Chris Townsend find this recycled and recyclable fleece very warm
This new heavyweight fleece from BAM has a conventional design. The material is polyester, which is pretty standard for a fleece too. However this is recycled polyester, which is still not that common, and, even more rare, everything else from the zips to the woven trims and pockets is also made from recycled polyester. Only the zinc alloy zip sliders and pulls aren’t polyester, and they are easily removed so the whole garment can be recycled. This is probably the most environmentally friendly fleece garment available.
The 73 Zero Recycled Fleece performs well too. The slightly stretchy fabric has a smooth outer and a furrier brushed inner, making a double-sided fleece that’s quite thick and very warm. It needs to be down to freezing before I can wear it while walking. It’s very breathable and not at all windproof so much of the time a shell is needed on top, a very warm combination.
The jacket has a snug stand-up collar to keep the neck warm. The cuffs and hem are double fabric but not adjustable. The handwarmer pockets are roomy and warm as they’re lined with fleece. They are cut off by a pack hipbelt though. The chest patch pocket is also roomy but not quite big enough for a map. Inside there are open-topped pockets behind but not part of the hand pockets. These could be useful for storing hats and gloves to keep them warm.
The above is the men’s 73 Zero Recycled Fleece design. There is a women’s jacket made from the same fabric and with the same name but which has a completely different design. It’s an overhead garment with a hood, a half-length zip and a kangaroo pocket. I think the two garments need different names.
The men’s fit is quite snug. I can wear the Medium comfortably over a thin base layer but not over anything thicker, not that I can imagine needing to do so. Comfort is excellent as the fleece is very soft and stretches slightly. The women’s fit is described as oversized and in the pictures on the BAM website it looks very loose and baggy, which may not be ideal for hill use. It would be good to see a women’s model with a similar design to the men’s.
The men’s 73 Zero Recycled Fleece Jacket is an excellent warm fleece for really cold weather with excellent environmental credentials. I really like it.
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.