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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Skirt Sports Trikini Tank Print > Test Report by Rebecca Stacy

Skirt Sports

TRIKini Tank Top

Initial Report May 22, 2008

Field Report July 25, 2008

Long Term Report September 23, 2008


Front Back


Reviewer Information
Name: Becky Stacy
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 4" (1.6 m)
Weight: 150 lb (70 kg)
Bust: 38" (96.5 cm), D cup
Waist: 34" (86.4 cm)
Hips: 42" (106.7 cm)
Email address: becki_s_19 at hotmail dot com
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan, USA


Background:
I got bitten by the backpacking bug in 1994 when I was a volunteer at the Grand Canyon. My first backpacking trip was the same week I arrived, with gear borrowed from trail crew supplies. My husband and I enjoy car camping and backpacking, mostly in Michigan. We've pared down our pack weight a bit, switching to a tarptent and smaller/lighter backpacks as part of our effort to re-work our gear list to cut weight without giving up the luxury items we enjoy (such as food that involves more than boiling water).



Basic Product Information

Product: TRIKini Tank Print
Manufacturer: Skirt Sports
Manufacturer Website: www.skirtsports.com
Year: 2008
MSRP: $44.00 US
Size Tested: Large
Color Tested: Pink Paradise
Measured Weight: 4.9 oz (136 g)
Materials: Body- 80% Nylon 20% Spandex; Bra Lining- 80% Nylon 20% Spandex
Washing Instructions: Machine wash cold with like colors. Do not bleach. Do not use softeners. Line Dry. Do not iron. Do not dry clean.
Country of Manufacture: Costa Rica


Initial Report



The TRIKini is a form-fitting tank top with an integrated bra. The top was designed with triathlons in mind, and includes a small pocket in the "Cleavage Alley" that can hold an energy gel or other small items.

The bra is attached to the outer portion of the tank top at the neck and arms only, leaving the bottom part of the bra to do its job and letting the outer material of the TRIKini to act like a normal tank top. A band of elastic about 0.8" (2 cm) wide is sewn in along the entire bottom of the bra. In a relaxed state, the bottom of the bra is about 27" (69 cm). The Cleavage Alley pocket is centered in the inside front of the bra, with the opening about 0.9" (2.3 cm) below the neckline on the inside of the bra. The pocket is trapezoidal in shape, 2.5" (6.4 cm) wide at the top, 2" (5.1 cm) side at the bottom, and 3.75" (9.5 cm) tall. The seams along the right and left side of the pocket continue down to the bottom of the bra.

A 2.5" x 1.25" (6.4 x 3.2 cm) "tag" has been fused onto the inside back of the shirt, with Skirt Sports name and logo, "Made in Costa Rica" in English and French, the garment model number and size. Below the right underarm is a standard material tag with a "cut here" line, the Skirt Sports name, logo, address, website, and item number, material information. Washing instructions are on the reverse side.

On the front left of the TRIKini is a white with silver glitter "SKIRT SPORTS" decal fused onto the fabric about 1" (2.5 cm) from the hem. The back of the garment has a reflective silver skirt logo about 1" (2.5 cm) below the rear neck line.

The neck and arm holes are reinforced with a strip of white fabric sewn in place with wide pink stitching. The bottom hem of the TRIKini is 37" (94 cm) in its relaxed state, and has a double line of white stitching running along the hem. The sides have a more complex stitch that is 0.25" (0.6 cm) wide, also in white. The bottom hem and a side seam are shown in the picture below.

Side and Bottom Seam (79K)


Initial Impressions

The TRIKini is a comfortable fit for me, even though I am on the upper end of the Large as far as my waist and hips are concerned. The material of the bra looks to be of a slightly smaller/tighter weave than the rest of the TRIKini. The material for the bra feels really smooth, the printed side of the tank itself is smooth, though the "in" side of the tank top slightly catches my fingertips when I rub them vertically across the fabric. This slight "catching" does not feel to have any affect when I wear the top normally. I like the cut of the garment in general, and I like the idea that even though I have a pocket near my cleavage I won't have anyone else looking down it.

