I’m a fuller figured person. I’m not Dolly Parton, but I’m no B cup either. So finding a bra that is sufficiently supportive for horseback riding, but which doesn’t smush me into a great uniboob has been a nearly lifelong process.
My litmus test for a bra is threefold:
- Does it support me well at sitting trot and canter?
- Does it compress me into a uniboob?
- Is it durable and easy to launder?
Here are the most recent competitors in the race for the best riding bra…
UnderArmour — Women’s Armour Bra 2.0 (~$60)
I started out with the UnderArmour sports bra with the highest activity rating. I’ve owned several other articles of UnderArmour clothing, and was impressed with its wicking and quick dry qualities. So I started here with the high impact bra available at many large saddleries. And high hopes…
It controls bounce at sitting trot and canter well. But it achieves its mission by compressing me into the famous and uncomfortable uniboob.
Almost more annoying, this bra has unattached cup liners, which get dislodged during machine washing, and jam themselves into a small, cramped corner of the side panel. Oddly enough, in multiple bras and multiple wash cycles, one cup liner would stay in place while the other would get messed up. It felt like I spent as long fixing the cup liner as I did riding.
After more than one frustrating laundry day consumed by trying to right the rogue cup liners through the mere 1″ opening in the side of the bra, I donated my UnderArmours to charity, and set out in search of a new riding bra.
Champion Women’s Shape Too Underwire Bra (~$50)
That led me to the Champion Women’s Shape Too High Support bra. Again, its primary means of support is compression. It provides plenty of support at the faster gaits. But this bra compresses differently somehow, and it’s not as uncomfortable, even though it’s a uniboob again.
The main benefit is that this bra doesn’t have movable cup liners, so washing and drying is a much easier process. They’re durable, and easy to keep.
Champion Double Dry Distance Underwire (~$55)
The search for the bra that doesn’t use the uniboob method has led me to the latest entrant in the battle of the bra. It’s the Champion Double Dry Distance bra. The potential drawback is that it’s only rated at a medium level of support. But in my riding, it’s plenty of support, even though the tag only recommends it for yoga and pilates.
Yes, it has underwires, so you get more separation, which makes sweating less uncomfortable. But these underwires are wrapped in fabric, so they don’t poke. It wears more like a regular bra than a sports bra. And since the construction is in one piece, again it’s easy to launder.