Let’s talk about underwear.
Specifically, a piece of underwear that supports we women through thick and thin.
Over the highest mountains, through the sweatiest yoga sessions, in rainstorms, on beach days, at the office, and on adventures these protect and support our assets faithfully.
I’m talking about your bras, ladies.
Whether you’re cultivating form or function, indulging your flirty side with crafty lace, your athletic side with rib-hugging elastic, or your gotta-sleep-now side, we’ve all got a bra for every activity.
And when you travel, you want a bra that makes your trip easier, more comfortable, and less nipply (if that’s not your thing).
The 3 Bras to Travel With
If you’re like most women traveling, you’ll pack a minimum of two bras, wearing one bra and packing a spare. With that minimalist approach, you can wash one bra and, as it dries, you can wear the other.
Depending your girls’ size, need for support, and your activities, you may need to travel with three bras: Sports, convertible, and t-shirt bra.
If you’re engaging in less active adventures (or are smaller than a B-cup), you can probably get away without the sports bra.
Can’t make it through a day without a good sweaty run or a hot yoga session? Pack a sports bra.
Need some extra support for your boobs on roads filled with potholes? Pack a sports bra.
This is the only time you’ll ever hear me say this, so listen closely. Pack two sports bras if you answered yes to both of the questions above. You can wear one for your next day’s activities while the other bra is drying.
This is that magical bra with adjustable strap configurations that conforms to any shirt, dress, or halter-top. Yes, even those strapless tops that you bought on a whim in Thailand. It’s probably not the most comfortable bra you own, but it’s the most versatile.
Pack a convertible bra and have the right bra for any shirt or dress situation.
Check out Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Multi-Way bra.
T-Shirt Bra: Underwire or Wireless?
Perhaps you’ve heard whispers of women setting off the machines at security checkpoints and being pawed down — sorry, patted down — due to the underwire in their bras.
Personally, I’ve never had this happen. And 90% of my bras have wire in them.
But the case for going underwire-free is more than awkward gropings by airport personnel.
The real reason is comfort.
With a wire-free bra, you can sleep comfortably instead of feeling like you have to let down your hair, kick off your shoes, and untie your corset to relax.
While traveling, comfort is key. And clothing is one of the few things that you have total control over when on the road.
Let’s face it: Underwire isn’t that comfortable when bedding down in a tiny, cramped airplane or bus seat, chasing after sleep.
Choosing a Travel Bra
When you’re shopping for (or packing) travel bras, you’ll want:
- Moisture-wicking: Modern materials for a quick dry bra
- Comfort: You’ll be wearing this bra for long hours; it should be comfortable
- Style: If you want a bra that will go with any outfit, pick a nude bra
- Fit: Avoid the uni-boob or side-boob looks with a properly fitting bra
Top 3 Best Travel Bras
The Travel Bra
“I am super happy with the travel bra,” says Tammy from Tammy & Chris on the Move.
The Travel Bra looks like a sports bra, but with hidden pockets for your most valuables. This bra stashes things like credit cards, extra cash, and passport… not just your boobs, like normal bras.
Made from breathable bamboo that is anti-microbacterial and anti-odor, this bra is underwire-free and made for comfort.
On a recent trip to rural Columbia, Tammy tested out the Travel Bra:
“I had to travel on a dirt track with hundreds of potholes for a number of hours. The bra really supported my chest and kept it bounce-free despite all of the potholes. Support: passed!”
What about sporty activities?
“The travel bra is like a sports bra, so I also tried it out for some sporty activities, including hiking and yoga. To test it to the limit I even wore it during a hot yoga class. As you can imagine this is a sweaty old business, but the bra absorbed the sweat really well and didn’t leave any sweat stains. Sporty activities: passed!”
Her only complaint? The passport pocket dangling off the bra.
“[My] passport dangles around a bit if you wear a loose top on top of it, but if your top is tight, this won’t happen.”
Pro-Tip: Want a bra with secret pockets without investing in a travel specific bra? You probably already have one. Any push-up bra with removable gel inserts can be used to hide tiny valuables, like your USB drive with copies of all of your important information and paperwork, or a little stash of money. Just remove the gel pads and tuck other things inside! You’re welcome.
