We all have a favourite piece of clothing that’s always in the pack whenever we go up the mountain. Surprisingly mine it’s a Buff. Ever since I bought it, immediately became one of the most important pieces in my layering system. There are several brands and materials on the market but I do have a soft spot for merino wool.
Buff as everyone knows it by, is actually a multi functional head wear. This is one of the reasons I love it. No matter if you need a scarf, neck gaiter or hat, the Buff can be anything. Very light and easy to care for, it’s available in tons of colours an patterns and in both merino and synthetic for all year round. Price tag is about £20 depending on retailer and model.
The size – the general size is 25.5 x 9.5 inch. Long enough so it can be folded in half and transformed into a beanie. I would have preferred though a tighter fit, especially because after you start using it, being 100% merino does not have the elasticity to retain the initial shape.
The material is 100% merino wool, as mentioned above.Tubular construction and seem free. Though I had to return one as the bottom started to unravel after one use. The replacement however has seen a lot of use and washes and no damage so far.
The Buff – as the name suggests, it’s a multi functional piece of clothing and at purchase it comes with a small sketch explaining its use. There is also a presentation clip on the official website. The most common uses are a neck gaiter and a face mask. Occasionally as a replacement for my beanie or balaclava. All together it sums up to about 16 different usages. It packs very small and weights no more than 45 grams.
- multi functional
- very light
- dries quickly and regains initial shape after washing
- warm but breathable
- soft and comfortable
- at first uses pilling might occur
- has to be hand washed
- once used, the fit becomes loose
- price – quite expensive for 45g of wool
I have been using the Buff for a few seasons now and it certainly stood up to the challenge. It did what was meant to – offered protection from the weather elements whether that was cold wind or snow. Has travelled to Scotland, Alps, Dolomites, Carpathians, Pirin and even Africa. Always around my neck or my jacket pocket. In extreme temperatures when used as a balaclava, the part covering the mouth will often freeze due to moisture. Even so it still offers wrath and protection against the dry cold wind. Sometimes when is too warm for a hat, I wold just pull the buff over my head and then the helmet just too keep the wind away from my cervix and years.
If you got to this point is no reason for me to say how much I love it. Despite the loose fitting and hand washing this is one of the best products one can own. You don’t know you need it until you have used it. If the price puts you off then go for some of the cheaper brands but for cold weather use, stay away from synthetic. Really not much to say here. You either like it or not.