This climate positive mid-neck base layer is made from super soft bamboo cotton to keep you warm and dry on the trails, but doesn't hold up to the test of time
Good odor control
Soft against the skin
Flattering fit and thumb holes
Slow to dry
Not very durable
Not available in plus sizes
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BAM Bamboo Tregarrick base layer: first impressions
On the rack, this mid-neck flattering base layer is both stylish and performance based. It features a fun design based on Strava maps and feels extremely soft to the touch, made from a blend of absorbent bamboo and organic cotton which is breathable when you’re on a run. It features thumb holes which are great for cooler runs and helps to regulate your temperature.
If you haven’t hopped aboard the bamboo clothing train yet, you’re in for a real treat. Bamboo absorbs five times more carbon than hardwood trees, it needs half the land cotton needs to produce the same amount of fibre and it doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides. As a fabric, it is super soft and moisture wicking fabric and meets the challenge of outdoor adventure.
Another fun aspect of BAM is that they provide details on the environmental impact of each product. This top alone avoids 2.6 kg of CO2e emissions in production and saves 842.3 litres of water according to the company. Add to that how well it works as a performance fabric and you can see why we love bamboo.
That said, this top showed signs of wear from the first use and wash, so you'll want to take care and follow the washing instructions on the label. We like this as a running top going into mild-to-cool weather, but it also makes a great base layer for hanging out at camp, so long as you don't get it wet as it's slow to dry.
• RRP: £44
• Sizes available: UK 8 - 16
• Materials: Bamboo viscose (68%), organic cotton (28%), elastane (4%)
• Colors: Moss, CCM, Nordic Sky Trace Print, Purple Dahlia Trace Print
• Best use: trail running, hiking, camping, winter sports
BAM Bamboo Tregarrick base layer: on the trails
My first item of bamboo clothing was a pair of yoga pants that I bought back in 2008 and I was instantly intrigued by this eco-friendly fabric. Despite what you might imagine, bamboo makes for an incredibly soft fabric and it’s fairly high performing for outdoor adventures because it’s so absorbent and thermoregulating.
This base is super stretchy and flattering and of course it feels great too. It’s designed to hug the skin but doesn’t restrict your movement in any way whatsoever. The graphics, which are based on Strava maps, are really fun and I love the mid-neck and thumb holes to block drafts in cooler weather.
I’ve already worn this out on a few chillier evening hill runs with a windproof layer on top and while I’ve worked up quite a sweat, it’s kept me comfortable temperature-wise. It does get damp in the usual spots (armpits) after a run, and it is slower to dry so I wouldn't want to wear it when it's really cold out or I can't change into dry clothes immediately.
A big advantage of natural fabrics like bamboo is that they don’t get as stinky as synthetic fabrics which means you can wear them more times before washing them, and that holds true for this top. I wouldn’t say it’s completely odor-free after a run, but I was happy to wear it a couple more times.
My main beef with this top is that it showed signs of wear and tear almost straight away, which I have found to be an issue with bamboo. I noticed some faint salty sweat stains on it after using it once, and the fabric does look a little worn after a few wears and washes. It still performs well, but I don't think it will last as long as may of my other tops.
Here’s how it performed:
True to size, I wear a small and this is skin tight, the way I want a base layer to be, but doesn’t restrict my movements.
Skin tight, mid-neck cut which is really flattering, with long sleeves.
It really couldn’t be more comfortable. Bamboo fabric is some of the softest around and added stretch makes it easy to move in.
Wicks away sweat nicely. Some damp patches in the usual spots after my run but never felt clammy while running and it dries quickly.
Shows signs of wear pretty quickly. Natural fabrics don’t have quite the longevity of synthetics, so to make them last you have to wash them less, and properly (which is where the odor control comes in nicely). This top does have good seams sp without constant washing should last a couple of years.
Here’s where we tested BAM Bamboo Tregarrick base layer:
This green loop made our pick of the best hikes near Glasgow and its initial climb makes for a challenging trail run past a couple of reservoirs before opening up to city news and long downhill by a stream.
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.