Neither the website nor the hang tags provided with the TRIKini mention what level of support it offers, and does not show a recommended cup size/range. I take size "D" bras, and while the TRIKini doesn't "lift and separate", I'm not majorly mashed together, either. I have jogged a (very) short distance in the TRIKini, and experienced more bouncing than I would be comfortable with were I to use it in such a manner. Wearing the TRIKini around the house has shown me that it should work just fine for low-impact activities.

I have bought Power Bar gel, Gu gel, Cliff Shot gel, and Jelly Belly Sport Beans to try in Cleavage Alley. All these items fit nicely in the pocket by themselves. I have worn the TRIKini with one of the gels in the pocket for a couple hours so far, and have not noticed any rubbing or chafing. All the above mentioned items feel fine when worn by themselves, two gels feels manageable, and wearing three gels at once felt a little weird. When I have one gel I can barely tell anything is there from looking at the outside of the shirt, and two slightly protrude. Three gels are really noticeable. The picture below shows the TRIKini inside-out, with a gel in the pocket.

Inside Out (95K)



The website shows the Pink Paradise as having a vertical pattern, but the top I received had a horizontal pattern. I was a bit disappointed, as I liked the way the vertical orientation looked. When I contacted Skirt Sports' customer service, they checked the pink TRIKini they had on hand and it was horizontal as well. I managed to find out that sometimes the garment that is produced for the photo is not an accurate representation of the production garment. This appears to be the case for the photo of Cleavage Alley, since the photo on the website shows the pocket on what appears to be a bra cup, when the shirt I have has it centered in a sports-type bra.

I've found a few things with my TRIKini that I would consider cosmetic flaws. As far as I can tell, these do not affect the performance of the TRIKini. The first is that the seam for the fabric that reinforces the neckline is on my left shoulder, and this seam is visible from the front. In addition, the pink stitching on the neck and arm holes is inconsistent, with areas of closer or wider cross stitching that make the pink stitching appear "denser" in some areas and "lighter" in others. One of these areas is at the neckline seam, making it stand out even more. Another thing that I have noticed is that the outer fabric bunches up just below the neckline. When the garment is flat it appears fine, but when I wear it the "bunch" shows up. The neckline forms a flattened "U" when I am not wearing it, but when I put it on it becomes more of a true "U". On a less endowed woman it might not be as noticeable, but I think simply bottoming out the "U" when constructing the garment would help it lie better when worn.

Problems2 (95K)



Summary

Overall, the TRIKini fits nicely, is really comfortable, and appears to give me enough support for backpacking and dayhiking. There are a few cosmetic flaws with the garment I received, but nothing that looks like it would affect performance. I am curious to see how this garment performs when I am backpacking, since I usually wear looser shirts that cover my entire back.


This concludes my Initial Report.



Field Report


GC (64K)


To date, I have worn the TRIKini on a 4-night rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in early June, during 2 days of dayhiking in Grand Canyon National Park prior to the rim-to-rim, and on several local walks and around the house. On my rim-to-rim hike, I travelled 6.9 miles(11.1 km) with an elevation loss of 4200 feet (1280 m) the 1st day, and 7.6 miles (12.2 km) with an elevation loss of 1550 feet (472 m) the 2nd day. The 3rd day I dayhiked part of the Clear Creek Trail in the morning, over 6 miles (9.7 km) round trip with an elevation gain and loss of 1520 feet (463 m). The evening of the 3rd day I dayhiked up Phantom Creek a little, about 5 miles (8 m) round trip with an elevation gain/loss of about 300 feet (91 m). The 4th day I backpacked 4.7 miles (7.6 km) with an elevation gain of 1350 feet (411 m), and a final hike out of 4.6 miles (7.4 km) with 3040 feet (927 m) of elevation gain on day 5.

The TRIKini is comfortable to wear, and although it does tend to ride up a little on its own, when I tuck it under my shorts or hiking capris or am wearing my backpack it usually stays in place. It's a little odd for me to wear it in a car with a shoulder-strap seatbelt. Since the bra doesn't have separate cups and the fabric of the shirt is slick, the shoulder harness tends to slip around.

The Cleavage Alley pocket works well, it was so comfortable that when I stored a gel there for a dayhike on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I completely forgot it was there, though it would have been nice to use the gel since I hadn't brought any food.

