Updated August 2017
We are dedicated to keeping this review relevant year round for whenever you need it. We continue to watch the market trends to be on the lookout for product updates and developments. Two of our award winning products, from Beyond Yoga and Onzie, are now offered in an array of new colors and patterns. Both manufacturers confirmed with us, though, that the products didn't change anything beyond their appearance and, therefore, maintain the same performance capabilities. If you can find last season's colors/patterns, you might be able to snag a pretty slick deal on them.
Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging
Easy to move in
Cut is flattering
When it comes to performance, the Hatha Capri
is the best pair of yoga pants we tested. While plenty of pairs are ideal for around-town or lounging use (as with our Top Pick below), this pair is at home bending, twisting, and stretching with your body. We loved that this model balances lightweight, breathable materials with appropriate compression and support in critical body areas. These pants never held us back during demanding poses, and they stayed in place as we moved. The graphic design is a bit plain in the model we chose, but other available prints offer more spunk if you want it. Lucy
makes them in a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 3X, so that you can find the right fit for you. You can also get the Hatha in a full-length legging, the Hatha Legging
, as well as the High Rise Hatha Legging
, in case you prefer some additional coverage up top. With some many options, there is something for everyone!
Read review: Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging
Best Bang for the Buck
Onzie Capri Pant
Many colorful patterns to choose from
Fabric slippery when dry
Lacks much structure or support
In a world where premium pants approach and surpass the $100 mark, spending $56 on the Onzie Capri Pant
sounds like a heck of a deal. There is a plentitude of bargain basement models for sale in the $20 range, but they don't tend to perform as well as the high-tech fabrics found on the more expensive pairs. Onzie provides a great option at an incredible price point. Made with a thin swimsuit-like material that instantly wicks your sweat away, the leggings feel soft and silky. They're our favorites to wear in a heated class but work just as well for non-heated classes. This capri doesn't offer much compressibility or support, but they're comfortable and easy to move in, and most importantly, not see-through! They're also available in a full-length Onzie Long Legging
, in case you prefer that style to a shorter capri. They come in a variety of fun prints (with new ones released for 2017) and are an excellent choice, whether you are on a budget, have a shopping addiction, or need something highly breathable.
Read review: Onzie Capri Pant
Top Pick for All-Day Comfort
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Long Legging
Fabric is soft and moves well
Comfortable enough to wear all day
If you're like us, your closet confirms that you live in yoga pants. Some are for around the house or as pajamas, some are "outside" pairs for hiking, climbing, or running errands, and some are for actually practicing yoga. Owning a pair (or more) that is comfortable enough for all-day wear is essential. Some models might hold everything in and make your tush look ohm
-mazing, but if you can't even sit down in them comfortably then what is the point? The Beyond Yoga Spacedye Long Legging
is our favorite pair for those lounge-around-the-house days. The material is soft and cozy that stretches and gives, while still compressing key areas. The waistband also fits nicely — not too high and not too low. They dry slowly and don't breathe well, so they aren't our favorites for yoga. But, they are comfy, and if you are looking for a pair of leggings to wear under a dress or sweater, check out these Spacedye Long Leggings
. They also come in a high-waisted Take Me Higher Long Legging
, and a shorter Spacedye Capri Legging
if you prefer a different cut.
Read review: Beyond Yoga Spacedye Long Legging
Analysis and Test Results
We help you select the right pair from what style you practice to your own body's proportions. We go into greater depths as to what kinds of yoga pants are suited to different styles of yoga in our Buying Advice
. The table above details the score of each pant in our review. Read on for a more in-depth review of the metrics that we used to score each product.
So many pairs, so little time! We selected a variety of color, cut and style options for our review.
Breathability in a pair of yoga pants is a combination of three things: the weight of the material, which affects how hot you get, the ability to vent your perspiration, or wicking, and the drying time. A final "cosmetic" consideration is how the material changes in color when wet. Some materials barely register a difference, and others leave you with embarrassing sweat stains, but more on that in a minute. The chart below shows the ranking of each pant in this metric.
When testing for breathability, we wore each pair multiple times to the same yoga room for the same type of yoga class (Vinyasa) over several months. The temperature in the room was consistent, and while there might have been slight differences in perspiration output on a day to day basis, by doing the same level of vigorous practice we got a great sense of how the various pairs fared in this category. We noted how we felt at the end of our practice, what the pants looked like, the amount of perspiration on the pant, and the change in color if any.
When you are trying hard in yoga class you'll work up a sweat, whether the room is heated or not. The Onzie Capri Pant offered the best breathability of the lot, and as an added bonus the prints mask any signs of sweat.
