Whether you are a hot yoga junkie or prefer to adorn yoga pants for "athleisure" attire, the Lululemon Align II comes with the highest of regards. The Align is this year's Editors' Choice for various reasons, one being Lululemon's new buttery soft fabric, which they call "Nulu". Created from a specific yarn with a very fine microfiber, this fabric does exactly what it claims; it's lightweight, sweat-wicking, and feels like you are wearing nothing at all. The Align II is high-waisted with a comfortable band that lies flat against your skin and doesn't dig in. This fit keeps the pants securely in place while moving through your practice, and also flatters the figure in all of the right places. You can purchase this model in a variety of colors and different lengths to accommodate your style (25-inch 7/8th style or 28-inch full length). The last added feature is a small pocket in the waistband that allows you to carry your credit card, a little cash, or a key with you as you are out and about in your new favorite pants. We couldn't take these pants off - they are seriously that incredible!
Lululemon Align II Review
Cons: Needs delicate care
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lululemon Align II is crafted from an engineered fabric Lululemon has named "Nulu". They employ a specific type of yarn with very fine microfiber and engineered a weave that ensures these pants are buttery soft. They also added Lycra fiber for the perfect amount of stretch and shape retention. You can find these pants in sizes 0-14, with a variety of colors to choose from. We tested the 28-inch full-length version, but you can also purchase them in the 25-inch length.
We leave some classes drenched in sweat that leaves us embarrassed and impatiently stripping off our clothes to ensure no one thinks we just peed ourselves. Certain models in this review, including the Teeki Hot Pants, offered excellent breathability but were too thin to provide any support or comfort. In that regard, we end up constantly adjusting them during our practice or worrying that they're see-through, which doesn't contribute to us wanting to wear them as often.
The Align Pant II manages a balance between a lightweight, supportive material that stays in place and provides coverage, while offering excellent breathability for all of your hot yoga needs. The breathability of this award winner is one of the highest scorers, and you'll find that they will dry incredibly fast when out and about on an errand (after class). When you combine exceptional breathability with equally (or higher) ease of movement, comfort, and style, you've got a pair of yoga pants that significantly outweighs the other options.
Ease of Movement
We flowed easily through our practice in the Align II. Sometimes, a thick high-waisted band can feel like it is squeezing our skin in all of the wrong places, but the Align was just right, lending high-waist support that doesn't feel like it's squeezing our insides or giving us a muffin top.
Other brands have a tight waistband that is uncomfortable and impedes the movement in our practice. It digs into our belly during forward flows or twisting poses, accentuating the "belly rolls" and leading our reviewers to constantly adjust during practice. Others didn't have elastic in the waistband, but as soon as we began to flow, the pants would shift and need to be adjusted, since we didn't want to be mooning anyone in our yoga class. The Align II struck the perfect balance between compression, comfort, and never feeling too tight.
Comfort and Fit
These pants are so comfortable that they almost matched the Beyond Yoga Caught in the Midi as Top Pick for most comfortable. As such, they're a pair that we felt inclined to leave on for the entirety of the day. Seriously though, when Lululemon states that the Nulu fabric is "buttery soft", they aren't lying. These pants are so comfortable, you will forget you even have them on!
Super stretchy in nature, if you are someone who prefers a "tighter" fit, we'd recommend purchasing a pair that are down a size from your street jean. We tested the same size as our street size and thought it was comfortable and snug without being too tight.
According to Lululemon, the specialized and highly engineered fabric needs special care, and they recommend machine washing cold and laying out to air dry. During our testing of this fabric, the seams stayed woven together, but the fabric did produce some mild pilling on the front of our legs. We wore these pants to several different yoga classes, as well as around the house and hiking.
The fabric is lightweight and delicate. We washed them more than a dozen times with only mild pilling, but many people also complained about a high amount of pilling, which is one of the reasons we knocked off a few points from their score in the durability metric.
Let's just say you are going to love how you look in these pants. The Align II comes in a variety of colors and two different lengths to choose from, a 25" length and 28".
From bright blue to camo print green, you have a ton of choices when it comes to the Align II. None of the patterns are too wild, and we love the material and simple design for all-around everyday wear.
Lululemon prices the Align II on the higher end, $98, making them one of the most expensive pairs in our review. If you are looking for a wonderful deal, the 90 Degree by Reflex retail for 30 dollars and offer a great bargain.
The Lululemon Align II balance compression and breathability. They're also so comfortable that you won't want to ever take them off. Their simple patterns and a multitude of colors make them a great pair of leggings for all-day use and will add to any ensemble in your closet. The only downfall is their durability. We did notice some pilling on the front of our thigh, but all of the stitching stayed intact. The Align II looks great on, flows and moves easily during any yoga practice, and allows for exceptional breathability both on and off the mat. They also provide enough compression to stay in place during all of the pretzel-like poses or binds you may find yourself in. If you can't tell by now, we absolutely love these yoga pants and can't rave about them enough.
— Hannah Hall