Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lululemon Run: Inspire Jacket Review

The Lululemon Run: Inspire Jacket came in the mail yesterday.  Be prepared for a LOT of photos.  You should be able to click on most pictures to enlarge them. 
[There are a couple that I screwed up in trying to format them where you can't click on them].

First off, here are the advertised features of the jacket:

  • Technical running jacket perfect for layering as it gets chilly
  • Glyde is light and breathable with a finish to protect from light wind and rain
  • Perforation at collar and underarm for airflow
  • Stowable hood
  • Thumbholes keep sleeves down, & cuffins keep hands warm!
  • Time-check: Easily check your splits through the watch window!
  • 360° reflectivity
  • Music storage and cord guide so you can stay plugged in
Here is the jacket zipped all the way up with the hood down, and with the little vent at the neck open:

Here are some hood shots.  The hood is cinchable on both sides, has a little bit of a visor, and in my opinion you still have pretty good peripheral vision with the hood up.  My hair is pulled up in a high ponytail for these shots, and the hood still fits and stays up.

When you are done with the hood, it is easy to stow away.  For the first picture, I just folded/rolled up the hood and tucked it in.  In the second shot, you can see how it lays nice and flat once zipped in.

After stowing the hood, it hides pretty well and you don't end up with a lumpy neck:

Here is the fabulous watch window feature.  With and without my watch underneath.  The outside water and wind resistent layer just pulls right over the top of the watch window.  Watch shown is a Garmin Forerunner 405.  This is a big watch; the face is 1" wide; Diameter of the silver bezel around the face is is about 1.75".

Don't want to use the thumb holes?  Just fold back the cuffs...

Pull the "Glyde" layer back over the top...

Look, no visible static thumbholes/cuffins!

Back pocket opening is 4.5" wide.  Pocket is about 5.5" deep (goes approximately to the seam down the middle of the back).  Here, it is shown with my state-of-the-art Motorola Razr phone (circa April 2008):

While some reported this jacket being tight in the shoulders, I find that I have great range of motion while wearing the jacket.

Back view of me reaching my arms forward while jacket is zipped up:

When I reach my arms over my head, the bottom of the jacket does not lift up to expose my stomach:

Back and front views of my arms reaching out to the sides; no tightness across chest or shoulders:

Here's what it looks like not fully zipped (not bad!), and totally open (a little sloppy because of the asymmetrical zip, but not awful)...

 And here are some reflective shots of the back, front, and front/45 degree angle:

There can be a little bit of a bubble-butt effect (see first picture), but you can pull down the back of the jacket over your bum to flatten the poof a bit (second picture):


What else...
It's a pretty matte-looking jacket; some pictures online have portrayed the other colors as looking a little shinier.  Here it is in natural day light, no flash.

Also, the front left side pocket is where you'd want to stash your mp3 player as it has the place to feed your headphone wire through the inside of the jacket:

Last, but not least, hooray for not being made in China!

A note on sizing:

I ordered the black (clearly) in a size 6.  A Lululemon size 6 is meant to fit a 34" bust, 26.5" natural waist, 37" hip.  My measurements are: 35.5" bust, 26.5" natural waist, 36.5" hip.  Also, I'm 5'2".  So the bottom of the jacket may hit a little higher on those taller than myself.

Since many found this jacket to be tight in the shoulders while wearing their regular size or even with sizing up, I will note that I am finding my shoulders to be narrower than most.  My shoulder-to shoulder measurement across my back is 15.5."  My shoulder circumference (all the way around my shoulders, about 2" down from my shoulder joint) is about 35."

It's hard to provide a shoulder measurement for the jacket as it has raglan sleeves (diagonal seams from armpit to shoulder), so there is no shoulder seam measurement to provide.  Raglan sleeves normally work for a variety of shoulder widths, however, this jacket is not stretchy, so I can see how it might be tight through the shoulders if you are built more like a swimmer.  I can say that measuring armpit to armpit across the back of the size 6 jacket, I get 18."

Bottom Line:  I am very excited about this jacket, how it fits, and its features.  Now the test will be how it actually performs in the rain and wind!

On October 15th I stumbled across a little gem... If you want to see a video review of this jacket by the lovely folks at the Halifax Lululemon, click on the link here.  Starting at about 2:27, you can see the Inspire Jacket.  I love the videos they put out every week!


  1. I love the watch hole!! So convenient. Love the reflectors too:)

  2. That jacket is awesome! Thanks for your post!

  3. I love my senorita pink one and wore it in the paddle portion of a triathlon this weekend. The wind protection was great, as it was in the 40's temp wise and windy. If they end up marking it down due to fit issues I would consider picking it up in another color. I also just read your Brooks jacket and it seems very similar to a lot of running jackets out there. Some bells and whistles but a bit boring IMO. Great blog, this is the first time I've read it.

  4. @Paige- the watch hole is nice!! (Haven't used it yet, but it seems like it will be) Last winter it was a pain to get to my watch under my fleece, gloves, etc. Plus I have some tops like the Lululemon Swiftly long sleeve where the wrists are cut pretty slim. You can't wear a watch underneath because 1. it barely fits and 2. when the fabric is so tight over this watch, it confuses the touch-bezel and it beeps continuously.

    @Anon 9:46- Thanks for stopping by!

    @Becky- Glad to hear you are liking your jacket! While it has rained here for the last 3 days, work has been crazy and I have not had a chance to wear it outside yet. I have not seen a lot of positive reviews for it, so I was a little nervous when I placed my order. But I was pleased when it arrived! Re: the Brooks jacket, I agree- ok, but kinda boring. It didn't wow me. Thank you and thanks for checking out my blog!

  5. Have you ordered anything else from Lululemon? I'm tempted to try their crops but the price scares me a bit haha!

  6. thefoodrunner- Thanks for commenting! I've ordered...too many things...from lululemon.

    If you click on the Reviews tab at the top of my page, I started making lists of the different items I've posted about. I've posted about a bunch of things from the run line including the speed shorts and some tanks.

    I also have some crops and the Spirit Tights from last year (I'll post about those once it gets cold enough to wear them this year). I have picked up some things online at a lower price in Loot (now- "We Made Too Much") or on markdown in the store. There's also an occasional good find on ebay at a lower price, just check around online for good feedback & to make sure the seller is selling real lululemon stuff.


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