Lululemon vs Athleta: This is as Good as it Gets!

This Lululemon vs Athleta comparison is NOT sponsored and was written based on my honest opinion as a busy mom working on her fitness!

I’ve been wearing Lululemon leggings since 2010 and GAP since I was a kid!

lululemon vs athleta

So I was super excited to give Athleta, the newest member of the GAP family, a try.

And I must say – Athleta’s quality and product lineup blew me away!

This guide to Lululemon vs Athleta includes:

  • is Athleta similar to Lululemon
  • leggings similar to Lululemon Align and Wunder Train
  • Lululemon vs Athleta sizing
  • is Athleta worth the price?

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used throughout this post. You can read our full disclosure here.

Lululemon vs Athleta: This is as Good as it Gets!

Chances are you’re here because you’re wondering how Athleta compares to Lululemon and which leggings are most similar to the ones Lulu carries.

So, let’s get to it.

Is Athleta high quality?

Without a doubt, it’s as close to Lululemon quality as you’re going to get!

Trust me – I’ve tried Gymshark, dozens of Lululemon dupes, TNA, Adidas, Head, Lolë, and other brands to get to this conclusion.

Going head to head with Lulu isn’t easy and Athleta has done an outstanding job at it.

Related: The Only Gymshark Leggings You NEED to Try (And Which to Avoid if You’re Short!)

Is Athleta similar to Lululemon?

YES and I have GREAT news!

Athleta carries two styles that are super similar to Lululemon.

Elation Tights and Salutation Stash Pocket Tights.

Yes, that’s right – they have POCKETS!

Honestly, when I first started browsing the Athleta catalog, I couldn’t get over all of the pockets.

I’m just not used to seeing them on leggings or women’s clothing!

And the best part is they’re so sleek, you might not even notice them at first.

They’re as practical as they are a design component.

Leggings Similar to Lululemon Align

Athleta’s Elation tights are the closest thing to Lululemon Aligns that I’ve ever tried on and I have bought a TON of Amazon and AliExpress dupes!

The biggest difference you’ll find between Aligns and Elation leggings is the waistband.

Elation tights have a waistband more similar to Lululemon’s Wunder Under style – it’s thicker and more compressive.

That said, Elation tights are one of those leggings you can wear all day long with their “second skin” feel.

Other similarities to Lululemon Aligns are:

  • lack of side seams
  • invisible pocket (drop in back pocket as opposed to a hidden front pocket)
  • 4 leggings length options (16.5″, 21″, 25″, 27″ in regular fit)

I’m 5″6 and am wearing a size small in the Elation capri (21″) – I go for a size 6 at Lululemon.

lululemon vs athleta align elation leggings

This style features the buttery soft Powervita fabric that’s similar to Lululemon’s Nulu (used in Align leggings and tops).

I’m currently eyeing down Athleta’s Elation 7/8 Tights in Nightfall Purple – they’re made with the SuperSonic fabric and the color is stunning!

Leggings Similar to Lululemon Wunder Train

Other than the glorious addition of pockets to these tights, Salutation Stash Pocket Tights are a great alternative to Lululemon Wunder Train leggings.

They feature compression in all of the right places and feel perfect for an intense workout.

I’m trying to incorporate more prints in my workout wardrobe so I went with a pink leopard pair of these – sorry not sorry!

I feel like this also helps you see more design and fabric details as well – I love black tights like everyone else but it’s hard to see what separates one pair of leggings from the next when they’re all black!

I’m wearing a size small in the Salutation Stash Pocket 7/8 Tights (25″).

athleta vs lululemon salutation stash tights

These are SO comfortable for a 30 to 40-minute Peloton ride followed by strength training afterward!

The compression in these leggings makes me feel energized and I love how the sweat-wicking fabric keeps you dry even after a really intense workout.

Here’s a follow-up selfie from the first time I wore them with my girls 🙂

lululemon athleta salutation stash workout

Who is Lululemon’s biggest competitor?

I’d say it was arguably Nike before this point, but Athleta is going to give Lululemon some fierce competition with its incredible product line.

More Lululemon guides:

Lululemon vs Athleta Sizing

I wear a size 6 in Lululemon and was pretty surprised when True Fit recommended that I try a size small in Athleta.

But I have to say, the sizing is BANG on!

Unfortunately, it was wrong about my top size though.

I usually wear a size 34D or 8 in tops at Lululemon and was recommended size medium through True Fit.

Both the sweater and crop top I bought we too big though!

