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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Stonewear Designs Tempo Bra > Owner Review by Theresa Lawrence

STONEWEAR DESIGNS TEMPO BRA 

Test Series by Theresa Lawrence

Initial Report - September 12, 2016
Field Report - December 2, 2016

Long Term Report - February 12, 2017

TESTER INFORMATION

Name: Theresa Lawrence
Email: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Age: 39
Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Waist Measurement: 29 1/2 in (75 cm)
Hip Measurement: 39 1/2 in (100 cm)
Chest Measurement:35 1/2 in (90 cm)
Torso Length:19 1/2 in (50 cm)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.

Initial Report - September 12, 2016
PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer:
Great Trango Holdings Inc.

Images taken from website
(Jitter Strip on the left and Purple Wine on the right)
Manufacturer's URL:  www.stoneweardesigns.com
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Made in:
USA
MSRP: $44 USD
Listed Length:
Measured Weight:
11.5 in (29.2 cm) medium
3.4 oz (97 g) medium
Materials: 92% micropoly, 8% lycra
Sizes Available:
XS, S, M (tested), L, XL
Colors Available:Black, Cross Hatch, Jitter Stripe (tested), Purple Wine

DESCRIPTION      

The Tempo Bra is an athletic bra designed for active use. It is unique in that it has double straps over the shoulders. The manufacturer refers to this as their Double Cross design. This sport bra also has an inner bra with removable cups and princess seams that allow a more tailored fit. The material appears both sport-worthy and stretchy. The synthetic fibers listed above allow it to be supportive, breathable and quick-drying, which is ideal for any high intensity activity.

  

FIRST IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT ON

The Double Cross design along with the vibrant color makes this bra very appealing aesthetically. After trying it on I found that the medium size will work for me. I found the outside straps were a bit constricting, which at first was rather alarming and was amplified when I raised my arms forward. These straps, but not the others felt as if they were slightly too short for me. The bra is not restrictive anywhere else. I liked the look of it and would not hesitate to where it on its own if the opportunity presented itself.  The material is very smooth to touch and sturdy. All the seams look to be of a professional caliber.

SUMMARY

So far my impression of the Tempo Bra is that it is well constructed. The design is both practical and eye-pleasing. The fit on first try is good for the most part. But there is some digging into my shoulders from the outside straps, which I feel are a bit too short. 


Field Report - December 2, 2016



FIELD CONDITIONS

The field conditions consisted of three backpacking trips with 6 days and 4 nights in Glacier National Park, Montana, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta and Peterlougheed Provincial Park, British Columbia. I also brought this bra on a 3 week trip to Greece, which consisted of a week of live aboard sailing, a week of car camping and a week of exploring on foot. Another dozen or so uses were made up of day hikes, Search & Rescue practices and indoor gym workouts. Outdoor temperatures (not including Greece) ranged from -2 to 14 C (-3 to 57 F). Weather encountered on the backpacking trips included everything from sun, rain, sleet and snow to strong gusts and howling winds. Total distance and elevation gained while hiking was 62 km (38.5 mi) and 1390 m (4560 ft). The trail conditions were good for the most part into alpine terrain with the last trip being on hard packed ice and wearing trail crampons. The Greece trip consisted of high humidity and an average of 28 C (82 F). 

COMFORT & FIT

So far I have not found much comfort in the Tempo Bra. Unfortunately, it just doesn't match my stature very well. I found the wider outside straps too short as they dug in to my shoulder making their presence always felt. On the flip side the crossed skinnier straps are more pliable and loose. I also found the wide straps are quite widely spaced with the straps falling much farther out on my shoulders and landing on the bony parts of my shoulders, which has actually bruised under my backpack. The material also isn't as soft and conforming as I am used. The overall feeling is that it is restrictive despite that the sides are actually loose, I can put a finger in between the bra and my body at my sides, though it feels tight everywhere else. The material feels like a bathing suit, which for me is not as desirable as other materials used for athletic bras. Very odd feeling overall. From a fashion point of view, the vertical seams that run down the middle of the front show through some of my lighter shirts, which I am not a fan of. I do like the way it looks with the bright colors, but not on me as the fact that I don't fill it out the sides is quite evident. I find the crossed straps are there only for decoration and don't participate in holding the garment up. All weight is held by the shorter, wider, outside straps.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD


From a performance perspective the bra holds things in place well enough while doing vigorous exercise. However, it doesn't wick and I don't find it dries quickly. Once wet, it typically stays wet for the duration of the trip. This is not ideal on a multi-day hike, especially with the cooler temperatures I have encountered. I do like the fact that there is removable padding, though in the washing machine they get folded up inside the garment. However, the garment doesn't fit well for me without them, so I always where the garment with them in. The garment retains odor after a sweaty workout, which is not pleasing on multi-day trips. I have machine washed the Tempo Bra more than a dozen times and there is some minor pilling. It otherwise remains in good condition. It has stretched noticeably since the first day as I am finding it is getting less restrictive in the shoulder straps.

