Of all the different yoga brands on the market today, none are as well-known, or controversial, as Lululemon. From see-through yoga pants to off-color remarks by their former CEO, this company gets in the press for all the wrong reasons. But they still manage to sell a lot of $100 yoga pants, and we know some people who have devoted enormous amounts of their closet space (and wallet) to this brand. We wanted to see what all the buzz was about, and how they would fare in our side-by-side comparison tests, so we tested their longtime staple for yoga, the Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III. And we have to say that when it came down to performance and usability, we were a little mixed on this model. These yoga pants looked great on, but they were not the most breathable or comfortable pair out there. We like the Alo Yoga High-Waisted Airbrush pants better for general yoga classes, as they are more breathable, and for heated classes, the Onzie Capri pant are hard to beat, both for performance and price.
Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III Review
Cons: Difficult to put on, not comfortable enough for all-day wear, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III is made of 86% nylon and 14% Lycra. We tested the "Full-On Luon" version of this pant. (There are several other options in material, including regular "Luon," cotton, "Full-On Luxtreme," "Nulux," etc.) The "Full-On" version has a tighter knit than the original "Luon" fabric for more support and "coverage." (This could be a reaction to the see-through yoga pants debacle of years past.) These leggings are available in sizes 2-12 and an ever-rotating crop of colors and patterns. These pants have an internal key pocket and a gusseted crotch.
These leggings did not score very high for breathability. The material is heavier and thicker than most other models that we tested, and we could feel the difference when doing a vigorous class that generated a lot of body heat. We got a little sweaty, and we stayed that way, unfortunately. If you want something that offers good compression but is slightly thinner and more breathable, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Alo Yoga High-Waisted Airbrush pant. The Wunder Under color that we tested does show moisture, though not as badly as the Soybu Killer Caboose Pant or the Yogalicious High Waist.
Ease of Movement
Our testers mostly liked the ease of movement of these pants. The wide waistband sits right on the hips and does not impede any forward bending. The legging design is great for stepping through from Downward Facing Dog or for more challenging poses that require you to cross your ankles. Extra material from flared leg designs, like on the Under Armour Mirror Studio Pant, is annoying in those instances. The material is also not slippery, which gives you a bit of extra help and traction when trying out arm balances like Bakasana (Crow). But, while these pants give you a lot of compression (which is good for body shaping and control), that compression occasionally gets in the way of your poses.
Comfort & Fit
These pants were not the most comfortable pair either. The discomfort starts with putting them on. We felt like we were trying to squeeze ourselves into them. We tried on the next size up to be sure we had the right size, and the larger ones were clearly too big. These leggings are just designed to be extra tight. The fabric on this pair is highly compressive, which helps tone and lift your behind, but is not comfortable for all-day wear. In the fine balance between compressive and constricting, this crop overshot the mark a little bit. The waistband sits a little low as well, which means you might get the dreaded muffin top, and/or find yourself pulling them up a lot during class. There is a high-waisted version of this pant available if you prefer your leggings to sit a little higher.
We didn't notice any pilling on these pants during our testing period, but when we pulled out some older pairs from our testers' closets to see what they looked like after a year or more of use, there was some significant pilling to be found. While we have yet to come across a pair of yoga pants that lasts forever without pilling, the "Luon" material seems more prone to this issue than others.
If there is one category that this model stands out in, it's style. The fabric and seaming have a luxe look to them, and this pair is made with attention to detail. Even the hidden key pocket is meticulously made so that you are never folding forward and cursing those extra (and unnecessary?) layers in your pants. There are constant updates to the color and print options for this pant, so you're sure to find a design or hue that suits you.
These leggings are best suited to general (but not heated) yoga classes. These are not a "lounge around the house" pair. If you sweat a lot or don't like constrictive clothing, the Onzie Capri is a better option. If you are looking for a cozy pair, the soft Beyond Yoga Spacedye High-Waist Long Legging is a great choice.
These pants are one of the most expensive pairs in this review ($88 for the crop, $98 for full-length leggings). Given that they are not as breathable or comfortable as many of the other models we tested, we don't think they are a particularly good value. The $30 90 Degree by Reflex High Waist pant scored higher, and you can get three pairs of them for the price of these Lulus.
The Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III pant looks good on, but that comes at the expense of comfort and performance. The heavy material is highly compressive, which is nice for aesthetic purposes, but it left us feeling constricted and uncomfortable. In our search for the perfect pair of yoga pants that offer support, performance and all-day comfort, these missed the mark.
— Cam McKenzie Ring