I’ve been stocking up on cold weather stuff lately. Going into this season, I only had a handful of full-length bottoms, so I wanted to diversify my wardrobe a little bit. Lululemon recently dropped two strong offerings in the rebel runner crops and toasty tech tights. Here’s a quick review on both.
Rebel runner crops
I was really excited when the rebel runner crops came back this fall. I have a pair in black grape from last fall’s release and really like them. The “crops” are the perfect full ankle length for a shorter lady like me, they’re not see-through, and the style just looks great overall. I ordered a pair in dark fuel, since I love the idea of a deep green as a fall/winter color. I have a hard time branching out from black/grey for full-length bottoms since many colors can seem like a bit too much, so a dark color like this one is a great compromise.
Rebel runner crops have a nice side pocket that blends in well with the seams. Some other details include the continuous drawstring at the waistband, and the zip accents at the ankles. The ankles are a hair loose on me, but nothing too bad.
Btw, don’t take the color too literally in all of these pics. I recently moved, and am still fighting with the lighting in the new place. I’ll be the first to admit that some of these pics are a little gnarly. Yellow walls don’t help.
These crops fit bang-on true to size in my opinion with moderate compression. The rise is slightly higher than, say, wunder under crops, but still sits a little bit below the belly button. They’re also totally opaque.
I really like these crops, so I went to go put them on for crossfit. And that’s when I saw it. The thing that I could not unsee:
The butt panel on these crops is full-on luxtreme, which is generally a good thing, since it’s why they aren’t sheer (you can actually feel the extra thickness in the fabric). Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the full-on luxtreme seemed to take the dark fuel dye differently than the rest of the fabric. You can see in this pic that the shade of green on the butt panel is noticeably different from the rest of the pants–it’s more muted and less teal. I should note that my black grape rebel runners from last year have no discernible difference between panel colors, even though it uses the same fabric strategy at the bum.
As much as I like these crops, the two-tone issue is a bit too noticeable and is most likely a dealbreaker for me (thankfully, I noticed this before taking the tags off). I think it would bother me every time I wore them, which is such a shame because they’re great otherwise.
Toasty tech tights
I’ve been all about the thermal gear lately, so I was happy to see these toasty tech tights make a comeback. These were actually my first lulu tech fleece purchase.
As soon as I put these on I knew they were keepers. The fleecy inside is soft, but smooth and not lumpy like fleece can be. The outside feels like luxtreme, which is helpful to manage pilling and give it a more polished look. Although the outside is slick, the tights are overall quite thick and have a very cushy feel to them. Tech fleece is supposed to be the warmest fabric that lulu offers.
These fit true to size for me, and offered moderate compression. They are completely opaque. Again, the rise is a bit higher, which is the one less-than-ideal thing for me, since I’m a bit of a high rise hater. Of course, the higher rise is practical for staying put during runs, and the extra inch helps block the cold out from your core, so there are admittedly benefits, too. They’re also a bit long for me, but I’m hesitant to hem them since the one time I hemmed something from lulu (herringbone WUP), I regretted it forever. So, I’ll leave them be for now.
I love the side details, including the quilting and the zip reflective pocket. The zip pocket opens to a wee stripe liner, which is a thoughtful detail I love.
Overall, I’m very happy with these tights so far. These tights represent a lot of the things that I think lululemon does especially well: great fabric, great fit, functional design, and attention to detail.
Since the rebel runner were kind of a flop, I would consider getting these in dark fuel if that color comes to the US (they are currently available overseas). And if by some chance they get made in black grape, I’d almost certainly pick up a pair. I’m a very cold-natured person in a colder climate, so I think I could wear these 4-5 months out of the year. Yes, at $118, they are on the expensive side, but at least the price is better justified by the warmth factor.
Btw, if you want a somewhat cheaper alternative that still brings the warmth factor, consider Athleta’s power lift tights. I tried on a pair in stores, and they feel different, of course, but they’re still quite thick and warm, plus they’re compressive, opaque, and ring up for $89 instead (and there’s tons of last year’s pairs on ebay for about half that).
if you live somewhere cold enough, I definitely recommend the toasty techs. They look and feel great, and will be very functional. The rebel runners are fantastic, but proceed with caution. If you find these in a store, make sure you pay close attention to the color of the back panel and make sure you’re ok with how it looks. If you find a pair with coloring that’s good for you, or if the mis-match just doesn’t bother you, they’re a great buy.