Review: Lululemon Spring Forward Jacket & Run With Me Toque

I typically do not run in jackets and hats in winter because I overheat easily. Last year, I ran in a jacket and hat only a few times during the frigid polar vortex, single-digit-degree days. But it seems that every runner I pass has on a jacket and hat. Have I been missing something? I will say that on my warm-up and cool-down walks I'm a popsicle, and during runs cold wind can be brutal. So I started wondering if I should buy a lightweight shell.

Lululemon releases new products weekly, and for the past month they've been releasing new winter running jackets. The newest ones are insulated or softshell or both, and it makes me sweat just looking at the pictures. Several weeks ago I found an older jacket that I thought might be better for me and ordered it. It's the Spring Forward Jacket ($148) released this past spring and billed as lightweight. I figured that I could wear it both for cold weather running and as a casual jacket, since the beauty of Lululemon is that their clothes are cute enough that they can be worn both working out and for casual wear.

I didn't take the tags off because I was still debating keeping it, but when my weather app said the temp was 26 and felt like 21 degrees Tuesday morning, I decided to try it out for my run. Underneath I had on a Race Your Pace Long Sleeve Top (a Lulu winter running top), Lulu tech fleece Speed Tights, and a Lulu neck warmer. I also wore the Run With Me Toque reviewed below, which I got on markdown for $24 (original price is $32).

Note: Sorry for the poor photo quality of those not from the Lululemon site. I left my camera at my mom's house on Thanksgiving, and my phone apparently takes awful photos without the flash in dim lighting. 
Layered in up in Lulu for a 26-degree morning run. Would I be too hot?

Spring Forward Jacket

The exterior of the jacket is made with Lululemon's Swift material, which is lightweight and breathable. It is lined on the inside with fabric so isn't just a shell. I wouldn't call it lightweight since it's lined, but it's definitely not heavy weight either. I have the color shown in these pictures, Purple Fog. It also comes in solid black and two prints.

The interior lining

There is an interior drawstring in the back so that you can cinch the back for a more figure-flattering fit.

Shown with the back slightly cinched

There are two exterior pockets that are very deep and fit my gloved hands, as well as a small interior pocket inside the bigger pocket.

Small interior pocket inside the main pocket

The hood zips into the collar and is cinchable to be very tight around your face.

There are reflective details, but they are subtle enough to make it a casual-wear jacket too.

I don't listen to music when I run, but there's a hole for a cord so that you can have a device in your pocket and feed the cord underneath the jacket and up through the neck (most Lulu jackets have this feature.)

It has Cuffins, extra material built into the sleeves that go over your hands like mittens.

There is subtle venting under the arms and in the back.


The Verdict
Because these are older jackets, some have shown up in my local store for a reduced price, so check your local store if you're interested. They will probably also go on sale on Lululemon's website soon. New items are uploaded to the We Made Too Much section every Thursday, so be sure to check.


Run With Me Toque

Shown unrolled
Shown rolled
Shown with the ponytail hole used


The Verdict

Final Thoughts

While I love both the jacket and toque, I will only wear them for cold days below 20 degrees or with the adjustments I noted between 20 and 32 degrees. Granted, I was doing speedwork, but when I got home I saw that my clothes and hair was as soaked in sweat as I'd be on an 80 degree, humid day. This was a good reminder why I don't usually wear jackets and hat for winter running!

Am I the odd one out? For those in cold climates, do you generally wear jackets and hats in winter?

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