If you are like me, then you picture lululemon as a women’s yoga brand. I discovered on the weekend that actually they have mens and womens ranges – as well as gear for running, gymwear and general clothing (lululemon calls this ‘post sweat’). A few google searches produce rave reviews for the surge shorts and their running tops – so this could get interesting. Also it’s clear the brand has quite a large cult following, my colleague KopiJunky is green with envy at the thought of product testing LLL gear!
Disclosure time first. I was given a METAL VENT TECH TANK by lululemon to product test – I didn’t have to buy it.
LLL in Singapore are looking to increase awareness of the brand both with men and in running circles. This short post is my initial review of the vest, which I used yesterday at the TriFactor 24km run – thus ignoring one of running’s golden rules ‘nothing new on race day’. Actually I break that one quite often, so no biggie.
The first things that you notice with this top are that it’s incredibly light – it’s also very soft to the touch.
It’s also pretty expensive if you are used to buying your running gear at Queensway 🙂
Trying the vest on at the lululemon store in iON, I found that the fit was good, it’s form fitting without being clingy. Normally I prefer a looser shirt for running (I dont do compression stuff), but Susan at lululemon persuaded me to try a smaller size, which I think was a good call for the vest. Personal preference, I still prefer a bit more room in a tech tee, but in a vest, a closer fit is good so you dont get big gaps at the arm holes flapping around once you have built up a sweat.
The technical stuff breaks down like this:
- Silverescent® technology, powered by X-STATIC®, inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria on the tank
- four-way stretch fabric is lightweight and sweat-wicking
- flat seams help prevent chafe
- designed not to shrink
The design of the top is pretty functional / basic minimalist, with only a small LLL logo on the back. I like the lack of seams on the shoulders and it seems like a vest that’s been well thought out for workouts.
It’s a personal choice, but generally I like less flashy / discreet logo running gear, so I’m liking the overall style here.
Having selected a size and colour (grey – I am very boring when it comes to running gear colours, I like black short and grey tops), I said farewell to the very jolly team in the iON lululemon store and headed home.
The next day was TriFactor run – 24km. This was a last minute entry for me – I was initially due to do the MSIG 10k on the saturday, but a mate offered me a ticket to see Liverpool vs Malaysia in KL on the friday night, so I skipped the trail run.
Another run buddy had a bib going spare for the TriFactor Run (due to it being on the same weekend as the Singapore ITU Triathlon – a shocking bit of planning by one or the other of these two events!!), so even though I am not in long distance shape, I decided to give it a rip and use the race to see where I am on speed endurance ahead of the training block for Stan Chart mara in December.
I am not a hugely fussy runner when it comes to gear, but I do sweat A LOT when I run here and I also suffer from runners nipple particularly on longer runs. Fingers crossed that the Metal Vent Tech Tank helps with that. Also I felt a little guilty poking holes with a safety pin in such an expensive vest, perhaps if I had bought it I would be using a race belt or something else!
There won’t be a full race review here, suffice to say that I finished in 1hour 56, pretty much my estimated completion time.
First impressions from 2 hours racing in the vest are good, really good.
I didn’t notice the vest at all.
I didn’t spend even a single second thinking about the vest.
Which is exactly how it should be.
Often, when I am getting close the the end of a race I am conscious of the weight of sweat around the middle-waist of whatever shirt I am wearing. Sometimes I even wring it out to lighten the load. Also sometimes the top I am wearing just feels really wet and flappy – this i find especially with the tech material ‘shiny’ type shirts that you often get in race packs.
The top did retain some sweat as I was able to wring it out once I’d taken it off, but it didn’t retain as much as some and it didn’t feel heavy or wet during the run, which is really important.
Post-run, I have not had any ill effects, no nipple soreness and no chafing anywhere.
So far, so good.
This was a long, but medium paced effort. I’ll try the top more with intervals and also longer slower runs and do a longer review in a few months time. Right now, I can’t find any fault.
It’s expensive compared to a regular vest from a running brand – this is a fact, let’s see if it’s flexible enough to become a ‘go to top’ in the running wardrobe, if it is, then perhaps the initial cost will be a good investment.
Shout out to Susan at Lululemon for being very helpful and making me feel welcome at LLL iON and Jenny Huang for the referral!
More information here