Test driving Lululemon’s Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve
If you’ve not yet heard about Lululemon, they’re a Canadian clothing company focused primarily on yoga, running and branching out in other areas – primarily for women, but also make items for men (worth falling in love with). They also have FREE yoga classes across all their showrooms and stores every weekend, around the world, in addition to lifestyle workshops and what not. They have a very positive, happy vibe, spending as much time on making each person better – happy, healthy, whole as much as selling gear.
The gear they sell is.. pricey, but indeed, it really is top quality product. So it was with a gulp that I handed over £62 (about US$100) for a long sleeve running shirt last week. I’d done my research and knew what I was looking for and bearing the colder weather in mind, especially not being a) a night time runner or b) running in the cold previously – preferring gyms until last year. I didn’t want to pull out my snowboarding under shirts to go for a run in. I needed a proper running shirt so Lululemon it was. [Men – fear not, here is the equivalent for you.
Test drive 1: As a walk around shirt.
..at last weeks OM yoga show. I was planning to try out some classes so came prepared. This is comfy. Longsleeve with thumb holes, which you don’t need but do add that extra comfy feeling. The shirt pulls down long enough to cover your behind if you so choose, warm enough to wear without any extra layers indoors.
Test drive 2: Night time 40 min run in 18deg.
Apparently autumn weather hasn’t yet committed in London. I came (over) prepared to run with this shirt feeling slightly warm indoors. However as the night breeze picked up and we got moving, I didn’t feel too warm and despite a challenging run (thanks Amanda from Nike Covent Garden) did not feel sweaty either. Emma, the Richmond Lululemon showroom manager had said that she owns one, and that it never has that post run sweaty scent. She was right. The shirt has what Lululemon calls: “Silverescent® technology, powered by X-STATIC®, inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria on the top.” And yes it doesn’t smell at all.
Test drive 3: Night time 40 min run in 15 deg.
A slightly colder night, and once again, I felt neither cold nor sweaty. The other bonus was when throwing on a coat and heading home, there was none of that ‘cold sweat’ after working out feeling. The shirt is figure hugging, so even though I bought a size up than I regularly wear, it still felt snug, no chafing and the vent panels were in all the right place – under arms, mid torso and on the back.
Test drive 4: Morning 30 min run in 14 deg with slight drizzle followed by yoga.
Coldest run so far but now with the added bonus of drizzle. Just like other runs, I felt warm, didn’t feel sweaty at all, didn’t feel cold after the run, then showed up yoga shortly after with no sweaty swell. Yes really.
Verdict: Recommended. I’ve already worn this shirt 4 times in a week and the weather isn’t even *that* cold. So it looks like the value for money is going to prove itself quickly. Beyond that any improvements? Perhaps a hidden pocket near collarbone for a key/oyster card etc? Brighter colours would be good for the darker weather running and/ a reflector somewhere although could be tricky as the shirt is so slick, it feels seam free.