Bamtech Review: Bamboo Apparel Made in USA

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Tired of polyester-based clothing, but still want the same performance properties? Bamboo may be for you.

If you’re terminally online, then you’ve probably read some commentary about how polyester and other synthetic fabrics can be bad for your health

Most athletic and athleisure apparel brands, like Lululemon and Nike, heavily incorporate polyester in their fabric. And for good reason; it’s stretchy, moisture-wicking, and is exactly what you think of when it comes to workout clothes.

However, some brands are looking to natural fibers, like bamboo, to take the place of polyester, spandex, and other synthetic yarns. 

In this review, I’ll give a brief history of the Bamtech brand, review the products I tried hands-on, and deliver an overall verdict as to whether or not you should try it yourself.

Quick Take

I tried Bamtech’s Aerotech T-Shirt, Aerotech Long-Sleeve, Dominate Training Shorts, and Performance Boot Socks. Here are my overall impressions.

Pros

  • Top-tier build quality and stitching (these aren’t cheaply made)
  • Extra silky and comfortable
  • Handles sweat and heat well

Cons

  • The colors are too basic
  • As pricey as Lululemon and Vuori

About Bamtech

Bamtech was founded in 2019 by Brent Kappus, a former aviation mechanic in the Navy, after he developed athlete’s foot during his time in service. Its first product was the Boot Sock, which was designed to give padding in all the most needed places.

All of Bamtech’s products are made in America using bamboo as the main material, which is naturally bacteria-resistant. Today, the brand has several products made of both bamboo and eucalyptus.

What I Tried

Bamtech was nice enough to send me some of their best sellers. Here are the nitty-gritty details of the pieces I tried.

Performance Boot Socks

Bamtech’s original product was the sock, so I decided to start with that. I typically wear a size 10.5, so I ordered the 11-13 size to give myself extra room for shrinkage. 

In retrospect, I should’ve gone with the 9-11 size for extra compression, but these still did the trick.

Bamtech Performance Boot Socks

My first impression is that they felt the same as any other calf sock — stretchy and soft. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I started putting them on because they spread very wide, so I could put them on easily. 

One of my pet peeves, and why I typically stick with ankle socks, is when calf socks are so tight that they’re almost impossible to put on. It gives me bad flashbacks of my soccer days!

The extra padding on the bottom and ankle area was noticeable and the bamboo-nylon-spandex blend felt like a nice hug around my foot. 

Bamtech recommends these socks to be worn with dress shoes or boots. I can’t wait to swap these out for my old dress socks to help combat some of the rigidness of my leather shoes.

Bamtech Performance Boot Socks

I won’t wear them for daily use, simply because I like the look of ankle socks better, but I’ll definitely use them for any hard workouts or manual labor.

Bamboo Aerotech T-Shirt & Long Sleeve

I’ve worn a lot of t-shirts throughout my life. 100% polyester, complex blends, Pima cotton, you name it and I’ve tried it. I was excited to see what a primarily bamboo t-shirt felt like.

Bamtech Bamboo Aerotech T-Shirt

The Aerotech T-Shirt is made of 95% bamboo and 5% lycra. I typically wear a size medium, but I opted for a size large based on Bamtech’s sizing guide. This turned out to be the right decision. (I’m about six feet tall, for reference.)

The shirt is slightly heavier than cotton and has a silky drape with a slight stretch. It feels amazing on my skin. It’s slim fitting and compliments my body well.

While I’d categorize it a “performance shirt,” I could easily wear this out to a bar or on a date and it’d pass the test. It has a nice shine similar to a high-end cotton. It also has invisible stitching which contributes to its sleek look.

The Long Sleeve is slightly more branded, with logos on the side and back of the neck. I primarily wear long sleeves when working out or playing basketball, because I like for my body to heat up and produce more sweat (weird, I know), so the long-sleeve version is right up my alley.

The sleeves are narrow, but not too tight. If I had bigger arms it’d be more of a compression top. Guess I need to get back to the weight room.

Bamtech Bamboo Aerotech Long Sleeve

Bamtech’s line of tops are some of the most comfortable I’ve worn. I’ve seen some brands have three or more fabrics in their material composition, and that just feels like overkill. I appreciate that this material is mostly bamboo, with some lycra added for stretchiness.

Dominate Training Shorts

The Dominate Training Shorts are, well, just that. They’re manly, rugged, and durable. They have a thick waistband and a reflective drawstring to keep them from falling down.

Bamtech Dominate Training Shorts

I was a bit surprised to find out that they were made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex — I was under the impression that all of the brand’s products were made with bamboo, but it doesn’t take away from the functionality of these shorts.

They have two main side pockets with an additional zipper pocket on both sides, so there’s plenty of storage for a phone, AirPods, wallet, keys, and even more.

They also sport two reflective lines along the side for added visibility at night. The 7-inch length is ideal for me, not too short or too long.

I recommend these mostly for weightlifting, but not for cardio-heavy workouts.

Bamtech Dominate Training Shorts

The thickness is great for squats and slower exercises, but it’s likely too much if you’re bouncing back and forth on a track.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about bamboo as a clothing material.

Is bamboo good for clothing?

Bamboo is great for clothing because, unlike polyester which is synthetic, it’s a natural fabric. It’s inherently antifungal and antibacterial, which makes it great for performance wear and gym clothes.

Is bamboo better than cotton?

It depends on what you’re using it for, but generally speaking, bamboo is better than cotton for a lot of activities.

Especially for high-sweat activities like running or lifting weights, bamboo is a better option because of its moisture-wicking capability, compared to cotton which causes chafing and gets heavier as the moisture holds in the fabric.

Why are bamboo clothes expensive?

Bamboo isn’t as widely used or available as cotton. Because the supply chain and manufacturing processes aren’t as developed, bamboo tends to cost more to produce than cotton.

Final Verdict

I was definitely a bamboo skeptic before trying Bamtech’s line. I was always curious how clothing could even be made from bamboo!

The Performance Boot Socks felt airy and padded. They certainly are very high quality, though I’m not sure if the over-$20 price tag is justifiable for one pair of socks. I’m looking forward to wearing them as dress socks.

The Aerotech T-Shirt and Long Sleeve are going to be my new go-to workout shirts because of their cooling properties and soft touch. If you’re between sizes, I’d recommend sizing up as I typically wear a medium, but the large fit perfectly. I also enjoy the form-fitting silhouettes as I’m not a fan of baggy clothes.

And finally, the Dominate Training Shorts are a solid pair of shorts, especially for hiking or less-intense outdoor activities. I probably wouldn’t wear them running as I think they’re a bit heavy, but if you need extra storage for keys or a wallet, the zipper pocket works well.

Overall, Bamtech makes some great gear. It’s high quality, super comfortable, and made in America, which I really appreciate. It’s priced on the premium end alongside more well-known brands like Lululemon, which is likely because of the bamboo element.

If you’re fine with synthetic materials and overseas manufacturing, then you can find cheaper options from other brands. But if you want good apparel and to support a veteran-owned business that’s doing manufacturing domestically, Bamtech is for you.

Have you tried Bamtech or other bamboo-focused brands before? Have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments!

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