Staying active and in shape gets only slightly easier when you have something nice to wear. But it does get easier. Finding the perfect workout gear is an ongoing challenge. We have tried a lot of different brands and gear, but a two of our favorites are Tasc Performance and Lululemon.
While neither of these brands have a monopoly on the closet (Nike and Vuori notably make their way in as well) they are staples that we come back to every season. Each of them has a handful of staple items that we continue to rebuy in new colors and as we wear out the old ones. One of these is the Lululemon Pace breaker shorts. At any given time there are 4-5 pairs of these in our closet and they get worn daily for runs and gym sessions.
Best For Workouts – Lululemon over Tasc
When it comes to workout gear we are big fans of Lululemon. As noted above their pace breaker shorts are the primary thing we wear for daily workouts. The lined version of the pace breaker can be worn in nearly every summertime activity, including in the pool, and the addition of a normal pockets and zip pockets make them viable to take out on errands or on a run.
In a direct comparison of Lululemon vs Tasc, we would pick the lulu gear each time if it is for a workout. The price points are about the same and when you account for the accessibility of Lululemon stores and their return policy it makes them better when things do go wrong. Lululemon does free alterations and often fixes small imperfections that are more likely in active wear (we’ve had numerous small holes in the seams fixed up over the years).
Tasc on the other hand is still more of a local shop, they were founded originally in New Orleans and still have their flagship store on Magazine street. As someone who travels to New Orleans often, and likes the store, this is nice but we were also thrilled to see Tasc open their distribution to Amazon and through online sales. While there return policy is good, there are minimal opportunities to try things on in person or run into the shop to swap something out that is not right. This is a contrast from the nearly 500 Lululemon locations.
We had the same preference when comparing Lululemon to Vuori. While the Vuori is comfortable and winds up sold in shops (at least on the West Coast) more often than Tasc, it suffers from the same moisture snagging problems and a few of the design choices (lack of reliable zip pockets) that make it sub-optimal for our workouts.
Best For Loungewear – Bamboo and Luon Fabric
Luon is a brand name fabric that Lululemon uses in most of their performance shirts. It is made of a blend of Lycra, which gives it some stretch, and Nylon which makes it durable and relatively water resistant. They use other materials as well, including a lot of polyester which winds up being more water resistant that the nylon blends and Elastane which is common in their form fitting gear. This blend (49% Nylon, 43% polyester, 4% Elastane, 4% nylon) is the fabric used in our favorite Lululemon shirts the Metal Vent tech t-shirt.
For Tasc our favorite shirt is the Carrolton, which uses the primary Tasc material which is Bamboo. There are a number of benefits to bamboo, all of which are heavily featured in Tasc’s marketing. Functionally though bamboo feels different when worn and holds water differently than the Lululemon materials. Our bamboo Tasc shirts tend to hold on to sweat more than other shirts, which makes them a bad option for sunny runs. At the same time the bamboo tends to do a better job of blocking wind and keeping warm so for a brick evening stroll they are the better option.
Bamboo is water absorbant, the idea is that this property allows it to wick moisture or sweat away form the body. While this is a useful idea, we have found that that sweat does not evaporate very quickly and also shows very quickly. This means that sweat marks on our Tasc Carrolton shirts are common. For some of their pants and more formal wear the 5 of polyester is higher which helps avoid this problem. In general though we prefer Tasc gear for lounging, dress wear, and activities in cooler temperatures. Their items tend to be cozier and warmer which make for a more comfortable day.
Favorite Tasc Item
With all of these comparing it is easy to forget that for both of these brands we have some favorite items that get worn multiple times a week. For Tasc that item is the performance Carrolton long sleeve hoodie. This is a light weight item and has thumb holes to pull the sleeves over your hands. The hoodie and thumb rings make the style perfect for staying cozy.
At the same time the bamboo material is light enough that you can wear it out on a sunny day, and so long as you are not working too hard and sweating, the sun protection and great style make it ideal for going for a shady hike then grabbing a quick meal. As an added bonus Tasc also makes these in branded sports versions if you make it to their store in person. While they do not sell them online, it’s possible to pickup regional teams (LSU, Saints, Tulane) gear which they seem to do in limited runs.