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Woman wearing BAM Longford Recycled Jacket

Review: BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket

A sleek and simple waterproof jacket for everyday active wear that is made from 98% recycled materials and is designed to be recyclable

A sustainably made waterproof jacket that doesn’t require a second mortgage to own? Yes, the BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket has arrived! Though by no means inexpensive and certainly not cheaply made, this mid-priced jacket goes the extra mile when it comes to planet-conscious practises. It also stands up to moderately bad weather, is comfortable, lightweight and packable. Read on to see why BAM is a brand to get behind.

BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket: The stats

Best use:Everyday activewear
Weight:260g / 9.2oz
Waterproof?:Yes
Eco info:Designed to be recyclable and made from 98% recycled materials

Features of the BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket

Fabric

JAcket fabricSuper soft to touch, the stretchy fabric has a membrane (and not a lining) that is waterproof and breathable. It has a 10k/10k HH rating which means that it is waterproof in light rain and moderately breathable. The fabric is also made of 100% recycled polyester and coated with Teflon EcoElite, a PVC-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating.

Hood

Jacket hoodThe simple hood is adjustable with plastic toggles and cords. The toggles need to be removed from the jacket and recycled separately at the end of the jacket’s life. The hood lacks a peak and is on the snug side when wearing a wooly hat. But it cinches down well enough to keep out the rain and wind.

Zip

Jacket zipThe double storm flap that covers the zip means that the zip doesn’t need to be treated with a waterproof coating. The result is that it is made from the same 100% recycled PET as the rest of the jacket and can be recycled with the jacket. The storm flaps have velcro closures made of 100% virgin polyester, but can also be recycled with the jacket.

Cuffs

Jacket cuffLike the storm flaps, the cuffs can be cinched in with Velcro tabs. These hold tightly once secured and are made of recyclable virgin polyester.

Pockets

Internal jacket pocketThere are two zippered hand pockets, one of which doubles as a carry case in which the whole jacket is stuffed. The inside of the jacket features two large stuff-it pockets.

Vents

Jacket chest ventInstead of pit vents, the Lonaford features ventilation flaps at the chest and back of the shoulders. Below the vents are mesh panels which are made from 100% recycled PET. These help well with airflow during higher energy activities, but don’t function quite so well when wearing a backpack.


BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket review

15 years since BAM Clothing began, the dream of creating a “viable and sustainable business” lives on and is going from strength to strength. Now, in 2021, the brand is branching out even further from its bamboo-based roots with the launch of sustainable outerwear. One of which is the BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket. I’ll come to that later!

First – because I love a good stat, especially when it comes to doing good for the planet – here’s some BAM planet-saving stats that are well worth highlighting:

Since launching in 2006, BAM has saved:

  • 1,296,252 kg CO2 of emissions avoided or 4,970,663 km of driving emissions avoided
  • 1,905,805 m2 of land farmed without pesticides or 249,140,115 days of drinking water saved
  • 457 kg of pesticides avoided or 1,905,805 m2 of land farmed without pesticides

What a brand! Better still, every product they sell comes with similar sustainability stats so that you know exactly where you stand. It just makes you feel really good inside!

I’ve been wearing BAM clothing for a couple of years and LOVE it. So I was super excited to try out the Longaford jacket. Three years in the making, the jacket is waterproof, made from 98% recycled materials and designed to be recyclable. And, like many of the other more sustainable options I’ve been trying out over the last year or so, this jacket proves that sustainability doesn’t impact performance.

Let’s dive in…

Woman walking in black jacket in the rain

Fit

The jacket is cut for an active fit. It feels great with a base layer or thin jersey / fleece underneath, but if you want to wear thicker mid layers or a down jacket underneath then you’ll need to go up a size. I wear a size S and it’s a great fit for running in or hiking in warmer weather. But it’s no good for winter hiking when I want to wear warmer layers.

It’s also a little on the short side for my preferences. I don’t notice this at all when wearing it running, for everyday wear or when walking without a backpack. However, for more lengthy days on the trail where I need to take a daypack, the length becomes a bit of an issue as the back starts to ride up below the backpack.

Jacket neck

Weather protection

The inside seams are all taped for extra protection against the rain. And the presence of a membrane, instead of a lining, keeps the jacket waterproof and breathable without it being stiff, heavy or inflexible. This means that it deals really well with moderate activity in light rain. Prolonged wear in heavy rain, however, sees a small amount of moisture build up on the inside. Not leaking where you’ll get wet patches, just a slow penetration of the fabric. This is especially noticeable when it’s super windy; the extra pressure of the rain on the fabric pushes the waterproofness to its limits.

I’ve also found that, although the vents are effective in light rain and let good airflow through, I’ve found that in less clement conditions, rain manages to get in through the vents leaving me with wet patches on my chest!

Packet jacket

Versatility

The lack of lining makes the Longaford incredibly lightweight and packable. As mentioned, it packs away neatly into its own pocket which is super appealing to just chuck in a backpack or bag on those changeable days.

It’s also really comfortable to run in on cool days (5-10ºC) with a base layer or t-shirt underneath. The vents really come into their own in this scenario and the membrane provides surprisingly good breathability.

When it comes to hiking, it’s certainly not my first choice. This is mainly due to the short length and incompatibility with a backpack, and also the unreliable waterproofness in heavy rain. For shorter walks in showery conditions, however, it’s an ideal option.

Finally, the Longaford is a good looking jacket that has a contemporary feel about it. Not super ‘outdoorsy’ looking, but simple and sleek. It doesn’t look like a waterproof. That, coupled with its packability, makes it a really excellent choice for everyday wear when there’s a chance of rain.

Woman wearing BAM Longford Recycled Jacket

What I love the most about the BAM Longaford Jacket

It’s really hard not to love how much thought and effort has gone into the creation of this jacket from a sustainability point of view. End of life disposal is an issue that few other outdoor brands are tackling in the way that they should. And I really love that BAM outline exactly what can and can’t be recycled at the end of the jacket’s life.

I also love the soft and aesthetic fabric that is complemented perfectly by the simple and stylish design of the jacket.

Oh, and being packable and lightweight also ticks lots of boxes for me!

What I don’t love so much about the BAM Longaford Jacket

I’d prefer a little extra length at the back for wearing with a backpack. Also, the lack of hood peak leaves the face a little exposed on the very wet days.


Verdict

The BAM Longaford Waterproof Recycled Jacket is one of the best value sustainably made waterproof jackets I’ve come across in the last year or so. And there’s a lot of them about these days! It offers excellent value for those wanting a waterproof jacket for everyday active wear that they can look and feel great in. It doesn’t quite offer the design features and performance preferred for big days on the trail. However, this is reflected in the price and it more than holds its own for casual hiking and days out in changeable conditions.

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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About the author

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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