Overall, Athlos athletic activewear feels incredibly comfortable, has an appealing muted aesthetic and a pleasant buying experience. It holds to its promise of no odor, and the fabric feels lightweight and soft when worn. The downsides are mildly premium pricing, limited range of women’s sizes, and a few pocket sizing and seam quirks to iron out. It may not be the best choice for casual athleisure wear in India, but anyone with a regular workout schedule will appreciate Athlos as an option for their workout wardrobe.
What Does Athlos Claim?
Athlos claims and aims to provide high-quality activewear that is comfortable – in that it is seamless or has flatlock seams, anti-odor, and made of bamboo fabric. According to their website, they also work with manufacturing in Mumbai and Bangalore and source the bamboo part of the fabric from Sichuan, China. Right now, they have a somewhat limited catalog of activewear – tees, and shorts.
What Is The Story Behind Bamboo and Anti-Odor Fabric?
Bamboo fabric, most commonly used, is a natural fiber made from the trunk or stem of the bamboo plant. Now even though it is a natural fiber, whether it is more sustainable than alternative options comes down to the practices of the company processing the crushed pulp to bamboo fibers. Similar to our earlier review on Tailor & Circus underwear and micro modal fabric, the jury is still out on the sustainability of bamboo fiber production being any greater than regular viscose.
Fabric adopts an anti-odor feature when treated with silver and copper which enables the continuous release of silver ions in the material that then resists bacterial growth. Silver has been used as an anti-microbial in the medical industry for years, with growing applications in performance wear.
How We Tested
All of the BentoBox testers had frequently encountered Athlos on Instagram and Facebook. We had three testers, all between the ages of 30-35 who are moderately active. Not performance athletes, but those who incorporate a workout routine through the week in their lives – which in this case was yoga or strength training at the gym.We tested the women’s crew training tee, the men’s crew training tee, and the men’s training shorts for two months.
What We Like About Athlos
- Comfortable – We found the Athlos tees and shorts incredibly, incredibly comfortable. The fabric feels soft and stretchy. It also feels lightweight and breathable. The colors available are all muted shades that do the fabric justice: no shiny, glitzy colors or dry-fit like sheen here.
- Anti-odour tech worked – We tested this multiple which ways, for instance, right after a workout when drenched or after leaving a used t-shirt around for a few days.
While I am not sure if we could say there was no scent at all, there is no foul odor emanating. Any sweaty stink feels muted or non-existent. I feel like muted is a word we use a lot with Athlos.
What We Do Not Like About Athlos
- Premium Pricing – So Athlos products are priced between ~ ₹1200-2500 or ~19-20 USD. Since there are very few products in the Indian market to compare Athlos to, we roughly did the math comparing it against other bamboo fiber clothing in US market, and Athlos prices are at 70-90% of the US prices. However, purchasing parity does not quite work that way.
- Even if you leave aside parity, could I justify a workout essential or two costing me anywhere between ₹1500 to 2000? Sure, Athlos is not the same as going to the nearest Decathlon and grabbing a shiny ₹399 Kalenji t-shirt. We can get on board with that, but even for the most price-insensitive performance-oriented amongst us, Athlos pricing feels a bit steep. Also, given that its 47% bamboo fabric and the rest of it is made up of cotton and elastane – I feel like there is room for more affordability somewhere.
- Not-So-Seamless – Our male tester of Athlos shorts was sold on the promise of seamless pockets, but was a bit disappointed to find that they were not as smooth as promised. In addition to seamlessness, the pockets were found to be a little small to store a 5.5 inches phone. Also, for men – Athlos shorts are the snug side as opposed to roomy if you have a preference. An additional note here on the seams, in some non-essential regions we found the stitching a bit flimsy on the t-shirts and coming apart. Not a dealbreaker, but can be annoying to have threads coming out, and the corners rolling up with more use and wear and tear.
- Available Sizes – Finally, the biggest peeve.
Athlos only has limited sizing for its products – only up to size 10 in women, in particular. This HAS to change. Women who workout come in all sizes, and definitely size 10 and above.