This intro is a bit different from most reviews because I’m guessing we’re mostly going to attract a female audience. Anyone who doesn’t want to read a review of a bra, note that the Travel Bra people are working on male briefs and other similar concept clothes. Check them out, and read on for our review of the Travel Bra!
I hate shopping for bras. It’s pretty much my worst nightmare, right behind geometry. As a result, I tend to wear bras until they fall apart, and then under duress am forced to go to a store and buy new ones. This goes double for sports bras, where I can never quite find a comfortable fit. So I’ll admit to some trepidation when I agreed to review the Travel Bra. Happily, and to my great surprise, the Travel Bra is remarkably comfortable and fits me well; the fact that it has hidden pockets for valuables is just a fantastic bonus!
In normal bras, I wear a 36D, so I asked for a large Travel Bra. The fit is excellent. The band is not tight around my chest, but it feels supportive and the straps are comfortable around my shoulders. I could easily wear this bra all day comfortably, which is a good thing since it’s designed to be worn while traveling! It is a sports bra style, though not specifically marketed as such; even so, I’ve worked out with it a few times and it’s been plenty supportive for an average workout. The material is breathable, soft, and super comfortable, which makes sense since it’s made from organic cotton and bamboo.
The hidden pockets are very cleverly constructed. There is a small slash pocket on the left side, which is perfect for a house key/car key or several folded bills. There’s also a small pocket that dangles under your chest on the right, and it fits anything from a passport or wallet to a phone. In addition, there is a tiny pocket on one strap (Travel Bra suggests this is for rings or USB drives), and inside the bra cups there are hidden pockets. I tested a few items, especially the largest pocket, and while something relatively flat like a passport, license, or even a slim wallet blends in (unless you’re wearing a very tight shirt), you probably don’t want to wear your phone in that pocket unless you enjoy being punched in the ribs repeatedly. Also, depending on where you’re traveling, you don’t want to be perceived as carrying a weapon under your shirt. However, for the purposes of the review, I did try to see how big of an item could fit in the larger pocket. An HTC One M8 fit comfortably, and a Nexus 6 fit but it was certainly a tight fit. I also fit my
I tested a few items, especially the largest pocket, and while something relatively flat like a passport, license, or even a slim wallet blends in (unless you’re wearing a very tight shirt), you probably don’t want to wear your phone in that pocket unless you enjoy being punched in the ribs repeatedly. Also, depending on where you’re traveling, you don’t want to be perceived as carrying a weapon under your shirt. However, for the purposes of the review, I did try to see how big of an item could fit in the larger pocket. An HTC One M8 fit comfortably, and a Nexus 6 fit but it was certainly a tight fit. I also fit my epipens in there, but please do not store your epipens in your bra [this might be the least likely sentence Judie ever expected to have on the site when she founded Gear Diary]. For one, the epipens are too big to comfortably sit against your ribs, and more importantly, they aren’t designed to be exposed to the kind of heat your body generates. However, as a proof of concept to what the bra holds, they do make an excellent example. The other pockets are perfect for cash, cards, keys, etc, though I admit I would rather see Velcro or something similar close off the strap pocket if it is intended to hold rings.
So when would you wear the Travel Bra? I can think of a number of occasions. Travel is an obvious one-you can stash a backup credit card, important ID, extra cash, etc on your body, making it far safer than in a bag or your pockets. Sports is another; this is more dependent on whether it’s supportive enough for you, but if it is, being able to safely tuck a key and a few dollars in the stash pocket is much better than tying a key to your shoe or your waist drawstring.
I would even argue this could be handy in everyday life as well. When I was in college a friend of mine was a big advocate of having an emergency $20 hidden in his wallet, so if he suddenly was stranded with no access to an ATM he always had a little bit extra in reserve. I’ve tried that, but inevitably if there’s cash in my wallet it gets used and not saved. This is a perfect use for the stash pocket; tuck an emergency $20 or so in there before heading out for a fun night, and even if you spend all your cash you still have some hidden away for an emergency/cab ride home. Alternately, if you need to carry medicine that isn’t sensitive to temperature, storing it in the bra is a good way to make sure you have it handy.
Those are just a few scenarios, but they offer some idea of the depth of options in the Travel Bra. It’s such a brilliant concept, and the fact that the bra itself is great makes it absolutely perfect. This started as a Kickstarter, and after being fully funded they are moving full speed ahead! Their story is pretty great too; in a nutshell, they were invented by an anthropologist who needed a bra like this for travel, so she gathered a team and designed one! This is a company founded by women who truly understand the need their product fills, and it shows.
What really blows me away is the price. At only $59.95 it is priced comparably to regular bras that don’t offer anything special! Note that there is a running specific bra coming soon, but with extra support comes a higher price of $89.95.
If you travel, hike, run, or just need a safe way to stash a few small valuables on the go, the Travel Bra is a slam dunk!
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample
What I Like: Fit is excellent; the material is soft and comfortable; stash pocket is secure; larger pocket can fit a lot of stuff.
What Needs Improvement: Would love to see Velcro or another way to seal off one pocket for extra security.