Outdoor Voices vs. Lululemon (Which Brand Is Best for You?)

Distinguish between Outdoor Voices vs. Lululemon and decide which brand is best for you. Learn about their selection, quality, fit, pricing, and durability.

A woman practicing her yoga routine by the beach, wearing matching high-quality yoga pants and top in a gray and white color scheme.

If we’re being honest, working out is not exactly a glamorous activity at face value. You sweat, maybe even smell, and you do these weird movements that are supposed to make you healthier. 

The reward for working out is ultimately better health, that much is true. However, sometimes you will need a little push or reward to keep you going.

One reward that I personally get for myself is buying new cute activewear. It just feels nicer to work out in cute clothes

However, it’s not easy to find good activewear nowadays. Go on the most popular online marketplace, and you’ll see plenty of knockoffs and cheap products.

For that reason, we’re only going to focus on two brands in this article: Outdoor Voices and Lululemon. These brands are pretty well known in the athleisure community.

Is one better than the other? Read on further to find out.

What is Outdoor Voices?

A Move Free legging in Pinot/Kalamata from Outdoor Voices.

Source: Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is an American athletic apparel company that was founded in 2013 by Tyler Hany in New York City.

It was touted as the next Lululemon by many. In fact, it’s grown so much from its humble startup, but the momentum has since slowed down a bit.

What made Outdoor Voices surge in popularity is their Instagram-friendly and woman-centric brand. Those are the qualities that made it such a darling for investors.

If you want to buy Outdoor Voices, just visit their website or Instagram page and order. They offer free shipping for orders over $75 and free returns. You can also opt to shop at one of their 11 stores nationwide.

What is Lululemon?

An Align™ High-Rise Pant with Pockets in Blossom Overlay Starlight Multi from Lululemon.

Source: Lululemon

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Lululemon, the athletic apparel. It is considered one of the giants of the athletic wear industry—the one to beat, basically.

Lululemon has been around for not that long. It was founded in 1998 in Vancouver, British Columbia. It has since grown so much that it was offered publicly in July 2007.

Even with all this success, Lululemon has made it their goal to continue research and development for their products. They currently operate a research and development lab called “Whitespace.”

If you’re into athletic wear, surely Lululemon has got something for you.

Similarities and Differences

Outdoor Voices and Lululemon share a lot of similarities. Outdoor Voices reminds me of Lululemon when it was just starting out. The only difference is Lululemon made it big so much faster. Perhaps that’s because there weren’t so many players back then in the athletic wear industry.

As for the difference, Lululemon offers a more balanced approach to lifestyle and performance. But lately, Lululemon has increased its offering for its performance-wear section. It still caters to casual wear, but it’s definitely diversifying its hold of the industry.

Outdoor Voices is something of a “look good and feel good” type of wear. One of its main goals is to empower women to be bold and strong. Granted, this is something that Lululemon also did before.

A Springs legging in Tea Tree/Oatmeal/Ash from Outdoor Voices.

Source: Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices also focuses a lot on their online stores, especially on their Instagram.

Fabric Quality

Lululemon makes its own fabrics called Luon and Luxtreme. This makes it possible to control every aspect of their manufacturing, which bodes well for the quality of their product.

The quality of Lululemon products is top-notch and often used as the standard of comparison for many products. You’ve probably read reviews online saying something like, “..compared to Lululemon, it’s…”

That’s because Lululemon has become synonymous to yoga leggings.

Outdoor Voices has an equivalent tech on their fabric, too. Their most popular ones are TechSweat and TerraStretch. Both of these fabrics are designed for high-performance while maintaining breathability for comfort.

They have comparable fabric quality, but in terms of actual tech, Lululemon has Outdoor Voices beat.

Selection

Lululemon will always be the winner in terms of selections. Outdoor Voices offers a great selection, too, don’t get me wrong.

However, it does not compare to the library of yoga pants Lululemon has. It does help that Lululemon is on the trendy side, which means they cycle their clothes often. This leaves customers with plenty of selections.

A Power Thru High-Rise Crop legging in Teal Lagoon from Lululemon.

Source: Lululemon

Sizing and Fit

Both of these brands fit true to size. You may need to go one size up for their compression wear. It depends on how tight you wear your yoga pants.

Outdoor Voices has 8 sizes, from XXS to XXXL. They have a sizing chart on their website, which is handy if you want to get the best fit. They also offer free returns, so no worries in case it doesn’t fit you.

Lululemon sizes range from 0 to 14. That’s 8 increments. Most of their items are only offered in sizes 2 to 12, though. That should work for the most part. Only a fraction of the population would actually need the opposite ends of the sizing chart.

They also have a sizing guideline on their website.

Design

Since both of these brands are designed to be ‘trendy,’ they make it an effort to pick out the best designs of the season.

Outdoor Voices is the newer player on the market. This means that it needs to offer bolder designs to even have a chance of competing, and it shows.

You can never go wrong with Lululemon. Their designs, while trendy, seem to be timeless. Expect to wear your Lululemon yoga pants for years.

But I have to give this to Outdoor Voices. Their designs are just more eye-catching.

A Doing Things Bra in Dusty Blue Maypop Tie Dye from Outdoor Voices.

Source: Outdoor Voices

Pricing

Lululemon is one of the most expensive athleisure brands in the world. It seems fair, considering that you are getting a lot of tech for it.

Another thing is comfort. If you’ve worn Lululemon leggings before, you know what I’m talking about. It’s weird to compare yoga leggings to the smooth feel of butter, but that’s exactly what Lululemon leggings feel like on your skin.

Outdoor Voices, on the other hand, is more moderately priced. Their items are much cheaper than Lululemon’s.

Durability

Lululemon is the more durable of the two.

It’s sort of expected, considering the premium you’re paying for their products.

This is not in a way an insult to Outdoor Voices. Lululemon just makes more durable products, is all.

The Verdict

Lululemon is the better choice, but it’s not as wide of a margin as one would think.

A Swift Speed Bra High Support in Violet Verbena from Lululemon.

Source: Lululemon

With Lululemon being the more expensive choice, you sort of expect better quality, and that’s right. Lululemon offers better quality overall. They also have a wider selection of items, as well as tons of clearance and discounts sales.

Lululemon has 491 branches versus the Outdoor Voices’s 11.

Outdoor Voices could’ve been the next Lululemon if it were only managed more effectively. Unfortunately, it fell short. It still offers one of the best athleisure products in the market, though.

Overall, I’d choose Lululemon over Outdoor Voices.

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