I hadn’t planned on writing another article about sports bras. It’s such a personal and specific item that it seems weird to recommend too many or give a lot of advice. You’ll try some on, you’re used to your body and what you need, you’ll find what works, and that’s it, we don’t really need to discuss it publicly, do we?
Well no. But. I had an experience that was so great that I need to share it with the whole world, or at least all six of my readers.
The Icebreaker “Sprite” is life-changing.
I got mine just before a friend and I took a loop around Mount Rainier, completing its 93-mile Wonderland Trail plus some little side trails for a total of 122 miles in 8 days. She had spoken highly of hers and my synthetic ones were feeling slimy lately so I dashed out and got one in the days just before we left. One of the best decisions I made for that adventure, along with switching my trusty old Osprey pack for an ultralight Gossamer Gear Mariposa, and packing extra powdered mashed potatoes and Babybel cheese.
Icebreaker deals in soft Merino wool, which is lovely against my skin and wicks moisture like a champ. I truly cannot feel it when it’s on. Under a 30 pound pack I can’t feel its straps over my shoulders. There are no buckles or hardware of any kind. Even with a shirt soaked with perspiration, even on the hottest days when we had sweat literally dripping from our brows, somehow this bra didn’t smell. I didn’t mind sleeping in it, didn’t even really notice one way or another if it was even on or not. And the coverage is just enough that on the very very hot days we wore only our Icebreakers and pants rolled up and didn’t feel uncomfortably exposed.
The one time in eight days that I washed it, it dried the fastest of all my clothing, including my ankle socks.
And I still don’t understand the smell thing other than it must be magic. My shirt, my armpits, my socks, all reeked to high heaven. The Icebreaker? Neutral.
The wide elastic band around the ribs doesn’t roll up and isn’t constricting. My friend and I are of very different heights, weights, and shapes, yet we both wear a small and they fit us each perfectly.
The temperature-regulating nature and the softness of the merino wool is amazing: on hot days it didn’t overheat me or feel like it was adding to the sweat like my spandexy bras do, and when it was chilly at night, it was nice and comfy to have a soft extra top layer.
Also really great is the cut; the straps come way in between the shoulder blades for a deep racerback shape that doesn’t interfere with backpack straps or other clothing.
To recap its best features:
- No buckles or clasps
- Dries quickly after washing
- Moisture wicks sweat effectively
- Fits various shapes and sizes equally well
I’ve never been one to tell folks what bra to get, but after last week I can’t imagine wearing anything other than this one and feel strongly that every sports-bra-wearing person out there tries this one out just to experience how comfortable a sports bra can be.
Wendy Harrington is a California native who has lived in a small town at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state since 2001. Her love of trail running and peakbagging has led her to summit all five Washington volcanoes, climb to the high points of three states, and put nearly a thousand miles a year on her boots. Her loves include ridgelines, saddles, granite, one-day pushes on big mountains, anything volcanic, long solo days, and objectives that push limits and test endurance.