Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zobha Tank - First Wearing Review

Zobha Classic Racerback Tank

Lululemon's recent yoga tank designs and lack of variety in colors have been disappointing so I ordered the Zobha Classic Racerback Tank (it was in the sale section at 50% off - $24).  I wore it around the house yesterday and to spin class this morning to give it a real test drive.  I have a lot of observations but the bottom line is that I really liked the fabric and tank and I will be ordering more items from Zobha.

Fabric - The fabric content is 87% Supplex Nylon and 13% Lycra Spandex. This is the same ratio of Nylon to Lycra that Lululemon uses in luon. I thought the Zobha fabric felt nearly identical to luon in that it had a brushed cottony feel and was very breathable.  It is a bit thinner that regular weight luon - not as thin the light luon found in the Cool Racerback but not as thick as regular luon. It felt a lot like the, for lack of a better word, 'lighter' luon that has been showing up on some Lululemon Groove pants and the Astro pants that I recently tried on.

I wore the tank to spin class and felt it wicked moisture well. I think I felt as comfortable temperature-wise in spin class in the Zobha tank as I do wearing a Cool Racerback.  I also thought it was quick drying because after class I ran down to the Lululemon store to pick up my Bubbilicious CRB and it dried quickly. 

The fabric is pretty stretchy. I don't know if it is any stretchier than regular luon but since it is thinner it does not give the spanx effect that regular weight luon does. However, neither does the luon light that is found in the CRB and the newest tanks like the Intention, Inner Strength, and All Out.

All in all, I think Zobha's fabric rivals Lululemon's in feel, breathability, and moisture performance. I can't comment at this point about durability in terms of stretching, fading, and pilling but I will let you know.  Zohba claims their fabric will hold it's shape and color.

Built in Bra - The built in bra is a very simple shelf bra which is what (I believe) Lululemon used to make until three or so years ago. My Lululemon Spark and Repose tanks only have a shelf bra in them. (If anyone has been wearing Lululemon for longer than three years, can you let me know if cup pockets are a relatively new thing for Lululemon.) For me, a 45-year old DD, I need to wear another bra underneath a shelf bra for any kind of real support, not to mention coverage. I wore a Flow Y under the Zobha to spin class today and the two together gave me moderately high support.  The Zobha built in bra is not as constricting as the typical Lululemon built in bra so doubling up on bras is not nearly as uncomfortable as when I do it with two Lululemon tanks. The Flow Y fit under it perfectly and only the straps showed. Some of Zobha's tanks are starting to come with cup pockets.

Construction Quality- The Zobha tank seemed well constructed.  The side seams are flat locked. This is a nice feature that Lululemon has and is not present in the Lucy, Athleta, and Adidas tops I have. I was going to say the bottom hem wasn't as well stitched (i.e., fewer stitiches) as Luluemon but then I looked at my new Bubbilicious CRB and changed my mind - the Bubbilicious CRB has about half the stitches per inch than my Raspberry CRB. It seems a lowering of quality so I'll have to keep an eye on this in other new Lululemon tanks. I recently had to have my I Just Wanna Run tank repaired for the hem coming unraveled. This is the first time I've had any Lululemon of mine repaired.

The straps of the Zobha tank are about 1 cm wide and were comfortable. I measured them because I've owned a few Power Ys and always sold them because the straps cut into my shoulders. The straps on the Flow Y are 8mm wide. I'm not sure if the Power Y and Flow Y straps are the same but I assume they are. 

Fit and Comfort  - I ordered the same size in the Zohba tank as I do in most of my other Lululemon tanks - a 12. The length of the Zohba was the same as that in my All Out and Deep V tanks and it hit at about my hip bones.  The width at the armpit was about 3" more than the All Out tank and 1" more than the Deep V. The waist was about the same on all three tanks.  The Zohba didn't flare out as much at the bottom hem as the All Out and Deep V but that could be just this model. I don't have a Power Y anymore to compare it to so I can't remember if that is a straighter tank.

The Zohba tank came up higher in the armpit than in a lot of my Lululemon tanks which is a complaint I have with the newer designs Lululemon is coming out with, and particularly in the Tri Y and Power Y. The tank also showed some cleavage but nothing that made me uncomfortable. My Flow Y exposes a lot more cleavage. It seems the Zohba tanks are cut to accommodate a larger bust because the horizontal line in the tank hit me under the bust like it should.