SUMMARY

So far the Tempo Bra has not met my expectations as a comfortable fitting athletic bra for backpacking trips. My stature continues to have problems with the fit. The main straps feel restrictive and cause bruising on the bony parts of my shoulder with my backpack. There is also a gap on the sides that I don't fill out, but yet there's no way I would get into a size small with the straps being too small already and the under band fitting snug. I do like the color though. At this time I don't feel the Tempo Bra is ideal for backpacking trips as it doesn't dry quickly and it holds on to odors. Over the next couple months alpine ski-touring to huts will be my predominant activity. I will continue to use the Tempo Bra and see how things progress over the long term.

Likes
- Color
- Removable cups

Dislikes
- Restrictive in fit (straps too small, yet sides have gaps)
-
Straps dug into the bony part of my shoulder cause bruising with my backpack
- Retained odor
- Did not dry quickly
- Minor pilling
- Has stretched over 2 months of use
- Vertical seam shows through lighter shirts


Long Term Report - February 12, 2017

LONG TERM FIELD CONDITIONS

Over the last two months it has been wicked cold averaging -15 C (-5 F) and reaching as cold as -30 C (-22 F).  We have also had an abundance of snow. In this time I have worn the Tempo bra on three ski hill days, two backcountry ski touring days, a three-day backcountry avalanche training course involving both snowmobile and backcountry ski travel and another three-day backcountry hut trip accessed by snowmobiles and involved ski touring and snow mobiling once we got there. Other uses included local avalanche training nights with search and rescue and gym use (treadmill and rowing machine).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

My previous report was not all that positive for fit and comfort. After wearing the Tempo bra for another couple months I found it became more comfortable and/or perhaps I'm more used to it. It is not as conforming as other ones I use, however. I mentioned that once wet it usually stayed wet. But this time, since I was in a backcountry hut with heat, I was able to hang it to dry, out of freezing temperatures and it was dry for the next day. Unlike my cardio workout in the gym, I didn't notice the smell on my multi-day trips. I still noticed the thicker straps under my backpack straps, which was a bit bothersome on longer trips with my backpack.  Putting it on was a bit cumbersome as I had to pay attention to where the straps were when putting it on. A few times I tried to put it on quickly and I missed putting my arm through one of the straps. This was not a big deal, just something I needed to be aware of just like the removable cups, which moved and folded in the laundry and had to be reset in place before using. I would much prefer if they were not removable. The bra was too roomy for me without the cups, so I never wore it without the cups. I liked that the thickness of the cups were not overly padded. I would say they were just right.

DURABILITY

There appears to have been some stretch in the thinner straps, which would have stretched when I was putting it on as they're actually a bit loose when they're in place. However, it is still in really good shape with all seams flawless and only minor pilling, but no snagging of the fabric. The color doesn't look faded either. I've washed it a dozen more times or so and have always hung it to dry.

SUMMARY

Overall I'd say that the Tempo bra was a trendy looking well-crafted bra that just wasn't an ideal fit for me. I would have also preferred it to wick better and dry faster, but I was happy that it didn't smell after multiple days of use in the backcountry. The bra seems quite durable and while I don't plan on using it for backpacking, I will continue to use it at the gym.

Likes
- Color and look
- No odor after multiple days of use
- Great for gym use

Dislikes
- Straps dug into the bony part of my shoulder causing bruising under my backpack straps
- Does not dry quickly (but did dry in a heated hut overnight)
- Removable cups (always had to adjust after washing)
- Minor pilling
- Has stretched a bit over 4 months of use
- Vertical seam shows through lighter shirts


I'd like to thank Great Trango Holdings Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series.




Read more reviews of Stonewear Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Theresa Lawrence

Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Stonewear Designs Tempo Bra > Owner Review by Theresa Lawrence



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