As you can see, the Onzie Capri Pant, Teeki Hot Pant
, and 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex
all earned top marks in this category. They ventilated so well that by the end of class we had barely worked up a sweat, and we hardly noticed where there was any moisture accumulation. It's no surprise then that these were also the lightest weight pairs in this review. The thinner material in these models prevented us from getting too hot in the first place and also allowed our moisture to evaporate away. The clear failures, when it came to breathability, were the Soybu Killer Caboose Pant
and Lucy Perfect Core Pant
. These models were heavier, which kept us warmer during class, and the material did not vent as well as other models of similar weight. The Prana Audrey was fairly breathable
, though the dark gray color that we tested them and the Soybu pants in changed significantly when wet. This was both shocking and embarrassing and had us questioning if we had a sweating problem. Our tests of the other pants confirmed that this was not a "normal" situation and that these models just did a very poor job in this category.
Unfortunately, the Soybu pants offered little in the way of breathability, or sweat concealment.
Be wary when purchasing pants in any color but black. You won't know how the color of the material changes until after you sweat in it. While some colors, patterns, and materials don't show much moisture, we learned the hard way that others do.
We then wore our top performers for breathability to heated yoga and Pilates classes to see how they fared in extreme conditions: a 105 F room with 40% humidity. In this type of class, we are typically soaked through with sweat by the 20-minute mark regardless of what we are wearing, but we wanted to note whether the material retained moisture or let it evaporate. The Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III
felt fairly breathable in our initial tests, but in a heated room, the fabric turned clammy and constricting. We got wet and stayed wet. The standout for this portion of our tests was the Onzie Capri Pant; the ultra-thin fabric wicked our sweat away, did not show any change in color when wet, and was so quick to dry that we felt almost completely dry again after Final Savasana.
Some pairs mask moisture well, like the 90 Degree and Onzie models (left top and bottom), while others will show every drop, like the Lucy Studio Hatha and Lululemon models (right top and bottom).
Ease of Movement
Along with Breathability, Ease of Movement is one of the top considerations that we look for in athletic wear, particularly for this practice where, if we try hard and long enough, we contort ourselves into all manner of pretzel-like configurations. Some poses take years to master, and you never want to find yourself close to attaining your goal pose only to be limited by your clothing. For this category, we not only considered how well we could move and stretch in each pair, but also whether certain design features impeded our movement. In many cases, it was an extra feature which hindered movement that resulted in a lower score for a pair; on the whole, we found the synthetic nylon/spandex materials to be relatively equal in their ability to stretch and move with us.
The model that scored the worst in this category was the Lucy Perfect Core Pant. It's a high-waisted design with extra compression panels in the midsection, but all that extra material interferes with forward bends. The flared leg also interferes with more challenging arm balances where you need to cross at the ankles, and the extra material flaps around and is a distraction. We also took some points off the Onzie Capri Pant, as the material is slippery when dry (traction improves with moisture), which also makes some poses, like Bakasana (Crow Pose), more challenging. And while the Spacedye Long Legging moved well when dry, as soon as the material got sweaty, it clung to us and moved poorly.
While the compression material and the high-waist on the Lucy perfect core helps keep your mid-section sucked in tight, all that extra material got in the way of our forward bends - and comfort!
The Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging scored highest. These leggings are stretchy and have a slight texture to them to aid in traction. Of all the models in this review, this was the one that never had us cursing our pants mid-class. Sometimes the best pair is the one you don't
notice! We also liked the way the 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex and Teeki Hot Pant moved as well.
Leici Hendrix in Bakasana (Crow Pose) in the Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging, our Editors' Choice award winner. This pair had the best Ease of Movement, and even offered a little extra "help" with some traction in more challenging poses.
Comfort & Fit
Let's face it — some of us practically live in our yoga pants. We wear them to yoga, and then to the gym, and running errands on the weekend … we even write gear reviews in them! So when it comes to comfort and fit, we are looking for something that works well in the studio and beyond. Can we leave this pair on all day without feeling too confined or wind up with a bunch of skin marks from excessive seaming? While the ideal pair has a compressive material that sucks everything in and offers some lift, we also don't want to feel too constricted, particularly when it comes to all-day wear and comfort. For example, the Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III that we tested in the "Full-on Luon" fabric had great compression, but these leggings were hard to get on and we couldn't wait to take them off after class. They may have made our behind look good, but if we don't feel comfortable as well then it's not worth it. We also found the Lucy Perfect Core Pant very uncomfortable, and while the tummy-control panel helps support and shape that area, it also feels confining and it's hard to wear them for more than an hour or two.
