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Neck Gaiters

Top Picks

How we choose: The best neck gaiters highlighted here were selected based on 28 reviews of 16 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Buff

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

At first glance, this is a simple neck gaiter that serves a pretty basic function. Yet this humble accessory has been an essential part of my various activities for almost 10 years and thousands of miles of outdoor travel. The merino wool version demonstrates superior performance over synthetic and cotton offerings. Breathability and temperature control make it much more tolerable in hot conditions, while it performs equally well for thermal protection when it's cold. Most importantly, it keeps the sun off my neck, face and head.

Reasons to Buy

  • Multi-use / multi-wear
  • Stretchy and large enough to provide full coverage coverage of the neck, head, and face
  • Merino fabric is soft against skin, highly breathable, and handles moisture well.
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Durable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Thin and highly breathable, a merino Buff probably doesn't do a whole lot to prevent the spread of coronavirus...but it's better than nothing (?)

  In the times of COVID, I thought it apt to review a product that has been an essential part of my kit long before face coverings ever became a (controversial) subject. It's my hope that this review sheds some light (pun intended) on other objectives for outdoor face coverings.  I cover my face (and many other parts) to keep the sun off...why else would I look so silly? Background: Growing up in Colorado, fleece neck gaiters were a childhood essential for warmth...think Kenny of South Park.

Read more: Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Buff reviews (2)

Icebreaker Merino Flexi Chute

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

This neck gaiter is a winter companion that will keep you warm (and happy) for years! Made of soft/non-itch Merino wool, this accessory is an easy way to adjust your internal thermostat in moments. Combined with headwear, a neck gaiter is a great alternative to a balaclava.

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Odor resistant
  • Not too restrictive
  • Can be used as a blindfold

Reasons to Avoid

  • Small learning curve for proficiency
  • A little long when unfolded

Now that I have had this neck gaiter for a second year, I found it time to write a review on this little goodie…  I typically wear the neck gaiter folded in half, lengthwise. Here is the neck warmer not folded.  I personally find making small adjustments to my head/neck, wrists/hands, and torso the easiest ways to regulate my internal temperature, and therefore prevent sweating. This neck gaiter can easily be modified in a number of ways to keep you warm, without getting too warm. I have used this neck warmer countless times, fall through spring, from daily use to dayhikes, and approximately 6-8 backpacking trips along the East Coast Mid-Atlantic region.

Read more: Icebreaker Merino Flexi Chute reviews (2)

Arctic Lynx High-Performance Infinity Scarf

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

This scarf is best used as a nursing cover, as it’s a perfect size and fabric, and is easily washable. It’s also a fantastic scarf for all types of outdoor physical activities as it’s composed of a midweight fabric, is comfortable, and wicks moisture. This product is best for coverage during nursing, and for added warmth during outdoor activities in moderately cold temperatures. I would absolutely recommend it for physical activity in the outdoors and for nursing mothers alike.

Reasons to Buy

  • Moisture wicking midweight fabric
  • Comfortable and versatile
  • Doubles as a nursing cover

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not thick enough for superior warmth in cold temperatures when not physically active outdoors

Conditions:  Over the past couple of months, I have been wearing the Arctic Lynx High-Performance Infinity scarf as the temperatures dip down during the fall and early winter seasons here in the northeastern US, and it has become a staple of my activewear gear when exercising outdoors in cooler weather. Arctic Lynx Infinity Scarf Comfort and Performance: The scarf is constructed from the same high performance midweight fabric that other Arctic Lynx clothing items are made from, which matches super well when paired together with the Arctic Lynx activewear leggings and T-shirt I also tested.

Read more: Arctic Lynx High-Performance Infinity Scarf review (1)

Smartwool Neck Gaiter

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Nice merino neck gaiter. Keeps my neck warm with the comfort of merino wool.

Reasons to Buy

  • Merino wool
  • Stretchy
  • Soft

Reasons to Avoid

  • Could be a little longer?

Fit and comfort:  Pulls on easily over my head, stretchy enough to stay on over my nose and ears and comfortable enough to sleep in. The seams are internal and do not get in the way. Adjustability: It has the elasticity of merino wool, but no additional adjustment devices. It's two layers of knit merino wool sewn together. Water resistance: None, just a knit merino neck gaiter. Breathability and Moisture management: Great! knit material allows moisture to pass through easily. In colder temperatures, I found some expected moisture buildup when I cover my face with it.

Read more: Smartwool Neck Gaiter review (1)

Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

The Original Buff will give you the confidence you need to tackle all outdoor tasks.

Reasons to Buy

  • Doesn't overstretch
  • Breathes well
  • Looks attractive

Reasons to Avoid

  • No three wolf moons

The first thing I did last Thursday was rush to my mail box to open the package that had my Original Buff inside. As soon as I placed it on my head, my entire world changed. A few of the things that happened were I could protect my neck, face, and ears from the sun all at once! I felt totally rad when I used its skull cap mode, kinda like a pirate. The ladies seem to totally dig it. Another thing you will find with the amazing Original Buff is that people will become envious of you. I had a guy approach me just yesterday willing to trade his ExOfficio wear-the-same-pair-always underwear.

Read more: Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear reviews (3)

Fjallraven Bergtagen Neck Gaiter

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1 review)

Warm, ventilates, does not smell, gets holes real easy. Recommended, but expect short lifespan.

