So I found it. The pricey head scratcher which some people are stoked on and others say NO F*ING WAY. I scouted out lululemon’s Enlite Hydraffinity Vest in Scottsdale, AZ and took both the M and L into the good ol’ fitting room.
How it Fits
Because it’s adjustable, sizing options are S-M-L-XL. As a TTS 8, the Medium fit me perfectly. I thought I’d fit into an L but it was waaaay too roomy. I tried the L on over my shirt and still had plenty of room to spare in the band, cups and arm holes.
The Medium, on the other hand, had me completely locked in and the girls were not going anywhere. The fit was like night and day, and I was grateful for the little hook and loop on the inside of the front zipper that held the vest in place while I finagled the zipper shut.
Once I got into it, I was super comfortable and it passed the jump test. The arm holes are generously sized without making you feel like your lats are spilling out, and the sides lay very smooth against your rib cage, which can be a huge area concern for long distance runners in hot & humid climates. (Body Glide FTW)
So, we all know the vest does not come with its own hydration bladder. (See your options) On lululemon’s website, it looked like the bladder was meant to fit into that zippered pocket in the back, but that is false. The criss cross band detailing in the back creates a bit of a cradle that doesn’t restrict you to a bladder of incredibly specific dimensions. Smart, seeing that not everyone already has or will choose to buy the same option.
However, I was scratching my head a little on where/how the straw was going to make it from the wearer’s back to up front. There’s a loop on each side so you can take your pick, but I don’t necessarily love that without its own proprietary bladder there’s no place to magnetically lock the mouthpiece down and minimize bounce. My Osprey has spoiled me.
The pocket situation is unfortunately minimal. The bladder is cradled, the zipper pocket that can accommodate a phone is in the back, and there is only a single slot pocket on the seam of the front left side. I admittedly forgot to stick my arm all the way into the back pocket to see how deep it is.
The number one gripe I do have on my Osprey is having to tuck in the loose straps. There’s none of that here, the adjustments to the band are hook and eye on each side of the underarm area.
Once I had it on, I will credit this vest with feeling super light and far less bulky than my Osprey Dyna 6. It’s made of Ultralu, which has a soft and technical feel to it. I don’t own any Ultralu pieces so I can’t speak to if the crossback section for the bladder will lose elasticity over time. I would hope not.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how lightweight, locked in and comfortable I felt. I can see it being a good option for someone who lives in a hotter climate where every degree and ounce matters in the dead of summer. For a minute I actually thought I may get it after all because it felt like wearing a breezy piece of nothing.
What turned me off (aside from a little bit of hesitation on the price tag) was how it looked in front. The Enlite series is designed to maintain somewhat of a ‘natural’ form, so the bust is a bit more rounded to accommodate if you opted to wear it on its own.
When I’ve already got a sports bra on underneath (I’m wearing an Invigorate Bra in these photos), my chest is already flattened down to pancake level, so I wasn’t filling out the feminine shape it was engineered to take on. It was still doing a bit of a pucker in the front seams, which I couldn’t really get over.
If the price point were somewhere $140 or under, I may have bit the bullet because it is seriously comfortable. However, having no access to your phone for switching up tunes mid-run may be a huge turn off for some runners, and ultimately while I was pleasantly surprised, I just couldn’t justify putting down $178 for it at this point in time, especially when I found a pair of jet stream Fast & Free Crop IIs in my size. <3
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