Lululemon – great looking gear, but does it perform?

If you drive an Escort you are probably quite happy with it; it will get you from A to B without any fuss and does the job that a car should. It is not until you get into a Mercedes that you realise that motoring can be much more comfortable and glamorous and you might become a bit dissatisfied with the Escort. Then again if rallycross is your game the Mercedes will not fit the bill as well as the Escort does.

Metal VentThis is how I felt about the Lululemon Surge Shorts and Metal Vent Technical Short Sleeve Shirt when I tried them on; they felt lovely, but would they stand up to the rigours of the type of running I do. They might be good for posing at a local parkrun, but when I’m running over Dartmoor or Bodmin Moor for 4 or 5 hours I want something that is going to keep me comfortable. The information on the label said they should: sweat-wicking, four-way stretch fabric, seamless construction and special treatment to prevent odours.

There was only one way to find out; I took them for a long run over Bodmin Moor. The weather was reasonable although it was quite warm when the sun was out, but cold when the cloud came over and the wind got up. The shirt performed well, probably better than my usual technical tops; it wicked the sweat well and didn’t let me get cold when the wind blew. And I didn’t stink at the end of the run. Verdict: I love the Lululemon Mental Vent Technical Shirt.

P1020605Shorts to me are just things to cover your bits and perhaps stop them from bouncing about. I have run naked (the Streak for Tigers at London Zoo) and its not comfortable. I wasn’t expecting anything great from the shorts; I just didn’t want anything bad. However, I was impressed with the shorts, they were very comfortable, didn’t restrict my movement in any way, but they kept my bits from bouncing about. They also had several nice touches, several pockets (one with a zip useful for car keys or your parkrun barcode) which are well positioned, a vented section that prevented over-heating and a some loops on the waistband to tuck your shirt into if you take it off and run like an American trail runner. I might need to lose a few pounds before I use that feature, but it would be useful for carrying a lightweight waterproof.

So the over all verdict, stylish, comfortable and top performing. Not an Escort, nor a Mercedes more like an Audi Quattro, equally as good on the rally course as on a smart hotel concourse.


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