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A sports bra is a foundational piece of gear that you will take with you every time you are in the mountains. Finding a sports bra that gives you the support you need, doesn’t chafe, is comfortable, and doesn’t break the bank can seem like a daunting task.

Well you’re in luck, because The Adventure Junkies did the hard work for you. We scoured the web to help you find the best sports bras for hiking, ranging in different types of support, size, strap style, and several other features.

When looking for a sports bra, it’s important that you feel comfortable but also secure in the sports bra you choose. A fun design doesn’t hurt either. This list will be an aid in finding the sports bra that works best for you.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Underwear for Women

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Bras

  1. Patagonia Barely
  2. Icebreaker Merino Siren
  3. Brooks Fiona
  4. Icebreaker Meld Zone
  5. Oiselle Ballard
  6. Nike Pro Classic Swoosh
  7. Brooks FastForward Free
  8. Brooks Maia
  9. Patagonia Switchback
  10. Patagonia Active Mesh

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Bra

PictureNameFabricBra SupportSupport StyleStrap StylePriceRating
Patagonia BarelyMajority NylonMedium ImpactEncapsulationRacerback$$5.0
Icebreaker Merino SirenMajority Merino WoolLow ImpactEncapsulationTank Top$$4.5
Brooks FionaMajority PolyesterMedium ImpactCompression/EncapsulationTank Top$$4.5
Icebreaker Meld ZoneMajority Merino WoolMedium ImpactEncapsulationRacerback$$4.5
Oiselle BallardMajority NylonMedium ImpactCompressionCombination Racerback and Crisscross$4.0
Nike Pro Classic SwooshMajority Recycled PolyesterMedium ImpactCompressionRacerback$4.0
Brooks FastForward FreeMajority PolyesterLow ImpactCompression/EncapsulationCrisscross$4.0
Brooks MaiaMajority NylonMedium ImpactCompression/EncapsulationTank Top$$4.0
Patagonia SwitchbackMajority Recycled PolyesterMedium ImpactCompressionCrisscross$4.0
Patagonia Active MeshMajority Recycled PolyesterMedium ImpactCompressionTank Top$4.0
PictureNameFabricBra SupportSupport StyleStrap StylePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Bras for Hiking

Patagonia Barely

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Nylon
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Racerback
Features
  • Quick Drying Material
  • Under Bust Panel Provides Support
  • Non-slip Straps
  • Internal Cup Pockets Allow For Pads

BEST FOR: ALL HIKERS  

Our hiking experts at The Adventure Junkies can attest to the quality of this incredible sports bra. Patagonia’s Barely Sports Bra is durable, comfortable and flattering. 

This sports bra is very soft and stretches well, so putting the bra on and taking it off is stress free. Another blessing is that it is extremely quick drying. It can double as your swimsuit top on your hottest hiking trips and won’t cause any kind of chafe even when wet. This bra will last you the entirety of your longest hiking trips and for months after. 

The cinched middle of the bra is flattering and eliminates the uni-boob look some sports bras can give. This bra is for both the mountains and for running errands in town, and we’re sure it will become your go-to favorite of all your sports bras.

Icebreaker Merino Siren

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Merino Wool
  • Bra Support: Low Impact
  • Support Style: Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Tank Top
Features
  • Fabric Resists Odor
  • Moisture Wicking and Quick Drying
  • Elastic Band Offers Support

BEST FOR: THE COMFORT SEEKER

Icebreakers Siren Bra made with merino wool and nylon blend offers a soft as skin sports bra for outdoor enthusiasts. This bra has a low impact support style, meaning the bra moves with your body while you’re on the go and provides extreme comfort. 

The fabric this bra is made of breathes well during the summer months, but also provides some insulation during the winter months, making it a good option for year-round hikes. This is also a great option for a T-shirt bra, because the sleek design and no-side-seams make it invisible under clothing.

Note that the low impact support style of this bra is not the most supportive option if you are looking for a bra that minimizes bounce while running or hiking.

Brooks Fiona

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Polyester
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression/Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Tank Top
Features
  • Adjustable Front Straps
  • Hook-and-Eye Back Closure
  • Molded Cups Maintain Natural Shape

BEST FOR: THE TRAIL RUNNER

You know those bras that you put on, and they fit like a glove and you just know it isn’t going anywhere? That is the Brooks Fiona Sports Bra. If you struggle with bounce control while on the trail or when you’re pounding pavement on your daily run, this bra is a sure thing. 

Brooks didn’t stop there either – this bra even has a hook-and-eye back closure, making the putting on/taking off process as easy as can be. The straps on this bra can also be adjusted in the front so you can customize the bra to your perfect fit.

This bra is a great option for women with medium to large chests who are looking for ease and security with their sports bra.

Icebreaker Meld Zone

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Merino Wool
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Racerback
Features
  • Moisture Wicking and Odor Eliminating Fabric
  • Low Cut Armholes
  • Cup Inserts Allow For Customizable Fit

BEST FOR: THE LONG TERM BACKPACKER

Icebreakers Meld Zone Sports Bra does just what its name implies – it melds to your body for a full coverage fit. 