As a tank top and bra, the TRIKini was very comfortable to backpack in. The built-in bra offered me enough support for backpacking. I had no problems with my upper back sticking to the backpack. The only drawback that this shirt presented was due to the fact it is a tank top. The first day of backpacking was overcast and I spent a decent part of the day in the shade as well, but I noticed that the very ends of my shoulders were getting a little pink. I thought that being a little more liberal with the sunscreen and applying it a couple times throughout the day would solve that problem. So the second day I ended up applying sunscreen twice, once before starting, and once after lunch. This effort failed miserably, as I ended up with very red and tender shoulders (see picture below). I think that what happened was that whenever I put on my pack after a break, the shoulder straps of the pack would scrape off the sunscreen. The remaining three days of the trip I wore the TRIKini underneath a short-sleeve shirt. Since I don't want to reapply sunscreen on my shoulders after every packs-off break, for any future backpacking trips I will probably use it as a sole top only if I know I will be in the shade most of the time. I think I would be fine on most of my Michigan hikes, but I now know that a tank top is not the thing for me when I backpack very sunny environments.



Sunburn (48K)



The TRIKini held up well for the five straight days of use (I think I slept in it most nights as well), it didn't have a noticeable stink (though by the end of the last day I was probably immune to my own stench) and I didn't notice any horrible odors from it when I tossed it back in my luggage later in the trip. The main fabric didn't get badly stained with sweat or anything, thought the white piping around the neck and arm holes had turned orange-pink from sweat & canyon dust. A normal wash cleared up the shirt nicely, though the piping was still dirty. A second washing using Zout, a spot-cleaner that gets rids of all sorts of tough stains managed to clean up the grime.

Sometime during the first 2 days of my rim-to-trim hike, the label that was fused to the inside back of the TRIKini fell off. There's a slightly darker rectangular area on the fabric where it used to be, though the area is not sticky or anything. The skirt logo on the back of the shirt is still there, though it's pulled apart into little chunks when the fabric stretches. The "Skirt Sports" logo fused on the front is starting to peel. There is a small area of the shirt that is starting to pill, though I think that I might have brushed up against something rough or the washing machine might've caught it, since the pilling is only in one small area.

The TRIKini provided me with an added (and unforeseen) bonus, as I now often wear it as a night shirt at home. As of the writing of this report I am 2 months pregnant, and am experiencing all the typical breast issues that women encounter early in pregnancy. Several books I've read recommend wearing sports bras to bed, and so far I have not been able to find a more comfortable sports bra. I am now up to almost a DD size cup, and the TRIKini is still comfy and the straps don't dig into my shoulders.


This concludes my Field Report.


Long Term Report



Since the Field Report, I have worn the TRIKini tank top on a couple day hikes and around the house. The top continues to remain comfortable, even though my breasts are now 38DD and my belly has now surpassed size 14 and I'm into maternity pants. I think if I got any bigger on top I might start to max out the bra portion, though the material allows for plenty more stretching at my tummy. The bottom hem will sometimes work its way above my belly when I use the Trikini as a night shirt, though I attribute that to my more rotund shape and my constant tossing & turning in bed. The hem usually stays where I want it to when I'm hiking or wearing it around the house.

The logos and writing that is fused to the top has continued to flake off, but the garment itself remains in good shape. I really like the TRIKini tank top, and it will be one of my main shirts on future hikes on shaded trails.

Summary


Overall, the TRIKini works nicely for me as a backpacking shirt as long as I'm in relatively shady environments. It dries fairly quickly when wet, at least as well if not a little better than the rest of my quick-drying hiking clothes. I definitely look forward to using it on my future hikes.



Likes:
Comfortable, dries fairly quickly, does not retain odors much.

Dislikes:
A little hard to wear with a seat belt, the labels fell/are falling off, a tank top is not the style of top for me to wear in sunny environments.

This concludes my Long Term Report. I would like to thank Skirt Sports and www.backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to test this tank top.



Read more reviews of Skirt Sports gear
Read more gear reviews by Rebecca Stacy

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Skirt Sports Trikini Tank Print > Test Report by Rebecca Stacy



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