It's What's Underneath that Counts! Reviewing the Icebreaker Sports Bra

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Ladies…I don’t pretend.

Let’s face it: a career of endurance cycling + birthing twins has left me a little flat in the boob department.

So when it comes to shopping for bras, I’m beyond uninspired. 

Bra shopping is like selecting toothpaste. They all claim to be the best, but they basically do the same thing.  Bras are the similar: at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what brand you get — they are a sheer necessity. 

…But Then I Met Icebreaker

I first stumbled across the Icebreaker brand while doing research for the Silk Road Mountain Race, which is a self-supported 1,000 mile bike race across Kyrgyzstan. In August, we’ll be racing through some of the most remote and unpredictable mountain regions on earth…complete with full spectrum weather ranging from freezing to 100+F.

Gathering up gear for this race has been daunting, and I was researching how to stay warm in cold environments when you’re active and getting sweaty. 

For years, I’ve cycled through the winter season, and it basically goes like this: 

  • I hate being cold, so I overdress.  

  • Twenty minutes into training, I’ve broken a sweat before the real workout even begins.

  • I peel off layers, but it’s too late: my sports bra is already soaked through. 

I then get this chilling cold that sinks deep into my bones and is hard to shake.  If it’s an interval workout, I freeze during the recovery segments or descents…and heaven forbid I puncture or stop for coffee, because then the chances of warming up again are slim.

For years I tried different base layers. They didn’t really make a difference, and I chalked up cold weather sweats and chills to the game I play. 

In retrospect, it’s crazy how I didn’t give any thought to the article of clothing that was right next to my skin…the sports bra!  It doesn’t matter how good your base layer is if your sports bra it isn’t performing well. It’s what’s underneath that counts!

Getting accepted into the Silk Road Mountain Race necessitated some change of wardrobe and some research.

When I first heard of the Icebreaker wool sports bra, my initial thought was, “Itchy chest…that sounds terrible.” But the more reviews I read, the more convinced I became that Merino was, in fact, worth the investment. 

Price differentials in wool blends come down to two main things: the wool fiber itself and the finesse of the refining process. Merino sheep are not just any old sheep, it turns out! They are special — this particular breed produces finer wool fibers. The finer the blend, the more treasured and expensive the product.  Merino is a step above basic wool, so you’ll pay a bit more for it…but you won’t itch at all. In fact, it’s super comfy. 

Merino, for sports in particular, is fabulous because it manages moisture. Unlike synthetic fabrics, merino breathes as it sits next to the skin, absorbing sweat. And that’s what’s so fabulous about it: it’s versatile for cold and heat alike because it dries quickly. 

The best part about Merino sports bras for active women? It’s ODORLESS! I cycle through sports bras like crazy because after a while, sports bras just get that stank! Even after they’re washed, they can still feel nasty when you put on a “clean” one — that’s because they’ve retained all the impurities and bacteria of your sweat. 

Merino, by nature, is unsuitable for bacteria. Bacteria needs long-lasting moisture, and merino simply doesn’t allow for that!


If you want a more in-depth look into why Merino is so fantastic, visit this great website: Sport Comrad where I picked up this summary of Merino wool characteristics:

✓ Breathable because body moisture is quickly absorbed

✓ Antistatic

✓ Odorless because of antibacterial function

✓ Quick drying, due to a thin fiber structure

✓ Heat-insulating, thanks to small air cushions

✓ Less flammable compared to artificial fibers

✓ Renewable and natural raw material

✓ Surface acts as dirt repellent

✓ Provides natural UV protection

✓ Easy to maintain



Back to budget: I usually shop for sports bras when they go on sale, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $29 . 

The Icebreaker Sprite, (which I purchased on Amazon) is $60. The Icebreaker site sells them direct for the same price, but I am addicted to Prime shipping — and these bras were Prime! {score}

 


This is not my normal budget for sports bras, but I splurged and decided to try one. 



Let me just say, one Icebreaker is worth four conventional sports bras…

DO IT…

Click my Amazon link above and value your comfort, friends!

 
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Man, do I regret not buying one sooner. 

I’ve worn my Sprite for 32 degree races, training, gym work and even at the Leborne Cycling Studio indoors where it’s hot, and I sweat like a pig. I love it!


It’s cut low under the arms, so it doesn’t slice into your armpits like some bras do, and when you stop at the coffee shop for a quick swig, you don’t get that bone-chilling cold effect.


 
 

For smaller busted women, the Sprite is your bra. If you are more endowed than me (grrrr) or you do a lot of running or jarring sports, you might enjoy their more supportive bra, the Meld Zone.

 


The Sprite is higher Merino content at 83% vs the Meld Zone at 50% Merino.

Overall, women in my world: you need this bra if you’re a cyclist. It’s so, so worth the investment.

I’m not in any way attached or affiliated with the Icebreaker brand. I just really believe in their product and want you to experience what I missed out on for years!