Sports bras and cropped tops: 4 of the best for triathlon reviewed

Unless your tri-suit comes with a good integral bra, you’ll need to add one to give you support during training and racing. Helen Webster puts four sports bras to the test

Credit: The Secret Studio

Falke Versatility Bra Top



Although a crop top is often comfier under a tri-suit, they usually don’t give enough support for larger cup sizes, which is where this quality bra top from Falke comes in useful. The top is designed to give maximum support for medium to large cup sizes for high- intensity exercise, but as it works by compressing the bust it’s both comfortable and flattering under a tri-suit. You put it on like a waistcoat and then there’s a double front fastening (hook and eye then zip) which keeps everything firmly in place. It sits quite low on to the rib cage which feels a little odd, but helps give that support. Six colours are available and it dried reasonably fast. 

Verdict: quality top suitable for most bust sizes 89%

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Freya Freestyle Soft Crop


Freya Active offer a huge range of sports bras and crop tops for all bust sizes and activity levels. The cup-sized range starts at a B-cup though, so for smaller sizes the bra top is a good alternative. We loved the soft fabric of this Freestyle crop top and the double layer was very breathable and the fastest-drying here. The back was a racer-style with hook-and-eye fastening on the bottom band, which was very comfortable and didn’t impede our movement in the swim. Support was good when worn under a tri-suit, although we’d say this is one only for the smallest bust sizes. If this sounds like you though, this is a comfortable and well-priced option.

Verdict: soft and comfy bra top, fast to dry out 77%

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Salomon Medium Impact bra


Recommended for medium impact, again it’s only suitable for small cup sizes for running. We found it very stretchy and comfy though (if a little old-fashioned looking) and the lack of seams prevented chafing. The material is a nylon/polyester and elastane mix that was breathable when running, but which did retain a bit of water when worn in our swim test under a tri-suit. We liked the racer back though and the elastic insert at the back made it easy to pull on and off. There are moulded cup inserts in this bra too for modesty (no visible nipples!) but we soon removed them as they’re a faff to position and also make the bra slower to dry out.

Verdict: comfy under a tri-suit but one for small busts 72%

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Acai Berry sports bra


Recommended for high impact activities, this sports bra from Acai is a crop-top design with a strappy back and sizes ranging from XS (6) to XL (14). The fabric is soft yet gives quite firm compression and is more swimsuit-material than the others on test, meaning it was less breathable but dried fairly fast. Getting into it was fine for our A-cup tester, but as there are no fastenings it’s a ‘pull on and over’ job, which larger-busted athletes might find trickier. Running in this bra was comfortable although it felt tighter on the ribcage than the others on test. Like the Salomon, this again features removable bra cups for modesty, that again retained some water.

Verdict: great support for a crop top, nice material 82%


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