Women's gear, up first
What's a good sports bra in the 32-38 DD range that isn't totally painful or useless?
I have two words for you: Moving Comfort (movingcomfort.com). This women's-specific active wear brand has been in the works for 30 years, making everything from sport tanks to yoga pants. Their main focus? Bras. Over the course of three decades, they've perfected their craft by doing away with things like armpit chafing, cinching, pinching, and for women of all sizes. In fact, you can get a DD-size bra anywhere between 34 to 40 inches around the torso, and each size also has four hooks for further adjustments. Plus, they have a whopping seven styles built specifically for DD/E-size women. It might have something to do with the fact that one of their designers is larger breasted, which also means nothing about these bras' performance is going to slip through the cracks.
Before I learned about Moving Comfort, I was an advocate of running to Target and picking up the cheapest cotton sports bra on the rack. I'd run in it until it had holes and the straps were stretched out (both of which never took very long). But since I've had my Moving Comfort bra, I haven't needed a new one for well over two years (even after bi-weekly use). And the quality has convinced me that it's worth forking over the few extra dollars. My favorite? The polyester-and-nylon Fiona ($44) which has molded cups and a strong-but-stretchy mesh fabric for added support (vouched for by a C-cup runner).
A few other bras that grace my underwear drawer? Patagonia's pullover Women's Active Mesh Bra ($35, patagonia.com), which I use for yoga. It's seamless, hugs my body, and comes in sizes XS-XL. Also, the aptly-named Ta Ta Tamer, by Lululemon ($58, lululemon.com), shows its best face during high-intensity aerobic workouts and is available up to a D cup (in a multitude of torso sizes).
Alicia Carr, assistant managing editor of Outside and managing editor of Outside's Buyer's Guide, is a guest columnist for Gear Girl.