Buying Guide: Best Backpacking Bras

Looking for the best backpacking bras? A bra for backpacking is an essential part of your kit when you hit the trail.

It should give you great support without cutting into your skin at any point and should be made of a fabric that is comfortable to wear, even in very warm conditions. There are quite a few different bras for hikers on the market, so choosing the right one isn’t always easy.

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This guide is designed to help, with some pointers on what to look for in a good bra for backpacking and a list of the top 7 products.

girl wear a bra for backpacking

What To Look For When Buying Backpacking Bras

All the best backpacking bras have certain features that make them comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Here are the main ones to look out for.

Adequate Support

This is essential. A bra that doesn’t provide the right support will become incredibly uncomfortable after a while and can cause backache – absolutely the last thing you want to be dealing with on a hike.

It should provide adequate support without being too tight and squashing your breasts. A tight bra may also dig into your skin, leaving painful red marks around the straps.

Stretchy bras often strike just the right balance and combine support and comfort perfectly.

Moisture-Wicking, Quick Drying Fabric

This is important for two reasons. 

There may be times that you will be hiking in poor weather conditions, in which case you may end up soaked to the skin! A good hiking bra will dry quickly, so you are not left with that clammy feeling for hours.

On the other hand, the weather conditions may be so warm that you end up sweating. A breathable, moisture-wicking fabric should both keep you comfortable and dry out quickly if you perspire heavily.

Wire-Free

Underwired bras have their place – but out on the trail isn’t one of them! 

Wiring can give a bra a very rigid structure that can make it feel quite constricting. Maintaining a good flow of oxygen as you hike is important, so you want to be able to expand your lungs fully. 

An underwired bra can also interfere with the drainage of your lymphatic system if worn for an extended period of time.

Our Top 7 Bras For Backpacking

Here’s our list of the best backpacking bras that tick all the boxes in terms of comfort and durability.

Champion Women’s The Curvy Sports Bra

The perfect bra for hiking, this Champion model comes in such a wide range of attractive colors that it is very easy to find one to suit your style!

Made from a mixture of polyester and spandex it provides that ideal combination of support and stretch. There are no wires to limit your breathing – instead, moderate support is provided by the molded cups.

The straps are comfortably wide so they won’t dig in and this bra features a mesh racerback and Champion Double Dry® technology. This helps your skin breathe on warm days and avoids that uncomfortable, sweaty feeling!

The bra is lightly padded and – best of all – the pads are sewn in, so you won’t have to go hunting for them after doing your laundry! 

Also good to know is that a percentage of the fabric used to make these versatile bras comes from recycled fibers.

C9 Champion Women’s Medium Support

Offering medium support, this backpacking bra has a totally seamless patented design that feels very comfortable to wear.

One of the best hiking bras for warm conditions, this model is made from a moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool all day. It has enough stretch for comfort and won’t dig in, but provides all the support you need.

Suitable for machine washing, this bra features removable cups, so you can have a little padding if you want it, or just remove them if not. 

There are six different colors available and the straps are adjustable, so you can easily achieve a perfect fit. With a pull-on closure, you won’t need to worry about trying to secure any clasps at the back.

Hanes Women’s SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit

From a name you can trust, this super comfortable bra is available both singly or in a 2-pack. It comes in a range of different colors and in sizes from small all the way up to 3X-Large Plus.

Made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex, it keeps you feeling well supported throughout your trek, but has enough stretch to avoid cutting into your skin at any point.

The lining is completely seamless for comfort and makes the bra ideal for use at other times, when you want the look of a smooth silhouette without visible lines. 

The hook and eye closure at the back is easy to secure and we particularly like the wide straps and band. The shoulder straps distribute the weight of your breasts evenly so they don’t dig in, whilst the band forms to the contours of your body for the ultimate comfort. 

The cups themselves are unlined and wire-free. And if you often get annoyed by an itchy tag in your bra when you’re out on a hike, you will be pleased to hear that this bra doesn’t have a tag at all!

RUNNING GIRL Sports Bra For Women

Providing medium support, this bra comes in a wide range of beautiful colors. 

We love the criss-cross design at the back, as this gives you a wide range of movement and makes the bra extremely comfortable to wear. We also like the underbust band, which is made from a soft elastic yet gives a secure and snug fit.

The fabric is designed to quickly wick moisture away from your skin and is stretchy in four directions. Made from a 75% nylon / 25% spandex mixture it has a lovely soft, cotton-like feel.

This is a bra that maintains its shape well. It comes with cups for extra coverage, but you can easily remove them if you prefer.

Champion Spot Comfort Sports Bra

Suitable for the toughest hikes, this backpacking bra offers maximum support. It comes in a range of different colors and sizes, ranging from 34C all the way up to 42DDD.

Made from a combination of polyester, spandex, and nylon, this model gives you just the right amount of stretch for comfort. The molded cups are wire-free and perfectly designed for high-impact activities.

Not only do they give you a great, natural shape, but they also prevent any uncomfortable bouncing and totally stop any show-through. 

This bra will keep you cool even when the temperature rises, with mesh at the neckline, center, and straps to keep the air flowing. Meanwhile, the fabric makes use of Champion’s Double Dry technology to wick away moisture from your skin.

Extra features designed for your comfort include the gel-infused straps to take pressure off your shoulders and the no-dig, cushioned hook closure at the back.

ZeroBound Women’s Sports Bra

This model is the best backpacking bra if you have a large bust (including cup sizes B to G). This one provides very full coverage and is designed for high-impact activities. That means it will keep you well supported and comfortable all day, no matter how strenuous your hike.

It has no wires and no pads and is made from a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you cool. There is also a lightweight mesh panel at the front that provides additional coverage without making you feel too warm.

The shoulder straps are wide enough to thoroughly support the weight of your breasts without digging in and they are also adjustable. This allows you to achieve the perfect fit and stops the bra from shifting, even when climbing.

The adjustable hook and eye closure at the back is extra plush, so you won’t feel it at all during the day.

Under Armour Mid Keyhole Sports Bra

This high-quality backpacking bra is designed for cup sizes from A to C.  Made from polyester and elastane it is both stretchy and supportive during medium-impact activities.

This model has a classic pullover style so there are no closures to worry about and the racerback design allows for maximum freedom of movement. We especially like the keyhole cut-out at the back, which provides a little more ventilation where you need it.

A soft jacquard elastic band keeps this bra comfortably in place throughout the day without digging in. And even at the hottest times of day, Under Armour’s HeatGear fabric will wick sweat away from your skin and keep you feeling cool.

There are no wires and no padding in this bra, but it is double-lined to provide all the coverage you need and prevent show-through.

Final Thoughts On Bras For Backpackers

You need to put a lot more thought into choosing bras for backpacking than those for everyday wear, because you need something that will remain comfortable all day, no matter the conditions.

I hope this guide to the best hiking bras has been helpful and you’ve been able to find one to perfectly suit you and your body type.

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