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Mavele Kaia Top Review: An Active Swim Top with Sports-Bra Comfort

[st_content_ad]Summer means swimming, but for many travelers it also means water adventures like kayaking, surfing, and spelunking. Finding an active swimsuit that’s as fit for the pool as it is for rough waves is usually a challenge, but Mavele’s Kaia Sport Bikini Top has solved this long-standing issue for me. I’ve relied on it for a white-water rafting excursion in Costa Rica, plus Stateside paddle boarding and body surfing.

Mavele Kaia Top Review

Price and Where to Buy: $54 on Mavele’s website.

How Mavele Kaia Sport Bikini Top Rates:

  • Usefulness: 9/10. In my quest for an active swim top that will stay in place and still be comfortable enough to wear under anything, Mavele’s Kaia top has a zip-open front and sports-bra shape that make it the winner. Wear it as you would a sports bra for any and all active adventures that might end in a swim—and you can adjust the zipper for a more open neckline for comfort or style. It’s worth noting, however, that the Mavele Kaia top only comes in U.S. sizes two through eight, so it’s not exactly an option for bustier or plus-sized women.
  • Value: 8/10. Since I can (and will) wear the Mavele Kaia top in virtually any water adventure, the $54 price point seems fair. The durable zipper stays in place when I want to lower the high neck line and it affords easy removal, and the material dries quickly. The $49 bottoms that go with this top, however, put the full swimsuit on the pricier side. I skipped the bottoms in favor of swim shorts with more coverage. In some situations, water-resistant spandex like bike shorts would also work fine.
  • Portability: 10/10. As noted by the available sizes, this top is tiny. It’s worth throwing in any beach or travel bag. If you’re unsure about your measurements, size up one.
  • Durability: 10/10. I was pleasantly surprised at how versatile the zipper made this top, and the waterproof material makes it a true swimsuit with all the ease of a sports bra.
  • Cool Factor: 9/10. It’s simple but on-trend, comfortable, and goes with anything.

Final Verdict: If you’re not worried about limited sizes, the Mavele Kaia Top is worth investing in. It allows you to concentrate on the water without worrying about adjusting or losing your bathing suit, and will keep you looking and feeling cool.

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Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

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