If you spend any amount of time outdoors engaging in adventurous pursuits (running, skiing, mountain biking, etc…), it’s likely that you’re no stranger to a neck gaiter. If you are new to the concept, a neck gaiter can be a misleading term to describe this multi-functional accessory: It’s comprised of a tubular-shaped fabric that can be pulled down over the head and allowed to rest around the neck. From here, the ‘gaiter’ can be pulled up over the chin and nose to provide protection from the elements (wind, sun, and cold air).
However, with recent global events, people have started using them as a face mask as they rest nicely around the neck when not in use and deploy quickly when needed. As most are highly breathable, they have become the go-to face cover for non-athletes as well, as they avoid the pulling of the ears that traditional masks can cause after extended use.
Due to their growing popularity, these extremely versatile accessories have come under fire in past months over their ineffectiveness in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. There have also been experts who have weighed in on the subject in recent weeks declaring that the assertion that neck gaiters are worse than not wearing any mask at all are unfounded (meaning that the study didn’t test for effectiveness).
Not all neck gaiters are made the same. When it comes to choosing a neck gaiter that you’ll like, you should focus on the fabric, the fit, and its breathability. Make sure to look at the labels to see what material its made of because you’ll want something that can be washed and can hold your germs. And remember you should be keeping neck gaiters, bandannas, and reusable face masks washed before use. It might help to stock up on enough to last you for the entire week. If you’ve been looking for a neck gaiter to seal your face, we’ve rounded up some from Amazon, Walmart, REI, and more, with different styles and functions to choose from. Take a look below.
Here are nine neck gaiter options that can easily be deployed for use when stay-at-home and social distancing are just not possible. As a bonus, they will become another invaluable tool in your gear closet even after the pandemic has passed and those face masks are collecting dust.
Though Buff makes an array of products including hats, balaclavas, and in the age of COVID even filtered masks, the brand is best known for its line of multi-functional headwear. The product has a multitude of options when it comes to fabric choices and can be adapted to any environment. And as summer fades to fall and then winter, the thinner options can be replaced with merino wool or fleece.
- Fabric: 95% Repreve Polyester, 5% Elastane
Utilizing merino wool, the brand creates neck gaiters in multiple weights for varying conditions and temperature ranges. The soft and comfortable merino wool is also a great warmer season option. Though created using predominately this game-changing wool fiber, the lighter version (150) utilizes a nylon core for increased durability.
- Fabric: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon Core
Many of us are still looking for options to keep our cool with summer still raging on. With that said, Mission has a neck gaiter that utilizes a proprietary performance fabric that helps to enhance the natural process of evaporation. When activated with water, the ultra-lightweight fabric cools instantly and lasts up to two hours before needing to be remoistened to achieve its full cooling ability.
- Fabric: 92% polyester and 8% spandex
Made with bamboo, this neck and face covering is ultra-soft and lightweight, and possesses the fabric’s naturally odor-fighting qualities as well. It also offers UPF 50+ sun protection and comes in over a dozen colors. The founder started the brand after losing her husband to skin cancer and wanting to create a product that would provide invaluable sun protection.
We just couldn’t resist this one due to the multiple options for expressing your own style and personality. Made with a polyester microfiber, this multifunctional headwear will not only protect you from the elements, its unique designs, ranging from day of the dead and other skull options to a cat puking a rainbow, will surely turn heads wherever you go, socially distancing of course.
- Fabric: 100% polyester
This easy to slip on neck gaiter is breathable and versatile. You can wear it 12 different ways (balaclava, headband, hairband, head wrap, bandanna, beanie hat, and more) and the ear hole prevents it from falling. It’s super light and comes in 10 different styles.
- Fabric: 100% soft ice silk
Looking for a reversible neck gaiter. These neck gaiters are not just reversible but they come in neutral tones to complement any look you have on.
- Fabric: 95% polyester, 5% spandex
This microfleece neck gaiter is great for the cold weather. It’s soft and fuzzy to withstand camping, motorcycling, snowboarding, and more. Back Country also has a Patagonia neck gaiter for kids in two different styles.
- Fabric: 85% recycled polyester
The Buff CoolNet Neck Gaiter is a one size tube design that protects you from the sun with UPF 50+ sun protection. It also has HeiQ cooling technology and Polygiene odor control so you’ll be ready for any occasion.
- Fabric: 95% repreve, polyester, 5% elastane
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