Continuing with this week’s theme, I’ve got another lululemon showdown for you. This time, the theme is winter running jackets.
I have the first mile jacket (in darkest magenta) from last winter’s collection. This year, lululemon iterated on that with a new design: the extra mile jacket.
Both are designed to be cold-weather running/active jackets and both were priced at $228. In this post, I’ll outline key features of the extra mile jacket as well as how it differs from the first mile jacket.
I bought the extra mile jacket in white in my usual lululemon size (2). It fits true to size, however you’ll notice it does run a bit short. I’m only 5’3″ but it hits around high hip on me. The fit is tailored, but not tight. I definitely have room for layers underneath.
The jacket has a double-zippered front (similar to the fleecy keen jacket of years past) that attaches to the hood. The whole inner zipper plus hood can be zipped out and removed when you want less bulk. Note that the front part of the inner zip does not extend more than a couple inches on either side of the zip. It’s not a full inner layer.
The fabric is water-repellent, meaning it can be worn in light rain/snow but won’t hold up to an intense downpour. The jacket is warm enough for moderately cold temperatures, but isn’t quite as heavy-duty as a down/puffer jacket.
Now let’s get a little more into the comparisons, which will hit a couple other key points about the extra mile jacket along the way.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]There are a few very obvious design differences, like aesthetic differences and the double zipper versus a heavier-duty single zipper. Both jackets are made of essentially the same fabric: a mix of of insulated, water-repellent fabric and stretch panels. That said, they differ on the inside. The first mile has more stretch panels, which have a brushed, soft feel on the inside. The extra mile has more of the insulated panels and thus has very little soft fabric on the inside. Overall, the extra mile feels just slightly less cozy when I put it on.
A common complaint about the first mile is that there was a venting seam across the rear shoulder area that made the shoulders a bit tight. There is no such seam on the extra mile, so the shoulder area is fully flexible. If the shoulders were a problem for you with the first mile, don’t expect that to be an issue with this design.
Another issue with the first mile was the lack of thumbholes, which also been addressed with the new design. The thumbholes on the extra mile are horizontal slits, not vertical like many of lululemon’s other tops. Both jackets have fold-over cuffs.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]As I mentioned above, the extra mile fits fairly short. These comparison photos really reinforce that, since you can see it’s noticeably shorter than the first mile by a couple inches. The extra mile flares slightly at the hem as well. The reduction in coverage means it will be slightly less warm, although the jackets are otherwise very similar in thickness. Also on the topic of length, the sleeves also seem to be just slightly shorter. Tall ladies: proceed with caution!
In this photo, you can also see that the first mile has a stretch panel across the entire middle back, while the extra mile has an insulated panel that runs almost up the entire back, except for a small arch of stretch panel across the top of the shoulders underneath the hood.
You’ll also notice that the collar of the first mile jacket stands up on its own and is not attached to the hood. The inner collar of the extra mile is attached to the hood, so if you zip it all the way up, the collar will not stand up, which is a downside if you like to zip up your collar for warmth. However, if you zip out the inner layer and hood, the outer layer has its own collar, but then of course you lose the hood and extra zipped layer, so it’s a trade-off.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]Both jackets have two front zip pockets, but the pockets on the extra mile are placed a couple inches higher. The extra mile pockets hit almost at the natural waist rather than the high hip. That said, the pockets are quite deep.
Speaking of zippers: the first mile has zippered “armpit vents” (note the subtle zip directly above the pockets) while the extra mile does not. The only zippers on the extra mile are at the pockets and the front closure.
Although the extra mile is absolutely a very cute jacket, right now I’m leaning toward returning it. The first mile fits me just slightly better (and feels slightly better too), which makes the extra mile a little tougher to justify spending the money on. That said, it’s a very cute jacket and definitely practical for winter running and hiking. I’ll have to deliberate on this one a little longer.
Currently, the extra mile jacket is still available in 3 colors online with almost all sizes still in stock.