As much as I’d love to whip off my sweaty t-shirt and bask bare-chested in the sunshine, like every dude at the top of every hot approach, I just don’t quite have that chutzpah (yet!). So love ‘em or hate ‘em, a properly-fitting sports bra is still an everyday essential.
These are my favorite low to moderate support options that are comfortable for all-day wear.
Want to get in touch with your inner warrior princess? Then rock this climbing-specific CORDURA-armored crop top and slay your proj. Front and back CORDURA panels eliminated snags and piling while the full coverage, high neck cut gave my torso extra protection as well. Without a built-in shelf bra this top uses compression for no-dig, moderate support. The longer length and reinforced panels were great for going sans t-shirt but they did trap more heat than a standard bra top.
Minimal support and a soft, lightweight fabric give the Wander Often Bra that forget-you’re-wearing-it feel. The narrow straps on this bra were out of the way when climbing, and the soft, tall ribcage band kept it from riding up without being overly tight. Even after hours of wear, this bra doesn’t feel confining. The lower cut neckline, and open back design of this bra were great for staying cool on hot days.
Free your lats with the Women’s Free Motion Bra. The flat, cross-back design provides support without any restrictive band around the ribcage. My torso felt completely unencumbered in this bra… no slipping, digging or binding, just comfortable, secure boob love. I also really liked the new smooth-feeling bonded fabric that eliminated some chafing I’d felt in past iterations of this design. A thicker, double layer on the front and high-neck cut provide a lot of coverage so I felt confident dropping my t-shirt on hot days.
Têra Kaia (formerly Arêt Basewear) has built a cult following amongst female climbers for their uber comfortable, climber-friendly TOURA tops. I’ve worn the Low Cut TOURA for several years, but after becoming a mom I prefer the extra coverage and security of a higher neckline. The High Cut TOURA has the same flat straps, and muscle friendly cut that I loved in the low cut version, but it comes up higher in the front to keep things in place a little better. The swimsuit-like fabric of this top provides a just-right amount of compression to support low impact activities and dries super fast after a sweaty approach.
The Focus Top combines a seamless knit construction with wide crossing straps for a chafe-free, moderate support bra. I love the way the criss-cross straps moved with my body without ever digging into my back or shoulders. The knit fabric provides secure, moderate support without an elastic band around the rib cage, which kept the bra comfortable all day long. I removed the padded inserts, but they’re a nice option for extra support and coverage if you prefer it.