I have several Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bras in my regular workout rotation that are well over five years old and still in great shape–hardly any wear and tear, still supportive, and with simple enough styling that they don’t look dated. It’s a testament to Patagonia’s philosophy of designing classic, quality products that have a long lifespan and, therefore, are more sustainable than some of my other gear.
When I had the chance to try out this year’s version of the Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bra as part of a new yoga kit, I was looking forward to seeing what had been updated and what had stayed the same over the years. I headed straight away to the Inversion Yoga studio in Jackson, WY for a flow yoga class, a more athletic style of yoga that has lots of dynamic transitions between postures.
The Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bra was very comfortable during the class, in an 85-degree room where we were building our own heat during the practice. It was soft and seamless against my skin, breathed and wicked moisture really well, and stayed in place for various twisting poses.
However, the fit of the Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bra felt less supportive than my old-school models. When I placed my new bra side-by-side with my old bras, I could see a few clues about why the new bra didn’t feel as supportive. For being the same tag size, the new Active Mesh Bra was larger overall, had longer straps, and had a taller bottom band. Because I have a small cup size and am petite, this didn’t affect me too much support-wise, but the bra did sit a little lower on my torso than would be optimal. On the flipside, it also had more of a casual comfort to it, with softer fabric and straps that worked well for yoga.
I wore the Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bra under my Patagonia Women’s Gatewood Tank Top to our local sport climbing crag, Blacktail Butte. The bra’s v-straps in the back that sit between my shoulder blades layered well underneath the racerback tank. I hadn’t washed my outfit after the yoga class, but since the bra is Polygiene-treated with special odor-controlling silver ions, it still looked and felt fresh. On the approach up, the bra breathed well as I sweated and dried quickly once we were at the base of the climbs, thanks to the mesh patterning and quick-dry fabric that encourages moisture wicking. Since climbing, like yoga, is relatively low-impact, the level of support once again worked fine for me, and I appreciated the ease of movement.
The Patagonia Women’s Active Mesh Bra is sustainably made from a recycled nylon/spandex blend and is available for women in sizes XS – XL in Black, Dropdot Panel: Petoskey, Dropdot Panel: Galah Green, Ocean Stripe: Big Sur Blue and Ocean Stripe: Coral. The Dropdot Panel is a cute floral pattern that I know will take me through the next five years or more in style. I would consider going one size down in the future. (See review of Patagonia Centered Tights.)
Bottom Line: A simple, classic, breathable sports bra made of recycled materials.
Manufacturer’s site: www.patagonia.com