Gossamer Mesh Unwire Uplift Bra
This is a solid everyday travel bra option, with a breathable mesh material and a great price point. Sounds like a match made in heaven for traveling through those humid climates when your clothing drowns in your sweat.
Bonus: smooth molded cups, a little push-up padding to aid what God gave ya, and available in a low plunge for your favorite v-neck blouse for going out.
Did I mention it’s nearly invisible under clothing? Ah, perfection.
Top Secret Prop Top Bralette
Faz travels between Singapore and Los Angeles a couple times each year, so she’s had ample opportunity to road test bras. Her favorite is this bralette.
“It provides minimal support, but I’m not about to do burpees on a plane, so I want to be as comfortable as possible. It fits well and the fact that it’s double layered makes sure you don’t have unnecessary nipple action on the plane.”
“What I like best is that there are no adjustable plastic bits that can dig into your skin and that the entire material is stretchy, as opposed to bras that are stretchy just at the straps and under the bust.”
She recommends washing this bra by hand.
Best Travel Bras for Larger Chests
Elila Leopard Lace Softcup Bra
Perfect for fuller busts that need a little extra support without an underwire. Kimmay from Hurray Kimmay reviewed this bra:
“Super, super, super seamed support and firm band. OK for everyday? You bet! Traveling across the country? Of course! Sleeping? Mmmm it’s not as soft as other styles, so I’d say mostly no.”
A Great Sports Bra
Keep your girls strapped down tight — and feeling comfortable — even on the bumpiest of adventures with a good sports bra.
Pick one with a mesh backing to let your skin breathe during strenuous activities. Or when you’re in very humid climates.
Runner’s World recommended CW-X Stabilyx Running Bra for its breathability and killer support web built into the cups. Lynx Cross Back takes the pressure off your neck after a long day or hefty mileage run.
How to Pack Bras
Those nicely molded cups that make you feel perky also create a tricky packing situation. How do you pack a delicate bra that works so hard but is easily damaged or crushed?
Here are five options for packing your bras so they emerge safely from your bag. Choose the one that fits your personality and traveling style:
1. Tuck the Cups
Fold the bra in half: Twist in the bra’s center and tuck one cup inside the other cup, so the two cups are nestled together. Put socks or underwear inside the cup to help keep their shape.
This is how I travel with my bras, and after thousands of miles, I have never arrived home with crushed cups.
Note: Packing a bra this way is a polarizing topic. You’re either for it, or against it, according to a long forum on Flyer Talk.
Short version: If you love your lingerie and spend $50+ on a bra, you might not like the idea of twisting your bras this way. If this is you, check out the next packing method below.
2. Stack ‘Em
Pile up your bras into one tidy stack. Tuck socks or underwear inside the twin cups to help keep their shape. This packing method is best for bras a C-cup and larger, or push-up bras with extra padding.
Think of how Victoria’s Secret stacks up their bras in a tidy line, each bra nestled into its partner.
3. Clam-Shell Tuck
Fold the bra in half so the cups are stacked on top of each other with an empty space between them, like a clam. Tuck socks or underwear in between the space between the cups.
4. Bra Travel Case
About the size of a toiletries bag, check out some products made specially to keep your bras from being crushed or ruined. Her Packing List recommends the Cup Case.
Pro tip: However you decide to pack your bras, put it in your suitcase with the cups down. This way, you can pack other clothing around the cups to avoid them being crushed.
5. Packing Cube or Ziplock Bag
Keep your spare bra safe and clean by tucking it into a packing cube or ziplock bag.
Keep some extra air in the ziplock bag as cushioning.
Or designate a packing cube as your lingerie “drawer.” Slide your spare bra in with the cups down, and pack tights, socks, or underwear into those empty cups to help them keep their shapes.
A great travel bra is like a fabulous travel backpack: It makes your travels easier by doing its job right. The first time.
You only need two or three bras on your trip, depending on your cup size and level of activities planned. Pack these bras:
- Sports bra
Top three bras to pack are:
- The Travel Bra: Keep your valuables tucked in your bra, not a sweaty money belt
- Gossamer Mesh Unwire Uplift Bra: Breathable, molded cups, a little extra padding and at a great price
- Top Secret Prop Top Bralette: Soft comfort on long journeys with double-layered protection against unwanted nipple sightings
Image credits: Travel Bra, Gossamer, Top Secret, Elila, BreastLife, Cup Case