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HomeHikingGear I Maintain Expensive: My Buff Headwear

Gear I Maintain Expensive: My Buff Headwear

I heard you snicker. How might a humble neck tube encourage affection? I sneered too, as soon as.

In 2007, Backpacker journal requested me to check this new “multifunctional headwear” out of Barcelona, Spain, that had began displaying up in U.S. shops. Again then, I assumed the Buff neck/head/no matter gaiter (herewith referred to easily as a Buff) was an inexpensive gimmick—it didn’t even have correct seams to complete the ends. It was only a rough-cut tube of light-weight artificial knit material, but it surely promised to do all the pieces in need of cooking me dinner: Buff was a neck gaiter, a hair tie, a brimmed hat, even a wrist sweatband. It appeared like loads of hype for a bit scrap of fabric.

And but, the primary time I wore my new Buff, whereas snowboarding, I observed how simply I might breathe by way of the skinny material. This was an enormous enchancment over the thick and fleecy neck-warmers that stifled my air consumption after I pulled them over my cheeks and nostril. It turned out that through the use of the marvelously ethereal and adaptable Buff, I might shield my pores and skin from frostbite and take pleasure in oxygen on the similar time. Wow!

Wherever I wore it, my Buff delivered just-right safety from the chilly, wind and solar. Throughout spring ski excursions, when intense UV rays assaulted me from above and under, my Buff shielded my face higher than sunscreen and ended my unlucky behavior of burning my columella. (Google it.) Come summer time, I wore my Buff paddling, fly-fishing, biking and backpacking (it obligingly saved my pack straps from chafing my neck and shoulders).

After I now not need its protection round my face and neck, I merely wrap my Buff round my wrist—no have to discover a pocket or stash it in a backpack. I’ve used it to display screen pine needles and different particles out of backcountry water sources. Tying my Buff round my buddy’s injured arm helped gauze keep put whereas she biked house after a bloody fall. One perform that positively wasn’t promoted on Buff’s packaging: A ski buddy discovered that he might sip whiskey from his flask with out bothering to decrease his Buff from his mouth.

Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear
Buff Unique Multifunctional Headwear, $20

In 2009, I purchased an oatmeal-colored merino wool Buff (that truly has completed hems on the ends!)—and I haven’t cycled it out of my gear closet but. It’s develop into my favourite accent for high-elevation exploration: The pale shade deflects the solar’s scorching warmth whereas the wool regulates my temperature throughout all the mountains’ local weather moods. This Buff has cinched my cap to my head in gusty Patagonia and warmed my ears all through my yard (aka Park Vary) in northwest Colorado. It’s most likely the oldest piece of drugs that I nonetheless use, which makes it one thing of a landmark; if my gear closet was a city, my Buff could be its oldest regularly working saloon.

Buff itself has additionally develop into an icon. In 2022, the corporate turned 30 years previous, and the neck tube that dirt-biker Joan Rojas invented to protect his face from mud had develop into a mainstay of the outside world. Imitators abound.

Buff, in the meantime, is bent on differentiating itself by way of sustainability. The corporate simply earned B Corp certification and is aiming for carbon-neutral standing for its in-house operations, positioned close to Barcelona, Spain, which account for about 90 % of its manufacturing. And after a few years of utilizing recycled postconsumer synthetics and cruelty-free merino wool, it simply launched biodegradable Buffs fabricated from PrimaLoft® Bio, an artificial fleece that goals to handle the issue of PFAS (also referred to as “ceaselessly plastics”) with a make-up that decomposes again into supplies which are present in nature.

Whereas these practices and supplies make Buff merchandise dearer than many copycats, they purpose for higher, not cheaper. It could be fairly bold for a easy neck tube, however that’s all the time been the model’s M.O. As I found again in 2007, Buff talks a giant sport—and delivers.


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