Reasons to Buy

  • Orange easily visible
  • Very comfortable
  • Long enough
  • Fits my 58cm helmet head if need be

Reasons to Avoid

  • Wears quickly and is fragile

I recently bought this as I like my Bergtagen eco-shell jacket and it's really comfortable, made of Merino wool. Fits me well, but seems to be quite fragile, as there is already a hole in it, near the inside tags which I then cut off, as there is a whole book of white label tags in several languages. Most annoying ;) I got it in screaming orange so I can find it in my backpack in darkness a bit easier.

Read more: Fjallraven Bergtagen Neck Gaiter review (1)

Arc'teryx Rho LTW Neck Gaiter

user rating: 5 of 5 (7 reviews)

The Arc’teryx Rho LTW neck gaiter is an extremely long name for a very simple product. Essentially it’s just a tube of fabric (in this case 95% wool and 5% elastane) with unlimited uses. While its primary intended use is around the neck, to keep the cold snow out and the warmth in, I’ve found it handy for many other applications. I feel like it’s an upgrade on my old synthetic gaiter for a couple reasons—the comfort and quality of the wool, the stretch, it's stink inhibiting, and the thickness. Those reasons helped me grin and bear the price tag, which I feel is the only negative.

Reasons to Buy

  • Warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Versatility
  • Breathability
  • No itch, no stink
  • Temperature regulation
  • Flame resistant
  • Stretchy

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

Intro I’ve found this to be one of the most versatile pieces of gear I own, and one of very few that doesn’t leave my pack year round. When I saw that Trailspace would be including it in the monthly giveaways I felt inclined to write a quick review of how, and why, I choose this gaiter. Although this is certainly not my first gaiter, it will be my last. Fit and Comfort I’m a big fan of wool, but a bit of a wimp when it comes to itch factor. Arc’teryx doesn’t list the microns of the wool used and just says it’s a MAPP Merino wool, not sure what the MAPP means.

Read more: Arc'teryx Rho LTW Neck Gaiter reviews (7)

Columbia Backcountry Ride Neck Gaiter

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

My most important cool/cold weather ear, forehead, head, neck, face activewear in the PNW! Physical shape-shifter on the trail from headband to earmuffs, neck gaiter, and balaclava. Did I mention it can help you sleep on a plane and can compress into the size of a chicken egg?

Reasons to Buy

  • Contortionist! Amazingly useful range of shapes possible
  • Ability to shift heat retension or cooling effects where needed
  • Warmth with small form packability (made possible with omni-heat)
  • Blocks wind just enough, holds in heat just enough
  • Excellent water management: wicks just enough, does not become water soaked and freeze
  • Soft and comfortable against my skin
  • One of the best activeware investments I've yet made
  • Durable! Like new after over 100 outtings and washings!
  • Gear efficient, replaces many items, can be crafted into others.
  • Good News: One size should fit all

Reasons to Avoid

  • Only the good die young? Currently not offered*!!!
  • Easy to misplace ... e.g., in unknown pocket from last hike.
  • Not thick enough for extreme cold (then use as a headgear liner or *combine two)
  • Not So Good News: Others in the clan might also find it fitting their use

__________________________________ Columbia Sportswear description Designed to changes paces quickly according to varying temperatures and conditions, this innovative gaiter features Omni-Heat thermal reflective on the front and regular MTR fleece on the back for two-in-one functionality. Itâs beautifully crafted, lightweight, and stretchy. When the cold bites and arctic gusts attack, secure the Omni-Heat side in front of your face for significantly more warmth. When temps moderate, rotate to the regular fleece side for soft, cozy coverage.

Read more: Columbia Backcountry Ride Neck Gaiter review (1)

Buff UV Half Buff

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

This is a must-have item on a thru hike! Can be used for more than just a head cover! This kept my hair out of my eyes and kept my neck warm at night and my head covered from the sun during the day.

Reasons to Buy

  • Light weight
  • Couple sizes to choose from
  • UV protection
  • Multiple designs
  • Covers head and neck

I bought this as a last minute item before my JMT hike in August. This ended up being one of my favorite items on my hike and will never leave it behind on any future hike. I wore this for 18 days on the trail! I washed it out daily and used it to cool off during the middle of the day when it was very hot. I took it off rinsed in the cold alpine lakes and streams and cooled off my neck and face and head then rinsed again and put it back over my head to keep me cool! I could not have gone without this item on my trip.

Read more: Buff UV Half Buff review (1)

Berghaus Spectrum Neck Gaiter

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

A neck gaiter is a simple but very valuable accessory to carry in your pack. Basically a tubular scarf, it's great for wearing when hiking into a strong wind, or just lift up to warm up when resting. The Berghaus spectrum is a nice, very warm example at an affordable price.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very warm
  • Soft
  • Wearing well over time
  • Easy to adjust

Reasons to Avoid

  • A little bulky at the base of the neck, can be a little snug fitting with closer fitting technical jackets

There isn't much to discuss when it comes to neck gaiters. They are basically a tube of fleece that acts like scarf which wont go flying off into the wind. They aren't all built the same though, and some offer better value for money than others. The Berghaus spectrum is a particularly nice example as its priced quite reasonably in comparison to some other examples. Fit and comfort: The overall of the gaiter is good. It is adequately long to keep the base of your neck warm while extending upwards to cover your nose.

Read more: Berghaus Spectrum Neck Gaiter review (1)

More Reviews of Neck Gaiters

Trailspace reviewers have shared 28 reviews of 16 different neck gaiters.

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