We also had some fit issues with the Teeki Hot Pant and the 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex Pant. The Teeki has no elastic in the waistband; just a doubled up layer of the main fabric of the pant. You think that would make it more
comfortable, particularly when compared to the excessively tight Lucy Perfect Core Pant, but instead, it was very uncomfortable, because every time we bent over, there was no structure to hold our tummy in. If you're young and fit, this might not be a problem for you, but once you've had a couple of kids or have any fat accumulation in that area, you want/need a little more support there! As for the 90 Degree, the waistband was cut a little wide and a little high for us and didn't feel as comfortable as previous versions of this pant did.
The Teeki Hot Pant (bottom) has no elastic whatsoever in the waist, which our testers did not like. They slid down on some testers, and didn't offer enough support on others. A simple half inch band of elastic at the top of the pant, like on the Onzie Capri Pant (top) goes a long way towards keeping the pants where they are supposed to be without interfering with their comfort.
Now for some good news: we loved the feel of the Beyond Yoga Spacedye Long Legging so much that we gave it a special Top Pick for All-Day Comfort award. This pair is cozy and soft, and you'll never want to take them off. We also like the Alo Goddess Ribbed Legging
. It had medium compression in the top section, keeping everything nicely sucked in without feeling too constricting, and the bottom ribbed fabric was soft and cozy. The legging does extend over the heel though, which is not for everyone, but we liked that style and it wasn't a problem to practice with the material extending under our feet. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging, also had excellent Comfort & Fit, and probably our favorite waistband in this review. It was the perfect width and sat in the correct spot across our hips: too low and you'll be pulling up your pants all day (Lululemon Wunder Under); too high and it interferes with your yoga poses (Lucy Perfect Core).
In judging this feature we looked at how well the different models held up during our three-month testing period, and also compared the fabric to older versions from our testers' closets. Check out this chart to see which pairs we judged to be the most durable.
While we didn't previously own every pair that we tested, between the lot of us, we had many older versions of the models in this review. This is essential in gauging the durability of a pair, as some materials pill faster than others. Pilling is the main culprit longevity, as pills ruin the look of a garment and are more likely to happen before a seam tears or the material wears through — though we did have some issues with that as well! Pilling is a standard problem with yoga pants; the friction caused by our legs rubbing against themselves or the mat helps cause the formation of tiny balls, or pills. These pills tend to hang on to synthetic fabrics more than natural ones, as the fibers are stronger and less likely to break. Also, we typically wash our yoga pants after every use, and how many of us remember to turn them inside out or line dry them? For more on the prevention of pilling and overall care of synthetic materials, go check out our Buying Advice Guide.
Extreme pilling and seam damage in a two year-old pair of Lululemons. Pills ruin the look, feel and longevity of your clothing.
During our three-month testing period, we noticed some pill formation on only a couple pairs: the Alo Goddess Ribbed Legging and the Lucy Perfect Core Pant. We also had some seam unraveling on the 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex pant. On the positive side, the real stand-out was the Prana Audrey. Not only did we not see any pills or change in the material during our testing window, but we compared this new pair to a two-year-old model that had been worn and washed at least 50 times. We could barely tell the difference between the two pairs. While no material lasts forever, Prana's "Chakara" fabric comes close.
We literally grew a tail during Downward Facing Dog one day. The 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex pant started coming apart at the seams after only a few uses.
This category is slightly more subjective than the others; however, we did poll a variety of ladies to get their opinions on the different styles we tested, and there were some consistent trends. We all loved the look of the Lululemon Wunder Under Crop III, and we were all dismayed by the print placement on the Teeki Hot Pant. Some of us loved the wild patterns of the Onzie Capri Pant, while some couldn't see themselves pulling off that look if they had to run into the grocery store after class or pick up the kids from school. The Lucy Perfect Core Pants look great on and have attractive seaming details on the waist and legs, but they only come in Black, and while it's nice to have one or two staple pairs in that color, it does limit our options a bit. There were many pairs that had fairly plain styling, like the Lucy Studio Hatha Capri Legging and the Beyond Yoga Spacedye Long Legging, but sometimes that's all you want from your workout gear. We all liked the style of the Alo Goddess Ribbed Legging, as it offered a fresh look with color blocking and a ballet style influence.
When it comes to yoga fashion, there are as many color and pattern options out there as there are aphorisms in the Yoga Sutras. Don't let the latest trend intimidate you; pick what looks and feels most comfortable on you.
We liked the look and feel of the Alo Goddess Ribbed Legging. The two-toned style stands out from the sea of black leggings out there, and the extra long leg can be worn underfoot or bunched at the ankle depending on your preference.
It is true that we want a lot from our yoga pants. We want them to be able to wick away our sweat, stretch and bend with our bodies, hold up class after class, and look good through it all. Many factors go into finding the perfect pair, and we hope that our side-by-side comparisons have helped narrow down the selection for you. Check out our Buying Advice Guide
for more detailed considerations on what to look for, from the types of materials used to what works best for different styles.