We completed several phases of testing to find the best pair of yoga pants. First, we gathered a group of longtime yoga practitioners and teachers together, and for a few hours we did a series of yoga poses in each pair, including sun salutations, forward bends, and challenging arm balances. We wanted to gauge how the different pairs moved compared to each other, and also how they fit on different body types. We scored each pair on their ease of movement, comfort, and fit, as well as style.
To test breathability, we wore each pair several times to the same style of class (Vinyasa), at the same studio. We then compared how each model felt (and looked) after class, and whether we were saturated through or pleasantly dry. While there are sure to be day to day differences in one person's exertions and sweat output, we felt this gave us a great sense of the breathability and moisture retention of each garment. We also wore the most breathable pairs to a heated yoga class to see how they fared when the temperature was cranked upwards of 105F.
Finally, to gauge the durability of each pair, we essentially lived in these yoga pants over many months. We wore them to class, but also around the house, running errands, on hikes and walks; you name it! We passed them out to friends to try out and made sure that each pair was worn and washed a minimum of ten times. After this, we gauged the degree of pilling that had occurred, if any. While this three-month testing period wasn't long enough to cause serious pilling on any one model, we also compared older versions of most of these pants that were hanging around our various testers' closets.
We got some amazing photos of each pair thanks to Martina Zando Photography and Matt Bento.