Best Tank Tops with Built-In Bra in 2023

Prana Becksa Tank Top with Built-in Bra

Prana Becksa Tank Top with Built-in Bra

A tank top with a built-in bra can provide low to medium support, depending on the size of your breasts and the construction of the shelf bra inside the top. As hiking, climbing and mountaineering are low to medium-impact activities, a tank top with built-in bra is the perfect base layer, both under warmer layers or on its own when the temperature is high. You can of course also choose a normal sports bra, with medium or high support if you feel more comfortable hiking in this. If you are not sure what is this best option for you, you can check out our guide on How to Choose a Sports Bra for Hiking or Trail Running.

In terms of tank tops with a built-in bra, still fewer high-quality outdoor brands make such tops, but here we have listed some of those which are suitable for outdoor aerobic activities, by being made of moisture-wicking materials and constructed with regards to freedom of movement. Depending on your style, some of the selected tank tops are also great for everyday use. On the trails, just remember to bring sunscreen and one or two extra layers in case of weather surprises – such as rain, wind or thunder storms.

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1. Our Picks of Tank Tops with Built-In Bra for Hiking

Best Tank Tops with Built-in Bra

Best Tank Tops with Built-in Bra

  1. Prana Becksa Tank Top
  2. Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up Tank Top
  3. Patagonia Mibra Top
  4. FreeReign Style Everyday Tank Top
  5. Black Diamond Talus Tank Top

2. Comparison of Tank Tops with Built-in Bra for Hiking

Scroll Horizontally
Feature/Product Prana BecksaBeyond Yoga Spacedye Patagonia MibraFreeReign EverydayBlack Diamond Talus
Material42% Recycled Polyester, 42% Polyester, 16% SpandexSpacedye (87% Polyester, 13% Elastane)Body: 89% recycled polyester, 11% spandex jersey
Shelf bra: 73% nylon, 27% spandex power mesh and 100% polyester jersey Cups: 100% polyester
Body: 73% TENCEL Lyocell, 23% nylon, 4% spandex
Bra Liner: 84% TENCEL Modal, 16% spandex
Cups: 100% polyester
Polyester Stretch Jersey (92% Polyester, 8% Elastane, 230gsm)
Built-in Bra TypeShelf bra/liner bra (compression)Shelf bra/liner bra (compression)Shelf bra/liner bra (compression)Molded foam front (encapsulation)Shelf bra/liner bra (compression)
Removeable modesty padsYesYesYesYes (not removeable)Yes (not removeable)
Fits busts (measured at the fullest):
*according to brand website
XS=33''-34’’
S=35''-36''
M=37''-38''
L=39''-40''
XL=41''-43''
1X=45''-48''
2X=48''-51''
3X=51''-54''
XS= 32’’-33.5’’
S=34´´-35.5’’
M=36´´-38’’
L=39´´-41’’
XL=42´´-44
1X=45’’-47’’
2X=48’’-51’’
3X=52’’-55’’
4X= 56’’-60’’
XXS=31’’
XS=32´´-33’’
S=34´´-35´´
M=36´´-37´´
L=38½´´-40´´
XL=42´´-44´´
XXL=46’’-48’’
32A=32’’-33’’
32B=33’’-34’’
34A=34’’-35’’
34B=35’’-36’’
36A=36’’-37’’
36B=37’’-38’’
XS= 32.5’’-34’’
S=34.5´´-36’’
M=36.5´´-38.5’’
L=39´´-41.5’’
XL=42´´-45

3. The Selection

Prana Becksa Tank Top

Prana Becksa Tank Top

1. Prana Becksa Tank Top

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Everyday Life

Prana specializes in eco-friendly and comfortable performance clothes for holistic activities such as yoga, trekking and climbing, and thus it is no surprise that the brand regularly comes up with new snug tank tops with a built-in bra. For this list we chose a style with a slightly more covered back – the Prana Becksa top – in case you are carrying a backpack on your outdoor adventures. The Prana Becksa tank top with built-in bra is made of a UPF50-rated polyester blend (half of the polyester is recycled) with 1×1 compression stretch rib, meaning that it is very elastic and always keeps its shape and structure. It is made with flatlock seams and the built-in bra features a mesh lining, removable modesty cups and plush elastic to keep you comfortable and supported. The Prana Becksa top is available in several muted colors, and also comes in plus sizes, as well as a cropped version.

