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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Bambo Crew Socks > Test Report by Shawn Wakefield

Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks
Test Series by Shawn Wakefield
Initial Report: May 4, 2010
Field Report: July 12, 2010
Long Term Report: September 14, 2010

Reviewer Information

Name: Shawn Wakefield
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Shoe Size Men's US 12.5
Email: shawn@wakefieldsoft.com
Website: WakefieldWanderings.com
City, State, Country: Tishomingo, Oklahoma, United States

Backpacking Background: I started camping and backpacking about 25 years ago as a teenager in the Boy Scouts. I am enjoying backpacking again, and I really like going lightweight now and covering a lot of miles. My wife and I take frequent backpacking trips together, and our kids (all under 13) go occasionally. We like to hike in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas for short trips, but enjoy Wyoming and Colorado for longer trips. My current pack averages 16 lb (7.3 kg) including water and three days' food.


INITIAL REPORT: May 4, 2010

Product Information

Manufacturer: Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd
Year of Manufacture: 2010
URL: www.bridgedale.com
Listed weight: N/A
Delivered weight: 2.7 oz (77 g)
MSRP: N/A
Material: 35% Viscose- from- Bamboo
35% Coolmax® / polyester
29% Nylon / polyamide
1% Lycra® / elastane
Colors Available: Natural/chocolate and Natural/eucalyptus
Delivered color: Natural/eucalyptus
Delivered size: Large
UK 9 - 11.5
EUR 44 - 47
USA M 10 - 12.5
USA W 10.5 - 13

Product Description
Bridgedale Bamboo Socks Off
 
Bridgedale Bamboo Socks On

The Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Socks are crew length socks made with bamboo, coolmax, nylon, and lycra. I received two pair of the socks for testing in a plastic mailing envelope. The packaging indicates that the socks are made in South Africa. The care instructions for the socks are listed as: wash on normal cycle, do not bleach, iron on a low temperature setting, do not tumble dry, and do not dry clean.

The packaging does not list any kind of warranty. On the website, it listed this warranty statement: "If you are not completely satisfied with the quality and performance of your Bridgedale socks at any time within 1 year of purchase, return them to the place of purchase together with your proof of purchase for exchange."

Initial Impressions

The socks feel very soft, which I was not expecting. The socks have thicker padding on the bottom of the foot, over the toes, and up the back of the heel. The darker green color in the pictures indicates where the socks are thicker. Over the top of the foot and up the leg are the thinnest areas of the sock. This appears that it may help them stay dryer or dry faster, especially if wearing trail runners or boots with mesh on the top, which I do. The word 'bridgedale' is woven into the socks across the toes.

The socks fit my feet quite well, and they do not feel too thick when I tried them on with shoes. The material is soft and very comfortable. I have another pair of socks that are primarily coolmax, and the Bridgedale bamboo socks are much softer. The website makes this statement about the bamboo socks: "This range of socks combine the advanced wicking technology of Coolmax® with the silky comfort of bamboo, a natural and renewable fibre." I don't know much about bamboo fibers, but perhaps they are processed and are much softer than other fibers.

I wore each pair of socks for a day doing normal activity. They fit fine, felt good, and were comfortable. I normally purchase low height socks, rather than crew length, and I did notice the socks tended to slide down toward my ankle on occasion. This will be something to watch to see if it is an issue for me.

Initial Likes:
1. Very soft
2. Comfortable
3. Good fit

Initial Concerns:
1. How well will the crew length stay up on my leg

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.


FIELD REPORT: July 12, 2010

Field Use

Total use of the socks so far has been for 13 days and 7 nights during the following trips:

Day Hikes in OK: I wore the socks on three day hikes in April of about 3 miles (5 km) each while our Boy Scout troop prepared for a backpacking trip. The temperature for the hikes was around 80 F (27 C).
 
3 Days Backpacking in AR: I was an adult leader for a 22 mile (35 km) backpacking trip over three days on the Ozark Highlands Trail in northern Arkansas during mid-May. We primarily covered section 5 of that trail. The temperatures were 65 F (18 C) at night and 85 F (29 C) during the day.
 
6 Days Backpacking the AT: I used the socks on a 6 day section hike of the Appalachian Trail in late May. We started at Springer Mountain, GA and ended at Deep Gap, NC - covering about 85 miles (137 km). Temperatures ranged from 58 F (14 C) to 85 F (29 C) on the trip.
 