This bra is extremely quick-drying and made of an antimicrobial material that is odor eliminating, meaning you can wear it on a long backpacking trip without worrying about stinking up your tent. The medium impact support of this bra is a good option for medium to large chested women looking for a bra that is tight but not restrictive. 

The low cut armholes and wide open racerback both help prevent chafing and allow for a full range of mobility, making it a great bra for running or strength training in the mountains. This bra also has flatlock seams, meaning that the seams are finished and clean cut, to help prevent against chafe and maintain a comfortable fit.

Oiselle Ballard

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Nylon
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression
  • Strap Style: Combination Racerback and Crisscross
Features
  • Mesh Lining Provides Ventilation
  • Removable Cup Pads
  • Mid-high Neckline Provides Full Coverage
  • Compression Fit Provides Support

BEST FOR:  THE ADVANCED HIKER

Oiselle’s Ballard Support Sports Bra provides support for women with smaller breasts, including size A-C cups. 

The fun strap design is stylish and keeps the girls up when you’re working out and minimizes stress on the shoulders, ensuring that the straps won’t dig into your skin. The mid-high neckline makes the bra a full-coverage option and the mesh at the top of the bra provides a place for sweat to escape while you’re out adventuring.

Removable cups allow for a customizable fit, and they are marked with a right and left side so it’s easy to know which goes where. The fabric is soft and stays dry without a thick feel.

Nike Pro Classic Swoosh

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Recycled Polyester
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression
  • Strap Style: Racerback
Features
  • Flat and Clean Finished Seams
  • Double Lined Chest Prevents Nipping
  • Compression Fit Offers Support

BEST FOR: THE VERSATILE HIKER 

Nike’s Pro Classic Swoosh Sports Bra is a great option for anyone looking for a foundational sports bra for the backcountry. 

The double lined front provides security when it can be very cold outside, and relieves any worry about pads slipping out or getting lost in the wash. Similar to other Nike gear, this bra does run a bit small.

This bra will be comfortable and the compression fit will stay tight to your body all day long. 

This bra is a sure thing for support and security and it honestly sells at a killer price point. Nike designs all of their clothing flawlessly, and this bra is no exception.

Brooks FastForward Free

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Polyester
  • Bra Support: Low Impact
  • Support Style: Compression/Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Crisscross
Features
  • Mesh Panels and Stylized Keyhole Provide Ventilation
  • Minimal Back Coverage Gives Full Range of Motion
  • Removable Cups Allow Customizable Shaping and Coverage

BEST FOR: THE OUTDOOR FASHIONISTA 

Brooks FastForward Free Sports Bra is both fashionable and functional. 

The stylized keyhole in the front of the bra and side mesh panels help ventilate while you’re on your adventure and provide a modern look. A band at the bottom of the bra allows for flexible movement, ensuring the bra will stay put when you’re on the go.

Because this bra’s support style is low impact, it would best be used for shorter day hikes or jogs. The scoop neckline is flattering and helps negate from the uni-boob look. This bra is made of a moisture wicking fabric to help keep you dry and comfortable all day long. This product runs a bit small, and is best when hand washed.

Brooks Maia

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Nylon
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression/Encapsulation
  • Strap Style: Tank Top
Features
  • Extra Support for Breasts in Padded Cups
  • Encased Underwire Adds Support and Shaping
  • Adjustable Straps
  • Gel-in Straps Provide Padding for Shoulders
  • Hook-and-Eye Back Closure

BEST FOR: THE BEGINNING HIKER

Brooks Maia Sports Bra’s main goal is to provide support to women who need help with bounce support and are looking for a full coverage bra. 

This bra is supportive but also comfortable. Gel is placed in the straps to provide padding for your shoulders, and adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye back closure ensures a customizable fit. The back closure of this bra also makes taking the bra on and off extremely easy. 

The band at the bottom of the bra allows for flexible movement while still keeping everything in place, so you can rest assured you won’t have any slips while you’re on the go. This bra comes in several fun designs, and tends to run a bit small.

Patagonia Switchback

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Recycled Polyester
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression
  • Strap Style: Crisscross
Features
  • Moisture Wicking Fabric
  • High Density Cups Hold Shape
  • Reflective Logo Maintains Visibility

BEST FOR: THE AEROBIC HIKER 

A great option for trail running or hiking, the Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra is a great option for a workout bra. 

This bra stays in place but isn’t too snug, and the arm holes are low enough that the bra doesn’t cause any chafing with it’s comfortable fit. As is the case with several of Patagonia’s products, this bra is not limited to just black and white, but rather offers a range of fun designs. 

The mesh straps on this bra provide ventilation and breathability while you’re working up a sweat in the mountains. A band at the bottom of the bra provides additional support and the stretchy recycled polyester this bra is made of makes putting the bra on and taking it off a breeze.

Patagonia Active Mesh

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Recycled Polyester
  • Bra Support: Medium Impact
  • Support Style: Compression
  • Strap Style: Tank Top
Features
  • Antimicrobial Fabric is Odor Eliminating
  • Seamless Construction Prevents Chafing
  • Non-slip Straps
  • Fair Trade Certified Sewing

BEST FOR: THE DAY HIKER

Patagonia’s Active Mesh Bra is a great go-to bra to have in your drawer. This bra offers comfort and flexibility for an array of outdoor sports. 

