Pack a Sports Bra, Already

If you’re looking for something slightly saucy, sorry, there’s nothing sexy about what I’m about to write here. It’s just a bunch of practical advice for traveling women with a bit of, uh, bounce. See, I did some off road travel recently and the one item I regretted not throwing in the overnight bag? A sports bra.

Runners know the value of a good sports bra, most outdoor adventurers know this, hell, I know this, and yet… Clearly, I’m not getting enough high impact excercise if I’ve forgotten. Note to self: Amp up the calorie burning and pack a freaking sports bra.

I keep two brands in my wardrobe; Champion and Moving Comfort. I’ve come to prefer the Champion 360 Max Support model because I find it the most comfortable. I’ve got a whole bunch of these that — oh, I’ll just admit it — I bought in three packs at Costco. They fit well, they’re comfortable enough to wear on long haul flights, and they do the job of keeping everything contained. You can get them in cute colors, so if you’re the type that strips down to a sports bra and shorts (I most decidedly am NOT) you will not look completely ridiculous. The 360 is good in heat, it’s got that wicking technology that keeps moves moisture away from your body. It will set you back about $35.00, though hey, you might get lucky and find the sale pack at Costco.

Moving Comfort is a well-established brand in sports bras and every now and I try another style from them, but candidly, they’re still not quite working out for me. I’ve tried three — the Alexis, the Aurora, and the Grace, all around $40.00. The Alexis I liked just fine, it’s made of a stretchy, wicking material similar to that of the Champion bras I’ve got, but has a much lighter profile, making it even better for hot weather or exertion.

The other two I’m not crazy about. They offer a lot of support, but this is where shopping for bras is tricky. It’s all about fit, and when I’m wearing one of these I feel more compressed than anything else, not a great feeling. Half sizes, ladies, can I get a witness? I’m good for a trail hike in the Aurora, but the Grace has never been quite right, and with both of them, I can’t wait to get out of them and into something that has a lot more flexibility. Even though I want to blame the product, I can’t quite get there, as if I’d tried them in a store rather than getting them online, I’d either not own them or I’d have a proper fit.

I suppose there’s two lessons here. The first one is, as I mentioned, pack a sports bra, already. Not only does it do double duty as a swimsuit top, should you find yourself in that situation, but it will save you from hours of discomfort on bad roads. The other — which you already know, though is a reminder to me — is that you should go try on a bra before you buy it. Go ahead, shop online, that’s where the deals are, but first, head to the lingerie department.

Photo: Mike Baird via Flickr (Creative Commons)