 

Pros:

  • Bluesign certified UPF50 fabric with 42% recycled polyester
  • Flatlock seam construction
  • Removable modesty cups
  • Sustainable production (made in Fair Trade Certified™ Factory)

Cons:

  • /

Where to buy?

Also available at:

REI | Backcountry

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up Tank Top

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up Tank Top

2. Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up Tank Top

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Everyday life

The Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up tank top with built-in bra is, as the name implies, made of the brand’s popular Spacedye fabric, which is known for being super soft, stretchy and moisture-wicking with a UPF-rating of 20. It has a slightly more scooped neckline than the Prana Becksa tank, and also the racerback is a bit narrower which provides better freedom of movement. On the other hand, it also exposes more skin to potential chafing if you are wearing a backpack while hiking. Like Prana, Beyond Yoga is very size-inclusive and thus the Step Up tank top goes up to size 4X. Be aware, though that for very large breasts, the support that a shelf bra can offer might not be adequate – but that goes for all tank tops with built-in bra, not just this one. The Beyond Yoga Spacedye Step Up tank top is available in both muted and vibrant colors, as well as in a cropped version.

 

Pros:

  • Soft and moisture-wicking material with 4-way stretch
  • UPF20-rating
  • Size-inclusive (up to size 4x)
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • /
Patagonia Mibra tank top

Patagonia Mibra tank top

3. Patagonia Mibra Top

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Athleisure

The Patagonia Mibra is the top on this list which shows the most skin on the back as the thin straps on the back crisscross and make up a beautiful triangular pattern. This means that it might not work as well as a standalone piece if you are planning to carry a (heavy) backpack. Like the Prana top, the Patagonia Mibra contains a very high amount of recycled polyester (89% in the main fabric and 70 % in the shelf bra material, which isn’t mesh) and is Fair Trade Sewn. It also goes quite high in sizing, but as mentioned in the buying advice below, you cannot expect the same support level for larger busts – even if the tank top otherwise fits you. The Patagonia Mibra was designed in cooperation with female climbers, and thus the low, but contoured armholes provide coverage without limiting movement. As the only top here, it is also available in prints rather than just solid colors.

 

Pros:

  • Soft and breathable fabric with high percentage of recycled polyester
  • Shelf bra has antimicrobial treatment to prevent odor
  • Removeable modesty cups for coverage and support
  • Fair Trade Certified Sewn

Cons:

  • Construction with thin straps might affect support

Where to buy?

Also available at:

REI | Backcountry

FreeReign Everyday Top

FreeReign Everyday Top

4. FreeReign Style Everyday Tank

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Travelling
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Everyday use

Unlike the previously mentioned tank tops with built-in bra, the FreeReign Everyday tank is not made of synthetic materials but consists mainly of sustainable Tencel materials, which are made from tree pulp. If you are not familiar with Tencel, it is worth noting that it is soft, breathable and moisture-wicking, but takes some time to dry if it gets soaked. While the previous tops all feature some sort of racerback, the FreeReign tank has a scooped back and straight straps. It is also the only top which has sizing based on actual cup size rather than bust circumference at its fullest. The biggest size 36B can, however, also accommodate larger busts as you can read more about in my first-hand review of the tank top. Instead of a shelf bra (or bra liner), the FreeReign Everyday top features a molded foam front piece with separate cups for coverage and support. The biggest con of the tank is that this foam front can lift and fold if you move your arms around a lot.

 

Pros:

  • Soft, anti-microbial and moisture-wicking fabric
  • Seamless knitted construction for comfort
  • Large percentage of sustainable Tencel fabrics

Cons:

  • Limited size range (although size 36B can accommodate larger busts)
  • The molded front can lift and fold if you raise your arms a lot
Black Diamond Talus Tank Top

Black Diamond Talus Tank Top

5. Black Diamond Talus Tank Top

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

The Black Diamond Talus tank top with built-in bra is designed with climbing and aerobic activities in mind. It is constructed with thin double straps, starting around the collar bone, and set slightly apart so they mimic the support of wider straps. On the back, the straps crisscross in a minimalistic racerback design which provides full freedom of movement. The material is a breathable and soft polyester stretch jersey, which wicks moisture away to keep you dry and comfortable when you start feeling the heat. Like rest of the tank top, the built-in shelf bra is made with flatlock seams to avoid chafing. The shelf bra has padding for modesty, but it cannot be removed. The Black Diamond Talus tank top is made with augmented tailoring, in the sense that it has side panels following your axillary lines, so the tank moves with you. It is available in several soft muted colors.

