Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Riding underwear

Structure & function are essential when looking for riding underwear, H&R’s testers round up the options!

The products

SnugPak 2nd Skinz Coolmax long sleeved top and long johns
RRP
£41.90

SnugPak 2nd Skinz Coolmax long sleeved top and long johns

Technical, wicking fabric that keeps you warm when it’s cold, but also cool and comfortable when the temperature rises.
Sizes: S – XXL
RRP top £20.95, long johns £20.95

“I really liked the relaxed fit of the top, and the softness of the material. Wearing the top and long johns didn’t restrict my movement at all, and they kept me much warmer than I was without them, especially if I was outside in the cold for long periods of time. They came with a useful carry case and have washed well, without shrinking or bobbling. The long johns were quite loose around my ankles, so tended to ride up when I put my breeches on. However, putting socks over the top solved the problem.”

RRP
£19.95

Calm Leisure shaped equestrian underwear

British-made, natural bamboo fibre riding pants with an arched front leg.
Colours White or black
Sizes XS–L

“I really like the softness of the material, which washed well without shrinking. They were a good fit and stayed in place well, whether I was riding, doing yard duties or walking the dogs. The nature of the material means there isn’t much stretch, especially round the legs, so it’s important to get the right size.”

Berlei Equestrian Briefs
RRP
£24.00

Berlei Riding Pants

Details: Nude padded briefs designed specifically for horse riders, with no side seams and thin edges for minimal VPL.
Colour: Nude
Sizes: XS-XL

“I liked the fit and style of the briefs, and the padding made them very comfortable to wear, especially out on long hacks, or for sitting trot. They didn’t create any visible lines under my breeches, and I was very pleased that it wasn’t obvious that I was wearing padded pants! I wouldn’t change anything. They are quite expensive for a pair of pants, but I think the quality and the comfort make them worth the price.”

berlei equestrian bra
RRP
£35.00

Berlei Equestrian Bra

RRP
£28.00

Swegmark Courage extreme support sports bra

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, ring with hook for racer back option, padded shoulder straps and moulded double layers in front

Worn for: General riding and yard work

Colours: Black, black/raspberry, black/turquoise or black/white

“I really liked this bra. It felt comfortable and I thought it was true to size. It has washed really well, it’s still just as supportive and is still bright pink. I don’t think I would change anything – even though the five fastenings were a bit tricky to do up, they made the bra very supportive. The shape is good and the wider band underneath is flattering. I liked the pink, but it’s very bright so might not be everyone’s cup of tea.”

RRP
£29.90

Purelime high-impact support bra

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, padded straps and seam-free cups

Worn for: Running and general riding

Colours: Black or white

Cup sizes: A–E

Back sizes: 32–38in

“It was a really good fit and very comfortable. I’ve worn it running and riding several times a week, and it’s still just as supportive. The material still looks white and hasn’t deteriorated. Some other sports bras make my back ache after exercise, but this one did a great job and I would definitely buy another one. It’s the best sports bra I’ve ever had. I would love another in a more fun colour or interesting print, because when wearing it under a strappy top the thick, white straps aren’t that attractive.”

RRP
£25.00

M&S breathable, high-impact, underwired padded sports bra

Fit details: Cross-back with hook-and-eye fastenings and seam-free padded cups

Worn for: General riding and jumping, running and Pilates

Cup sizes: B–DD

Back sizes: 32–38in

“I thought the fit and support of this bra was excellent. It hasn’t faded or bobbled in the wash, and although I thought the width of the band around my chest would mean it would crease, this hasn’t happened. The colour and design meant I didn’t mind it being visible under sports tops, and the racer back means no slipping straps or digging in, and it really distributed pressure to minimise marks left behind by the straps. It’s not particularly easy to get into, but even with a shoulder injury I managed fine.”

