After spending a few weeks battling the early winter winds with the Lululemon Stretch Down Anorak, I can confidently say that it’s an excellent jacket — but in my ever-growing puffer jacket rankings, it takes the second-place spot.
In case you’ve missed it, I’ve been on a quest this winter to discover what company truly makes the best puffer jacket. You can read my review on the $100 Uniqlo option and the Columbia Omni-heat Infinity jacket that started it all.
Before diving into this review, I will also say that I tested out the Anorak version ($248) of the Lululemon puffer. Still, it should be reasonably similar to the full zip option available for $268. Both jackets are made of a similar Nylon/Elastane blend. However, the Anorak has a tiny bit more Elastane in it since I guess it needs to be pulled over your head to go on and off. A zipper along the left side of the coat makes this incredibly simple.
A big pocket stole my heart
While using this jacket, I found it to be fairly warm, but of course, I made sure to layer it up on some of the colder negative-degree weather days Toronto faced at the start of December. I found the goose-down filling heavy enough to feel cozier than the Uniqlo jacket, but it’s not quite as cushiony as the Columbia. Still, there’s something to be said about being able to hold your own hands in the giant kangaroo pocket under the half-zip on cold days.
Lulu doesn’t skimp on some of the finer jacket details like the Columbia coat. The pocket is lined with a warmer recycled polyester fabric. There are small reflective strips on the back of each forearm, and each cuff also has a slightly tighter elastic inner cuff to help keep out snow. Canadians will know what I’m talking about.
At this price, it would have been nice to also see softer fabrics in the hood and on the top of the zipper for when you’re fully done up. However, in terms of minimalist jackets, there’s no doubt the activewear brand paid attention to some details that both other coats I’ve reviewed missed. It even has hidden drawstrings inside the hood to pull it tight around your face if you’re facing particularly nasty weather.
“There’s something to be said about being able to hold your own hands in the giant kangaroo pocket under the half-zip on cold days.”
The one feature that sold me on the jacket was the fact that it had a giant pocket. I often leave the house with large cameras, multiple cameras, or other random gear so having a giant pocket to jam things into was awesome. There’s even a slightly smaller secondary pocket inside it to separate more minor things. Having said that, I still feel like it’s unfair to give Lululemon the win over my love for the hoodie-type pocket since this is a more subjective choice. I know my girlfriend bought an Anorak jacket last winter and didn’t end up liking it because she didn’t enjoy having to pull it over her head all the time. With this in mind, weigh if you’d rather have a giant pocket or a full zipper before you make your jacket buying decision.
In the end, the Lululemon jacket is fantastic, but at $248, I think that the $209 Columbia Omni-heat coat has a slightly better value in the warmth department since both jackets keep me warm enough. Still, depending on what look you’re going for, the Anorak doesn’t feel like that much more of a stretch if you simply like it more. My final complaint is that I don’t understand why the full zip version of this jacket is $2o more expensive? The Anorak has more zippers since the side option is so long, but I feel like both jackets should be the same price to offer buyers a more fair choice.
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