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Gear Review: thriv Natural Performance Bamboo Fiber Shirt

Back in October I received an e-mail from a start-up company that was getting set to enter into the workout apparel market.  The company, called thriv, produces performance workout clothing made from bamboo fiber and organic cotton, and in return for signing up for their thriv 1st newsletter, they sent me a sample shirt free of charge.

There are a lot of gimmicks out there in the performance clothing industry, but I’m happy to report that bamboo fiber clothing is not one of them. I can honestly say that plant-fiber fabrics have it all over synthetics when it comes to softness and comfort, and the shirt that thriv sent me was incredibly comfortable, enough so that I decided to wear it during my running of the Manchester Marathon in early November (see orange thriv shirt picture below).  Choosing comfortable clothing for a marathon is critical, and the fact that I chose the thriv shirt for this race shows how highly I think of it (it also helped that it was orange and the marathon was the day after Halloween). It held up well, and I experienced zero chafing during the race. Coincidentally, the official race shirt provided as a bonus for registering for the Manchester Marathon was also made in part from bamboo fiber, and it has become one of my favorite long-sleeve tech shirts for cool-weather runs (and I have no idea who made that one).

I have to admit, I’m now a huge fan of plant-fiber tech clothing (I’ll be reviewing another awesome shirt from Marmot made from coconut fiber in the near future) – the stuff is the real deal, and although it’s pricier than the synthetic Target C9 attire that makes up a big chunk of my running wardrobe right now – the thriv Natural Performance Men’s Carrolton Standard Tee retails for $24.99 – the price is not as high as I would have initially guessed.  What’s more, it’s more environmentally friendly than workout gear made from petroleum-based synthetic fabrics.

In addition to the shirt they sent me, thriv makes a full line of performance clothing, and although I have enough tech gear at this point to probably fill an entire dresser, I may spring for a pair of their compression tights for winter running – I suspect they are a lot softer than some of the synthetic-fabric tights that I currently own. Currently, thriv products are exclusively available on-line at the Sports Authority website.

If you’re interested in winning a free shirt, thriv is giving away 50 per month to those that sign up for their newsletter at

For more information on thriv products, visit the thriv natural performance website.

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

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