Day Hike in OK: I used the socks on an 11 mile (18 km) day hike in the Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma in early July. The temperature was about 85 F (29 C) for this trip. We hiked the Bohannon Creek and part of the Ouachita Trail on this hike.
 

Field Performance

As it is summer, most of my hiking was in dry conditions. We did have a few foggy mornings, but no real rain. The terrain varied between dirt and rocks, without much mud or sand, and almost always hilly. I hiked in long pants, although they are lightweight fabric. Due to this fact, and the socks being crew length, I did not have any problems with debris or rocks in my socks. My feet were usually a little dusty when I removed the socks at the end of the day, but my trail runners have a lot of mesh fabric, so that is not unusual.

There was slight odor, but with an occasional rinse, it never got very strong. The socks do seem to stay smelling better than my all synthetic socks I have most recently used.

I have been very satisfied with the performance of the Bridgedale bamboo socks. First, the fabric is extremely soft. I have other socks of different fabrics, and I think the bamboo socks are the softest that I have used for backpacking. The softness does not appear to have changed much during the time that I have worn them.

The durability has been fine so far. I intend to put more miles on the socks to test this further, but the socks do not have any holes, loose threads, or other durability problems.

I also like the top mesh fabric on the socks. This seems to help moisture evaporate through my trail runners. The thicker padding on the bottom of the socks does not dry as quickly, but I expected this. I have rinsed the socks at the end of the day or in the morning, and attached them to the outside of my pack for drying. They are usually dry by the afternoon or early evening.

The socks sometimes work their way down my leg, but I have not really found any socks that stay up all of time. I do not consider this a defect at this time. I did not have any problems with the socks bunching up in my shoes or moving around. They stayed put on my feet within my shoes quite well.

It is hard to find a lot to say about socks. They do the job, and there are not any bells and whistles to get all excited about. I certainly do not have any complaints at this time. I look forward to additional opportunities to wear these socks over the remainder of the testing period.

Likes:
1. Very soft
2. Comfortable
3. Thin top fabric breathes well

Concerns:
1. None at this time

This concludes my Field Report.


LONG TERM REPORT: September 14, 2010

Total use of the socks while specifically hiking or backpacking has been 17 days and 9 nights including these additional trips:


Day Hike in CO: I wore the socks while hiking in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in late July. The temperature was about 85 F (29 C) for this trip.
 
Three Day Trip in CO: I wore the socks on a trip in early August in the San Isabel National Forest in southern Colorado. The temperatures for the trip were around 75 F (24 C) for highs and 48 F (9 C) for lows with a mix of sun and clouds. We did several day hikes in the area, and we also climbed the East Spanish Peak one morning.
 

An unusually hot July and August has limited my number of camping nights out since the field report, but the socks continued to perform well for me. I have worn the socks over a dozen additional days during my day to day activities including to the office, working outside on a tractor or with a chainsaw, and on other occasions in order to give the socks an additional workout.

Most of the use has been during dry trips, but the socks often got very wet with sweat while working outside in the heat. Since the socks are on the thick side, they would take longer to dry, but I have not found this to be a problem. I only got one blister while wearing the socks, which was a result of 15 to 20 mile (24 to 32 km) days on my AT trip.

The socks continue to have a low odor for me. Wearing them for extended numbers of days without washing causes a moderate odor, but if they are worn only one day before washing, the odor at the end of that day is barely noticeable.

The durability has been very good. I have not seen any fraying or thread problems with the socks. I have not encountered any holes in the socks, or even places the socks are worn thin indicating that a hole may be soon to come. The last photo to the right is a picture of the socks taken today, after all of the use and abuse that they have been given.

The socks have been very comfortable. They are soft and padded, but not too thick. The mesh top seems to reduce the moisture build-up as well. I actually have found myself grabbing these socks out of my sock drawer instead of many other options that I have available for hiking socks. I am impressed by how soft the socks feel, even after months of use and washing.

I honestly do not have any complaints about the socks, as they have met all of my expectations and should serve me well on many future excursions.

Likes:
1. Very soft
2. Comfortable
3. Thin top fabric breathes well

Concerns:
1. None

Thanks to Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.

- Shawn Wakefield
 


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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Bridgedale Bambo Crew Socks > Test Report by Shawn Wakefield



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