Branwyn Innerwear Review

Branwyn Innerwear Review

How much time do you spend thinking about your hiking underwear? Or as we will delicately refer to them for the rest of this review, your innerwear. This often-neglected aspect of our hiking attire can quickly become a major presence when it is problematic!

Enter Branwyn innerwear, a line of merino wool bras and underwear for women, designed to only be noticeable for good reasons. Some of Branwyn’s stated goals are to minimize the impact of body movement and moisture–whether that be sweat or outdoor elements–as well as minimize the impact on the environment by utilizing materials that are sustainable in both collection and disposal.

It is easy for us to skip over innerwear in a rush to find the right clothing for our outdoor activites! But this is the layer closest to our skin and it absolutely matters. Not only can the proper innerwear provide appropriate support for our outdoor adventures, but it can help us better regulate our body temperatures and improve our hygiene in unique situations that most innerwear isn’t designed for.

Branwyn generously provided a few of their innerwear products for review. All of the opinions below are honestly provided by myself (Laura) and another TMM team member, Anna. You can weigh the positives and negatives and see if Branwyn innerwear is right for you!

Four adults hike along a trail in the Grand Canyon, surrounded by steep canyon walls.
Hiking with friends in the summer heat of the Grand Canyon.

Branwyn Products

Branwyn keeps it simple by creating only five products. Most are available in 5 colors: 3 shades of nude, gray, and black. All of the products are made using ultra-fine merino wool, a material that is known for its excellent moisture-wicking and thermal regulation properties.

Branwyn Essential Bikini

This basic underwear style offers a seamless design and a waistband intended to eliminate pinching and rolling no matter the level of your activity. Some wearers also use it as an emergency swimsuit bottom for hot hikes that just happen to cross paths with an inviting creek or lake.

The Essential Bikini is available in sizes XS-XXL, generally corresponding with sizes 0-18.

Branwyn Essential Bralette

The Essential Bralette is designed for women C cup or smaller, and intended for use on low-impact activities like hiking and yoga. It is underwire-free, seamless, and able to be modified to a cross-body style. Rolling and digging are eliminated, and replaced with freedom of motion in this bra.

The Essential Bralette is available in sizes XS-XXL (band sizes 28-42), cup sizes A-D.

Branwyn Essential Busty Bra

This bra is also designed for low-impact activities, but for those with a C cup or larger. It has all the same basic features as the essential bralette, but offers more coverage and support. This is the only product not available in the medium nude color.

The Essential Busty Bra is available in sizes XS-XXL (band sizes 28-44), cup sizes C-G.

Image of two small boxes on a table, both containing Merino wool products for a Branwyn innerwear review.
Branwyn innerwear in its packaging.

Branwyn Essential Hipster

Like the busty bra, this underwear style provides more coverage than its similar counterpart. It can also be worn two ways, low around the hips or pulled up for a high-waisted fit that better covers the tummy. It maintains the seamless and no-roll design championed in the bikini brief.

The Essential Hipster is available in sizes XS-XXL, generally corresponding with sizes 0-18.

Branwyn Essential Thong

The thong underwear style boasts of a barely there feel and of passing the “squat test.” It also promises to be invisible under leggings and base layer. Like all the Branwyn products, it is designed with the intent of maintaining dryness, as well as staying in place during activity.

The Essential Thong is available in sizes XS-XXL, generally corresponding with sizes 0-18.

Who and What is Branwyn Innerwear Best For?

These products are great for a wide variety of active women! As mentioned above, the bras are designed for low-impact use, but that covers a lot of the outdoor adventures here at Tales of a Mountain Mama. Whether it is hiking, backpacking, biking, kayaking, or any number of other outdoor activities, these are products you should definitely consider adding to your wardrobe.

Branwyn bras can also be used by nursing moms, either for nursing or pumping. The stretch the material provides is a great tandem with the flexibility and comfort.

Washing Instructions

Washing the innerwear products is particularly designed for women whose activities might limit their access to laundry facilities for a couple of days or more. They can be machine washed (and air dried), hand washed in a shower, or even washed in a creek while out on an adventure.

A women looking up towards the top of a mountain from the middle of a creekbed waterfall trail.
On a hike up an extremely wet mountain runoff trail where merino wool innerwear would have been helpful!

Sustainable Products

Branwyn’s mission includes ensuring that their innerwear is ethically produced and sustainably sourced. The products are almost entirely ultra-fine Merino wool, a renewable fiber shorn from sheep, but also contain nylon and Elastiane.

Branwyn says they are pursuing more sustainable versions of those two synthetic materials. They also are working toward a stated goal of their products being 100% compostable by the end of 2024.

Testing Branwyn Innerwear

I was able to try the Essential Bikini and the Essential Bralette on camping and backpacking trips, as well as in my weekly workout class at my local YMCA. Another team member, Anna, who is an active nursing mom, also gave Branwyn a try!

A woman stands on a trail decked out in cool weather backpacking attire and gear.
On an early spring backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains.

What We Love About Branwyn

I honestly found a lot to love about Branwyn innerwear. It was so light and breathable. Their website boasts “so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing it!”, and that was absolutely true for me! I was very happy with how natural it felt.

