My Favorite Women’s Hiking Bras and Underwear

Choosing the best women’s underwear for you is a decidedly personal choice based on preferences. These are my favorite bras and underwear for hiking and backpacking.

Finding the right underwear for outdoor adventures can be a challenge. It’s important to find what works for you, whether that’s the fabric, cut, style, or sizing. Since cotton is not a good choice since it retains moisture, I’ve tried synthetic and wool fabrics for both bras and underwear. My preference is to wear a synthetic bra pair with either synthetic underwear or wool underwear.


best women's hiking underwear

I find that bras meant for active pursuits tend to be too tight and restrictive, and can be quite difficult to remove. In terms of fit, I’m a smaller person without a need for a lot of compression in a bra, so I wanted a bra that focused more on comfort than on support. Being prone to skin rashes, especially under the bra band, I was also looking for fabric that wicks moisture well.

After trying many different brands and styles, including minimalist wool bras, my favorite is the Patagonia Barely Bra. Made from a blend of quick drying nylon and spandex with odor control, this racerback style bra provides the level of support I need without binding. It comes with removable internal cups that I prefer to take out for a lighter fit.
View at Patagonia


best women's hiking underwear

Over the years, I’ve tried many different brands and styles of underwear for hiking. These are my favorites:

Branwyn: Out of all of the brands I’ve tried, these are my most comfortable underwear for hiking. Made of merino wool, I especially like the higher rise and wide waist band. They provide great coverage and I find that the waistband doesn’t bind, slip or roll on me like other underwear tends to do. The wool fabric is soft without being scratchy at all… and I have sensitive skin that has a tendency to react to wool.
View at Branwyn

Exofficio Give-n-Go Bikini: One of the most popular choices for travelers, the Give-n-Go bikini is the quickest drying underwear that I’ve tried. Made from a polyester mesh with a narrower waist band, they are durable to withstand years of use. However, they aren’t the most comfortable for me due to seams on the sides. For multi-night backpacking trips, these are still a top choice due to being able to take fewer pairs and wash them each day.
View at REI

Patagonia Active Hipster: I wear these on a daily basis as well as on hiking trips. Made from a soft synthetic blend, I like the comfortable wider waist band, seamless construction, and overall fit.
View at Patagonia

Patagonia boy shorts: No longer available, these boy shorts from Patagonia provide more coverage in the front and are a stylish look for backcountry bikini. Hopefully they will be available again in the future.

I Heart Pacific Northwest is a participant in affiliate link programs which provide a small commission if a purchase is made through gear links on this site (at no additional cost to you). I am not sponsored by any gear companies and the items listed here are owned by me and unless otherwise stated, are purchased with my own funds. Thank you for supporting this website!