Time for a review turbo-round! These reviews aren’t quite as detailed as my usual full reviews, but I thought they’d still be worth sharing.
A small lululemon showroom recently opened up in my little town, so now I can try on a small number of new styles without having to spend 5 hours in the car to get to a lulu store. I tried a couple things on the new rulu last week to see how this year’s styles measured up.
I’ve also got a quick review of a Caraa Sport bag I tried out.
Lululemon rush hour 1/2 zip
I tried on the rush hour 1/2 zip in my usual size. It fit quite loose through the waist. It’s also somewhat short, similar to the length of last year’s runderful 1/2 zip. You can see that this one fits bigger if you compare the fit of this one versus me wearing the kanto catch me 1/2 zip, runderful 1/2 zip or race your pace 1/2 zip in the same size. I recommend sizing down if you prefer a fit more like the previous year’s versions.
Fit aside, the truly disappointing thing about this pullover was the fabric. Rulu has been thinning in recent years, and this year it seems to have gotten even worse. The fabric on this was so thin it felt like a plain luon cool racerback. It was definitely not the plush, cozy feel of rulu that I love. Given how thin it felt, I just couldn’t see this being sufficiently warm for cold weather, especially compared to the rulu I already own. Rulu pullovers used to be some of lululemon’s greatest products (or at least one of my personal favorites), so I was disappointed to find that this year’s iteration of my favorite fabric didn’t meet my expectations.
Lululemon ready to rulu hoodie
Like the 1/2 zip above, the hoodie also fit a bit loose, although most rulu hoodies tend to be cut larger so this isn’t surprising. I don’t necessarily mind a loose fit, but the shape of this one looked a bit boxy. The kangaroo pocket exaggerates the boxy effect, since the zippers are wide set and angled almost totally vertically. If the zippers were angled more inward (like the nice seaming on the base runner hoodie), it would help to create a more feminine shape.
The spray jacquard fabric definitely has a different feel to it compared to most lulu, including compared to the solid black above. The fabric is a little bit thicker, but also a stiffer and not really soft. It didn’t do much for me, so I have to say that I prefer the various pique and herringbone textures from previous years, which feel a lot softer and warmer. Overall, this hoodie wasn’t a winner for me either.
Caraa Sport Liukin bag
AA reader/commenter Florencia brought Caraa Sport to my attention a couple of weeks ago. She mentioned she really liked her Caraa bag, so I was curious to give them a try. They recently launched the Liukin bag, a collaboration between their brand and American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin. Besides being a gymnastics fan, I liked the idea behind Caraa in and of itself. I loved that the Liukin bag had lots of pockets, a laptop compartment, and an optional crossbody strap. I was hoping it would be perfect for both travel and as a daily work bag, so I ordered one to give it a shot.
It was really difficult to get clear photos of the bag I ordered without deconstructing all the original packaging, so these are Caraa’s own photos, which I think are accurate representations of the actual bag I received.
The bag is nylon with leather accents on the outside. It looks very sleek and sophisticated. It has TONS of pockets inside, all of which are a useful size for wrangling your things. It also came with a small zip-top makeup bag, a drawstring shoe bag, and a protective dust bag for the bag itself. I love the inclusion of accessories since it’s something many brands neglect. The bag has two flaps at the top that close via magnets. The outside has two pockets on the sides of the bag, plus one giant slit pocket on the back side. Like I said: TONS of pockets.
A minor issue I had with the bag is that the short handle makes it difficult to get inside the main pocket of the bag. Because it’s so short, you can’t really shove it out of the way. This is especially difficult to manage if you’re trying to take larger items in and out, like electronics or notebooks. I’m used to being able to just wrench a bag open as far as I like, and instead with this one I have to maneuver my way around the small handle. Of course, if you remove the short handle and use the long strap instead, you don’t have to deal with that.
The bigger issue arose when I brought out my laptop. The Caraa website says this bag has a 13″ laptop sleeve. My laptop is a 13″ MacBook Air, so I expected it to be just right. You can imagine my surprise when I couldn’t get my laptop in the bag at all! It turns out, the Liukin bag can only accommodate a laptop that measures literally 13″ wide. Even though my laptop model is called the 13″ model, the actual frame of the laptop is a bit larger (13″ is the diagonal measurement of the screen). So, in reality, if you have a laptop that’s labeled as a 13″ model, it probably will not fit. I should have measured before buying, so if you’re worried about whether your laptop will fit, learn from my mistake and get out your measuring tape!
Unfortunately, because of the laptop issue, I decided to send the bag back. I wanted the bag for daily use and travel, and without space for my laptop, it just doesn’t fit the bill. I considered keeping it anyway, but I don’t like to have more than one daily carry bag if I can help it. Given the price, it was too hard to justify a bag that only meets some of my needs, so I’ll keep looking.
To be clear, I do still think that this bag is a great one. It’s attractive and functional. I’m a pocket junkie when it comes to bags, and this one had it in spades. If you’re not worried about carrying a laptop, or if your necessary electronics are smaller, I think this is a great bag. I just desperately wish it was 2″ larger! The Liukin bag is sold here.