Lululemon Align II Review
Compare to Similar Products
Lululemon Align II
|Price||$98 List||$82 List|
$80.64 at Amazon
$26.99 at Amazon
$40.80 at Amazon
$28.83 at REI
|Pros||Buttery soft, easy to move in, great color options and fit, comfortable, breathable||Comfortable, supportive, easy to move in, contoured high waist with no elastic||Lightweight, breathable, easy to move in, inexpensive||Durable, warm, comfortable fabric, inexpensive||Soft fabric, great for restorative classes|
|Cons||Needs delicate care||Decent breathability but not the best for heated classes||Fabric is a little stiff compared to others, durability issues in previous pairs||Sometimes too warm, falls down during running or HIIT||Camel-toe creator, no compression, not durable|
|Bottom Line||With a great balance between compression and breathability, these pants are silky soft and perform exceptionally during various activities||A comfortable and stylish pair that looks and feels great||A good pant for the price that will make you question whether the expensive ones are really worth it||A durable pant perfect for yoga practice or high-friction sports like rock climbing||We loved the soft fabric and they are great for gentle yoga|
|Rating Categories||Lululemon Align II||Alo High-Waisted Ai...||90 Degree by Reflex...||Amazon Core 10 Buil...||Beyond Spacedye Cau...|
|Ease of Movement (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (25%)|
|Specs||Lululemon Align II||Alo High-Waisted Ai...||90 Degree by Reflex...||Amazon Core 10 Buil...||Beyond Spacedye Cau...|
|Material||80% nylon, 20% lycra||87% Polyester, 13% Spandex||87% nylon, 13% spandex||88% polyester, 12% spandex||87% polyester, 13% lycra|
|Features||Comfortable waistband that lies flat against skin, naked sensation, hidden pocket in waistband, high waisted||Wide waistband, anti-microbial fabric||Moisture wicking, 4-way stretch fabric||Available in different lengths||Quick drying, 4-way stretch|
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 microfiber and engineer a weave that ensures these pants are extra soft. They also add Lycra fiber for the perfect amount of stretch and shape retention. You can find these pants in sizes 0-14, with various colors and patterns. We tested the 28-inch full-length version, but you can also purchase them in 21-inch and 25-inch lengths.
Lululemon has made an art out of making their yoga pants breathable with the perfect amount of compression, and they earned one of the top scores in this metric. We found that this delicate balance of breathability and support is tough for many yoga pant companies to accomplish. Because Align is the best of both worlds, this pant is extremely versatile. It is perfect for hot yoga, yin yoga, HIIT, running, your favorite spin class, — literally any type of physical activity.
Some days we end our workout drenched in sweat. Some models in this review offered excellent breathability but were too thin to provide support or comfort. On the other hand, some models have significant compression but are much too thick and hot, particularly for heated yoga classes.
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 exercise needs. The breathability 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 impressive ease of movement, comfort, and style, you've got a pair of yoga pants that significantly outweighs the other options available.
Ease of Movement
We flowed smoothly through our practice in the Align II. Sometimes, a thick high-waisted band can feel like it is squeezing our skin, creating a mushroom effect around our waist. The Align was just right, lending high-waist support that doesn't feel like it's squishing our sides. It earned a top score in this metric as well.
Other brands have tight waistbands that are uncomfortable and impede movement in our practice. Certain styles dig into our waists so much they leave a red mark around our belly. The feeling of the waistband digging into our belly during forward folds, flows, or twisting poses accentuated our "belly rolls" and distracted us during practice.
Others didn't have elastic in the waistband, and sure enough, as soon as we began to move, the pants would shift and need to be adjusted. The Align II struck the perfect balance between compression and comfort and never felt too tight.
Comfort and Fit
These pants feel so luxurious that we wanted to wear them nonstop, and they earned an above-average score for comfort. Seriously though, when Lululemon states that the Nulu fabric is "buttery soft," they aren't lying. These pants are so comfortable; you may forget you even have them on!
These pants are super stretchy by default, and if you are someone who prefers a tighter, more compressive 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 excessive tightness. There is also a tiny pocket in the waistband, which 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.
The seams stayed woven together during our testing of this fabric, but the material did produce some mild pilling on the front of our legs and in our inner thighs where they rub together.
The legging material is lightweight and delicate. We washed them more than a dozen times with only mild pilling. However, no matter how carefully you take care of Align, they will show wear over time. Pilling is inevitable, and they do lose a lot of their softness after a few months.
Lululemon is notorious for making yoga clothes that are difficult to care for; the Align is no different. According to Lululemon, the specialized and highly engineered fabric needs special care, and they recommend machine washing cold and laying out to air dry. It is also important to wash with similar materials. Strictly avoid washing with jeans or anything with Velcro, as it wears and snags the material.
We all have experienced that moment when your mom, boyfriend, or roommate thinks they are helping you out by throwing your clothes in the dryer. What happens when your Lulus end up in the dryer? Don't fret; they will not get destroyed if this happens occasionally. We would just recommend not making the dryer a habit.
Should You Buy the Lululemon Align II?
The Lululemon Align II achieves the perfect balance of compression and breathability. They're so comfortable you won't want to take them off. We wore these pants to several different yoga classes, running, spinning, and hiking, as well as around the house and even to work. The only downfall is the durability and ease of care. We noticed some pilling on the front of our thigh, but all of the stitching stayed intact, and we think this is a small price to pay for their comfort and compression. The Align II looks great on, flows, and moves easily during any yoga practice or exercise and allows for exceptional breathability both on and off the mat. If you can't tell by now, we are in love with these yoga pants and recommend them to everyone, not only those who practice yoga.
What Other Yoga Pants Should You Consider?
While they are one of the best yoga pants we tested, Lululemon prices the Align II on the higher end, making them one of the most expensive pairs as well. However, many people find that the price to quality tradeoff is worth it. If you don't mind paying top-dollar for a great pair of leggings, the Alo Yoga High-Waisted Airbrush is another option we fell in love with during testing. If you are looking for an excellent deal, the 90 Degree by Reflex High Waist Powerflex retail for much less and offer a great bargain.
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