RRP
£29.00

Hells Bells sports bra

Fit details: Over the head racer back, with a double-layered, seamed front and wide band round the ribs

Worn for: Hacking, flatwork, jumping, running and tennis

Colours: Wide variety

Cup sizes: A–HH

Back sizes: XS–XL

“There were no fastenings for this bra, so I was apprehensive about how easy it would be to put on and take off, but it was stretchy enough not to be a problem. It fitted well and I liked the shape it gave. I liked that it was really supportive, but still comfortable enough to wear all day. Perhaps a more breathable fabric would be beneficial for summer days, as it was quite thick.”

Royce sports bra
RRP
£22

Royce Lingerie Impact Free Petite sports bra

Fit details: Over the head, with two extra hook-and-eye fastenings, racer back design and removable padding in cups

Worn for: General riding, running and the gym

Cup sizes: A–D

Back sizes: 30–36in

“I found this bra to be extremely comfortable. The material was soft and very supportive, and it didn’t deteriorate in the wash. It was a nice fit and I liked the shape that it gave. I would rather not have removable padding in the cups, as they tended to fold over in the wash and were fiddly to straighten out. Without them the bra felt less supportive and wasn’t quite as comfortable. “

Lynx Sports Bras
RRP
£41.82

Lynx cross-back sports bra

Fit details: Over the head cross-back, with adjustable keyhole strap, soft seams and cups with mesh panels

Worn for: Zumba and general riding

Colours: Black, black/white, full bloom, lilac, blue, magenta, mercury, granite, plaid, nebula or jade

Cup sizes: DD–J

Back sizes: 32–44in

“I really like the look of this bra. The cross-back is stylish, and the pattern is funky and fashionable. It was supportive but, having a large chest, I probably wouldn’t use it for very high-impact sports. I found the sizing was quite generous round the back. It’s also quite high at the front, so does show under some tops.”

Felix Buhler sports bra
RRP
£19.90

Felix Bühler High Action Extreme sports bra

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, seam-free cups, mesh inserts and wide, padded shoulder straps

Worn for: Gym classes and general riding

Colours: Black or white

Cup sizes: B–E

Back sizes: 34–40in

“I loved the feel of the bra. The straps were a nice width and padded, so ideal for riding, and I almost forgot I had it on because it was so comfortable. It gave a very natural shape and washed well. I found it to be very supportive and I liked the cut. The material over the cups wasn’t very thick.”

Panache sports bra
RRP
£40.00

Panache Sport wired sports bra

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, racer back option, wide, padded straps and seamless inner cups

Worn for: General riding and the gym

Colours: Black, white, grey, odessey print or neon pixel print

Cup sizes: B–J

Back sizes: 28–40in

“It was pretty comfy in general, with a good fit. I liked the thick band at the bottom and the straps were comfy. It washed well and the material didn’t deteriorate at all. It was quite supportive and even better when I used the racer back option. The clasp for this was easy to use and felt secure. I didn’t really like the shape that it gave and, having a large chest, I didn’t feel that it gave me enough support for higher impact sports, but for general riding it was fine.”

Berlei Crop Top
RRP
£38.00

Berlei Ultimate Performance crop top

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, seamless cups and straps can be cross-over, racer back or straight

Worn for: Dressage, sponsored rides, cross-country, dog walking and the gym

Colours: Black

Cup sizes: C–E

Back sizes: 32–40in

“The fit was quite tight, especially under my arms, but once it had been worn a few times and washed, it softened really well. It has washed quite well, the material still looks good and it’s still just as supportive. It’s a classic style with a flattering fit that I liked very much. I found that the clip on the back to pull the straps together took a bit of getting used to and it came undone a couple of times while I was riding. It’s quite difficult to make sure it’s done up properly.”

Anita Active Momentum Sports Bra
RRP
£50.00

Anita Active Momentum sports bra

Fit details: Back hook-and-eye fastenings, wide padded straps, flat seams and seamless cups

Worn for: Jogging and general riding

Colours: Black, white or skin

“The fit and design are good, with substantial and  comfortable shoulder straps. Being chesty, I find it difficult to find a sports bra that provides adequate support, but I was really impressed at how supportive it was, and it washed well. The only thing I’d change is the elastic that goes around your chest. It’s thin and the edge is quite scratchy, so it irritated my skin a bit. If it had a thicker, softer elastic here, it would be perfect.”

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