apart is its front adjustable straps and back key-hole closure for customized fit.
When GJ contributor Chelsey Magness was pregnant, she still wore the same Brooks bra because of its adjustability. The removable velcro straps make it the only sports bra that you can both nurse and run in.
Women looking for extra support and an easily adjustable fit will get their money’s worth out of this bra.
Alternatives: High Impact Sports Bras
The Under Armor Eclipse High ($55 on Amazon) is another strong option for high impact bras. Though we noticed it can be hard to get on and off with the straps crossed. While we haven’t tried the Panache Underwire Sports Bra ($38 on Amazon), we can’t wait to get our hands on it with its reasonable price tag and rave Amazon reviews.
4) The All-in-One: Bra Top Tanks – Lululemon Power Y Tank ($52)
GJ contributor Mallory Paige has had this tank for nearly 5 years, and it’s still going strong. With a fitted look, you can easily transition from the yoga mat to the coffee shop. And even though the straps are thin, it offers an impressive amount of support.
With that said, the inner bra band fits snug and can be difficult to pull off and over your head after a sweaty workout. Think of it as part of your shoulder workout.
The Power Y is a mid-length tank, so you don’t have to worry about any pant-shirt gaps and it features removable cups depending on the coverage desired. If you’re looking for a fitted, long-lasting, all-in-one bra tank top, this is a winner.
Alternatives: Bra Top Tanks
The Lucy Sun Salutation ($69) is another great choice with a higher neck for more coverage and mesh panel in the back to keep you cool. We also really liked the Prana Waterfall Tank ($69) with its moisture-wicking fabric and fun, drapey back design.
5) All-Day, Everyday: The Most Comfortable Bras – Knixwear 8-in-1 Evolution Bra ($55)
This bra will take you from the top of the mountain to happy hour without a hitch. It’s reversible and features detachable straps, enabling eight ways to wear it.
With its wireless design, anti-microbial fabric, wide band for all-day comfort, and a 30-day love-it guarantee, you simply can’t pass up this bra. The sizing can be a bit tricky, so be prepared to get out the tape measurer for a perfect fit.
Alternatives: The Most Comfortable Bras
Wool lovers should also check out the Ibex Balance Dance Bra ($55 on Amazon), Chelsey’s maximum comfort option that naturally wicks and stays stink-free.
And for a cotton option that won’t break the bank, check out Mallory’s favorite lounging bra, the Calvin Klein Bralette (2 for $35 on Amazon).
Make It Last: 3 Sports Bra Care Tips
Now that you’ve found the perfect bra, you want to make it last as long as possible. Experts say regularly worn (sweated, swam, and adventured in) bras only last about a year. Hopefully, these three tips will help it thrive a bit longer:
- Remove immediately after working out. It’s tempting to wad up your sweaty bra into a ball and toss it in the bottom of your bag, but take a few extra seconds to treat it with care. At the very least hang it out to dry while you get changed and then lie it flat in your bag. Even better if you can give it a rinse to remove sweat, bacteria and body products that can break down the materials.
- Wash in cold water with mild detergent. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach as these speed up the fabric breakdown and can inhibit the wicking properties. If you have a wool bra, consider using a specialty soap like our favorite Granger’s Merino Wool Wash ($7 on Amazon).
- Skip the dryer whenever possible to avoid overheating, stretching, and misshaping your favorite bra. These bras are all made of quick-drying materials, simply hang up or lay flat to dry.
And remember, everyone is different. You don’t necessarily need a high-impact bra to run in or a special wicking bra to go hiking. It’s all about what’s comfortable to you.
Find what works for your body and go with it. Explore, adventure and have fun. That’s what it’s really all about.
And if you’re looking for a new pair of sneakers, check out our favorite running shoes for women: