Review: Lululemon Toasty Tech Tights & Face the Frost 1/2 Zip

It's another edition of "Jennifer buys things she'll probably return!" Good thing I don't actually keep most of what I buy or my bank account would be in trouble! (For the record, I returned both of the Speed Tights I reviewed this week.)

But, I actually am keeping one of my new things, so I'll start with that--the Toasty Tech Tights. I said in my last post about Speed Tights that Lulu's tech fleece fabric is their heaviest weight. I have one pair of tights in that weight, black Speed Tights, and I wore them pretty much constantly last winter so I've been hoping for another pair in another color. This year Lulu put out the fabric in the Toasty Tech Tights instead of the Speed Tights, so I ordered them in Black Grape, a very dark purple that I really like with a very pretty patterned waistband. The Toasty Techs are different than Speeds in that the Toasty has only four pockets compared to the Speed's five. The Toasty has two side waistband pockets and two zippered side pockets on the leg. I don't love zippered pockets because the zippers can cut my hand when I'm trying to quickly get out a gel, but I figured that I'd be wearing gloves when I wear these tights so it won't be as much of an issue. I ordered my regular size in Lulu tights (6).

Well, I love these tights. Really, really love them. First, let's talk about the fabric. The outer is slick and feels like the Luxtreme that most of Lulu's running tights are made of, which is very durable and doesn't pill. The inside is a thick, soft, warm fleece. Paired together, the outer acts as a bit of wind and water resistant layer and really helped keep me warm and dry last winter. (I did add the Beat the Sleets pants as an outer layer when it was very cold, windy, or snowy.) The tech fleece fabric is very warm and kept me warm on very cold winter runs last year. The waistband is wide and comfortable and comes right up to my belly button so shouldn't fall down. The tights just feel really cozy and comfortable on, even though they are compressive and create a sleek and flattering silhouette. I also like the quilting detail on the leg that adds some visual interest. Note that the stock photos on the website show these coming only to the ankle, but I'm 5'7" and they were pretty long on me with a few extra inches at the bottom, which I like for keeping my ankles covered. These are a keeper, and I'd definitely get another pair if they come out in the pretty green color I've been waiting for. I'll wear them not just for running but for cold morning walks with my dog and winter hikes. I highly recommend these!
Black Grape Toasty Tech II, showing side zipper and quilting detail

Two side pockets at hips
Two zippered pockets on thighs

I also ordered the new Face the Frost 1/2 Zip in Tender Violet in size 8, my usual size for running tops. There's a lot to love about this top. I love that the neck comes up to just below my chin. The top has cuffins, extra fabric that you can pull over your hands to act as mittens. I find that the cuffins over my thin Lulu gloves keeps my hands pretty warm except in the most frigid temps, and my hands are usually the hardest to get warm. There are reflective details at the sleeve that you can cover up with the cuffin material when not in use. There is a very large zippered pocket in the front side that fits my entire hand and can easily fit my large Samsung Galaxy phone. And there's some pretty detailing on the back and arms. The fabric is Lulu's Tech Fleece, the same as in the Toasty Tech Tights. The top felt very warm and thick. However, where the fabric on the tights comfortably molded to my body, the top had a very straight, structured fit in the front. A straight fit seldom works for me because I have bigger hips and a smaller waist, and, sure enough, the fit of this top wasn't great on me. The top was tight across my hips and had extra fabric wrinkles all through the midsection. The top does appeared to be contoured in the back and looks much better in the back. Also, this top was shorter than I'd like. I like longer tops to keep my bum warm in winter, and this came just at or above the bottom of the waistband of the tights. Plus, this top will definitely ride up while running. It rode up even when I was just taking pictures, which created a bunch of fabric wrinkles that didn't look good. Also, I found the arms very snug. And the final thing I didn't like about this top is that I can't see wearing it casually. The slick outer screams "workout gear" to me, unlike the soft, sweatshirt-like rulu of other Lulu running tops that I can wear casually. This top reminds me a lot of Athleta's plush tech fabric, which they have out now in a hoodie and half-zip. I have a hoodie from last year. Plush tech also has a smooth, silky outer and fleecy lining, but plush tech isn't as thick as Lulu's tech fleece. Still, there are enough similarities that I think Athleta's is a fairly good, lower-cost (by $20) version of this half-zip. Plus, the Athleta versions will definitely eventually be marked down, so you can get them even cheaper, and I'm guessing Athleta will have a sale for Black Friday. I'll be returning the Face the Frost 1/2 Zip.
Face the Frost 1/2 Zip in Tender Violet; showing wrinkles in the midsection
Arm details

Back details


Neck goes up to my chin

Deep zippered pocket

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