But can I just say how much I LOVE the Coast Grey Heather color in the Cloudlight Rib Stratus Top?

athleta vs lululemon elation leggings review

If you have the same measurements as I do, I’d definitely recommend choosing a small in tops as well.

Here’s a comparison of Athleta’s size chart to the sizes you’re used to seeing at Lululmon:

XXS – 0

XS – 0-2

S – 4-6

M – 8-10

L – 12-14

XL – 16-18

1X – 16W-18W

2X – 20W-22W

3X – 24W-26W

Below is Athleta’s sizing chart with waist and hip measurements in inches.

athleta sizing guide

Here’s Lululemon’s sizing chart – also with waist and hip measurements.

lululemon sizing guide

Personally, I recommend sizing down in Athleta if you’re between sizes or are unsure of your fit.

From my experience, both tops and bottoms fit big!

Is Athleta worth the price?

Absolutely, 100% – YES!

I’m still in awe of how high-quality all of my Athleta leggings are and can’t wait to purchase some more in cute fun prints.

I actually find Athleta’s print options way more fun compared to Lululemon’s!

Which is better: Athleta vs Lululemon?

After being completely blown away by the high quality of the leggings and tops I received from my first Athleta order, I’ve been stalking their website for another sale!

Since I’ve lost close to 40 pounds in the past 4 months, my wardrobe is in need of some new pieces and I’m excited to make the Athleta.

Where Athleta is Better than Lululemon

In my opinion, Athleta is better than Lululemon at:

  • sales and affordable pricing
  • showing both standard and plus-sized models on nearly ALL items
  • offer a clothing line for girls (twinning is winning!)
  • including options for petite, tall, and plus sizes up to 26

I love the fact that this brand even has a sleep-wear line – I basically lived in GAP’s modal maternity pants for the past two years and have been looking for something just as comfortable and high quality as these!

There are only two things I don’t like about Athleta are those are (1) the lack of stores in my area and (2) stock shortages.

Lack of Stores

There is literally ONE Athleta location near Vancouver, BC and it’s way too far for me to travel and shop with two small kids!

So, I’ll keep it to online orders until my little ones get bigger or another location pops up close to us.

Stock Shortages

I’ll be the first to admit it – the shortages are getting frustrating and Athleta seems to be having issues with their inventory right now too.

At the time of writing this, there is a 4-month delay to get the Nighttime Bliss Sleep Jogger in my size.

But even before the world changed, I noticed that GAP also had issues with products selling out quickly and not being able to restock them quickly enough.

From my experience shopping both retailers, Lululemon seems to restock more quickly than Athleta but that said, their catalog is much more limited.

lululemon athleta better

Where Lululemon is Better than Athleta

From what I’ve observed, Lululemon is better at:

  • restocking inventory online and in-store several times a month
  • offering several different pant lengths in popular legging styles
  • including dozens of color options for popular styles of leggings
  • offering tailoring services to get the length you want
  • maintaining resale value

While Athleta includes “5 lengths” in their two most popular style leggings, I think it’s kind of a stretch to refer to 9″ shorts as leggings!

Elation leggings come in:

*Petite inseams are usually 2″ shorter than the regular inseam while Tall inseams are 3″ longer

Lululemon offers 6 different lengths in Align leggings including: 17″, 21″, 23″, 25″, 28″, and 31″.

Invigorate and Fast and Free tights have unique 19″ options though.

Resale Value

If you keep it in good shape (by following proper washing and hang drying guidelines), Lululemon tends to hold good resale value.

I’ve sold mint condition Aligns for $20 less than I paid for them!

When pilling and damage have taken place though, you’ll be lucky to get up to 30% of what you paid back.

Things I don’t like about Lululemon include:

  • pricing
  • lack of fun patterns
  • more options for larger bra sizes

Some styles just aren’t flattering on cup sizes over D – like the Align tank, for instance!

I wish Lululemon offered more options for us.

Athleta vs Lululemon: Final Thoughts

I’ve searched far and wide for leggings I love as much as Lululemon Aligns and Wunder Unders and am so happy I gave Athleta a shot.

After wearing Aligns and GAP maternity clothes for the past two years, I’m excited to add something fresh to my wardrobe and definitely recommend checking this brand out.

Athleta is high quality and has a WAY larger variety of products in its lineup than Lululemon does.

This includes:

  • sleep wear
  • clothing for girls
  • petite and tall sizing
  • plus sizes up to 26

I also love that Athleta includes standard size and plus size models for all products! This is something I think Lululemon could do a much better job at.

Which Athleta bottoms are you excited to try? New to Lululemon?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy shopping, friend 🙂

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