The Swedish brand Boob Design has won several awards for their smartly designed and sustainably produced activewear and casualwear garments for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, I was excited for the possibility to test the award-winning Fast Food Sports Bra along with the brand’s Merino apparel (a long-sleeved base layer and a nursing bra) in return for unbiased reviews. I have been wearing the sports bra for different types of in- and outdoor activities (mainly low to medium impact) for the past months, and found out that the Boob Design Fast Food Sports Bra is suitable for the following:
Material and Construction
Boob Design is big on sustainability, and of course the materials are no exception. The Fast Food Sports Bra is made of two fabrics; a smooth woven fabric consisting of 78% recycled polyamide and 22% elastane, and a mesh fabric consisting of 73% recycled polyamide and 27% elastane. The polyamide fiber is called Q-nova, an environmentally-sustainable recycled Nylon 6.6 fiber made from (+50%) recycled industrial waste by the Italian company Fulgar, which is behind a number of sustainable synthetic materials. The mesh fabric is used for the sports bra’s traditional racerback as well as the inner part of the front side. This inner mesh front has a hole with a diameter of 8 cm for each nipple, but is covered completely by the outer double-layer of woven fabric which is attached at each shoulder strap with a clip. The double-layer of woven fabric is also used for the shoulder straps (with padding in-between, yay!) all to way back to the straps merging into the racerback.
Polyamide (nylon) is not a particularly breathable material, so it is smart that much of the Fast Food sports bra is made of mesh. The synthetic material does, however, also have several benefits such as being lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and extremely durable. You can read more about the pros and cons of nylon in comparison to other materials in our Comparison of Base Layer Materials. The surface is very smooth and silky to the touch and I haven’t experienced any discomfort wearing the sports bra, which is crucial since your breasts and nipples in particular can be a bit challenged sensitivity-wise during pregnancy and the nursing period.
Comfort, fit and sizing
Having a cup size of 75E (34DD) I got both the Merino bra and the Fast Food sports bra in size M as per the sizing guide. While I fit comfortably into both nursing bras, it is clear that anything much smaller would have me spilling over at the sides. According to Boob Design’s guide to their nursing bras, the Fast Food sports bra provides extra firm support while the Boob Merino bra merely offers soft support. My experience was quite different as I felt as though the two bras provided more or less the same level of support – around soft/low to medium. I think the reason behind this is that although the bras are the same size, they are constructed very differently.
The Fast Food bra is a classic sports bra that provides support by compressing your breasts towards the chest wall. Compression works well for smaller cup sizes, but for larger cup sizes there tends to be more ‘air’ between the breasts inside such bras (as larger cupsizes protrude more from the torso) and thus the breast can move more freely, which decreases the level of support. This could theoretically be mitigated by wearing a smaller size, but then my breasts would spill over at the sides instead. The Boob Merino Bra, on the other hand, is a wrap bra with individual cups which hug each breast somewhat and thus gives some extra support in the form of light encapsulation in addition to compression. Because the cups only cover about ¾ of each breast and are made of soft flexible Merino wool, the level of encapsulation is merely light in comparison to the Panache sports bra and other high-impact sports bras where the breasts are completely encapsulated by more rigid synthetic materials.
All in all, if I had gotten the Fast Food sports bra in the hopes of doing high-impact activities (trail running, jumping, martial arts etc.) I would have been disappointed by the support level. But since I have mainly been using it for low to medium impact activities like hiking, climbing and yoga/pilates, I’m quite satisfied. I actually prefer it over the Boob Merino bra for yoga, pilates and other activities where you often are anything but vertical as the chest is more covered and thus less prone to spill over doing ‘the downward dog’ etc. The more rigid shoulder straps of the Fast Food sports bra also provide more stability in that aspect.
The two obvious functions of a sports bra for breastfeeding is that it supports the breasts adequately doing sports while still allowing for easy access to the nipples for nursing. As I covered the support level above, I will be focusing on the breastfeeding function in the following. The Boob Design Fast Food sports bra is constructed so the woven outer part of the front can be detached with a clip at each shoulder strap to allow easy access to the inner mesh part with holes for nipples. It is usually difficult (if not downright impossible) to fasten and unfasten the clip-on cups of regular nursing bras with one hand, but this is much easier on the Fast Food sports bra due to its construction where the breasts stay in place inside the mesh layer, which is also stitched together with the broad padded shoulder straps.
I would say, however, that while you can easily unclip the outer layer and also loosely hook it back onto the clip on the strap, you might have use your other hand as well to secure it completely, i.e. making it say it “click”. In any case, you are able to quickly uncover and cover your nipples adequately, and then reposition your child so you can secure the clip completely with both hands. The construction of the sports bra indeed offers ‘fast food’ for your child, which has been particular great for me rushing home to feed a cranky baby after being away for a hour’s exercise on my own. Like other racerback sports bras that have to be pulled over your head, the Boob Design bra isn’t particular easy to get off, so your hungry child will appreciate not having to wait for that to happen!
Washing and drying
The Fast Food sports bra can be washed in the machine on a delicate cycle at 40 ⁰C (warm) without softener, bleach etc. The bra should not be tumble-dried, but it anyway takes very little time to air-dry as the synthetic fabric doesn’t absorb that much water.
The Boob Design Fast Food Sports Bra unquestionably lives up to its name, as it really is very fast and easy to get access to the nipples for hassle-free breastfeeding. Similarly, you can also cover yourself up comfortably using just one hand due to its smart construction. The only let-down for me is that it merely offers low to medium support for my cupsize.
If you have any questions about this product, drop me a line in the comments below.