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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Skirt Sports Trikini Tank Print > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

SkirtSports TRIKini Tank Top


Test series by Kathryn Doiron
Initial Report: May 20 2008

Field Report: Jul 28 2008

Long Term Report: Sep 25 2008


Image of SkirtSports TRIKini



Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 8" (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA

Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ mi (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lb (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.


Product Information:


Manufacturer: SkirtSports
Website: http://www.skirtsports.com/
MSRP: US $44
Material: Body - Nylon/spandex blend, Bra lining - nylon/spandex blend with silver tech sheen
Size: XS to XXL available (M received)
Colours: Pink and Blue Paradise, Bubbly Pink and Blue, Sugar Magnolia
Weight: (measured) 4.5 oz (126.4 g)
Weight: (stated) n/av



Initial Report:
May 20th 2008

The TRIKini tank is geared for active people who will be encountering many different conditions from biking to swimming to hiking. The tank is a form fitting support top with racer back meaning the straps come in around the shoulder blades leaving full freedom of arm movement. The tank has an interior shelf bra support and a bra pocket located in the middle of the bra support. The tank has a nice long fit and a smooth touch. The bra support material as well as the piping material around the arms and neck opening has a slight silvery sheen to it. The whole top has a bathing suit feel to it. I received the medium sized tank as according to the sizing chart that is what would fit best. I have a 30 in. (76 cm) waist and 36 in. (91.4 cm) bust and 39 in. (99 cm) hips. When I first tried on the tank, the fit was slightly tight, which I was hoping for so as to have good support.

I'm happy with the initial fit. I will be checking for any chaffing from seams and how well the support is when moving. The bra pocket is located right in the center of the chest. It appears to be large enough to hold a credit card and possibly an iPod Nano. The pocket is just slightly wider and deeper than a credit card. I wonder about the usefulness of the pocket from a backpacker's stand point as I fear the chest strap will either interfere with access or will press against anything that is in the pocket. I will be looking into this carefully and be trying out various amounts and types of items in the pocket. The bra support is a rather simple shelf support style bra. For swimming, this is fine, but I wonder how much support it will afford me when hiking and backpacking. On top of that, as there is no cup style support, there is the possibility of uni-boob syndrome, which occurs when there is no individual support. As such, I find that I get hot and sweaty between my breasts. This is something I will be watching for with this tank to see if maybe having the bra pocket between the breasts might afford some separation to prevent sweaty moments when hiking.

From my initial wearing of this tank, I liked the overall fit and feel of the material. I also find the pattern pleasing to look at. It feels very much like a bathing suit with good support. The tank is long and goes down around my hips. But since the material is slippery, I found that the tank tends to ride up to my waist. I also found that the material rides up and puckers a little in the front. I will look into tucking the tank into my pants to see if that help prevent it from riding up. As this tank is meant to go from sport to sport, I will also be taking it on kayaking trips where I will be testing how it feels when it gets wet and looking at how well it dries and how it supports and fits when wet.

My test plan over the next couple of months will be to use this tank top on all my outdoor activities. This will include backpacking, dayhiking and kayaking trips. I will be interested in looking into how well the TRIKini will hold up to wearing under a pack as well as going through wet/dry cycles during kayaking events. I will be checking out how well the TRIKini fits and how useful the bra pocket is.



Field Report:
July 28th 2008

I have taken the SkirtSports TRIKini on one overnight trip, one day hiking trip, and many kayaking trips for a total of 4 days and 1 night of backpacking/hiking wear. The big overnight trip I took this on was a three day two night trip up into the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. The elevation gain was at most 3000 ft (914 m) and we camped at about 2000 ft (609 m). I wore the TRIKini as my only form of upper body support for this whole trip. Around camp when the temperatures would drop at night, I paired the TRIKini with a wool base layer and a rain shell with down insert for extra warmth. I felt that for the three solid days of wear, there was a little chafing by the third morning but nothing painful. Temperatures were in the high 80's F (about 30 C) during the day and at night they would drop to about 50 F (10 C).

The day hike was a relatively easy 2.5 mi (4 km) hike in to a waterfall with very little elevation gain but many stream crossings. The water was about knee deep and I found the water temperatures to be very cold. The tank offered relatively good support over the course of the trip. I paired the TRIKini with a wool base layer just to keep the sun off my shoulders when in the sun. Temperatures were about 75 F (24 C).

I also also used the TRIKini on at least three kayaking trips and to go swimming in. The tank is a good fit with moderate support. I feel I could use a little more support, but I haven't found the TRIKini uncomfortable in the support department. I find the neck line a little higher then I personally would like but it isn't so high that I feel I am being choked. The racer back is a great fit around my shoulder blades and I find I have full range of motion in whatever I am doing, whether throwing a bear line or kayaking. This did leave me with slightly crisp shoulders and neck line on the last kayaking trip as I missed a few spots with the sun block. The tank tends to rest around my waist at my pants line and doesn't ride up too much. It does not stay down around my hips if I do tug it down. This doesn't bother me as it is comfortable at my pants line.

