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July 2019 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Baselayers / Sports Bras

Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra



Our Rating:

At a glance
Fairtrade certified, doesn’t smell after use.
Minuses: Straps can be uncomfortable under a heavy pack.

Weight 78g

Features: A tidy crop top sports bra with cross-back straps and removable additional padding for a precise fit. Made from recycled polyester and with a soft mesh lining, it is quick drying. Polygiene permanent odour control and fair trade certified.

Fit: The bra is fitted by band size, not cup size and offers high-impact support in cup sizes to B and lower impact in cup sizes C to D – all still smaller than me. I still found the support adequate and comfortable for tramping purposes, although it was harder to get it to stay in place well.

Comfort: Reasonably comfortable for tramping, I appreciated that the join in the elastic band was sewn to one side so as not to create a pressure point between the pack and the spine. The soft mesh lining and power mesh for support worked well to provide a good mix of comfort and support – with one exception. The mesh on the straps over the shoulders was a bit too coarse and created some initial discomfort while wearing a pack, though it became less of an issue the more I got used to it.

In use: I found this to be a great tramping bra, although as with all similar bras, leaves often gathered in the cleavage. And being an over the head bra, it presented the usual difficulties of removing and replacing it within the confines of a tent or sleeping bag. It is comfortable to sleep in and quick-drying enough to wear swimming or while wet. The Polygeine odour control performs to keep it smelling fresh – however, the real test will be when I wear it tramping for two weeks straight.

Value: The commitment to fair trade and recycled fabrics probably contribute to the high cost of this bra. If Polygiene works as promised to give it a longer life, then it’s worth it.

Verdict: I liked this bra, but the mild discomfort caused by the straps under a heavy pack makes it less appealing for multi-day trips.