10 Best Yoga Pants 2021 | Best Yoga Leggings – Runner’s World

10 Best Yoga Pants 2021 | Best Yoga Leggings  Runner’s World

Staff, Courtesy of Alo

For many of us, a stretchy, comfortable pair of yoga pants is for more than on-mat practice. The right yoga pants can take you from errands to lunch downtown to a local hike and then to the yoga studio. A well-fitting pair provides just the right amount of compression for support during physical activity, can be worn all day without smelling, and wicks moisture and sweat during high-exertion activity (hello hot yoga!).

What to Look For

Fit and Style

Yoga pants and leggings come in several different styles and lengths. The right one for you is a matter of personal preference and can be influenced by when and where you’ll be wearing them. Most importantly, your new pants should fit well; if they hinder your flexibility and comfort at home, they won’t feel any better in a yoga class, regardless of whether it’s a hard workout or a slow flow.

For the most part, I recommend a high-rise, next-to-skin style with a flat waistband that measures 3 to 5 inches wide. The high rise offers more security and is less likely to slide down when you move. The wide waistband is less likely to pinch or roll. Next-to-skin yoga leggings, as opposed to a flared pant, keep you from tripping on a hem coming out of Half Moon pose. The most common lengths are full-lenth, 7/8, and capri. Our recommendations below include several 7/8 options. These are a great middle ground, offering plenty of coverage that’s less likely to roll up at the knee or bunch at the ankle.

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Materials

Companies often have proprietary names for their specific fabric compositions, but most yoga pants are nylon or polyester combined with spandex or Lycra (both are forms of elastane) for added durability and stretch. General athletic tights use similar materials, but yoga-specific leggings often have a brushed finish for a softer hand feel. Keep in mind this construction is likely to pill over time.

Versatility

Most of the pants below are yoga-specific, but I’ve included some general athletic tights that I’ve found work well for yoga classes, as well as runs, hikes, and other adventures. Running tights have moisture-wicking properties and moderate compression similar to yoga pants, so they can be just as comfortable when you’re in Warrior II.

How We Evaluated

Yoga pants are part of my day-to-day wardrobe in all seasons. I wear them to the climbing gym, all day while working from my couch, at the yoga studio, and also outdoors for running and hiking. I’ve been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and got into a regular practice over the past four years. All of the yoga leggings and pants reviewed here will hold up to high-intensity power yoga classes but are also comfortable enough for a yin class. I’ve worn the majority of them for years during a variety of activities, including power yoga, hot yoga, and Sunday morning slow flows. I backpacked 220 miles in the , then wore them to a yoga class the next week. And has gotten me through yoga classes for years.

I prioritized models with a high-rise waist and a wide, flat waistband that should resist sagging and rolling. I chose a variety of material compositions and compression levels for classes and preferences of all types—some are more versatile for outdoor activities, and others are best kept indoors. Any yoga pants I haven’t personally tested come highly recommended by customers and shoppers, as well as instructors at a variety of yoga studios.

Wide Range of Sizes

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket Tight

Athleta

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XXS–3XL in regular, tall, and petite
  • Material: Nylon and Lycra
  • Number of Pockets: 2

Made with a soft-brushed nylon blend, these high-rise tights provide light-to-mid compression and are comfortable enough to wear all day. The three-layer, mesh-lined waistband wicks sweat during a high-output practice without pinching. What’s more, the Salutation comes in a wide range of sizes with your choice of inseam: 25, 27, or 30 inches. These tights do tend to roll more than some of the options on this list, and the softer fabric can feel thinner than others in Athleta’s line. However, many people appreciate a lighter feel at the expense of some fabric density. 

Most Affordable

90 Degree By Reflex Power Flex Yoga Pants

90 Degree By Reflex

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • Material: 76% polyester and 24% spandex
  • Number of Pockets: 2

The Power Flex is one of the most reliable, durable, well-made tights for the price. It has the same high-waist styling, wicking materials, and deep side pockets of pricier leggings. The waistband is a generous 4.5 inches, and at 25 inches, the inseam provides partial coverage for most people. The Power Flex also comes in a variety of fun colors and performs equally well on the mat and around town as everyday wear.

Best for Running and Yoga

Brooks Method 7/8 Tight

Brooks

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–2XL
  • Material: 72% polyester and 28% spandex
  • Number of Pockets: 4

Like other running tights, the Brooks Method has a higher percentage of spandex than many yoga pants, which lends more support during higher impact activities and classes. Accordingly, this pair doesn’t roll or sag. The smooth finish resists pilling and abrasions for good long-term durability. The Method is also highly breathable and wicks moisture incredibly well. Credit to the technical fabrics and the perforated panels along the sides that allow for more air flow. And these tights feature four pockets: deep pockets on each side, and two along the waistband.

