When it comes time to choose clothing to wear outdoors — whether for running, hiking, or another endeavor — you have several materials from which to choose. Cotton is a definite no-go for outdoor activities, since as the saying goes, "cotton kills" due to its tendency to trap moisture against the body. Wool works well for many people, but it can be heavy and cumbersome. One material you may not have considered for outdoor use is bamboo. Brands like Free Fly Clothing have begun using bamboo for outdoor apparel, and it is working very well. Here's a look at five benefits of choosing outdoor clothing made from bamboo.
Bamboo breathes very well.
If cotton kills, bamboo saves lives! It is excellent at wicking moisture away from your body, which is great on cold days. You can work up a sweat climbing up the mountain, and not worry that you'll freeze from the sweat against your body on the way down. In the summer, the breathability of bamboo will keep you cooler. There are thicker bamboo shirts made for winter and thinner ones for summer, but really, you could get away with either option during any season.
Bamboo is a sustainable, green material.
Bamboo grows very quickly, and it does not require a lot of pesticides or water to grow well. For this reason, bamboo is a very sustainable material — especially when compared to cotton, which requires a lot of pesticides to grow well. Any bamboo that is harvested grows back and is replaced within a year or two. Bamboo is also vegan, making it a popular option among those who prefer not to use animal products like wool.
Bamboo is very lightweight and comfortable against your skin.
When you are hiking or rowing down a river, the last thing you want is an itchy arm due to a rough, uncomfortable shirt. Bamboo clothing has a surprisingly soft texture, especially considering it is a made from a material similar to wood. Some compare its softness to that of cashmere. You don't have to worry about itching as you would with wool. The material is also quite thin, so you can layer it easily without feeling weighed down.
Bamboo does not hold onto odors.
Sometimes, you don't have time to go home, take a shower, and change clothing between your outdoor adventures and making a stop at the grocery store. It's nice not to smell like a high school locker room when you go out in public, and bamboo clothing can help with that. The material naturally resists odor buildup because the fibers are minimally porous. You can work out, hike, or run without being self-conscious about smells, which makes bamboo really popular with those who embark on group activities.
Bamboo helps you regulate your temperature.
For years, outdoor adventurers have loved wool because of its ability to keep them warm when it's cold, and cold when it's warm. Bamboo has a similar ability. It helps you regulate your temperature, regardless of the temperature outside. One bamboo base layer, and you will be more comfortable. If you are someone who gets hot feet, try some bamboo socks. If you work outside in the sun a lot, a bamboo hat or cap is a good addition to your collection.
If you are looking for an earth-friendly, vegan material that wicks moisture and will keep you comfortable throughout your whole hike or outdoor adventure, bamboo is the perfect choice. Try on a few bamboo clothing items. Once you experience the material yourself, you will not go back to the more costly, less sustainable synthetics.