In the beginning of the year I was contacted by the American start-up FreeReign which after a successful Kickstarter campaign launched their Everyday tank Top which has a built-in bra. As I’m a big fan of tank tops with a built-in bra for hiking, trekking and other low to medium impact activities, I thought it would be fun to test the FreeReign top in return for an unbiased review. For the past months I have used the top for hiking, exercising and everyday life, and I can thus say that the FreeReign Everyday tank top is suitable for:
- Everyday life
Another reason that I was eager to test the FreeReign top is that it is primarily made of Tencel Lyocell and Modal fabrics, which are materials I have read about for activewear but never tried myself. As opposed to many (outdoor) clothing materials, Tencel fabrics are actually quite sustainable as they are made of the dissolved pulp of fast-growing trees such as eucalyptus and beech from certified sustainable plantations. The FreeReign top itself is made of a buttery soft fabric consisting of 73% Tencel Lyocell, 23% nylon and 4% spandex, while the lining of the built-in bra is made of the even softer Tencel Modal (84%) as well as spandex (16%). The mesh-covered foam cups of the bra are made of 100 % polyester. As for the properties of the materials, the things which stand out are softness and moisture absorption.
The FreeReign top is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear, but once wet it takes quite long to dry as it absorbs 50% more water than cotton. However, unlike cotton, lyocell does have moisture-wicking properties as it contains contain tiny fibrils (comparable to small hairs) which help pass the moisture onwards. For now, I have only experienced the long drying time after having washed it, rather than wearing it as I have only been testing the top in cold weather. This means that I didn’t sweat profusely (as one does on a hot summer day outside) and of course was wearing one or two layers over the top, which could absorb and wick any moisture further along. I am thus curious to see how the top performs wicking-wise in hot weather, where I will be wearing it on its own without any other base or mid-layer to absorb perspiration.
Sizing and Fit
At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to test the FreeReign Everyday top because it is “only” available for A and B cups in the sizes 32A-36B (=six sizes), and I’m about a 32D (<32’’ around the ribcage and 36’’ around the bust) after having finished breastfeeding. It should be mentioned that FreeReign is planning to expand both the size and color range in the near future, but as I was told that customers with larger busts had given good feedback on the coverage and support provided by the size 36B, I opted to try it as well. Luckily it turned out that I seemingly fit into the 36B neatly, although I’m not completely sure whether it fits me optimally with regards to especially support (more below). With regards to length, the Everyday top comes down over my hip bones – it is 14.5’’ (37 cm) long from the underarm seam and down to the hem. The silhouette is quite straight up and down, whereas I have more of an hourglass figure with a narrow waist, and wide hips and shoulders. This means that the top fits snugly over my bust and love handles, but is more loose around my natural waist.
Comfort and Functionality
As mentioned above, the FreeReign top is very comfortable to wear thanks to the soft material and the seamless knitted construction. In terms of support, it holds my bust effortlessly for low impact activities like hiking and walking (like a regular bra), but not for more bouncy sports. In my articles about medium and high impact sports bras respectively, I have described that compression bras rarely provides more than low to medium support for larger busts, which tend to need encapsulation of each breast inside a molded cup for high impact activities like (trail) running etc. Now, the built-in bra in the FreeReign top actually has a molded foam front piece with separate cups but as the back part is made of a soft and stretchy fabric rather than a rigid band as on a proper encapsulation sports bra, you don’t get the same level of support.
If the back would be more rigid, one would get more support but it would also make the top much less comfortable to wear and harder to put on unless there was some sort of hook-and-eye closure. The FreeReign top is clearly designed with comfort in mind rather than hardcore support. My one critique is that the molded front doesn’t work so well with activities where you are twisting your torso or moving your arms a lot, because the less flexible front doesn’t move with your body but instead lifts and folds. I would therefore not recommend the Everyday top for climbing, dancing or yoga, where you often find yourself in strange twisted positions. I don’t know if the problem would be solved if only the cups were molded and connected with a different fabric, rather than being part of complete foam front piece.
Washing and drying
To keep the FreeReign tank top looking as good as the day you received it, it should be washed in a lingerie bag on a cold gentle cycle with similar colors – or even better, hand-washed. It should not be tumble-dried, but left to air-dry – which can be a quite lengthy process. In the cold months I usually do the laundry in the evening so I can hang it up without my one-year-old undoing my work afterwards, which means that the clothes are dry in the morning after. However, when I wash the FreeReign top, it is nowhere near dry in the morning but needs quite some hours more to dry. It doesn’t need to be washed very often, nevertheless, because the material seems to be quite odor-resistant. Indeed, Tencel is much more resistant to bacterial growth than both cotton and various synthetic materials as documented in this article (page 29).
The FreeReign Everyday tank top is great for both hiking and everyday life as it supports me comfortably for low impact activities. The material is soft, anti-microbial and moisture-wicking. The only con is that the molded front doesn’t move with your body, but is more rigid so it tends to lift and fold if you use your arms a lot.
If you have any questions about this product, drop me a line in the comments below.
We field tested this product. The rating shows its overall performance.About Rating
- Soft, anti-microbial and moisture-wicking fabric
- Seamless knitted construction for comfort
- Non-removeable integrated cups stay in place
- Large percentage of sustainable Tencel fibers
- Limited size range (although 36B can accommodate larger busts)
- The molded front lifts when you use your arms a lot