There are many Californias. Let me explain.
There’s the California we see on the TV—Hollywood, beaches, people riding roller skates for some reason.
There’s the Redwood forest California, the Sierra Nevada mountainous California, the desert California.
There’s so much to do—I think we should change the name from the Golden state to the Playground state. Californians have a reputation for their outdoor, sun-loving, active lifestyles. And we like to look good while doing it.
So with summer on the way, I checked out the activewear brand Vuori.
Their range of clothes have you covered whether you’re going for a run, kayaking, yoga, climbing—you name it. After a few weeks of putting these clothes through their paces, my verdict is in.
What Is Vuori?
That might seem like a lot, but for many Californians, one hobby just isn’t enough.
Vuori originally made a mark in the fitness landscape with their shorts. And since their founding, the brand has continued to put out lines of clothing based on lifestyles, whether it’s running, training, yoga, or traveling.
And the brand was born out of frustration. The founder, Joe Kudla, saw that women’s activewear was becoming the everyday norm (think yoga pants around town). Yes, brands like Lululemon made men’s clothes, but they always felt like a women’s brand. (We think Lulu has turned this around now, but Kudla was spot on back in 2015).
Things to Consider Before Buying Vuori
Vuori’s workout shorts come at a premium price. Before trying them out, my most expensive workout shorts were $12: the mesh Champion shorts—inexpensive, yes, but they look like I’m wearing a trash-bag diaper.
I first saw Vuori when working out at my local San Francisco gym. A dude named Ford would wear them all the time—not just in the gym either, but around the city. And the shorts looked cool.
Yes, they’re workout shorts, but they look stylish enough to wear out and about. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no mistaking them as anything other than activewear. Similar to how women can wear leggings and a sports bra as an outfit and still look neat and put-together, these shorts can work in a casual wardrobe.
Do you care about looking good in the gym? Some guys do, and some guys don’t. And if you want to wear activewear shorts to show off your killer thigh muscles, Vuori might be the ticket.
Vuori Shorts Review
Of the two, my favorite is the Kore, so I’ll start there.
The Kore shorts have an excellent fit that’s somewhere between athletic and slim. I have larger thighs, and I liked how they didn’t fit loose but still offered plenty of room for mobility.
You can pick up the Kore lined or unlined, though I’m a fan of the liner. I was skeptical, and I almost got them unlined. But Vuori was sold out at the time I was shopping.
I’m glad they were because the liner is super comfortable and solves a minor problem for me. Most of my boxer-briefs are cotton and not the greatest for working out. They get uncomfortable quickly, and I’ve never just taken the dive to get underwear specifically for exercise.
I don’t know that I ever will now knowing I can get lined shorts.
Another issue I was concerned about was whether the lining would cover up what it needed to: I definitely don’t want any of that “outlining” effect that leaves little to the imagination.
I’m happy to say the lining is thick enough to avoid that, but soft, stretchy, and breathable enough to feel comfortable during a workout.
There are probably sport-focused underwear on the market that are a little more supportive and have all the same qualities (breathable, soft, etc.), but I was pleased with the lining performance after a run and 40-minute circuit of jumping-jacks, tire-flipping, pushups, pullups—the works.
Overall, I love the lined Kore shorts—they’re my go-to on Monday mornings because the fit and comfort are both excellent.
I also tried out the Banks shorts, which are made with recycled plastic bottles. They have a scalloped leg, which adds just a little more movement through the thigh—-handy for yoga and running.
Yes, the Kore are my favorite, but I’m also happy with the Banks. I really enjoy how the straight-across cut in the Kore fits around my thigh, and the Banks fits differently. They’re still super comfortable and they’ve been great to wear while working up a sweat.
Between the two, the Banks seems built more for wearing around town. The zippered pocket lends some extra security and the scalloped leg has some fashionable flair to it.
Shorts are Vuori’s wheel-house, and after trying a few styles, I can see how they’ve built their reputation.
Vuori Pants Review
Not content with just workout shorts, the Ripstop Climber pants caught my eye. They seemed to fit into that grey area between fashion and fitness that Vuori lives in, so I figured I’d give them a go.
I was surprised at how tapered these are, and I’m a big fan of it. A lot of brands aren’t willing to “go for it” like this—the climber pants fit similarly to tapered joggers.
If you don’t like a lot of taper in your pants, choose a larger size or skip the climber pants altogether.
I picked up the large, which the Vuori sizing chart says is between a 33 and 34 waist size. They fit through the legs well, though they’re a bit tight around the waist. I’m a size 34, and I think the XL may have been a better fit for me.
Still, I’m happy with these pants—they’re comfortable and the gusseted crotch allows the pant to have a fitted look without limiting mobility.
Where I’m at, all the rock climbing gyms are closed (and I don’t have the experience to go to God’s rock climbing gym: real rocks). But I’ve had a hankering to go for the past few months and I’m excited to wear these pants and put them to their original purpose.
Vuori Ripstop pants are excellent for outdoors adventures. With a gusseted crotch and nearly indestructible fabric, these pants both look great and will last for years.
