Over the last few weeks I have been test driving a sports top made of bamboo. Yes you heard me right Bamboo!! I was sent a top from a company called BAM. This is a UK company who have a refreshingly positive attitude to business and state
"We'd genuinely rather make a smaller profit and have loads of really
pleased and satisfied customers and suppliers and have fun ourselves
than go the traditional, corporate route of ‘get away with what you can, maximize profit and pretend to be whiter than white'. We're all about
transparency, honesty, integrity and fun. If we ever fall short please
My first impressions on opening the package was how silky and soft the top felt.
However I wondered with this level of comfort whether the top was designed more for casual wear rather than for the sport of running and that I might end up very hot in the top which has a neat snug feel to the skin.
The top I was sent is an indigo blue and I like the colour. The top is long sleeved with finger loops which are great. By slotting your thumb through the wholes in the cuffs of the shirt you keep your hands warm and avoid the need for gloves. I also find when I am running that sometimes I have a tendency to curl my hand up hard especially when I am doing a hard session when we all know that we should relax the hands and keep them loose. By using the thumb loops this gives your hands something to hold onto and takes away all the pressure if you tend your hands into a tight ball like I do.
My shirt was a medium size and it comfortably fitted me. I often buy running tops which are a large size to suit a 38 inch chest but this was a good comfortable fir so note that before you buy.
As it indicates on the BAM website this top could be used for a multitude of sports such as climbing,camping, kayaking, lumber jacking and a thousand other activities.
The shirt is very understated and personally I like that. What I mean is there is no big bold company labels on this shirt just a tiny small BAM label almost hidden at the bottom of the shirt. If you are into your labels and wanting to show them of to the world this may put you off. Many running tops have big bold emblazoned labels but personally I want my clothes to fit well and do a job for me with out the big hype of a company label. So another plus point for the BAM top.
The BAM company is big on its green credentials and this shirt is made of 70% bamboo viscose, 26% cotton and 4% elastane. Bamboo is such a versatile product but I wasn't aware that it could be turned into clothes. When I think of Bamboo I think China and Pandas but I will look at the bamboo plant in my garden differently in future that's a point perhaps I could make a shirt from it , perhaps not! The shirt is made in S.A.R
So how did it fare on a run. There is a zip to the neck and setting off on a cool morning I had the top zipped fully down up but after a couple of miles I was happy to unzip the neck and allow some air in.We have had some warm weather recently and I naturally was sweating though my skin didn't feel wet and uncomfortable.
However my conclusion after a few runs in this top that this is a keeper I will use it time and time again. I think it will be ideal for cooler weather running or early mornings. I would look to a short sleeved top from BAM for summer running. This is a great buy and I will definitely look out for BAM products again there is a definite place for them in the running clothing market.
Finally another plus point the BAM company claim that the shirt is smell proof after a run. Normally after a run if I hang about my wife will soon tell me to go and have a shower. However to give it a proper test Sarah smelled it several times and claimed it smelt that it had just come off a washing line after being cleaned! Now that is remarkable as after running I admit I normally pong!
buy your BAM - Bamboo Clothing Zip Neck Baselayer http://www.bambooclothing.co.uk/store/show_product/MZ018-IND