- Cool-Lite fabric provides superior moisture management
- Fabric is soft against skin
- Wide open racerback with low cut armholes for added mobility and comfort
- Keeps chest warm during cold winter rides
- Flatlock seams and no side seam prevent underarm chafing
- Cup inserts for enhanced fit and support
Price: $65 MSRP (at time of review on sale for $39)
How obtained: Company sample
Availability: Online and Retail
RBR Advertiser: No
Support level: Medium
Fabric: 50% Merino Wool, 33% TENCEL®, 12% Nylon, 5% LYCRA®, Eyelet: 51% Merino Wool, 34% TENCEL®, 15% Nylon
Colors: Black, Marine/Black, Nightfall
Fit: True to size
Care: Machine wash warm, inside out. Line dry
Finally, A Sports Bra With Moisture Management
I’m always on the lookout for new or innovative products to test and review for RBR. This item from Icebreaker was a result of a post in a Facebook group called Mountain Biking Ladies. Somehow the discussion meandered to sports bras. I responded that I have been searching for one that truly wicks sweat away from my body. The problem is that you can have a great wicking base layer and jersey, but the darn sports bra is soaking wet by the end of a ride. For winter rides it’s even worse. Wet translates to being chilled and uncomfortable.
One woman responded to the FB post by recommending Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite Meld Zone sports bra. I had never heard of the company and after reading some of the 237 reviews and seeing a rating of 4.6 stars, I decided to contact their marketing team and get one to test myself.
Hands down, this is the best sports bra I’ve ever worn!!! Yes, it is pricey, but well worth it. Prior to wearing this sports bra, I had to change clothes soon after finishing a winter ride. Sitting in a damp or soaking wet sports bra I’d get chills immediately. With the Icebreaker sports bra, the sweat is moved away from my body and I can take my time getting changed. Even stick around for a post-ride chat. In addition to the moisture management properties, the merino wool keeps “the girls” warm on cold days. Dry and warm is key to enjoying cold weather riding.
The Icebreaker sports bra arrived, and I immediately removed it from the packaging. I was a little taken aback by the removable foam cup inserts. The company states it is for “enhanced fit and support.” For me they are unnecessary. Thus, I removed them and tried on the bra. The fit was spot on and the merino wool fabric was extremely soft against my skin. Absolutely no itching.
The bra is rated for medium support and found it just fine for road, gravel or trail riding with no issues with bouncing (I’m a 38B and wore size large). The racer back design, low cut armholes, flatlock seams and no side seam under the arm all combine for a comfortable fit.
So, what’s this “magic” sports bra made of? The key is the Cool-Lite fabric made of merino and TENCEL which is sourced from sustainable eucalyptus plantations. The two combined to create a soft fabric that naturally regulate body temperature and wicks moisture. This fabric does not absorb odor like synthetic brands, which means you don’t have to wash it after every wear. When it is time to wash use warm water, turn the garment inside out so the water and detergent reach the key areas, and line dry.
A Little About the Company
In 1995, Icebreaker was created by 24-year-old Jeremy Moon in New Zealand. His aim was to provide garments for outdoor adventures with less reliance on petrochemical fibers, providing a more sustainable future for everyone – and the planet. But back then, synthetics were king, so convincing people to buy his products would be an uphill battle. The company grew to sell in 45 countries and in 2018, Icebreaker was acquired by VF Corporation.
The company’s philosophy is driven by these three principles:
- Adaptation: Living things thrive or die based on their ability to adapt to their changing environments.
- Symbiosis: Living things work together for mutual benefit.
- Sustainability: Nature doesn’t waste anything. That is a uniquely human trait.
Sustainability has become a huge push in the athletic apparel industry. This commitment to the environment is self-imposed, not government regulated. In a future article I’ll be spotlighting other companies that have made a concerted effort to reduce impact to the environment.
I’ve finally found a sports bra that is comfortable AND has outstanding moisture management! You can now keep “the girls” warm and dry while working up a sweat. Made from merino wool the Icebreaker Cool-Lite Meld Zone Sports Bra is perfect for cold weather bike rides, hiking, skiing or any outdoor activity. This is definitely my go to sports bra all winter long.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.