Gear Army: Men’s Lululemon Contender Jacket


I like clothing that encourages you to use it and abuse it.  The tags attached to my new Lululemon Contender Jacket ($108) read: “Play hard and sweat hard.”  It also claimed it was “created to withstand five years of physical athletic abuse.”

After wearing it for a month (not continuously or my friends would disown me), I believe it really will hold up for at least five years. The jacket is constructed of a proprietary wicking fabric with four-way stretch, called Luon, which allowed for a full range of movement without it ever stretching out. The mesh underarms allow your body to breathe making it one of those rare, versatile articles of clothing that is comfortable over a broad temperature range. There are two nicely-sized side zip pockets and a chest pocket as well for easy access to your cell phone. Inside the jacket is a pocket to hold an mp3 player with a clever “cord tunnel” to keep your headphone cord in place.

I wore the aptly-named Contender during a chilly morning run and while riding my bike and walking around Whistler one cool and rainy weekend. The athletic fit is nice when exercising because it doesn’t have extra fabric flapping in the wind. Toss it on to meet friends for dinner; it provides a smart look, as opposed to traditional bulky hooded sweatshirts that make you look like you are trying to hide those extra pounds. This isn’t just a pretty boy cover up though: this jacket can do it all, whether working out, hiking on the trail, or running errands around town. 

My only complaint is that the label sewn into the back of the neck is too long and it ends up sticking out if you don’t tuck it in.  Of course this can easily be solved with a pair of scissors.

–ErikPoley likes to ski when it's below zero degrees (“There are no liftlines!”) and hike when it's raining. So, it's no surprise that thisadventure junkie is up for anything: finishing the Leadville 100, skipatrolling, or working as a PADI Dive Master. His biggest feat, though?Finding the perfect jacket.

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