These $115 tights are replacing Lululemon in my lineup

RYU Cardio Tights. (Photo courtesy RYU)

It’s fair to say I’m a big fan of tights.

The first thing I do when I get home every night is ditch my pants and put on a pair of tights. If I have no weekend plans, I’ll literally wear the same pair of tights from when I get home on Friday until when I go to bed Sunday.

My go-to pair of tights is usually Lululemon’s Tight Stuff II ($158 CAD) — but when my pair bit the dust after two years of wear, I decided to go searching for something a little different.

Enter RYU, a company that creates high-performance urban athletic apparel. 

I decided to try the Cardio Tights, which retail for $115 CAD. I chose the classic black colour, but they also come in Blackened Fatigue (a nice army green colour), Raisin (a neutral earthy tone) and Raisin with a black waistband.

RYU Cardio Tights in Blackened Fatigue (Photo courtesy RYU)

They boast Bluesign-certified Italian lightweight knit fabric, meaning they’re environmentally friendly, and a no-slip waistband helps them stay snug. They also feature a quick-drying and breathable fabric with a carbon mesh gusset to keep you odor free — a must when you’re wearing these frequently.

Besides being completely lazy – I swear I also wear the tights to do….actual stuff. These were perfect for running around and playing with my dog – they held up extremely well and stayed in place whether I was hiking or running errands, and the fabric is made in a way that I never worried about accidentally giving people a glimpse of my underwear (my biggest fear when I wear some of my less expensive leggings).

Another cool thing? RYU has a Size Up/Size Down policy, which means if your size changes (either getting bigger from getting muscle, or smaller from losing weight) within one year of purchasing an item, they’ll replace it in your new size for 50 per cent off. Then, they donate your old gear to one of their local charitable partner organizations.

My only qualm? Lack of pockets. The tights have two small compartments on the back to hold cards, which is more than a lot of options — but one thing I love about my Tight Stuffs is slit side leg pockets where I can fit my larger iPhone. I didn’t find this to be an issue when testing these out in the winter months, since I was almost always wearing a jacket when I didn’t have a place to set my phone down, but I think that I’ll miss it when I’m out for dog walks sans coat in the spring.

They’re not cheap, but at $115, the RYU tights are comparable to other higher-end tights on the market, and in the two months I’ve had them, they’ve held up better than some other pricy pairs I’ve had.

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