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Kit review: BAM bamboo baselayer

Written by Fiona March 27 2014

I love baselayers made of merino or yak wool because they offer brilliant warmth and non-smelly properties. However, they usually make my skin itch so I have to wear a man-made baselayer underneath.

BAM bamboo women's baselayer

BAM bamboo women’s baselayer

I also love man-made fabrics for baselayers because they do a good job of keeping me warm and they are gentle on the skin. Polyester does tend to stink after a wear or two though.

So to discover a baselayer top that is made of a natural fabric and is oh-so-super soft on my skin is amazing. The new (to me) product is bamboo clothing. Yes, bamboo!

I have seen bamboo used in socks but I was not aware that it could be made into beautiful soft fabrics for the use in fitness tops and baselayers. BAM bamboo clothing is a leading company in Europe making bamboo clothes. I have been testing the BAM women’s Heather long sleeve baselayer.

In practical terms the baselayer is a great fit, soft, comfortable and temperature controlling. It’s perfect as part of a layering system for walking, running or cycling.

Aesthetically it looks good enough to wear as an outer layer for activities such as yoga, going to the gym or running on a warmer day. The fitted design has features such as thumb holes, velvet neck tape and a pretty ruched back.

More about bamboo fabric

Fabric made from bamboo is incredibly soft, smooth and luxuriously comfortable. It’s strange how such a hard looking product can become something so soft and cosy.

Bamboo fabric is:

  • Good at absorbing sweat and allowing it to evaporate. This is called wick-away.
  • Offers “thermo-control”, which means it is highly breathable in hot weather and very warming in cold weather. This makes it a good choice for performance wear in a range of conditions.
  •  Antibacterial.  Bacteria doesn’t last well in bamboo fabric so the clothes remain non-smelly even after days of wear (I tested this for the benefits of this blog and it’s true. It passed the whiff test easily!)
  • Anti-static, so the tops do not cling with static to your skin.
  • UV protection means that 98% of harmful UV rays are kept off your skin.
  • Perfect for sensitive skin.

Bamboo fabric is eco-friendly

BAM clothing is highly eco-friendly because of the growth patterns of bamboo, especially compared to other man made performance fabrics and cotton.

  • Bamboo is 100% naturally grown, without using any pesticides or fertilisers. It’s not oil-based like most performance fabrics.
  • No extra water required. The water required for growing bamboo is minute, mainly just from what falls as rain.
  • Space efficient: The yield from one acre of bamboo is 10 times greater than the yield from, for example, cotton. Land use is precious these days and bamboo is therefore an highly efficient grower.
  • Synthetic performance fabrics are made from petrochemicals, which is a non-renewable fossil fuel.

It’s actually pretty difficult to find any faults or problems with bamboo fabric and the BAM clothes are lovely to wear, while also being highly practical. The long-sleeve Heather baselayer is £35, which is a great price, too.

There are lots of BAM bamboo clothing styles for men and women.

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