The non-slip straps ensure that they will stay put all day and won’t be digging into your shoulders. This bra is not constricting or tight, but offers more of a comfortable and soft option. 

The fabric this bra is made of is odor eliminating, which is great to have after a day outdoors. The seamless construction of this bra also makes it a great option for a bra under a T-shirt.

This would also be a great option for a “camp” bra, or a bra that you would sleep in while camping, or put on when you get to your destination after a long day. Known for comfort, this bra is extremely easy to put on and take off.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A HIKING BRA

BRA SUPPORT

Bra support is determined in three categories, low impact, medium impact and high impact. These different impact categories will determine how your bra fits and whether the bra helps with bounce control. Here are definitions for the different types of impact to help you decide which one is for you:

Low Impact

Bras with low impact support are usually the most comfortable fit. These bras are not tight fitting and are often a great option for women with small breasts or as a T-shirt bra. This level of impact is not the best option if you are looking for a sports bra with excellent bounce control.

Medium Impact

A medium impact bra is a good balance between comfort and support. These bras will help with bounce control, will often fit a bit tighter than a low impact bra (but still be comfortable) and often have a supportive strap at the bottom of the bra. A medium impact bra is a sure thing for all outdoor activities.

High Impact

A high impact bra is a great option for the lady with a large chest looking for guaranteed support. These bras are designed to hold all of your curves in place and control bounce completely. These bras will fit tightly, but can still be comfortable. If this sounds like the level of impact you need, find a fabric that you feel is comfortable and a high impact bra to match.

Learn more here about the different types of sports bra support here.

 

STRAP STYLE

Sports bras can come in all different kinds of strap styles. There is tank top, crisscross (meaning the straps cross each other in the back of the bra), halter, racerback, hook-and-eye, and countless others. Some strap styles are crazy cute, and can draw you to a sports bra because of the fun design.

Bras with a hook-and-eye clasp are often bras that are tank top style and are more supportive, offering better weight control for women with large chests. Some sports bras can be versatile, allowing the straps to go several different ways, depending on what you like or need to match with your tank top that day. To find a strap style that you prefer, try on different sports bras and see if a particular strap style offers you the support you need.

 

FABRIC

Different fabrics will ensure the sports bra has different qualities. Merino Wool (a very soft wool that is grown on merino sheep) for example will ensure that your sports bra is very soft. A nylon bra is typically very quick drying. Think about your needs – will you be using your bra on long backpacking trips where you’ll be swimming in lakes and need something that will dry quickly? Or do you prefer a sports bra that is comfortable? Is there a particular fabric that doesn’t work for your body? Make sure to consider all of these things before making your final decision.

 

SUPPORT STYLE

There are two different support styles your bra can be: encapsulation and compression. This means that the bra has individual cups (encapsulation) or one piece of fabric that comprises the front of the sports bra (compression). Compression sports bras are usually ideal for women with smaller chests, and encapsulation sports bras are great for women with larger chests. The encapsulation support style will give you more cleavage than a compression sports bra.

 

SIZE

The size of sports bra you need will be determined on the measurements that is around your chest. Cup sizes A and B can usually fit into a small, cup size C can usually fit into a medium, and cup sizes D and above can usually fit into a large or extra large.

Strap style is important here, because if you’re looking for a more supportive bra, a wide strap will help distribute your chest weight. When determining size, also pay attention to the side panels of the bra which will also help you with support. Learn more about how a women’s sports bra should fit here.

 

PRICE

A good sports bra can cost a pretty penny. How well you care for your sports bra will determine its lifetime. A good sports bra can withstand all of your outdoor adventures for years to come. That being said, there are many affordable options out there and finding your perfect fit at your perfect price IS possible.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BOUNCE CONTROL

It’s natural for breasts of any size to bounce up and down while we are hiking or trail running. A bra with bounce control offers support targeted at keeping the girls in place while you’re on the go.

UNDER BUST PANEL

This means that the sports bra has a band at the bottom of the bra which helps provide support when keeping the girls up throughout the day. The panel can either be comfortable and supportive, or at times can dig into your skin and cause discomfort. Make sure that you find a sports bra with a secure panel, to ensure comfort throughout your hike or run.

SEAMLESS CONSTRUCTION

When a sports bra has a seamless construction, it means that the bra is one solid piece of fabric, instead of several pieces sewn together. A seamless construction means that there aren’t any fabric edges on the sports bra that can cause chafing and discomfort.

DOUBLE LINED CHEST

A double lined chest on a sports bra means that the front panel of the sports bra has two pieces of fabric instead of just one. This is a great thing because it provides more coverage than a single lined chest, and can help prevent against nipping.

ENCASED UNDERWIRE

This means that the bra has an underwire, to help support and shape the bra correctly to your body, but that the underwire is encased in fabric. Having an underwire that is encased in fabric means that the wire shouldn’t be poking out at you for the lifetime of the bra.

READ MORE

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