Most Durable

Janji Groundwork Tight

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • Material: 68% nylon and 32% spandex
  • Number of Pockets: 3

These tough athletic tights fit like a glove and will withstand full days outside on a trail and active yoga classes, all without sagging or bunching. They sit high on the waist and are made with a greater percentage of spandex than many yoga-specific pants for more robust compression. The tights have a back pocket, deep side pockets, and an internal drawcord so they stay put no matter what. We love the diagonal cuff on the 7/8-length, which helps them lie flat against your ankles and can fit a wider range of inseams. Janji’s thick Groundwork fabric is breathable, durable, retains its shape during heavy use, and is incredibly odor resistant (I wore them for 200 miles without a single wash).

Softest Material

Alo 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging

Alo Yoga

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XXS–XL
  • Material: Nylon and spandex
  • Number of Pockets: 0

This is the slightly cropped version of Alo’s popular . What’s the advantage of the 7/8 length? Less potential for ankle bunching, especially for shorter folks. The blend of technical fabrics has a brushed finish for a soft, cotton-like feel. Minimal flat-lock seams—only at the waist, crotch, and ankle, not the pant sides—create a smoother silhouette and reduce twisting and chafing. Despite the high waistband, these tights have a tendency to roll down and are slightly harder to keep in place than others on this list.

Best Capri-Length Yoga Pants

Lululemon Align High-Rise Crop 21-Inch

Lululemon

Key Specs

  • Sizes: 0–20
  • Material: 81% nylon and 19% Lycra
  • Number of Pockets: 1

These capri-length yoga pants were designed specifically for low-impact, indoor workouts. Made with Lululemon’s proprietary fabric, the Align is buttery soft against your skin and won’t bind or hinder movement. Although the Lycra adds an element of sturdiness, these are really made for low-impact activity and won’t hold up to hardcore outdoor adventures. Jury’s out on whether the lighter colors are opaque enough—it depends on the fit, your skin tone, and what you’re wearing underneath. They also have a tendency to pill more than others on this list.

Best for Sweaty Classes

Prana Layna 7/8 Legging

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • Material: 76% recycled nylon and 24% Lycra
  • Number of Pockets: 1

These lightweight tights were built with high-output classes in mind. The Layna is made with a recycled nylon blend that’s super soft and moisture-wicking. It has a high-waisted design with lighter compression than others on this list, which makes them comfortable for all-day wear, but they do have a tendency to sag.

Best Lightweight Yoga Pants

Outdoor Voices Move Free 7/8 Legging

Outdoor Voices

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–2XL
  • Material: 72% nylon, 17% Lycra, and 11% polyester
  • Number of Pockets: 1

On a hot summer day or for a barely there feel, reach for the Move Free from Outdoor Voices. The lightweight leggings are soft and have one of the least-constricting waistbands on this list. Given the construction, they aren’t the most versatile. But you’ll love them on the mat, and they are equipped for high-intensity yoga classes. Just be aware that the lighter colorways have a tendency to show sweat marks.

Best Plus-Size Yoga Pants

Uoohal Active Leggings

Uoohal

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XL–4X
  • Material: 87% nylon and 13% spandex
  • Number of Pockets: 1

The plus-size specific Active leggings are built for movement. The high-rise design, multiple seams, and a gently compressive knit pattern creates the support you need during all the poses and stretches a yoga class will throw at you. Flatlock seams prevent chafing, and the midsection that won’t ride up or bunch. For the most part, these are thick and opaque enough, but some people have noticed that the material feels thin at the spots where the tights are most stretched.

Eco-Friendly Leggings

Allbirds Natural Leggings

Allbirds

Key Specs

  • Sizes: XS–3XL
  • Material: 43% Tencel, 30% recycled nylon, 18% Merino wool, and 9% elastane
  • Number of Pockets: 1

The AllBirds Natural Leggings are carbon-neutral, thanks to the recycled and natural fiber content and the company’s purchase of carbon offsets. Tencel provides a next-to-skin softness and wicks moisture, which makes these leggings comfortable and quick-drying. They have light compression, and the high, wide waistband offers a solid fit and support without feeling constricting. These tights are best worn inside, given that the fabric is less durable and might snag or pill under heavy wear and tear. 

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