 

Pros:

  • Soft moisture-wicking material
  • Sidepanels for better fit and freedom of movement
  • Flatlock seams

Cons:

  • Construction with thin straps might affect support

Where to buy?

Also available at:

REI | Backcountry

 

4. Buying a Tank Top with Built-In Bra – What is important?

Sizing and Support:

The built-in bras in tank tops for hiking and other sporty activities are usually of the type called a shelf bra or a bra liner. Here an extra layer of tight-fitting elastic fabric over the breasts along with a thick elastic under the breasts give you support by compressing your breasts towards the chest wall. The tighter the band, the more support you will get, but it can also make it harder to get in and out of the top! Tank tops with a built-in bra are usually sized like clothing (S, M, L etc.) rather than by cup size and circumference like bras, but that does not necessarily make picking the right size any easier. In our comparison table above, we have entered the sizes of the respective tank tops and which chest circumference (at its fullest) or cup size they correspond to according to the manufacturer’s website.

However, if you want more or less support for your breasts you might want to pick a slightly smaller or larger size than the one which corresponds to the circumference of your chest. If you choose a slightly larger size, you should be all-right for low intensity activities while a smaller size will almost certainly provide you with medium support – or even enough support for high impact work outs (running, aerobics etc.) if you have a small elfin bosom. Women with very large breasts will usually (even if wearing a much smaller size) only get support for low impact activities by wearing a tank top with built-in bra, but you also don’t need much more for hiking or mountaineering. To get better support, large-busted women will have to get an encapsulation sports bra for high-impact activities. You can read more about how to choose a sports bra for hiking and (trail) running in our article here.

Material:

As a tank top goes on your bare skin, the fabric used should feel soft and smooth to touch besides being breathable and moisture-wicking. Clothes for outdoor aerobic activities should NOT be made of cotton as this material is neither moisture-wicking nor quick-drying, which means that you will probably get cold when you start sweating.

The tank tops with built-in bra listed above are mainly made out of synthetic materials, but there is also one Tencel top included. Sadly, it has become impossible to find a tank with built-in bra made out of Merino wool, which we are otherwise big fans of as a base layer/underwear material. Icebreaker, Smartwool and Woolx all offer sports bras and camisole tops with shelf bras in Merino wool, but otherwise all Merino tank tops with broader straps on the market are constructed without a built-in bra.

Care:

All the tank tops mentioned in this reviewed can be machine-washed at low temperatures; just steer clear of bleach, softeners etc. and avoid tumble-drying if possible,  as it can take a toll on the sophisticated materials used for sports and hiking clothing. You can read more about how to care properly for such clothes in our article article How to Wash Outdoor Clothing.

Comfort When Carrying a Backpack:

Most tank tops with built-in bra for hiking or other activities feature some sort of racerback to ensure absolute freedom of movement. However, this leaves quite some skin bare – which means that such tops might not work as well as a standalone piece if you are planning to carry a (heavy) backpack. If the backpanel and shoulder straps of your backpack are well-padded, it shouldn’t cause too much discomfort, but if they aren’t they will quickly start to rub against your bare skin and cause irritation. Besides getting a good backpack (which is in any case a vital piece of equipment), we recommend that you might wear some sort of light top with sleeves over your tank top to prevent chafing and irritation when you are carrying a heavy load. If you love going for shorter hikes, a lumbar waist pack can easily replace a daypack, and you can enjoy having bare unburdened shoulders.

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Author Information

Laura P.

I loved to climb trees when I was a child – as an adult I use these skills for climbing and scrambling up mountain sides! I always wear a Merino base layer, sunscreen and my hair tousled.

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