The following Vie Active Review is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100 percent my own.
There’s no nice way to say it. We outdoor women spend a lot of time sweating in our clothes! And we quickly learn that a lot of the cute activewear marketed to us actually isn’t comfortable and durable enough to handle extended backcountry travel.
I’m constantly looking for outdoor clothing that performs well while looking great, so I was excited to test drive some new products from Vie Active. And spoiler alert: It’s quickly becoming my new favorite activewear brand. This clothing really hits the sweet spot between style and performance.
Read on for my honest review of the Vie Active Rockell Legging and Mal Gal Tank Top. And if you like what you see, use coupon code ADVENTURE20 to order full-priced items for 20 percent off!
Photos by Sarah Maurer and Gale Garcia
Introducing Vie Active
Vie Active was founded by personal trainer Noa Ries, who realized that when it came to workout clothing, she was fed up with choosing between comfort and style. Here’s a little about Vie Active in the company’s own words:
“Born in Bondi Beach, Australia and headquartered in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho, Vie Active inspires and empowers women with performance-driven, stylish activewear.
“Crafted from luxuriously soft, quick drying, sweat-wicking, and anti-microbial fabrics including compression and Australian Merino, each piece is meticulously designed then sweat and stress tested by our team to ensure optimal comfort and performance.”
While this sounds nice, I know from experience that brands often underestimate the intense beating that outdoor women put our clothing through! So I decided to put Vie Activewear through my own sweat-and-stress test.
About the tester
Every woman looks for something a little different in her ideal activewear. As a mountaineer and ultramarathoner, here are few things I value:
- Comfort. One of the biggest problems I run into with activewear is chafing on the insides of my thighs and under my arms. I have weird thighs that rub together, even when I’m at an ideal weight. I even chafe through leggings. Seams and rough fabrics are my enemy.
- Moisture management. Since I sweat in my activewear for a long time, I love fabrics that effectively wick moisture away from my skin. Also, it’s nice not to stink, especially when I wear the clothing several days in a row on a backcountry trip.
- Sex appeal. The waistlines of many leggings hit me right under my belly pooch, making me look lumpy and pregnant. I’d love to find something high-waisted to smooth out my tummy, lengthen my legs and show off my bum.
What I tested
- Rockell 7/8 Legging in poppy (size medium)
- Mal Gal Tank Top in black (size medium)
Here’s are some of the real-life trials I put my VIE activewear through to check its performance, comfort, and durability:
- A very damp 8-mile training hike with a 30-pound backpack (leggings only). Although it was April, it snowed all over us, and the trails were covered in mud. Excellent testing conditions!
- 30-minute high-intensity interval workout performed on a treadmill.
- One-hour, medium-intensity strength-training session performed with free weights and a functional trainer.
- 1.5-mile VO2 max test (high intensity outdoor run)
What I loved about VIE Activewear
The answer is: pretty much everything! These clothes exceeded my expectations. Some highlights:
Fabrics that feel luxurious (even while you’re killing it)
The top thing that makes Vie Activewear stand out from other pieces I own is the quality of the fabrics. They really feel amazing against your skin!
Pulling on cheap polyester leggings can be frustrating and uncomfortable. By contrast, the Vie Active Rockell leggings feel silky to the touch and slide right on! This surprised me considering that they are designed to compress and shape. (More on that in a minute.)
The Mal Gal tank top is made a of a viscose-spandex blend that’s buttery soft but dries quickly. It’s so luscious that at first I was sure it was 100 percent wool. But it manages moisture better than wool.
Absolutely zero chafing
When I tested this gear, my inner thighs were still smarting a bit from the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim hike, which I’d done in my cheap Costco leggings. And I’m happy to report that I experienced absolutely no chafing or discomfort with the Vie Activewear Rockell leggings, even on an extended training hike.
At first I was convinced that the Rockell leggings had somehow been magically made without seams. But there is a seam along the inside of the leg. It’s just extremely flat to reduce friction.
Tank tops often chafe me on the underside of my arms, but I had no trouble with the Vie Active Mal Gal Tank, even when running at high intensity. The seams and fabric were both very soft and didn’t create friction where my arm swing rubbed against them.
Excellent moisture management
Vie Active fabrics did a great job of wicking sweat, rain, and snow away from my skin, even on a very long, damp training hike. I would totally wear the leggings as a wicking layer under my cross-country ski pants. These clothes also dry quickly making them ideal for wilderness and travel backpacking.
No odor (so far)
Granted, I’ve only had these clothes for a few weeks, but so far they show no signs of the “perma-stink” that often plagues synthetic fabrics and workout clothes. According to the company, the clothing is created with “freshguard technology” that keeps odors away. I have found this to be true so far, but will update you if things change!
It takes a lot for me to post a picture of myself in leggings. But as you can see, the Vie Active Rockell legging does a great job of smoothing and shaping — even on my imperfect 43-year-old body! I especially love the high waist, which looks stylish while holding my tummy flat.
I specifically chose the Vie Active Mal Gal tank top because I have a fetish for strappy sports bras. This tank shows them off nicely. And as you can see, it also looks great worn casually with a strapless bra.
Starting in June 2019, all Vie Active clothing will available in plus sizes up to 3X. I also love the way the company features women of all sizes in their social media campaigns. (Check out Vie Active’s Instagram account for some examples.)
Fast, friendly customer service and a great return policy on full-priced items
When I ordered my Vie Active clothing, I received the leggings in the wrong size. (It’s quite possible I entered the wrong size on the website.) The company immediately emailed me a free return label and got the correct size in the mail.
What could improve
A few minor things I didn’t love about the VIE Activewear that I feel obliged to mention here …
Petite sizes would be nice, although the Vie Active 7/8 Rockell legging fits me pretty well at 5-foot-1. (It just looks like a full-length legging.)
Return policy on discounted items
Given that it’s sometimes hard to gauge the perfect fit with an online size chart, it would be nice to be able to return discounted items purchased through the website. (As noted above, Vie Active accepts returns on full-price items.)
My Vie Active review: The bottom line
Overall, I was really happy with my Vie Active Rockell leggings and Mal Gal tank top. I will definitely be wearing them both for summer trail running and hiking. I will also probably wear the leggings as a wicking layer under rain or ski pants (though I might opt for something thicker in very cold winter conditions).
While I don’t have any overseas trips planned this year, I will definitely take Vie Active clothing on my next extended backpacking trip. It does a great job of drying fast and seems to resist odor well, making it ideal for travel.
To learn more about Vie Active, check out their website. You can use my coupon code (ADVENTURE20) to get 20 percent off full-price items!
Originally published April 19, 2019.