Lululemon Just Dropped a Whole Hiking Line. Here’s My Trail-Tested Review
Living in Los Angeles, I’m a lover of trail hikes. It’s the place where I catch up with friends, get my workout in or just calm down with a view of the urban skyline or waves breaking in the distance. But forget wearing Pilates or HIIT class outfits—a matching neon pink leggings set is going to look super obnoxious on the dusty brown and green hillside. And also, with workout clothes, we’re gonna need some bigger pockets.
Lululemon Hike aims to bridge the gap between its bestselling leggings for yoga and the, let’s face it, dorky-looking traditional hiking clothes. VP of design Ben Stubbington told me that Lululemon had been kicking the idea of a hiking-specific collection for years, then the company fast-tracked the collection when the pandemic inspired more people to hit the hiking trails. Stubbington, a Venice, California resident who regularly hits the trails himself, has used his outdoorsy experience to inform the line, from its woodsy palette (sage, dusky lavender and sand are dominant tones) to its silhouettes and textile innovations (drawstrings, plenty of pockets and quick-drying materials). It all looks good, but what’s it really like to wear?
I wore the Convertible HR Hiking Jogger topped with a Hike to Swim Bra for a morning hike. I layered a Lightweight Cinch Hem Hiking Tee over it and could right away tell this line was something special as I pulled the shirt down over my head. The hem has a bungee cord cinch in neon yellow to keep the top from annoyingly flapping out and catching on a branch—and you can tighten it to be cropped or a bit longer. And the fabric is gossamer-weight and sweat wicking, so it gave me the coverage I like from a hiking tee, but without the weight of cotton. (Also, the shirt is treated with zinc to reduce odor retention.)
After a short hike in the increasingly warm summer sun, I was a little sweaty, but my hike-swim bra wicked moisture so I wasn’t uncomfortably damp (it’s made to be worn as a bathing suit as well as a hiking top). But the star of the show for me was the Hiking Jogger, an ultra-lightweight pant that didn’t make me feel overheated even as the temperature climbed to near 100 degrees. Made of parachute material, it resembles a cute pair of cargo pants with side pockets and loose styling. When you want to feel the breeze, simply reach down and unzip each leg just above the knee—and viola, you’re wearing a pair of cute, not-at-all-uncool-looking cargo shorts. And the cute neon yellow waist tie looks both fashion-y and technical. I also appreciate how the cut of the shorts is baggy enough to be ultra-comfy but not so wide as to appear too bulky.
My fellow hikers looked great in the gear (I was covering ground with some other reviewers invited by Lululemon to try the brand). Some were wearing pieces in a smeary, day-glo print that is meant to evoke a midday squint into the sun. (It reads retro ‘90s raver-ish, in a good way.) And everyone’s favorite item was the line’s shacket, officially named the Grid Fleece Hiking Overshirt. It isn’t made of the furry cold-weather material that the word fleece makes you think of but is instead a lightweight grid-textured mesh. Think of it as a magic Thermos for your metabolism—it keeps your body temp insulated in a chill and a ventilated in the heat. Plus, like most every piece I checked out, there’s a zipped pocket for keys and a credit cards so you can be hands-free during your hike.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the line’s technical innovation and distinctive style. In the past I’ve enjoyed Lululemon’s merch, but sometimes I’ve detected their pieces sacrificing style for performance. The 33-item Lululemon Hike has mixed fashion with function to equal a bunch of great pieces that are worth the investment. Check out our eight favorite pieces below.