0 In Fitness/ Reviews

Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra Review

I first stumbled across Icebreaker about 4 years ago, when I worked for an outdoors shop.  At the time the weather was bitterly cold and my commute to work didn’t involve any sort of vehicle but rather my rapidly running legs. So I took advantage of my staff discount and bought myself some base layers. I’ve owned them for 4 years now and they have stuck by me through thick and thin; I’ve ran in them through the bitterly cold winter months, slept in them, gone camping in them, and even tried to pull them over a super big, pregnant belly. So, of course I jumped for joy at the opportunity to try another item from their range – especially something so obscure as a sports bra!

Who Are Icebreaker?

Icebreaker are a New Zealand based outdoor and sports wear designer and manufacturer. Unlike other leading outdoor clothing companies, Icebreaker’s outdoor wear isn’t made from oil-based synthetics but rather 100% merino wool.

Icebreaker was founded by cultural anthropologist, market researcher, and New Zealander Jeremy Moon in 1994 after Moon had been introduced (by his then American girlfriend) to local merino wool farmers Brian and Fiona Brakenridge. The Brakenridges had developed a prototype thermal underwear made from 100% pure New Zealand merino wool, which then was of such minute value that it was sold at a low cost, often to blended with traditional wool itself. Moon tested one of their merino wool T-shirts and was hooked – although it didn’t look very stylish it was incredibly soft on the skin, warm, breathable, and didn’t retain any body odour.

Icebreaker began selling its products in New Zealand, followed by Australia, and then later growing to Europe and the rest of the world.

But Moon didn’t stop there – he conceived and designed a philosophy of sustainability, using natural fibres, focusing on environmental and social ethics, and of course animal welfare. In August 2008 Icebreaker launched its ‘Baacode‘ a system that gives consumers the opportunity to track and trace the origins of their Icebreaker products right to the sheep farm it originate from.

Icebreaker’s merino fabric is also certified to the Öko-Tex Standard, an independent testing and certification for all stages of textiles production. Products are tested for harmful substances and environmentally friendly production is ensured. Icebreaker’s factories also meet ISO 14001 environmental standards. The practice of mulesing is also prohibited, including the traditional surgical method and the clips method. In order to avoid mulesing, the sheep that produce Icebreaker merino wool are sometimes treated for Myiasis using chemical and medical treatments.

All contracted merino wool growers must agree to meet Icebreaker’s strict conditions on environmental and social issues, and on animal welfare.

The Review


The Features

The Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra is boasted as a soft and supportive bra made with merino wool jersey corespun fabric, featuring Icebreaker’s improved cup shaping and an open back design that improves freedom of movement. The corespun fabric uses nylon fibers wrapped in merino wool for added strength and durability, also making it highly breathable. The wool itself is super soft on your skin and the bra’s power mesh lining improves moisture management and comfort. There are also pockets on the inside of the bra to insert pads, however no pads are included, and there are no side-seams which helps to prevent underarm chafing.

Why Merino Wool?

I know that merino wool sounds like an odd fabric to opt for in your underwear, but it actually naturally helps to regulate your temperature, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s also super absorbent and breathable as it absorbs and releases water vapour to help to prevent overheating.  This also helps to eliminate that awful stickiness that is synonymous with heavy exercise and of course that dreaded body odour. As merino wool is naturally anti-bacterial you can literally wear your bra for days (or even a week) before having to wash it. But hey it doesn’t stop there – you’re also naturally protected from the sun’s harmful rays as merino wool is UV protective. Doesn’t get more primal than that huh?!

The Verdict

This is literally the comfiest bra I’ve ever worn – it’s seriously not in the slightest bit itchy, it’s ultra light, not too hot, and it really lives up to all of its claims. You definitely feel free to move in all directions, the bra doesn’t cut into your sides, and I definitely didn’t experience any chafing. From an aesthetic point of view it’s not the sexiest bra in the world, but I can imagine with some padded inserts it would definitely look a lot sexier and it was a shame that the bra didn’t actually come with some. I sometimes liked to tuck the bottom band under for a more slim-lined looking bra – a trick for my fellow small chested ladies.

If you’re looking to switch your underwear to a more ethical, sustainably sourced, and cruelty free option but don’t want to skimp on quality, comfort, or style then the Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra is definitely for you!

Being a relatively flat chested but muscly girl, that has also had 3 babies, I’ll be honest with you and admit that my breasts ain’t what they used to be, and I only seem to suit more triangle style bras these days. What I will say though is that it looks fab under your workout gear –  but also casual wear too. It’s certainly a layering staple for any wardrobe. I’m definitely going to buy another bra in one of their more vibrant colours for summer (I opted for a graphite grey marl shade d’oh) as well as their Siren Bra for a more feminine look. There are also hot pants from the same range available for those of you that require a little matching number. (If you want to know what the bra looked like straight from the box then don’t forget to scroll through the gallery above!)

Being a mum of 3 I don’t want to be washing my bra daily, so the fact that I could wash this once a week after multiple uses is amazing. It fares really well in the washing machine and as long as you follow the washing instructions it should really last you a life time. I’ve seen no colour fade, and no colour run into the band below – I’ve had bras before that are darkly coloured but with white text or features and the colour always ends up running into them. You can machine wash the bra but not tumble dry it – this really isn’t an issue as it dries so fast, air drying is best, making it ideal for camping and/or travelling.

But how did it fare with exercise?

I tried out my Icebreaker Sprite Bra over a full range of exercise activities such as running, kettlebells, and yoga. In my opinion it’s definitely not supportive enough for running, I felt a hell of a lot of bounce and I wasn’t comfortable with that. I mean, I love to feel like my boobs have literally been gaffer taped down to their maximum capacity, but that is just my personal preference. If you’re going for a light jog I’m sure it will suffice. What it is however, is absolutely fantastic for any sort of weight training, yoga, studio work, or even hiking. The wicking properties are just as Icebreaker boast, the bra is really absorbent, it doesn’t chafe (as I mentioned before), and you’re not going to come out of the gym stinking like a musky man either.

If you’re looking to switch your underwear to a more ethical, sustainably sourced, and cruelty free option but don’t want to skimp on quality, comfort, or style then the Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra is definitely for you!

Score: 8/10

Fits: True to size but possibly at the larger end of the sizing. Available in sizes XS to XL, fitting busts between 32 1/4″ – 42″. I’m a 34B roughly (about 34″ chest) and opted for a small.

Price: £45.00

Where to Buy: The Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra is available in an array of both neutral and vibrant colours, direct from Icebreaker at £45.00.

If you’d like to keep up with what Icebreaker are releasing next, and to find out more about their various ranges, check them out on one of the links below:

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