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Hands On: lululemon ‘Surge’ Collection

All Photos: HiConsumption

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When it comes to running apparel, there are several factors that you need to consider before making any purchase. You’ll want clothing that feels uninhibited and natural so that you’re able to run unconstrained and in your natural state. You’ll want fabrics that are smooth and soft against your skin so you’ll feel comfortable and won’t be slowed down by chafing or irritation. You’ll want moisture-wicking tech to keep you dry, storage options for the gear you can’t leave behind, and breathable warmth for when the temperature drops. Frankly, you need a lot. Thankfully, the lululemon Surge Collection provides all of it.

The lululemon Surge Collection is one of a number of the brand’s imprints that has been designed for running, and like everything the Vancouver-based athletic apparel brand creates, it’s considered the best of the best. But just how good is it? To find out, we took four pieces from the lululemon Surge Collection — the Surge Warm Full Zip, Surge Warm Long Sleeve, Surge Short 6” Linerless, and Surge Tight 22″ Nulux — and put them through our normal running workouts. Here’s what we discovered.

The Materials

A Trio Of Fabrics Gets The Job Done

For the Surge Collection, lululemon has utilized a number of different fabrics with different properties, depending on the needs of each specific garment. Kicking things off with the two Surge Warm items, the Full Zip and the Long Sleeve, both are made with the company’s lightweight and luxurious Rulu fabric. The material retains warmth without adding bulk, and it does so while remaining breathable and wicking away sweat. It’s also very stretchy thanks to Rulu’s 9% Lycra makeup, and it feels very soft and pleasant against the skin.

On the Surge Tights, lululemon went with their Nulux fabric, which honestly feels almost like wearing nothing at all (cue image of Ned Flanders in a tight ski suit). Nulux wears close to the skin while providing light compression, but it’s so incredibly smooth, lightweight, and airy that it is in no way inhibiting. The fact that the fabric also wicks sweat, dries almost immediately, and stretches every way you do only adds to its au naturel feel. Finally, for the Surge Shorts, lululemon went with their tried and true Swift fabric. Stretchy, lightweight, and quick-drying, Swift has everything you want from a relaxed-fit running short. And since it’s made from 100% recycled polyester, you can feel good about wearing it, too.


Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t

While lululemon’s mastery of fabrics certainly gains the lion’s share of the attention when it comes to the Surge Collection (and rightfully so, these fabrics really are tremendous), it’s the garments’ extra features that really put them over the top in their category. Both the Surge Warm Full Zip and Long Sleeve have thumbholes to keep your sleeves in place during your run, as well as discreet and easily accessible zippered pockets for any gear that you need to bring along (we like these pockets for our keys so they’re not smacking against our legs).

On the Surge Tights, you’ll find a “Zero-distraction” waistband that doesn’t ride up, meaning there’s one less thing you’ll be thinking about during your run. The tights also feature two low-profile internal pockets for close-to-the-body carry. Speaking of pockets, the Surge Shorts get real innovative in that area, with a secure and out-of-the-way back pocket that’s perfect for your phone, along with a side loop that’s meant for carrying your shirt in case you need to shed a layer. And since this is running gear we’re talking about, you’ll find reflective details on both the Full Zip and the Tights for safety’s sake.

Designed For Running

Feeling Fast & Free

So, how does it feel to run in the lululemon Surge Collection? In a word, free. The entire collection is specially designed for running, and all of it is crafted to feel great against your skin, move naturally, and keep you at a comfortable temperature. We found that the Surge shorts and tights worked especially well in conjunction with one another, thanks to each of them being made from lightweight, silky, and flexible fabrics that freed up our movement for a comfortable, untethered feel.

As for the two Surge Warm pieces, we preferred to go with just one at a time in most instances. For extra chilly morning runs in the winter, then doubling up is certainly advisable. But for most runs, going with either the Full Zip or the Long Sleeve is going to be more than enough to keep out the cold. Both tops are crafted from the same warming and breathable Rulu fabric, but wearing both could potentially be too warm if the temps don’t call for it — that’s how great the fabric’s heat-retaining properties are.

The Verdict

TL;DR: It’s Great

Overall, the Surge Collection is yet another example of why lululemon finds itself at the forefront of the athletic gear space. The brand’s proprietary fabrics like Rulu, Nulux, and Swift are high performing and unbelievably comfortable, and lulu also puts in added effort to carefully design each of their pieces to be purpose-built and ultra-functional. Take the Surge Shorts, for example. They’re crafted to be the perfect running short, from the cut to the material to the fit, but then they go the extra mile by throwing in a couple of highly innovative storage features. That’s the kind of attention to detail that you’ll find across the lululemon Surge Collection, and it’s what makes this crop of clothes the perfect ensemble for your next run.

Purchase: $68+