The Down for It All Vest from Lululemon is hands-down the best running vest. I review the vest and recommend when to wear it for your runs.
The late winter (and VERRRYYY early spring) is the beginning of my favorite season for running. The birds are finally chirping again, people are starting run outside more often, and I start to finally ditch running gloves and heavy running jackets. Nothing makes me happier than spring running, and the late winter feels like a little pre-game warmup to the season ahead.
However, when the weather starts to warm up just slightly, runners start having outfit issues. Winter gear is too heavy and often far too warm, but it’s still way too cold to wear a tank and shorts. In order to take full advantage of this transition in running weather, we need to dress appropriately. If you’ve been running for any time at all, you know that dressing appropriately is KEY for a comfortable run. I’ll typically wear long sleeve tops with shorts in the early spring, but there’s one item of clothing I almost NEVER leave the house without: my running vest.
My favorite piece of running gear for this time of year is the Lululemon Down For It All running vest (followed very closely by the Another Mile vest which I also review below).
Let me tell you why. You can watch this video or keep reading!
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The Down For It All Vest from Lululemon is my go-to piece for the transitional seasons where you’re too cold for just base layers, but too warm for a full-on jacket. (This is my go-to winter running jacket.) This vest is made in a slim fit, perfect for runners who need clothes that don’t bounce around AND want a flattering look. I love how snug it fits, while still allowing a few layers underneath if I want them. The reflector details are also a major plus for staying safe while running in the dark.
Here are the details:
Now let’s get into why I love the Down For It All vest specifically.
I’m obsessed with how this vest fits. It’s super slim-fitting and stays right against your core. And I love that it’s not too puffy and bulk, even though it’s down. It’s slightly long on me, which I like since it lays on my bum just slightly for more coverage. If you’re tall or have a longer torso, it won’t cover your bum as much as it does on me. I’m 5’1 for reference!
The length is consistent along the bottom, so from the side profile, there’s no high-low effect with this vest.
When I’m wearing this vest alone, I forget I have it on. It’s not heavy or bulky, and it’s also not too warm for long runs. I also love layering this vest under my running jackets since I forget about it! It’s so slim that it’s easy to layer without overheating. I love The Cross Chill Lululemon jacket as a great active jacket for running and golf!
This is a great jacket for running, if you’re in the market.
I don’t mess with over-complicated workout gear. Or clothes in general, actually. I’m too busy to dry clean thing every week, so I need clothes that I can easily wash and dry without wearing them down. I’ve had this vest for two years and it’s so durable and has held up perfectly, withstanding a lot of wear and tear. The upper panel is 100% Nylon and the side panels are 82% Nylon and 18% Lycra® elastane.
The black is nice for wearing with black and colored bottoms (and black is always flattering and slimming) but Lululemon has SO many fun colors. You’re bound to find one you love.
This vest is made with 700-fill-power goose down feathers (which meets the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)) which is really lightweight and warm, but not hot. It’s the perfect outerwear layer for late winter when you can start running in shorts but need warmth up top. The comfort level is top notch.
I’d say this has a good warmth to weight ratio, where it’s not too light and too warm, nor too heavy.
I love that this vest has side pockets for any mid-run fueling. They’re deep and have plenty of room for your gloves if you get too warm or any other cold weather running essentials you may want to shed as you get moving.
I love that the zipper pockets are secure enough for my keys too.
This vest is perfect for other outfits as well! I wear it for golf, hiking, or just casual outfits at home. It’s the perfect layer of warmth for all day wear.
At first this felt too tight and I didn’t like it. But it has a built in elastic band at the waist to help keep it against your body without bouncing (which has a tendency to happen with running vests) and gives it that flattering look with slightly cinching my waist. After I wore it a time or two, I didn’t notice this anymore. The fitted waist also allows this vest to be worn under a running jacket or other bulkier layers, which is perfect for SUPER cold runs.
My only qualm with this vest is the price tag. At $148 it’s not exactly cheap, so it’s not a purchase you can make without thinking. However, I wore mine SO often (and it’s very high-quality), that it was well worth it, and I ended up ordering a second one. And since you can easily wear this for more than just running, this con isn’t too serious!
I bought my usual Lululemon top size 4 and wish I had sized down to a 2. I think it did stretch out a bit. So, if you’re on the fence, size down.
My second favorite running vest is also by Lululemon and ALMOST identical. The only difference is that the Another Mile vest has a removable hood and is slightly thicker! It also doesn’t have the waistband feature so it’s slightly less flattering. And while that may be a selling point for some, I don’t like the feeling of the hood bouncing while I run so I just take it off.
The Down For It All vest and the Another Mile vests are truly so similar that I wear them interchangeably, depending on the color I like best. I wish Lululemon would just make one vest with a removable hood so that you didn’t have to pick between the two.
Shop the Another Mile vest here!
Okay first let’s talk vests in general.
Put simply, if your core is warm, the rest of your body is warm. Runners know that as soon as they’re a mile or two into their run, their body temperature heats up. And one of the most annoying things for a runner is to be too warm. I always recommend layering when you’re unsure about what to wear so that you can shed layers as you go (run a loop or drop it at a friends house!), and a vest is the IDEAL piece of clothing for a mid-layer.
Vests are also perfect for layering over activewear when it’s super cold. The Down For It All vest is super slim, so you barely notice it under a jacket. And since vests don’t have sleeves, you won’t struggle to fit everything under the sleeves of your outer jacket.
Another thing I love about vests is that I still get full range of motion with warmth. Even the best running jackets on the market are going to feel slightly constricting (but worth it if the weather is cold enough), but a vest is hardly noticeable. Being able to move my arms without any restriction is nice for longer runs or workouts.
This is a huge perk for late winter or early spring. When the weather is starting to change, I’m always looking for an outfit that’s warm enough at the beginning of my run but not too hot once I’ve warmed up. I typically sweat a LOT, especially under my arms, so I love that my arms and underarms can breathe (as long as you were sweat wicking fabric, not cotton) in a vest which is super important.
The Down For It All vest is water resistant, so you have the perfect amount of coverage for a damp run. I never mind when my arms or legs get wet, but once my core is soaked I’m miserable. This vest keeps me happy and *mostly* dry. Plus the PrimaLoft® insulation is warm, even when it’s wet.
Are you a running vest fan or have you tried the lulu jackets and vests? If yes, what vest is your favorite?
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