These are different times, and the use of a mask is advised to help mitigate the COVID-19 problem. Face coverings are needed more than ever and you should use one every time you go out of the house. However, not all types of face coverings are appreciated by everyone. For those wary of face masks, the buff or the neck gaiter might be more your speed. They are not as solid when it comes to protection as face masks however wearing a neck gaiter is still better than donning nothing and leaving yourself vulnerable against viral infections. Read our guide for the facts on neck gaiters.
- What is a neck gaiter exactly?
Answer: The neck gaiter is a type of face covering, usually a band of fabric which is worn around the neck and is made from either merino wool, synthetic wicking materials, fleece or a kind of knitted material. There are neck gaiters made for cold weather and winter sports while there are ones that are comfortable enough to be worn in hotter weather. It can be lifted on and off over the nose and the mouth to protect the face from dust, wind, sand, dirt and debris.
- What is the purpose of a neck gaiter?
Answer: Lots of people use the neck gaiter to keep warm during colder months, specifically those who are not fond of wearing scarves. They are also used as protection against wind, sun, insect, and debris while skiing and snowboarding. The neck gaiter is also effective as a type of face shield against UV rays. There are many neck gaiters that are comfortable to wear in the summer and offer cooling properties too. It’s also a neat way to beat the sun while performing winter sports activities. In fair weather, neck gaiters are great to use while cycling, running, hiking, fishing or boating. The neck gaiter is also a good way to avoid hitting insects while motorcycle riding. Outdoor projects that tend to deal with dust, debris and dirt will benefit from the protective properties of a neck gaiter since it helps keep away those annoyances while doing construction work, woodworking and other similar activities.
- What should I look for in a good neck gaiter?
Answer: First, the neck gaiter that you should choose must depend whether you plan on using it in the winter or summer. Ones made for cold weather are usually crafted from thicker materials like fleece and merino wool while lighter ones have cooling methods. For maximum comfort, choose one made with breathable fabric. Quality neck gaiters will also have built-in UV protection. Look for options made from flexible materials too so you can acquire a good fit. Neck gaiters come in a nice range of colors and designs—choose one that best fits your taste.
Our Top Picks
Jjyee Neck Gaiter
- Made with 100% soft ice silk
- Flexible and stretchy
- Very versatile design
- Blocks UV rays, dust, dirt and debris
The Jjyee Neck Gaiter will help prevent chances of acquiring viral infections and it’s also a great way to block out UV rays and prevent dust, dirt, debris and sand from getting on your face. It is made from genuine soft ice silk, stretchy and flexible enough to accommodate different-size necks and faces. Has good stitching and stays put. You can use it in various styles too—can be adjusted in 12 ways from a simple neck gaiter into a scarf, headwrap, balaclava and more.
Chosion Face Cover for Men and Women
- Reusable, washable face covering
- Made from breathable, soft fabric
- Includes ear loops
- Stretchy, flexible fabric
The Chosion Face Cover for Men and Women guarantees protection against the sand, wind, dust, dirt, debris and insects thru its super-elastic yet breathable fabric. The fabric is effective when it comes to transferring humidity and heat away from the face to keep you cool at all times. Also helps in UV protection and has efficient stitching for durability. To prevent slipping, the mask also comes with ear loops. Great variety of colors and prints available.
NaNa Unisex Bandana Face Mask
- Made with quick-dry fabric
- Protects face from direct sunlight
- Can be used in many ways
- Great for outdoor activities
The NaNa Unisex Bandana Face Mask allows for more freedom of movement and comfort compared to your standard face mask. This buff is made from 100% microfiber polyester quick-dry material which won’t leave you soaked in sweat even in the most humid of days. The covering also helps protect your face against the harmful rays of the sun. Apart from wearing it as a neck gaiter, you can also wear it as a scarf, a headwrap, bandanna, neckerchief and more.
Outdoor Research ActiveIce Ubertube
- Made from breathable material
- Quick-drying and sweat-wicking
- Has Active Cooling Design
The Outdoor Research ActiveIce Ubertube offers both comfort and protection—it helps in guarding the face against the sun, dirt, debris, wind, insects, sand and even reduces the risk of viral infections. The buff is crafted with breathable, lightweight and sweat-wicking Active Ice fabric. This material is designed to lower skin temperature while wicking sweat and maintaining a cooler temperature. You can also wear this item several ways according to your preferences.
Buff Unisex-Adult Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear
- 97% polyester and 3% elastane
- Includes pull-on closure
- Has HeiQi Cooling Technology
- Features UPF 50+ sun protection
The Buff Unisex-Adult Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear is geared towards sun protection—if you want protection that is comfortable, you may want this piece. Its 95 percent recycled REPREVE performance microfiber coupled with HeiQi Cooling Technology and UPF 50+ sun protection guarantees all-around comfort during outdoors activities and winter sports. This is a versatile piece too—can be worn into 12 styles from a simple cap to a hair tie.
Tough Headwear 12-in-1 Cooling Neck Wrap/Gaiter
- 12-in-1 design
- Made from 89% poly and 11% spandex
- Stretchable, flexible fabric
- Has UPF 50
The Tough Headwear 12-in-1 Cooling Neck Wrap/Gaiter has a one-size-fits-all design thanks to its high-quality, elastic and moisture-wicking material. The material is made from a blend of polyester and spandex that has good stretch but will not sacrifice comfort and breathability. Can be worn many ways, whether as a simple neck gaiter or a sweatband. Also comes with excellent UPF 50 protection. Very snug but not restrictive.
So, you are not comfortable using face masks. Still, you need to cover your face in these times. The neck gaiter is still the better choice than exposing yourself to COVID-19 risks.