Chris Townsend likes a gilet that can be recycled

The BAM 73 Zero Insulated Gilet is a conventional-looking lightweight warm top. What makes it different is that it’s not only made from recycled polyester from Project Plan B but Project Plan B can also recycle the whole garment at the end of its life. To enable this circle the thread, drawcord, zip tapes and the pocket zips are also made from recycled polyester. Only the main zip is made from non-recycled polyester, which can of course be recycled. The metal components can all be recycled too. The main zip sliders and all the zip pulls are zinc alloy, the cord lock toggles aluminium, and the spring components in the cord locks brass.

The name reflects BAM’s environmental aspirations. It comes from the estimate that 73% of clothing ends up in landfill, which BAM wants to get to zero.

The environmental credentials of this gilet are excellent then. But to worth a place in a walker’s wardrobe it also has to perform well. I’m glad to say it does. The fabric and fill are soft and flexible, and the garment is comfortable to wear. I like the high collar, which fits snugly round the neck. Warmth is what I expect for a synthetic fill garment at this weight, roughly that of the heaviest weight fleece. The hand warmer pockets could be a bit higher so they’re not cut off by a pack hipbelt and the chest pocket could be a bit bigger – it’s just large enough for a smartphone – but these are not big complaints.

Sizing is on the small side. I can wear the large over a thin fleece but nothing thicker. If you want to be able to throw it on over all your garments, as it’s useful to do with gilets at rest stops, you might need to go up a size.

A gilet like this is great for carrying in case you need some extra warmth. Under a shell garment it’s less restrictive than a top with sleeves. If you’re looking for one the 73 Zero Gilet would be an excellent choice, and you get a recycled and recyclable garment.

RECOMMENDED: This product has been awarded our ‘Recommended’ endorsement, meaning our reviewer believes it is a strong product which works well for its intended purpose.