Girlfriend Collective Topanga Review
Cons: In between sizes can be tricky, best to air dry, thin straps get twisted in the wash
Manufacturer: Girlfriend Collective
Compare to Similar Products
Girlfriend Collective Topanga
$22.77 at Backcountry
$58.00 at REI
$22.80 at Backcountry
|$58 List||$27.93 at REI|
|Pros||Soft, made from recycled material, high neck, adjustable straps, decent compression, versatile, comfortable rib band||Unbelievably soft, forgiving sizing, decent compression, wide rib band, stylish straps, extra stretchy||Longline fit, soft, made from recycled material, decent compression, very size inclusive||Comfortable, racerback, flattering v-neck, soft stretchy fabric||Fun color options, comfortable rib band, unique single removable pad|
|Cons||In between sizes can be tricky, best to air dry, thin straps get twisted in the wash||Must size down for ample compression, limited color options||Not adjustable, tight on larger lats, best to air dry||Low-impact support, lower coverage||Excess fabric unless you size down, compression isn't very supportive|
|Bottom Line||This high neck sports bra offers decent compression, soft material, a versatile fit, and is excellent for a wide array of bodies and workouts||Soft material and world-class comfort paired with decent compression and elegant strap details make this sports bra a crowd-pleaser||A stretchy longline sports bra with a comfortable ribbed rib band and decent compression that can double as a crop top||A stretchy low-impact v-neck racerback that's attractive and comfortable, though on the pricey side||Compression support and a very comfortable rib band ideal for larger breasts|
|Rating Categories||Girlfriend Collecti...||Vuori Elevation||Girlfriend Collecti...||Lululemon In Alignm...||Nike Swoosh Padded|
|Comfort and Fit (40%)|
|Ease of Care (15%)|
|Specs||Girlfriend Collecti...||Vuori Elevation||Girlfriend Collecti...||Lululemon In Alignm...||Nike Swoosh Padded|
|Material||79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21% spandex||86% polyester, 14% elastane||79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET),21% spandex||81% nylon, 19% elastane||82% recycled polyester, 18% spandex|
|Support||Low-medium impact||Medium impact||Medium impact||Low impact||Medium impact|
|Support Type||Compression||Compression||Compression||Compression||Compression / encapsulation|
|Padded?||No||Yes, removable||No||No||Yes, removable|
|Neck Line||High neck||High neck||Square neck||Slight plunge neck||Scoop neck|
|Size Range||XXS - 6XL||XXS - XXL||XXS - 6XL||2 - 14||XS - XL|
|Features||Doubles as a minimal crop top||Sweat-wicking and extra soft||Doubles as a shirt||Pockets for optional, removable cups||One piece "pad" instead of two cups, Dri-FIT technology, top-loading pad pocket doubles as key pocket|
|Recomended Activity||Casual, hiking, yoga||Casual, hiking, yoga||Casual, hiking, yoga||Casual, hiking, yoga||Casual, hiking, yoga|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Topanga is a slightly adjustable compression support sports bra that comes in a wide range of sizes, giving it a versatile fit. Read on to see how a sports bra made of recycled plastic bottles held up to our rigorous testing.
Comfort and Fit
During our comfort and fit testing, we take into account things like pinching, spilling, chaffing, the softness of the fabric, whether or not it is true to size, and the versatility of the fit. The Topanga is one of the best you can get regarding all of these things.
Like all Girlfriend Collective bras, the Topanga is made of 79% recycled polyethylene tetraphyte (recycled plastic bottles) and 21% spandex. You wouldn't think that a sports bra made primarily of plastic bottles could be very soft, but the combination of spandex and RPET is both comfortable and breathable. The nice high neck and adjustable straps only add to the comfort.
While the Topanga is true to size, it is worth considering how you like your bras to fit when settling on a size. If you prefer a tighter fit, or you have smaller breasts, it is best to size down, or you may find that the armpit area is a little loose. It is best to size up if you have larger breasts, as you may experience some side-spillage if you don't. The Topanga is offered in very inclusive sizing, from XXS to 6XL, and fit very well on the range of bodies we tested it on. The adjustable straps are a plus here too.
Support can come in many forms. In this metric, we evaluated the level of encapsulation or compression, stretch, and coverage. The Topanga performs amazingly thanks to a combination of compression, a thick rib band, and high coverage for extra support.
The recycled polyethylene tetraphyte and spandex combination that comprises the Topanga offers great stretch and decent compression. If you prefer extra compression, it is worth sizing down. The rib band is about an inch and a half thick and ribbed. This keeps the girls from slipping out of the bottom without pinching too much. This rib bad is our favorite of the bunch.
The Topanga is advertised as a low-impact bra but can be used for high-intensity training or running if sized and adjusted correctly. The high neck and adjustable criss-cross back keep your chest strapped down nicely without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions, although there is a little bouncing for people with larger chests. While the adjustable straps are thin, the part that goes over the collar bones and shoulders tapers from thick to thin, offering some extra support for larger breasts.
We understand that style is personal, so taking a wide poll was essential for us when scoring for this metric. We also considered versatility and available color options when assessing this category.
The Topanga is nothing if not a crowdpleaser. The vote was unanimous, making it a top-tier option in the fashion department. Like all the Girlfriend Collective bras, the stitching is clean, and it hugs the body just right. The high neck frames both broad and narrow shoulders nicely, and the thin, adjustable criss-cross straps are sexy and minimal.
The Topanga looks great on many body types, from curvy with an ample bosom to thin with a smaller chest, and can complete any gym outfit. It even doubles nicely as a small tight crop top for casual out-of-the-gym outfits if you're into that look. The color options are vast and ever-changing, but most of them are muted and subtle rather than bright and in your face.
Ease of Care
While it is important to care for your clothes properly to ensure longevity, not everyone wants to wash their bras in a bra bag and lay them flat to dry. In this metric, we considered how labor-intensive the care for each bra was and the general durability of the fabric and stitching.
You may not think that clothing made of recycled plastic bottles would hold up to rigorous workouts followed by harsh washing cycles, but the Topanga doesn't pop a stitch under stress. The ribbed rib band also didn't stretch out over time or washes in our experience. This item shold be machine washed in cold water and air dried. Following these instructions will ensure that your bra lasts longer, but if you need to run this bra through the dryer in a pinch, it'll be fine. The only part of the bra that showed the tiniest bit of wear for us was the thin shoulder straps, which looked a little twisted after several wash and dry cycles.
The Topanga was the highest performing sports bras in our test suite with a middle-of-the-road price, making it a very high-value purchase. This sports bra is sure to please with its soft and stretchy fabric, sleek look, and versatile fit. The environmental factor is also high when considering that this bra is mainly made from recycled plastic that otherwise may have ended up in a landfill.
Through ample stretch, adjustable criss-cross shoulder straps, and inclusive sizing, the Girlfriend Collective Topanga is a great option for most bodies. While it is advertised as a low-impact sports bra meant for yoga or pilates, the supportive rib band, high neck, and decent compression (which can be increased if you size down) work great for higher intensity training like running (depending on your anatomy, of course). The soft material doesn't rub or chaff and is made mostly of recycled bottles, making this bra great for you and the environment. We can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from adding the Topanga to the workout section of their closet.
— Hayley Thomas
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