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.