These sturdy leggings are built for support, and take a little wrestling to get on, but once you’re in they dish up high performance in soft, climate-positive fabric and lots of freedom to move
Supportive, figure-sculpting fit
Handy thigh pockets with flaps
Soft and stretchy
A little hard to get in and out of
Slow to dry
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BAM Bamboo women’s Kennick Side Pocket bamboo leggings: first impressions
On the rack, these leggings are made for those hikers who want to feel supported on the trail but still enjoy the freedom to move. Whether you're wearing them as your best hiking pants or running leggings, the thick, sturdy bamboo cotton makes for a figure-sculpting pant that is also soft against the skin, breathable and stretchy so you get full range of motion.
The 7/8 length of these pants means no bunching around the ankles inside your hiking boots, while BAM has added two thigh pockets with flaps where you can stash a key, a credit card and your phone. The deep waistband and flatlock stitching ensures no chafing.
Bamboo absorbs five times more carbon than hardwood trees, it takes half the land cotton needs to produce the same amount of fiber and it doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides. These pants alone avoid 2.1 kg of carbon dioxide emissions and save 685.4litres of water in production, according to the company.
As a fabric, it is super soft and comfortable against the skin. These pants are a little hard to get into, but once they’re on they’re neither restrictive nor do you have to pull them up constantly. Though not waterproof, they’re a better alternative to your basic yoga pants for hiking, and come in at a good price too.
• RRP: £49
• Sizes available: UK 8 - 14
• Materials: Bamboo viscose (64%), organic cotton (24%), elastane (12%)
• Colors: Black, Flint, Rust dawn, Rich navy
• Best use: Hiking, trail running
BAM Bamboo women’s Kennick Side Pocket bamboo leggings: on the trails
Hiking leggings as opposed to the traditional pant are becoming more popular among women these days and in lots of climates, it makes lots of sense, certainly for more casual hikes. They’re certainly more versatile than a classic hiking pant and often more comfortable too.
BAM Bamboo’s Kennick side pockets bamboo leggings are a good step up from other outdoor brands attempts at a hiking legging, and I think they’re a much better option than wearing yoga pants, which can be thin and less durable. These are so sturdy, in fact, that I had to wrestle myself into them at first. Once on though, while they feel extremely supportive, I was surprised to find that they didn’t feel uncomfortably tight.
The “figure-sculpting” effect is quite pronounced and they do look great on, but more importantly they perform really well with extra support and lots of stretch for freedom of movement. Being made from bamboo, they are exquisitely soft and the high waist is great for comfort, plus there’s no rubbing or chafing with these. The 7/8 length is another plus, as many yoga pants are made too long and you end up with uncomfortable bunching of fabric around your ankles inside your hiking boots, causing rub.
Obviously a big advantage of regular hiking pants is all the storage, but I was pleased with the two thigh pockets on these that have a little flap to keep them more secure. I could comfortably carry my phone in one, and while a whole bunch of keys is a little uncomfortable against the thigh, you can easily stash a car key and credit card in them.
Though they’re not waterproof, their thickness does give some protection from the wind and I found them to be all I’d want on cold, dry days on the trail. They do wick sweat nicely, so they’re great for warmer hikes too, and they really don’t get stinky easily – I’ve worn these loads of times and still don’t feel like they need to go in the wash, which is a huge plus in my book both for sustainability and durability of the clothing.
A final huge selling point of these pants is they make a good base layer too, so once the weather really gets cold, you can throw pair of windproof and waterproof hiking pants on top.
Here’s how they performed:
These are meant to be supportive and skin tight, so my regular size felt like they were going to be too small until I wriggled into them. Once on, they definitely fit true to size, but if you’re in between sizes, I’d recommend sizing up.
So-called “figure-sculpting”, these are skin tight and then some. Very flattering and streamlined.
Bamboo fabric is some of the softest around and added stretch makes it easy to move in. The high waist and flatlock seams ensure no rubbing or chafing too.
These aren’t insulated pants, but they’re thick enough to protect you from a chilly breeze, and the breathability fabric keeps you from overheating on warm hikes.
I find it less important on my bottom half, but these pants definitely wick away sweat nicely.
Super thick material and sturdy construction plus odor-protection means you won’t have to wash these often and they’re definitely built to last.
Here’s where we tested BAM Bamboo Tregarrick base layer:
This walk made our pick of best hikes near Glasgow. The so-called Whangie is an unusual-looking rock feature in the Kilpatrick Hills, and boasts wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.