All in all, I was happy with the fit, particularly through the bust and armpit. I wish the tank flared out more at the hips since I am a pear shape. This could be a function of the tank model I chose so I can't make any general conclusions yet about width at the hips. I thought the tank was very comfortable and think the design is an attractive one. I usually prefer a very open back for the tops I wear for spin but I felt enough of my back was exposed to be cool in class today. If you need extra support, this design will totally hide a Flow Y under it except for the straps.

Conclusions One of the primary reasons I love Lululemon is luon. I love wearing the fabric because it is so soft against the skin, breathable, comfortable, and has great performance.  Zobha seems to have replicated luon pretty well so I will definitely give them more business.  With regards to design, for the past six months or so, Lululemon has not been making many yoga tanks that I want to buy in terms of style, fit, and colors so I am very happy to have found an alternative. I don't know whether I will become a Zobha addict but most likely an enthusiast. They are still a young company so you never know. I don't know if I would like Zobha pants as much as Lululemon's because regular weight luon hides a lot of sins but the lighter weight Zohba might be a better match for working out in the southern California climate.  I will order some in the near future and give you a report.

Zobha offers free shipping and returns so it makes trying them out very easy. Their sale section is pretty good price-wise but like Lululemon, final sale. However, Zobha resells on eBay pretty easily and for good money. They are also starting to offer some tanks and pants in size 14, which Lululemon is abandoning.  Oh yes, Zobha offers a maternity yoga line which is totally awesome. All in all, I think Zobha has the potential to give Lululemon serious competition in the yoga/general exercise market.

Some readers of this blog have commented about their Zobha experiences. Here are three I found:

"Zobha has become my FAVORITE line of workout gear, after my intense passion for Lulul has waned. I mean, Lulu is getting boring to me for the same reasons as you write on your excellent blog: blah designs, same colors over and over, too high prices, etc. I LOVE Zobha's fabric and actually feel that the tops fit me MUCH better. Just to note: I wear a 6 Lulu tank, and in Zobha I wear the 4, thus the sizing difference. I am going to sell some Lulu tops on Ebay so I can get more Zobha. Go Zobha! And no, I do NOT work for them! :)" -- anon
"...I said in an earlier post that I would give feedback on the zobha tank. I got the grace (which is somewhat like lulus scooptank) and the ava, which is a halter. The fabric is a bit softer and a bit thinner than luon. The styling is also very nice. The quality seems good and they have some nice colors. I got size 6 which I usually wear in lulu tanks. The fit was fine but because it is a touch thinner/stretchier, I could have gone down to a 4 as well. They have an inner shelf bra. I decided not to keep them because they didn't offer enough support- please note i'm an A cup on a good so I'm not looking for "bounce" support but for holding in/shaping (I've had two kids, ya know? if you're in the same boat as me you know what I'm talkin' 'bout) - it might actually work well for someone with a slightly larger bust because the shelf bra sat a bit too low under my bust (perhaps a 4 would have been better for me?). So, I'm going to say good for B to small C cup. Don't think it would offer enough support for a larger bust unless you're doing strictly low-impact workouts." -- pilatesmom

"I have Zobha yoga pants. They are thinner than Groove pants so in NYC in the winter not the greatest. But they are comfortable and fit wonderfully, make my butt look good. Also like them for running also I had them hemmed too short." -- Dori

==> Momof 5 - You commented you ordered some Zobha tanks. Can you tell us what you thought of them? Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Great info! Thanks for that. I've read that luon is not a patented fabric for lululemon, so perhaps Zobha will replicate luon closer and closer over time. Wanted to add too that I have a lulu tank from about 4 years ago, it has a solid shelf bra and no spot for cups. It also has a higher neck, a diagonal small zip pocket at the front, and I love it. I've never been able to find a tank like it from lulu since.

LuluAddict said...

I think your tank is the Pose tank. You can find them on eBay now and then. There are a few people that seem to have access to new with tags older items from Lululemon.

Momof5 said...

