New Gear: Buff

New Gear: Buff

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Two buffs, orange and and gray

Synthetic orange buff, and merino wool buff

With cold weather on the way, I’m looking to make some changes to my winter kit from last season. Sometimes small tweaks yield big benefits, and that’s exactly what adding a buff does.

A buff is a leg-warmer for your face

It’s a thin, light tube of fabric you pull over the top of your head until it wraps around your neck, trapping a layer of warm air next to your skin.

But it’s also stretchy, so you can arrange it in a dozen ways: as a scarf, as a lower face mask, as a full balaclava, as a headband, as a bandana, and so on.

Buffs are also great in summer, adding a layer of SPF protection to your head and neck while they wick away sweat.

In my gold standard scientific Instagram poll 57% of people already knew what a buff was. I’m part of the 43% who just found out.

I ordered an orange buff from Amazon just to try one out, and was converted on the spot. I’ve worn it on a few icy walks and it’s great. I hate scarves around my neck because of how they restrict my head and shoulder movement. But a buff is so thin, you barely feel it. Even pulled over my lower face, it didn’t restrict my breathing at all. I chose an orange buff because orange is a good color for hunting season.

However, the material (polyester microfiber) in that buff was a little thin, so I ordered a second one made from merino wool, which is still very soft, and stretchy, just a little more substantial. It’s a good addition to have for when the mountain temps get well below freezing.

Where to buy

Here are links to the two buffs I bought…

If you like your tutorials delivered with an English accent, you’re gonna love this three minutes of original buff tutorial video.

A buff works well all year round. Make it part of your basic mountain hiking kit

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