Lululemon is quite well known when it comes to activewear. It is popular even amongst anti-online shoppers, thanks to its presence in multiple states in the US. But if you’ve shopped at Lululemon before, or you were just browsing, another brand might’ve come up on your radar…
That brand is Carbon38. It’s not as well known as Lululemon, but what it is, is trending. They seem to have upgraded their catalogue, and may well upgraded their quality.
Anyways, now that their catalogue is somewhat more competitive, there are a lot of customers on the fence of whether they should go with Carbon38, which is more affordable on average, or with Lululemon, something with which, you know what you’re getting.
We did a comparison between the two after comparing their catalogues. Feel free to jump ahead.
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What Do They Offer?
Lululemon, for starters, has had and still has an impressive catalogue. They mostly do activewear but if you want to find something casual or everyday, you can.
Lululemon gained a lot of popularity primarily through their leggings, which are still one of the best leggings today. They offer variety of clothes based on activity ranging from very low-intensity activities to high-intensity.
Carbon38 on the other hand, did update their catalogue, but they mostly offer activewear for lesser intensity activities. So, activities such as yoga, walking at a regular pace, jogging, cycling, and so on.
Sadly, Carbon38 doesn’t offer any men’s activewear, but they do have a pretty wide spectrum of casual and everyday clothing.
On average, you’re looking to get more affordable deals at Carbon38. But we’ll see whether that translates to any quality loss later on.
Table Comparison of Carbon38 & Lululemon
To put things in perspective, we compared what both brands offer side-by-side. This is a kind of TL;DR. We compared them on multiple aspects, which we believe are most important for potential customers.
Here is how different Carbon38 and Lululemon are:
|Carbon38 VS Lululemon : Activewear|
|Price Range||Affordable – $$||More Expensive – $$$|
|Activity||Less Intensity||Low Intensity to High Intensity|
|Value||Great 5/5||Good 4/5|
|Breathability & Comfort||Amazing 5/5||Amazing 5/5|
|Shipping||Free on orders above $100||Free|
|Return Policy||30-day return policy||30-day return policy|
|Design Philosophy||Flamboyant & Colorful||Minimalistic|
I love Carbon38. The reason why this brand appeals to me so much is because they’re doing something different, something which is unique, and some articles of clothing cannot be found in other places except Carbon38.
Furthermore, I think the quality is right up there with Lululemon. Granted, it’s not like there’s a major difference in price, so it is kind of expected. The difference in pricing is only minor. But still, on average, you’re looking at more affordable deals with Carbon38.
The leather line-up is kind of what they’re infamous for, and you either like it or you don’t. It’s not for me personally, but the tops and the leggings do look cool if you’re into leather.
If you aren’t there are many alternatives to choose from. Whether it be cotton, velour, sustainable material, or others.
Overall, Carbon38 is more unique than Lululemon, that I can say for certain (in my opinion). The look isn’t for everyone, but it will appeal to the majority.
Honestly, we didn’t find any quality deficiencies when compared to its competitor – Lululemon. Our sample size was small, but I would say quite prevalent.
So, the quality is there, but it’s only a matter of whether the style fits yours. We did love the amazing designs from Carbon38 designers, but we admit, they’re not for everyone. Thankfully, the shopping experience on their site is quite modern I would say, so it’s easy to browse around.
Here are Carbon38’s pros and cons:
- Great value
- Amazing designs
- Very unique
- Excellent breathability and comfort
- Usually tailored for lower intensity activities
What you’ll get with Lululemon is a wider spectrum of products. Clothing intended for high intensity training? Check. Clothing for yoga? Check. Regular everyday casual clothing? Check. You get the idea.
There’s much more to be found on Lululemon and that’s no surprise. The only downsides with Lululemon are really the prices, and the poor customer service. We’ve compared Lululemon to Gymshark, to Fabletics, and even Athleta, and it had the most customer complains for the customer service out of all three.
Nevertheless, the quality is definitely there. They’ve come up with some pretty amazing fabrics which they’ve patented: Everlux, Nulu, Nulux, Luxtreme, Ultralu, Luon, and more.
They’re compositions of multiple fabrics into one, and the experience that we had with them, and the customer reviews we went through, they really do seem like the real deal.
The cornerstone of Lululemon’s success though, are the leggings. They’re possibly amongst the best leggings that I’ve used personally, and better than some conventional expensive brands.
Designs and colors aren’t as flamboyant as Carbon38, which is a bummer, but if you’re into those flat colors and minimalistic designs, Lululemon is great at that. Their recent efforts in casual clothing are also impressive.
The casual clothing from Lululemon is very comfortable and breathable, but not as unique and interesting as some other brands.
With that said, these are the pros and cons with Lululemon:
- Low to high intensity clothing
- Amazing comfort
- Very versatile
- Minimalistic designs
- Great leggings
- Not very unique
- Casual clothing isn’t that interesting (subjective)
Carbon38 VS Lululemon – Which Activewear Is Better?
It all boils down to style really. Or, maybe in terms of what you’re looking for in activewear.
For example, if you’re looking for activewear which is more suited for higher intensity workouts, then Lululemon is more optimized for that. However, it is fair to mention that Carbon38 have started to make some articles of clothing which are also breathable and for more intense workouts.
If you’re planning to do lower intensity activities like jogging, cycling, lifting weights, rowing, etc., you might be better off with Carbon38. Mainly due to the fact that it is more affordable, and you do get a better overall deal, not compromising on quality and versatility at all.
On the question of styling, it’s down to what you prefer. Like we mentioned, Lululemon is more minimalistic with their designs, while Carbon38 likes to explore any try out different variations.
Me personally, Carbon38 styling does it for me, thanks to its uniqueness.
The Verdict: Battle Of The Two Activewear Brands
Both brands have minor deficiencies here and there, but overall, they do the job quite nicely. And, if we look at the grand scheme of things, even Lululemon is quite cheap for what you’re getting.
They’re unique in their own ways, but Carbon38 does take the ‘W’ for me. The casual clothing all the way to higher intensity leggings, are all designed beautifully, and the pieces that Carbon38 has cannot be found anywhere else, especially at that price point.