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Lululemon Align II Review

With a great balance between compression and breathability, these pants are silky soft and perform exceptionally during various activities
Lululemon Align II
Photo: Lululemon
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $98 List
Pros:  Buttery soft, easy to move in, great color options and fit, comfortable, breathable
Cons:  Needs delicate care
Manufacturer:   Lululemon
By Bo Outland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 15, 2020
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88
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Breathability - 25% 9
  • Ease of Movement - 25% 10
  • Comfort and Fit - 25% 8
  • Durability - 25% 8

Our Verdict

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. We love Lululemon's buttery soft fabric, which they call "Nulu". Created from a specific yarn with a wonderful microfiber, and this fabric does 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. The fit keeps your pants securely in place while moving through your practice (while also flattering your 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). We couldn't take these pants off — they are seriously that incredible!

Compare to Similar Products

 
Lululemon Align II
This Product
Lululemon Align II
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $98 List$36.78 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$30 List
$24.99 at Amazon
$45 List
$33.00 at Amazon
$58.20 at Backcountry
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Pros Buttery soft, easy to move in, great color options and fit, comfortable, breathableComfortable, supportive, easy to move in, contoured high waist with no elasticLightweight, breathable, easy to move in, inexpensiveDurable, warm, comfortable fabric, inexpensiveSoft fabric, great for restorative classes
Cons Needs delicate careDecent breathability but not the best for heated classesFabric is a little stiff compared to others, durability issues in previous pairsSometimes too warm, falls down during running or HIITCamel-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 activitiesA comfortable and stylish pair that looks and feels greatA good pant for the price that will make you question whether the expensive ones are really worth itA durable pant perfect for yoga practice or high-friction sports like rock climbingWe 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...
Breathability (25%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
3.0
3.0
Ease Of Movement (25%)
10.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Comfort And Fit (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (25%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
10.0
2.0
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
Key Pocket Yes Yes Yes Yes No
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 an excellent microfiber and engineered a weave that ensures these pants are extra 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 and patterns. We tested the 28-inch full-length version, but you can also purchase them in the 21-inch and 25-inch length.

Performance Comparison




Breathability


Lululemon has made an art out of making their yoga pants breathable with the perfect amount of compression. 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 yoga pant was extremely versatile. It is perfect for hot yoga, yin yoga, HIIT, running, your favorite spin class, — literally any type of physical activity.

Sometimes, we end our workout drenched in sweat. Some models in this review, such as Beyond Yoga Caught Midi, offered excellent breathability but were too thin to provide any support or comfort. On the other hand, we found the Core 10 pant to have significant compression but found they were very thick and hot, particularly for hot yoga.


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 (or higher) ease of movement, comfort, and style, you've got a pair of yoga pants that significantly outweigh the other options.

Post hot yoga session! Lululemon Align pants are almost completely...
Post hot yoga session! Lululemon Align pants are almost completely dry!

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. Align was just right, lending high-waist support that doesn't feel like it's squeezing our sides.


Other brands have tight waistbands that are uncomfortable and impedes the movement in our practice. Specifically, the ODODOS Dual Pocket dug into our waists so much they left a red mark around our belly. The feeling of the waist 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.

It's easy to get into any pose with Lululemon Align, and the...
It's easy to get into any pose with Lululemon Align, and the breathability is stellar.

Comfort and Fit


These pants are so comfortable that they almost matched the Beyond Yoga Caught in the Midi for silky fabric. 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 may 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. There is also a small 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 back v-shaped hem on the back are extremely flattering for...
The back v-shaped hem on the back are extremely flattering for all-day wear!

Durability


During our testing of this fabric, the seams stayed woven together, but the material did produce some mild pilling on the front of our legs and in our inner-thighs where our thighs rub together.


The fabric 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 do show wear over time. Pilling becomes inevitable and they do lose a lot of their softness after a few months.

Some slight pilling on the inner thigh, but so slight it was...
Some slight pilling on the inner thigh, but so slight it was difficult to get a good picture.

Lululemon as a company 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 clothes that are similar material; 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 on occasion. We would just recommend not making the dryer a habit.

Value


Lululemon prices the Align II on the higher end, 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 much less and offer a great bargain.

Getting into the fullest expression is no problem in Lululemon Align...
Getting into the fullest expression is no problem in Lululemon Align Pants.

Conclusion


The Lululemon Align II achieves the perfect balance of compression and breathability. They're so comfortable you won't want to take them off. Their simple patterns and a multitude of colors make them a versatile pair of leggings for all-day use and will add to any ensemble in your closet. 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 did notice some pilling on the front of our thigh, but all of the stitching stayed intact. 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. They 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 are in love with these yoga pants.

Bo Outland

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