The material is super soft and truly did feel seamless. I have wool socks that I absolutely love, and these products were far softer than those. The ultra-fine fiber weave was much nicer than I expected from woolen items.

Two women and three children take a hike through a wooded area on a sunny day.
Taking a casual hike with my sister and our kids on a warm day, perfect for Branwyn innerwear.

Branwyn in the Backcountry

Usually on a long backpacking trip, my bra band is slightly damp for a lot of the time, and with the Essential Bralette, I never noticed a bit of sweat, even on our long uphill day. Even after I got pretty wet from rain right around dinnertime, I was comfortably dry by the time of our early bedtime and happily slept in my innerwear under my dry change of clothes.

I had originally intended to attempt backcountry washing of the products on my backpacking trip, but I was anticipating being too cold from the chilly spring rain and eventually subzero temperatures to want to change everything, so I instead attempted washing in my bathtub after the fact.

Handwashing Test

In an attempt to recreate backcountry conditions for washing, I used cold water and gently running pressure for hand scrubbing. The products were easy to clean quickly, and I didn’t notice any lingering odor or stiffness after they dried. They did take several hours to fully dry, hanging outside on a 50 degree day.

Branwyn innerwear hangs on a outdoor drying line.

I’m very excited about the design for handwashing in the backcountry! Our family is pursuing a goal of a lengthy thru-hike, and the idea of packing just a couple of innerwear sets for a week on the trail is a very appealing one. It was simple, fast, and effective to wash them by hand.

Branwyn for Nursing Moms

Team member Anna checked out the Essential Busty Bra for both nursing and pumping. She especially loved it as a pumping bra, said it was the best bra she had ever worn for hands-free pumping (she uses Elvie pumps), and was excited about how easily and comfortably it fit while using her pumps.

A women wearing a baby in a front carrier on a wooded hiking trail.
Anna enjoying a hike with her nursing baby.

She was also happy with how light and breathable it was, and mentioned that her baby spit up on her during a winter hike and she didn’t freeze. It worked well for her to lift it from the bottom for nursing.

Branwyn for Daily Workouts

I also wore Branwyn innerwear to my cardio weightlifting class at the city YMCA. It was once again great for moisture control, but what I really wanted to test was how much it slipped around during my workout. I’m happy to report that it barely moved at all, even through several reps of squats and lunges.

What We Weren’t Crazy About

The material is super lightweight, which in a lot of ways is great! However, if you are used to any lining on a bra, this innerwear may feel noticeably thinner. I mostly like the thinness, but it was something that was different for me as a woman who usually wears a bra with a slim lining.

Branwyn suggests that their innerwear can double as swimwear on an outdoor adventure, but based on the thinness of the material, I could not see myself using the products for that purpose. Other users have used them for backcountry swimming with success, but for many of us moms who may prefer more discreet swimwear, they did not seem to provide sufficient thickness for swimming.

For nursing moms, the bra isn’t great for pulling down to nurse with quarter zip layers or other nursing-friendly shirts with only access from above. It would be best worn with a nursing tank top over it if wearing in cold weather, which may be an inconvenience for busy nursing moms to have to remember.

Branwyn’s bra products are also for low-impact activities. For most of us, in most of our life, this isn’t an issue, but for women, especially those with a larger cup size, who regularly run or participate in other high-impact exercise, the bra products do not offer significant support.

Bottom Line

Branwyn innerwear more than met my expectations for their products! They were so comfortable and perfect for my usual outdoor activities of hiking and backpacking. These are definitely products I will use over and over again. They were honestly really wonderful.

A woman and two teenage girls smiling standing in view of sheer ocean cliffs.
Enjoying a hike with my two current teenage daughters.

The backcountry washing instructions are a big deal to me. I’ll have three teenage daughters with me on our future thru-hike, and Branwyn innerwear products seem like a great investment for them as well. With a lot of potential wearers in our family, long-lasting quality is definitely important.

The sustainable approach is also a big deal! Throwaway cheap clothing is a huge source of waste on our planet, and Branwyn’s dedication to procuring sustainable materials, as well as their goal of a fully compostable line of products is something to keep in mind when considering a purchase.

If you are mostly participating in high-impact activities like running or volleyball, Branwyn bra products may not be the best option for those. They simply aren’t designed with that level of support as a focus.

Worth Adding to Your Wardrobe!

For the rest of us, Branwyn innerwear may be exactly what you have been missing in your outdoor wardrobe! Feet will get tired from hiking or arms tired from kayaking or lungs tired from climbing, but your skin will not get tired of the feel of that soft Merino wool.

If you’ve been solely focused on choosing the right hiking shoes, rain jacket, or navigation device for your outdoor adventures, it’s time to also consider choosing the right innerwear. Branwyn products are certainly worth taking a look at.

A woman stands next to a creek below a walking bridge, dressed in hiking gear.

I did a brief price comparison with similar products, and Branwyn innerwear was very comparable and typically even a few dollars less per item than wool innerwear from high quality outdoor product brands like REI, Smartwool, and Patagonia.

Branwyn also has a thorough refund and exchange policy if you aren’t satisfied. I really appreciate that, although I was definitely happy. I was truly thrilled to find this innerwear!

Where to Buy Branwyn

Branwyn innerwear can only be purchased on their website,

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