Review: BAM 73 Zero Recycled Fleece Jacket

Your new gear may be made from recycled materials rescued from waste, but what happens once it’s reached the end of its life and is destined for landfill? BAM aims to close the circle.

Ben Weeks wearing BAM Zero 73 Fleece Recycled

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

Environmental sustainability and responsible manufacturing practices are no longer a ‘nice to have’ option for outdoor gear brands. These days, it’s an expectation. Look at any season’s new releases from your favourite brand and you’ll find the number of hiking jackets and other products without recycled materials of some kind are fewer and fewer each year, if indeed any. This is a good thing. Using recycled plastics and other fabrics saves waste from landfill, and simultaneously reduces the demand for virgin materials plus the energy and chemicals required in their manufacture.

But one important question remains: what happens to these products once they reach the end of their life? If they end up in landfill then the impact has only been delayed, rather than avoided. So what’s the solution? The holy grail of sustainability is the circular economy. Resources are used, reused and reused again in a cyclical system that minimises, and ideally negates, the need for obtaining or creating new materials.

The 73 Zero Fleece Jacket (so-called because currently 73% of clothing ends up in landfill or incinerated, and the goal is for that to be zero) is part of BAM’s step towards that circular economy. In addition to being made from 100% recycled materials with absolutely no virgin plastic, it’s also 100% recyclable in every single detail. This extends right down to the stitching and the cords of the hood. This is not a new idea for BAM. In 2021 it launched a recycled and recyclable insulated jacket. But this is the world’s first fully circular fleece, so let’s see what it offers.

BAM 73 Zero Fleece Jacket: five things you need to know

BAM 73 Zero Fleece Jacket inside lining and main zip
©Live For The Outdoors/Tom Bailey

No new plastic

The 73 Zero Recycled Fleece Jacket is made from 100% recycled 335gsm polyester. This gives countless plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill or floating in the oceans a new life.

Warm and cosy

Both the men’s full-zip jacket and the women’s half-zip hoodie are made from two-sided fleece for warmth. They also have a brushed inner that makes it super-soft on the skin. The women’s jacket has a head-swallowing hood for ultimate snugliness.

Pouches and pockets

The men’s jacket features two zipped waist pockets and a zipped chest pocket. The women’s hoodie has a relaxed kangaroo pocket, which isn’t ideal for stashing valuables but does make a great retreat for cold hands.

Closeup of BAM 73 Zero Fleece Jacket fibre
©Live For The Outdoors/Tom Bailey

GuppyFriend recommended

A GuppyFriend is a microfibre washbag. BAM recommends that you always wash your fleece inside one. Washing your fleece inside a GuppyFriend reduces fibre shedding, filters the few fibres that do break (while not losing any itself), and prevents the microplastic pollution associated with washing synthetic textiles.

You can get a GuppyFriend from BAM.

End-of-life action

When you no longer have a use for your 73 Zero Fleece, BAM recommends that you sell or donate it to someone. It’s a quality product that’s been designed to last. But when the jacket finally reaches the end of its life and can’t be saved by repair, the entire thing can be recycled through BAM’s partners, Project Plan B. Full details are printed on the inside of the jacket.


Fabric 100% recycled polyester 335gsm | Sizes men’s S, M, L, XL; women’s XS, S, M, L

Trail verdict

This is the future. If we’re to protect the planet we so love exploring, a circular economy will be a big part of the plan. Kudos to BAM for embracing it.

More warm gear for upping the snuggle factor

Summit Junkie’s Global Explorers Thermal Jacket is beautifully made, beautifully detailed and beautifully warm. It’s lined with 60gsm quilted insulation and has fully ribbed hems and cuffs for a snug fit. Its zip pulls are in the shape of a climber’s figure of 8 belay device and have an ‘Attitude for Altitude’ woven label on the rear neckline. The printed interior displays some of the world’s most prominent mountains with their height and grid ref. It’s not technical kit, but as a winter warmer it’s delightful. (Get 20% off the Global Explorer Jacket by applying the code Trail20.)

Whether in your base camp tent, by the fire in a bothy, or just at home, a pair of warm slippers add a little luxury to life. These Montane Anti-Freeze Packable Down Slippers are made with a 100% recycled Pertex Quantum Eco outer and (PFC-free) water-resistant 750+ fill power down. They feature a durable non-slip outsole and a removable (for packability) internal foam sole unit.

The Kelty Hoodligan Blanket can be worn two ways. Either as a snuggle-blanket for 1-2 people or, with the toggles fastened, as a hooded insulated poncho. It’s made with soft-brushed fabric and Cloudloft insulation. It's been designed for camping trips and van life, but guaranteed to prove popular at home too.

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