The Best Yoga Gear of 2023
Five yogis tested the latest yoga apparel and equipment during dozens of hours of diverse practice to find the pieces that will optimize your yoga experience
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Your time on the mat is sacred, a moment carved from your busy day to connect with body and breath. Take your salutations higher and your focus deeper with the best new tops, bottoms, and tools.
The Winners at a Glance
Maloja Antermoia M. Tee
Athleta Transcend 7/8 Leggings
Quince Men’s Flowknit Ultra-Soft Performance tee
Prana Men’s Altitude Tracker II shorts
TVLA Align[Mat] V3
Avocado Green Organic Pranayama Yoga Pillow
How We Tested
Number of Testers: 5
Number of Items Tested: 25
Number of Hours Testing on the Mat: 94
Number of Sun Salutations: 360
Number of Times We Fell Asleep During Savasana: 21
Our team of five yogis—from beginners to experts—spent two months putting leggings, bras, tees, shorts, mats, and bolsters through more than 300 sun salutations. Their practices ranged widely, including hatha, vinyasa, “Yoga with Adriene,” prenatal flow, and running warm-up and cool down. Some of us worked up a good sweat; others kept a restorative tempo. Throughout, we compared notes on which pieces of apparel and gear sparked joy and which ones we wanted to let go of.
The Best Yoga Gear of 2023
Maloja Antermoia M. Tee ($75)
Every detail of this T-shirt is dialed to perfection. The drapey cut doesn’t grab the body during twists, the mid-hip length stays put during down dog, the rolled sleeves hug the biceps without flopping, and—best of all—a soft nylon-spandex mesh panel flows between the shoulder blades and wraps the back of the waist. The main body’s silky Lyocell-cotton-spandex fabric has excellent stretch that accommodated our pregnant tester’s belly bump into the third trimester. “I can tell this will be the favorite top for my postpartum recovery practice and beyond,” she said.
Athleta Transcend 7/8 Leggings ($99)
All our testers experienced love at first asana in these classic high-waist leggings. Credit goes to Athleta’s new VitaFree fabric, a blend of nylon and Lycra that manages to walk the knife edge between lightweight and supportive, hugging the body like a second skin. “I’ve started wearing these bottoms to the Ecstatic Dance gatherings at my yoga studio because they’re so fun to move in,” said one tester. “Probably the best leggings I’ve ever worn.” We want a version with side pockets next.
Quince Men’s Flowknit Ultra-Soft Performance tee ($20)
For a workhorse of a T-shirt, look no further than this everyday activewear basic from sustainability minded direct-to-consumer brand Quince. “I love that it’s made of 78 percent recycled polyester—less crap in the landfill,” commented one tester. He also raved about its ability to go from morning coffee to the mat to running or hiking and back to the mat for a cool-down session while staying dry and looking put together. Especially nice: The price point.
Prana Men’s Altitude Tracker II shorts ($80)
Prana shorts tend to be favorites in our rotation, and the new Altitude Tracker II didn’t disappoint. The terry-cloth knit, a blend of recycled polyester and lyocell, felt comfortable during warm and cool practices. The eight-inch inseam provided coverage and excellent range of motion in a spectrum of classic hatha and vinyasa poses, while the drawstring waistband dialed the fit on testers of different builds. Our studio-going yogi especially appreciated the concealed zip pocket on the side seam, as well as the two generously cut mesh-lined side pockets.
TVLA Align[Mat] V3 ($108)
The perfect yoga mat would deliver grip in sweaty conditions, cush for the knees, rigidity under pivoting feet, easy cleaning when the grime becomes glaring, and durability, using eco-friendly materials. We’ve finally found this platonic ideal in the TVLA Align[Mat] V3. A plump 4.5 millimeters of rubber and polyurethane bonded without chemical glue handles sweat with ease and ensures predictable grip even during midsummer hot yoga. To add frosting on the cake, the laser-cut geometric design assists with symmetrical alignment—a detail both beginner and advanced practitioners enjoyed. Our testers who stand five-foot-nine and taller were pleased by the generous dimensions (28”x72”). But those who prefer a more compact mat may wish to opt for the traditional size of the V1.
Avocado Green Organic Pranayama Yoga Pillow ($89)
We’re big fans of Avocado’s meditation pillow, so we were delighted to see the collection recently expand to bolsters. The long and narrow Pranayama supported long-hold chest openers, as the buckwheat-hull filling conformed to the spine. During savasana, it adds just the right amount of support under the ankles for a demi version of legs up the wall. “It doesn’t take up a lot of space the way a full-size bolster does,” noted a tester who lives in a small cabin. After a week of sweaty testing, the woven organic cotton cover went through the wash with ease and came out looking brand new.
How to Buy
Above all, consider the type of yoga you practice: Hot yoga requires maximum moisture management, vinyasa benefits from excellent range of motion, and yin may feel best in cozy fabrics that hug the fascia. From there, honor the shape and build of your body by visiting the dressing room. Bra tops and leggings should stay in place without cutting into the ribs or waist; shorts should allow unrestricted lunging, and tee hems should resist falling over the head in down dog. Lastly, your apparel should make you feel strong and confident, so you can make the most of your time on the mat.
When it’s time to upgrade your gear, don’t let the old stuff go to waste–donate it for a good cause and divert it from the landfill. our partner, Gear Fix, will repair and resell your stuff for free! Just box up your retired items, print a free shipping label, and send them off. We’ll donate 100 percent of the proceeds to The Outdoorist Oath.