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 large 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 tights looked great on, but they were not the most breathable or comfortable pair out there. Our testers liked the Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging for general yoga classes, as they are more breathable, and when it came to heated classes, the Onzie Capri Pant was hard to beat, both for performance and price.
Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III ReviewPrice: $88 List Pros: Stylish, well made, compressive.
Cons: Difficult to put on, not comfortable enough for all-day wear, expensive.
Bottom line: They look great on, but weren't the best pair to practice yoga in.
Key Pocket: Yes
Features: Some colors are reversible
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Yoga Pants for Your Practice
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, and "Full-On Luxtreme"). 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 the current color choices are: Heathered Slate, Hounds Camo Emperor Blue Black, Maze Jacquard White Black, Teeny Tooth Deep Fuchsia Black, and Dusty Mauve. The pants have an internal key pocket and gusseted crotch.
These leggings did not score very high for breathability. The material is of a heavier weight than some other models that we tested, like the Lucy Studio Hatha Capri, 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. The color that we tested does show moisture, though not as badly as the Soybu Killer Caboose Pant or the Prana Audrey.
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 Lucy Perfect Core 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 the "Chakara" blend found on the Prana Audrey pant.
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 clearly 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 and/or don't like constrictive clothing, the Onzie Capri Pant are a better option.
These pants are one of the most expensive pairs in this review ($88 for 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 good value. The $22 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex pant scored almost as high as this pair, and you can literally get four 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 ones missed the mark.
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