A good-looking, super-comfortable, trail-friendly T for hiking, fastpacking, running and climbing adventures in dry conditions.
Brilliant odor control
High UPF protection (50+)
Heavy when wet
Thermal performance low when wet
No reflective safety details
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BAM Skua training T-shirt: first impressions
Bamboo clothing is known for its comfort levels, and the design of the BAM Skua training t-shirt is especially luxurious, with single-piece side panels built in to avoid the necessity for underarm seams, which can rub and cause issues.
We like the overall design and look of this running top too, with its stylish but non-flashy colorways, crew neck and tidy cut (not too tight, not too baggy).
Bamboo is, of course, a natural and fast-growing material, which is far kinder to the environment than synthetics, and it deals well with bacteria so you don’t get the kind of bad odor buildup that can make man-made tops unwearable in polite company after a few extreme wears (for more on this subject see: Benefits of bamboo clothing, plus the disadvantages).
On the downside, there are no reflective flourishes to help drivers see you when you’re out walking or running in the dark. Also, if you get caught out in the rain while wearing this top, it will get soaked through and weigh you down quite a bit – and it will take long time to dry.
The material mix includes a big percentage of cotton, which is fine on sunny summer days, but offers no thermal properties whatsoever in wet and cold conditions (quite the opposite). As a fair-weather running, hiking or biking top, this is almost perfect, but if there’s a chance of rain – go with another option.
• RRP: $43 (US) / £34 (UK)
• Style: Short-sleeved T
• Weight: 160g / 5.6oz
• Sizes: S–XXL
• Materials: Bamboo Viscose (68%), organic cotton (28%), elastane (4%)
• Colors: Blue & White / Charcoal & White
• Compatibility: Ideal for running, hiking and biking in dry weather
BAM Skua training T-shirt: on the trails
Bamboo-made garments are typically an absolute pleasure to wear next to the skin, and the BAM Skua training T-shirt is no exception. It feels luxuriously soft and forgiving while you’re running or walking in it, and the material works hard to keep you comfortable, wicking away sweat and allowing your poor perspiring body to breath naturally.
I have been wearing this top for running and walking outings, and on balance I think it’s better suited for hiking, trekking and fastpacking adventures than it is for all-out running, especially on warm days, when the material gets a little heavy with sweat. In colder weather (so long as it’s dry) it will also work for trail running, and it makes an ideal short-sleeved base layer for rock climbing – there is a reasonable amount of stretch in the garment, thanks to the elastane content, so it doesn’t feel at all restrictive.
The odor management is excellent, as you would expect from a bamboo garment, and because of this you can get several days’ trail wear out of it during a multi-day mission, without losing all your friends. Obviously, this means you can cut down on carry weight, which is a huge bonus.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.