The best buff for men
Sometimes, even the warmest coat doesn’t cut it when the winter chill sneaks its way through your open collar. A scarf can certainly help, but keeping it wrapped around your neck just right can be tricky.
A buff is a perfect alternative. Also known as a gaiter, a buff is a large fabric tube that fits around your neck and can be folded or scrunched to more effectively trap the heat. It’s usually less bulky than a scarf, so many men find it more comfortable to wear.
Our buying guide offers plenty of tips to help you find the best buff for men. At the end, we’ve included several specific product recommendations, including our top choice from Buff, which can be worn a dozen different ways and features a super-soft microfiber fabric.
Considerations when choosing buffs for men
Buffs can be made of various materials, but they’re all soft and work well to keep you warm. The most common fabric options are:
Cotton and cotton blend buffs are incredibly soft, but they also breathe well. They usually offer a light to medium weight, so they work well in both cool and warm weather. They can shrink during washing and aren’t the best option for extremely cold weather.Polyester/microfiber buffs have a lightweight feel but can still keep you very warm. They’re even less bulky than cotton styles and don’t shrink in the wash. They can thin with regular washing.Polar fleece buffs are incredibly soft and warm, making them excellent for extreme cold. Fortunately, they’re still lightweight and breathe well. They aren’t windproof and can cause static electricity that results in frizzy hair.Wool buffs are the warmest option. They’re mold- and mildew-resistant and work well if you have allergies or sensitive skin. They’re pretty pricey and aren’t machine-washable.
When shopping, it’s essential to consider the weather you plan to wear the buff in. Buffs are most commonly worn during cold weather to help block out the winter chill. For lower temperatures, opt for polar fleece or wool buffs since they have a tight weave that keeps out the cold. Some also have an insulated lining for extra warmth.
You can also wear a buff in warm weather to protect your neck from the sun when working out or playing outdoor sports. Warm weather buffs are lightweight and moisture-wicking to move sweat away from your body. Some are made with fabric that’s treated to offer sun protection.
Many buffs have UPF (universal protection factor) ratings which offer additional sun protection when you’re outdoors. UPF ratings generally range from 15 to 50 and indicate how much UV light can penetrate the fabric. A buff that’s rated UPF 50 can block up to 98% of the sun’s UV rays.
Buffs are worn around the neck and can be pulled up over the face, so it’s a good idea to choose a seamless style. This limits friction and irritation for more comfortable wear. If you can’t find a seamless buff, opt for one with flatlock seams to reduce chafing.
If you plan to use your buff for workouts and sports, you may want one made of moisture-wicking material. It can move sweat away from the skin, so you stay dry and comfortable. It also dries quickly.
Buffs for men usually cost between $8 and $120. You can pay between $8 and $25 for low-end buffs, while mid-range buffs generally cost between $30 and $60. The highest-end wool buffs can go for $70 to $120.
Q. Why should I wear a buff?
A. A buff is the ideal alternative to a scarf if you want to keep warm without the bulk. You don’t have to worry about the buff coming untucked, either. Buffs are more effective at protecting the ears, nose, and mouth than scarves because they stay in place better.
Q. How do I wash a buff?
A. It depends on the material, so always check the care label. Many buffs are machine-washable, so you can toss them in the wash with the rest of your laundry. Wool buffs usually require more delicate handling, which means you may need to hand wash or dry clean them.
Buffs for men we recommend
Best of the best: Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear
Our take: A versatile, fitted buff that can be worn 12 ways for effective outdoor protection.
What we like: Can be worn in numerous ways depending on the protection you need. Made of ultra-soft microfiber. Provides UPF 50. Works well for hiking, biking, skiing, and more.
What we dislike: Thinner than some of the previous Buff Original styles.
Best bang for your buck: Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Multifunctional Headwear
Our take: An adjustable buff that works well for multiple activities and different types of weather.
What we like: Works for both cold and warm weather. Merino wool wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Flexible design is comfortable for most.
What we dislike: Fits pretty loosely and can stretch out over time.
Choice 3: Buff Adult Uvx Mask
Our take: An excellent buff for protection in cold weather.
What we like: Offers full cover for the face and back of the head. Provides a stretchy fit that’s comfortable for most users. Features UPF 50 fabric.
What we dislike: Can feel uncomfortably warm if worn for prolonged periods in warmer weather.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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