Vuori vs. lululemon: Which Cool-Weather Leggings Are Softer, More Flattering and Cuddlier?

Fuzzy legwear doesn’t have to look bulky

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vuori vs lululemon uni
Dana Dickey

Nothing’s easier than slipping on a pair of leggings for running outdoors or running errands. But half the year or more, our favorite indoor workout leggings may be too thin to wear outside. So what’s an athleisure devotee to do? When two of our favorite leggings brands, lululemon and Vuori, each debuted a new legging design made for staying cozy even during cold-weather workouts, I had to give them a try. And while snow might not be in the forecast where I live in Los Angeles, I’m pelted with icy wind during my weekly beach workout and feel all the chills during nighttime runs (since sunset’s at 5 p.m. now). Here’s my review of the Vuori Chilled Out Legging ($128) and the lululemon Fast and Free High Rise Fleece Tight with Pockets ($148).

What Sets Vuori and lululemon Apart?

In the past, I’ve collected fleece leggings for hikes and workouts, but been disappointed with their fit and durability—I’ve had knitted waistbands get pilled after repeated washings, had rear end sections get stretched out on long hikes and overall been less than enthused with how bulky the designs looked. But I thought that was what I had to settle for if I was going to basically wear sweaters on my legs. However, neither the Vuori Chilled Out Legging nor the lululemon Fast and Free High Rise Fleece Tight with Pockets look bulky, but both still have a thin layer of fleecy material lining them. They are noticeably warmer than the slick leggings I prefer in warmer weather. Additionally, both are more concerned with light warmth rather than snatched control (that’s what I depend on stomach-flattening lululemon Wunder Unders for) or complete lounging (I’m thinking here of the Vuori Performance Joggers that really put that brand on the map). I appreciate that both these leggings aim for the sweet spot between highly-designed workout wear and cuddly comfort—read on to see if they hit the mark.

Oh, and one more similarity between the two styles. I would recommend getting your regular size rather than sizing up. The buying-one-size-bigger hack is one I sometimes deploy for a more flattering fit, but since neither of these babies has added compression, anything too large is going to bag.

How I Tested the Leggings

I took each pair of leggings on two jogs, to an outdoor CrossFit session and to a heated yoga class, with washings in between. This allowed me to evaluate how well the leggings performed in chilly weather outdoors, but also how well-suited they are to studio classes. (I’ve had some previous experiences with wearing fleece-lined leggings to indoor workouts before, and I felt a little inappropriately dressed, since older fleece leggings felt too hot indoors and also looked too bulky to me when I caught sight of myself in the mirror.) Equally importantly, I wore the leggings around the house and around my neighborhood on errands—because if I’m going to spend over $100 on a pair of leggings, they had better be ready to do double-duty as pants, too.

My Vuori Chilled Out Legging Review:


  • Appearance: 18/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • Fit: 17/20
  • Value: 16/20
  • Quality: 18/20
    TOTAL: 89/100

These cool-weather leggings were delightful the moment I put them on. They not only have the matte look I love, but also are made with an inner finish I can best describe as a texture that feels like micro-sherpa: fuzzy, cuddly and cozy. The ultra-high waistband doesn’t have an inner drawstring but still managed to stay up during a short run, even as the leggings got heavier and wicked away my sweat without making me feel chilled on my 15-minute cooldown. Also, I noticed in my yoga studio mirror that the way the waistband is sewn onto the legs is very flattering and the stretch in it kept my midsection from being exposed even when stretching deeply sideways in the triangle pose or trying to hit my downward dog in fast-paced hot yoga with weights. Further, I liked that these fleecy leggings still felt lightweight enough to wear in hot yoga—and the extra sweating I did was a little extra detox for me. The leggings have a silky finish, the inner-leg seams can cause friction on long runs, and on me spefically, the crotch gusset is set farther back than most other leggings I wear, making the front bind a bit in the crotch area.

My lululemon Fast and Free High Rise Fleece Tight with Pockets Review:


  • Appearance: 17/20
  • Comfort: 19/20
  • Fit: 16/20
  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
    TOTAL: 91/100

Leave it to luxury leggings purveyor lululemon to really pull out all the engineering stops in their new iteration of fleece tights. I put on these recycled poly-and-Lycra tights and felt like I was ready for anything, since they have three little waistband pockets for keys and energy gels, as well as two drop-down side pockets that accommodate my phone, a bandana, glasses and more. Also, the infinity waist drawcord kept my waistband just where I liked it, even after running suicide drills on the sand. And the reflective dots on the calf and hip make me feel secure about running in the dark (without being so reflective that I can’t wear these during daylight hours). The designers eliminated the inner seam for less friction, too. And the ankles aren’t cut super-snug, which I have to think is intentional so that calf socks can be tucked under the leg, keeping ankles covered in needling cold. Oh, and it must be said—the butt-lifting cut of these leggings had both my running coach and fellow jogger saying how great I looked, by which I understood they meant wow those leggings. I noticed, though, that on my long-waisted figure, the high-waisted cut resulted in bit of bunching under my rib cage. (And thank goodness these are so durable, since almost $150 on a pair of leggings means they need to last for years.)

Vuori vs. lululemon Final Notes

Honestly, I loved each of these leggings for durability, looks and warmth. I could dock both of them, however, for only being available in four colorways apiece; over a long winter, I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s going to want to switch up my outdoor style. I’ll be enjoying the Vuori’s more for around-the-house lounging and errands, along with runs, since they’re so super-soft. And the lululemons are my new go-to for hiking, the chilliest workouts in low light and my longer runs (thanks, waistband cinching). Word to the wise—in seasons past, I’ve been guilty of waiting too late in the season to buy fleece leggings, by which time sizing and stock was low, so I advise shelling out now for snuggly workouts and leggings-wear through to springtime.

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...

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