Vuori Shirts Review
I also picked up three shirts from Vuori, each for a different occasion:
- Tradewind Performance Tee in Evergreen Heather
- Crest Short Sleeve Button Down in Salt Arrow
- Strato Tech Tee in Charcoal Heather
The Tradewind Performance tee feels like a workout shirt through and through (different from the Strato Tech tee, which I’ll get into a little later).
It’s very lightweight and breathable and fits well. At 6’1” and somewhere between 185-190 lbs, I’m between a medium and a large. I went with large on both performance shirts because I figured a little extra room wouldn’t hurt for working out.
I’m glad I ordered a size up as they both fit snug—I’d say they feel more like mediums. I like the way they fit, but I recommend anyone who’s between sizes go larger instead of smaller.
Made with 11% elastane, the Tradewind is an ideal workout shirt—it can stretch so much you barely even notice it’s there. It releases moisture quickly which helps prevent the gnarly sweat stains that makes folks avoid you in the gym.
I wanted to try out the brand’s lifestyle clothes, too, so I got the Crest short sleeve button down to pair with the climbing pants.
It’s nothing revolutionary, but it has a little elastane added for stretch, it has a slim, tailored fit, and looks cool.
To look its best, it needs steaming or ironing after the wash as the cotton can look pretty wrinkly. But paired with the ripstop pants, this look has California written all over it.
The last of the three shirts is the Strato Tech tee, which Vuori claims is the softest workout shirt in the world.
They might be right.
The Strato Tech tee feels like microvelvet, if that’s a thing. It’s incredibly soft. If Vuori’s mission is to make clothes that bridge the divide between workouts and walkabouts, this shirt is their best example.
I’ve worn it working out twice, and I’ve worn it paired with jeans or chinos three or four times since I got it. It’s a workout shirt, but I like it better as a regular t-shirt in my wardrobe.
Vuori's line of shirts come in a variety of fabrics, each with their own unique ability to boost your workout. The Tradewind Performance Tee is the most breathable, and the Strato Tech is up there with the softest t-shirts we've ever tried.
What do Other Reviewers Think About Vuori?
If you didn’t understand what I was talking about with the Strato Tech tee, reviewer Jonathan B. put it better than I could:
The rest of the reviews are along the same lines, with over 2,000 reviewers giving Vuori a 4.5-star average.
Words that stuck out repeatedly were comfort, durability, and quick shipping.
My Thoughts Overall On Vuori
What I Like
All clothes, including the workout shorts, have a slim, tailored fit.
The fabrics are some of the most comfortable I’ve worn, and they hold up well to a workout.
Free shipping with orders over $75 and free, easy returns.
The Strato Tech tee is incredibly soft—I’m surprised it’s a workout shirt.
Vuori doesn’t shy away from a slim taper with their ripstop climber pants.
What I Don’t Like
The sizing for the pants could be more precise (i.e. size 34 waist instead of M or L).
The Crest short sleeve button down is cool and fits well, but in my opinion, it doesn’t match the excellence of everything else I tried from Vuori.
Who is Vuori for?
Vuori is for the guy who doesn’t just work out because he feel obligated to, but because it’s part of his lifestyle. If your life is a blend of outdoor fun, hard work in the gym (or on the track), and giving it your all with your friends, family, and job, then Vuori is definitely worth checking out.
Vuori does an excellent job making clothes that are as dynamic as our lives can be.
When life gets busy, you might not have time to come home after the gym, change, and go to the store. You may not want to buy a whole extra set of outfits when summer hits and you want to go climbing, hit the beach, and camp out in the woods.
If you’d rather pick up a set of clothes that fit well, look good, and can perform in just about any scenario (volcano diving is a no-go), Vuori is your brand.
I’ve been loving the workout shorts and shirts—they’re my Monday and Tuesday 5am outfits. And they inspire me to do my laundry more often so I can wear them Friday and Saturday, too.
The Crest shirt is cool, and I’ve worn it a few times on lazy Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but compared to the other clothes I tried from Vuori, it doesn’t grab me. It’s the difference between good and great.
And you don’t need to be a climber to like the Ripstop Climber pants—they have a bold tapered fit, much like a pair of joggers, and they’re great for style and function.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Vuori, and probably picking up a few more of their workout shorts
Vuori’s lineup of performance-wear looks and feels good. Their sizes are on the small side, so if you’re in between, go larger. Their customer service is on-point so you can focus on getting clothes that take you from the gym to the lake to a Sunday stroll.
Is Vuori a good brand?
Yes, Vuori is a great brand. Their clothes are comfortable, durable, and have a slim, tapered fit.
What is Vuori?
Vuori means “mountain” in Finnish, and the Vuori brand seeks to embody that through their clothes. Their line of fitness and casual apparel is designed to help you work hard for the betterment of self.
When was Vuori founded?
Vuori was founded in 2015 when Joe Kudla couldn’t find clothes made for men that fit his active lifestyle. He wanted to find clothes for yoga, but at the time, he could only find stuff that looked like it was made for festivals rather than a workout.