Plus whether it's really worth your £££.
I’m a health editor who tests fit kit for a living and so, naturally, when I heard about the new lululemon Hike to Swim range, I was intrigued.
The athleisurewear brand has a cult following in the fitness world: not only do celebrities Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner and Lucy Hale wear their tights, but Meghan Markle is reportedly a fan, too.
Celebrities aside, I’ve sweat-tested a lot of the kit before and included in our round-ups of the best workout leggings, best running shorts and best sports bras. Why? Because while the price point is undoubtedly higher than some other high street alternatives, the quality is superior and is built to last the long run (see what I did there).
Their new concept is simple but clever: an entire range designed for hiking that also dries super quickly if you fancy a post-walk dunk. Wild swimming has soared in popularity in recent years, and while both hiking and swimming are separately appealing, together they form a double whammy.
Think about it – how many hikes have you been on in your life where, hot and sweaty, you’ve spotted a glorious body of water and only dipped your toes in because of lack of proper kit? Been there, done that – which is where this range promises to come in. That, plus the added perk that cold water therapy can help soothe delayed onset muscle soreness– yep, swimming after hours on your feet boasts physical as well as mental health benefits.
lululemon Hike to Swim range: “I’m a health editor – here’s what I really thought.”
The range launched in stores last week and consists of two items – a bra and a pair of shorts. They’ve launched a pretty extensive hiking collection alongside, too – 31 items! – spanning skirts, coats and bags all designed with hiking in mind. Think packable, lightweight layering systems, fashion-forward aesthetic and colours, and abrasion-resistant, highly breathable fabrics and you’re on the right track.
According to Ben Stubbington, Senior Vice President of Design at lululemon, the brand have been working on the idea for years now. “We created a collection of adaptable pieces—convertible, packable, and water-resistant—intended to make it easier to spend more time outdoors,” he shares.
So, how did it fare when tested? I wore the kit on a hike in Horsham followed by a river dunk and paddleboarding session and tried the Hike to Swim bra and Hike skirt. Initial thoughts: as always with the lululemon designs, the fit is flattering and elevated, seamlessly bridging the gap between fashion and athleisurewear. That, and the kit is functional, too – it’s not just about how the kit looks.
The bra is supportive, long line and, thanks to its swimsuit qualities, sweat wicks really quickly. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it dried and there’s no chafing, either – key for days when you’re in and out of the water and moving a lot. I like the high neckline and colour blocking, too – the kit feels very 80’s.
That said, I’d recommend going up a size if you prefer a roomier fit and don’t want the bottom half to roll up. Also to note: do remember to suncream the cutout section on your back.
I also wore the skirt on the hike and it’s highly practical – it has several handy pockets with different pockets (both cargo and zipper) for your card, phone, keys and more. There are also loops on the front of the skirt for a carabiner or D-ring. Complete with liner cycling shorts to support you through your hike, I also liked the drawstring waist and high-rise design.
Why was I surprised? Well, I didn’t expect it to dry as quickly as it did, plus I expected it might chafe in the process if I walked straight after being in the water. It didn’t, which gets a big yes from me.
The Hike to Swim range was designed to effortlessly support you while you’re outdoors in nature and that it does. If you’re an avid hiker, it’s worth the investment. It’s technically impressive, quick-drying, comfortable and flattering – everything you want from fit kit. The bra can be used for workouts like running and high-intensity interval training too, and the skirt is fashion-forward enough that you could wear it to cycle or even day-to-day. The kit’s a bit of an all-rounder, in my opinion.
Do note, though – the range is only available for eight weeks, so move fast.
Shop our favourites below:
Hike to Swim Bra – £68 | lululemon
This bra dries super quickly – it doubles as a supportive sports bra and swimming costume top, too, so you’re prepared for all occasions. When testing, I particularly loved the colour block details and high neckline.
Hike to Swim Short 6″ – £68 | lululemon
Made with the same material as the Hike to Swim bra, these cycling shorts are, again, designed with both hiking and swimming in mind, and are complete with a zipper front, too.
Multi-Pocket Cargo High-Rise Hiking Skirt – £88 | lululemon
Sweat-wicking, supportive and drawstring with multiple pockets, to boot, this cargo hiking skirt is both stylish and practical. I particularly liked how much space it has for your keys, purse, and so on.