I have the Audrey (similar to the old Whisper) and the Grace (similar to the current scoopneck) I agree with the feeling being similar to the lighter luon. I have found they wash as well as lulu and have not noticed any pilling yet. They do not have the spanx factor like you mentioned, but I feel they are a little more figure forgiving than some of the lulu tanks. I think these are built a little more for a womans figure. For example, the power y just does not work for me--it bunches in the wrong places and whenever I get one I end up selling it -- because it isn't flattering on me
I have worn my Zobha tanks to spin and found them to be breathable and yes they do wick sweat as efficiently -- I might try one with a more open back - because I like the open back feel of the scoop for spin -- just because I sweat a lot (Gross, but true) and I like to feel the more openness of a low back or racer -- especially as it gets warmer. But for kettlebelles or pilates -- these are perfect
My chief reason for always going back to my tried and true lulu is because of the cup pockets (besides the great colors and designs, which IMO they have been lacking lately -- WAKE UP LULU designers) -- I don't like having to wear 2 tops, -However Zobha is offering some with the pockets so I will give them a try.
I am a 6 in lulu and zobha -- so fit wise is similar

I have tried their essential pants and I sent them back. They definitely have the dimple factor -- and if i see it -- they go back -- I did not feel as comfortable or confident in these as I do the grooves -- but I have also sent some of the lulus with the lighter luon back for the same reason.

I have the Kate pullover and I LOVE that -- it is very soft and looks great with jeans or as a lightweight layer over gym clothes. The picture online doesn't really do it justice.

I also tried the cashmere wrap sweater (Hey, for $55 can you go wrong for 100% cashmere) and found it very flattering and soft. It did pill a little under the arms-- but most of my cashmere sweaters do that (That I have paid a lot more for)

All this being said -- I won't be giving up on my lulu love, but I will be supplementing with a few pieces from Zobha -- it will be interesting to watch them as they are fairly new. Their spring colors are really beautiful and we will see how supportive and flattering their tops with cup pockets are.

LuluAddict said...

@ Momof 5 - Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review!!! I feel the same way, I will supplement my Lulu with Zobha. It's nice to have an alternative to turn to since I've been so disappointed in Lulu's designs lately.

I think the Zobha tunic length pullovers are cute and I wish Luluemon would make a simple, long, loose fitting, A-line pullover tee like NEARLY EVERY OTHER YOGA COMPANY DOES. It seems like such a glaring oversight on their part.

Anonymous said...

After hearing all your raves about Zobha...I thought I should give it a try. But was really disappointed (but not surprised) to see that the free shipping only applies to US least Lulu offers free shipping to both US and Canada...

Anonymous said...

yes! shipping is always a huge headache when you live in Canada.

Anonymous said...

How do you get your tanks repaired when they unravel? Will Lululemon do it for you or do you have to find a tailor? I have the same problem with a hem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Luluaddict, you're right, it is the Pose tank. How nice to know the name for possible E-Bay purchases. I just want to say too, that one of the reasons I love lulu so much is the proper sizing, instead of S-M-L. It is one of the reasons I'm pretty loyal to lulu, as I'm always falling bt. a M and a frustrating. Also difficult to fork over big dollars for workout wear, when the company making it doesn't even bother to manufacture proper sizes (rant over).

Jennifer said...

Well, I'm going to have to give Zobha a try based solely on the fact that they carry all of their tanks in a size 2. There is NOT one single tank in a size 2 available on the Lulu website(in the US) and the only one they normally stock in a 2 is the Power Y, so not too many options for us smaller gals. : )

LuluAddict said...

Google for Zobha coupon codes. The one I found this morning worked and gave 20% off. I wish I could find Lulu coupon codes!

Marci said...

Luluaddict, where was the Zohba tank made, and how long to ship? I might order one here in CA.

LuluAddict said...

@Marci--The tank was made in Maccau. It shipped the day after I ordered it and came 2 days later via Fedex. Zobha is in Northern CA.

Nicole said...

Kind of late commenting here, but I've been a Lulu addict since '04. They definitely did not have cup inserts then. I have yet to find a tank where I actually keep the cups in. I HATE the way they look on me - so fake and obvious. I'd rather show a little cold nip than bunchy fake cups. :)

Heavengirl said...

I just ordered my tank from Zobha and can't wait to try it.
Btw, does anyone have tried Tonic Wear?