Getting Active in Bamboo Clothing
BAM Bamboo Clothing Review – I must admit I was a little dubious when I first heard about bamboo clothing. We all know bamboo is an amazing, super strong material for the construction of buildings, and making furniture and weaving durable mats. But can you really wear it? The people at BAM Bamboo Clothing assured me that not only can you wear it, but it is also an incredibly comfortable material which happens to be eco-friendly with natural wicking properties so it is perfect as active wear.
Having worn a couple of BAM T-shirts for various activities over the last few weeks I can attest to the fact that they are extremely comfortable, hard-wearing and breathable. But what surprised me most for clothing billed as ‘technical’ gear is that it is extremely good looking. While designed for outdoor activities and use in the gym, they are also fine for general use and wouldn’t look out of place at the beach or on the high street.
I was lucky enough to trial two BAM T-shirts. First out of the nicely branded packaging was the standard Bamboo T-shirt. While it is designed for everyday use, it also possesses the same technical qualities you’d expect from active wear. It’s perhaps a little heavier than some Merino wool T-shirts I have worn, but it’s just as soft and comfortable. I’ve worn the bamboo T-shirt while hiking along the coast path near home. I’ve also put it to the test while mountain biking on woodland trails at Cardinham. The fit is good and the soft material allows for a good range of movement. I was sweating a little but the shirt did a good job a wicking the moisture way from my skin so I remained dry and warm.
Next out of the packet was the Bamboo Contrast Pipe Workout T-shirt. You can immediately see that they have put a lot of effort into this design. The shape is contoured for a closer fit and the external pipe seams are designed to reduce rubbing, and help to give the shirt a more active appearance. I used this T-shirt for some long distance trail runs while training for a marathon. Again, the fit was great and the soft, stretchy material moved with me as I ran. On chilly runs, the climate control function of the material kicked in and helped keep me warm. On hotter days, the T-shirt did feel a little too heavy as it seemed to retain a lot of the moisture it was wicking away from my skin. It did not evaporate as adequately as I had hoped. But at least I wasn’t smelly – the anti-bacterial qualities of bamboo helps with that too.
All in all, I was impressed with the bamboo T-shirts. I think I would opt for a lighter material for use in the gym or hot, sweaty runs. But they are particularly good for light activities and as a base layer in our normally chilly climate. Plus the quality fit, comfort and looks means I’m more than happy to use them for everyday use. I think this bamboo clothing will really come into its own for base layering for winter treks and expeditions, as a cheaper alternative to merino wool clothing. After all this was the main reason why BAM’s David Gordon founded the business – to find a good, comfortable alternative to traditional materials after a particularly tough expedition in Greenland. I think he has done a great job.
To find out more about BAM’s Bamboo Clothing range, please visit www.bambooclothing.co.uk