Image of me wearing the SkirtSports TRIKini

I find that the TRIKini dries fairly quickly. In about 20-30 minutes of activity it is mostly dry. If I am sitting around it takes longer. The upper support area which is two layers of material does take a little longer to dry but not an excessive amount of time. I like the drying nature of the material as I can go for a swim at a swimming hole and be dry by the time I get back to camp. The tank fits nicely even when wet which is good. The support is still there when wet. I haven't noticed any odours from the TRIKini after wearing it for three days solid on the last big backpacking trip. I find I smell, but I didn't smell any strong odours coming off the TRIKini. I will look into this more over the next two months. As the TRIKini leaves the armpits exposed and is not in direct contact with the armpits, it may just take it longer to pick up body odours. I find that the tank does a nice job of wicking away the sweat from my body, but I do get somewhat large drops that roll down the middle of my chest. They either get wicked by the band when they get there, or I have to press the material down to absorb the drops sooner.

I haven't used the bust pocket at all. When I am backpacking, the chest strap is in the way of easy access. When I am kayaking, my lifejacket also restricts access. I haven't found the pocket handy yet. I will look into using it more over the long term testing period as I will be picking up a few gel packs to play with. I have sent the TRIKini through the wash several times and while the tank itself has held up very well with no stretching, the logo in the back inside has mostly peeled off, and the logo on the front is also peeling although still readable, for now.

The pros so far are how comfortable the tank wears and how dry it keeps me. The cons are the deteriorating labels. I can't say the bust pocket is a con, but I haven't found it useful yet.



Long Term Report:
September 25th 2008

I have taken this tank out on two more trips, for a total of 5 days and 4 nights, plus numerous kayaking and white water kayaking events. Many times over the weekend, I would wear the tank for kayaking on Saturday, white water kayaking on Sunday then more kayaking on Tuesday. And over all that the tank performed very well and continued to give good, unsagging support. I washed the tank so many times, that the back label peeled and the front label is also peeling. The tank has been dried in a dryer when washed, but either worn dry or air dried after kayaking trips.

The first trip was out in West Virginia to the Dolly Sods. Temperatures were in the 75-85 F (24-29 C) range and it was sunny each day. This was a three day, 2 night backpacking trip and I used the tank top as my base layer and swim top. Except for when it cooled at night or in the morning, I wore the tank top alone. Otherwise, I wore a long sleeved wool base layer and rain jacket for extra warmth. I have not had any problems with chafing from the tank top, but I do find that after a while my pack starts rubbing in places that are normally covered by a shirt. Also, more skin is exposed and as such I have more areas to remember to put sunscreen on. I received a mild burn on my shoulders on this trip when I forgot to apply sunscreen and hiked up an expose creek bed.

The next trip out was to the Shenandoah National Park. This trip saw a 2000 ft (610 m) drop on the first day. I wore the tank top under a t-shirt to prevent chaffing and to stay warm as the weather is cooling off. This trip saw the tank put though a roller coaster of wearing. I wore the tank on two kayaking trips on Sunday and Tuesday before wearing this on the Saturday to Sunday hike. Needless to say that while I don't normally smell many odours associated with the tank with overnight wear, wearing it to death like this did cause the tank to start smelling. In the end, the tank wasn't nearly as offensive as the wicking t-shirt I wore on the overnight trip. Even after so much wear, the tank was still offering good support and didn't sag in any areas. I used the little bust pocket for a gel pack and found that while I got used to having something stored there, it did show through as a lump in the pocket. Also, the pocket is not easy access due to a high neck line and my pack's chest strap. The support of the tank is moderate. I find it comfortable to walk around in, and even sleep in but I didn't feel that comfortable with the small amount of jogging I did at one point.

In summary, I loved wearing this tank for day hiking and kayaking, but found that due to the nature of the cut, backpacking can be a little bit of a chaffing activity if the tank is worn alone. I find that the neck line is a bit higher then I care for but overall it works well. Something about the material does keep odour retention down which is great. I didn't care for the fact that sweat was still able to run down my chest before being wicked by the bottom support band. The material does dry relatively quickly, enough so that I didn't have to go to bed wet. I really loved wearing this over the summer. This tank will be added to my wardrobe for outdoor activities as it was very useful.

Pros:

    - no sag in the material over time
    - comfortable and quick drying
    - moderate support

Cons:

    - label didn't survive wear and washing
    - bust pocket isn't that useful or convenient

This concludes my long term report on the SkirtSports TRIKini Tank Top. I hope you have enjoyed following this test series.


Read more reviews of Skirt Sports gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathryn Doiron

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Skirt Sports Trikini Tank Print > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron



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