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Anyone used a 'hoodie' buff?
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Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Anyone used a 'hoodie' buff? on 06/25/2012 06:35:50 MDT Print View

While browsing around for new headwear I came across the 'hoodie' buff:

I don't currently have any hooded jackets apart from my rain jacket, mainly due to the fact I haven't found any available locally that are lightweight. Hood seems to equal streetwear and hence heavy. I don't actually mind a hood though and I'm considering this as an alternative to my fleece beanie I currently use. I like the flexibility of it. Does anybody have any experience with this or know how much it weighs? What products are similar? Do you think it's practical or just gimmicky?


Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Anyone used a 'hoodie' buff? on 06/25/2012 11:49:29 MDT Print View

Maybe your standard "hoodie" made of fleece or cotton is street wear but for the back country hoods probably provide the largest bang for your buck/oz when it comes to warmth. Your body loses a disproportionate amount of heat through your neck and head than the rest of your body, so covering that small amount of surface area with insulation (and keeping out drafts) will keep you much warmer than if you added that extra weight to torso insulation. This same principal is why a balaclava is also warmer than a beanie, because wind and cold is kept off your neck.

That said, the hoodie buff LOOKS gimmicky as shiite. Then I started reading a bit more about it. The hood is made of windstopper which is essentially just Gen 1 goretex. So it will be windproof, mildly breathable, and highly water resistant (when clean it will probably only let water in through the seams, unfortunately looks like there may be one on the very top of the hood). There's a thin microfiber layer to cover your nose and mouth that will block some wind but won't impede breathing much. Finally the integrated neck gaiter will provide some warmth too. The product definitely isn't gimmicky, looks aside. That said I'm not sure about the placement of the windstopper. I like wind protection around both my ears (which get really painful in a freezing wind) and my neck for warmth. The buff cyclone gives me that option, but not the hoodie. Still the hoodie may be easier to use in balaclava mode than a normal buff since it's more specifically designed.

If it looks like it will fit your needs I wouldn't worry about it being gimmicky and turning out a dud. I own an original buff, a wool buff, and the cyclone buff and all of them have been great. I think the company has a good feel for headwear so there's probably a niche purpose for the hoodie version (I'm thinking it's A LOT easier to configure as a balaclava which would be nice in colder conditions).

Also they have two hooded buffs. The HOOD buff looks more technical, ie the hood is more form fitting (and probably lighter) whereas the HOODIE buff looks to have a larger hood and they state it's a bit more fashionable. So depends on your tastes but I would lean towards the regular HOOD buff (or the cyclone which can look really ugly but works well for me!)

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Anyone used a 'hoodie' buff on 06/25/2012 12:14:30 MDT Print View

Go to to see the many types of buffs available, including those mentioned here.

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/25/2012 12:15:18 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Anyone used a 'hoodie' buff? on 06/25/2012 12:27:47 MDT Print View

I've been trying a succession of buffs and balaclavas and haven't found anything that makes me scream "eureka." I wear a 7-3/4 hat and the buffs have all been uncomfortably small. I've found that it would need to be very cold to need the fuller face coverage of a balaclava and I would normally be home in front of the fire :)

What has worked, and has nearly as much coverage as a hood, is a Peruvian style fleece hat-- the ones with ear flaps and a neck lanyard. Outdoor Research and The North Face make the best I've found.

Other than that, my favorite mid-layer is a Power Stretch hoodie with a full zip. If it is cold enough to need the hood, I need the rest of it too. The hood can't be lost or blown off.

Another very universal alternative for head and face coverage is a simple 100w fleece scarf. A scarf can equal a bandanna for multiple uses and are cheap, light, and easy to find.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Down hoodies rock on 06/25/2012 14:59:01 MDT Print View

Can't comment on the OP product, but I carry a 9 oz. Montbell UL inner parka with hood on almost every outing. At night, if it' warm, it's my pillow. If it's extremely cold, a hooded down jacket adds 15 or more degrees to my bag's comfort rating. Around camp, the hooded down jacket is much more warm and comfortable than a jacket and beanie. If cold ill take both. If not so much, I will never be left wishing I had a hat. I got last year's color from Backcountry for $129. One of the best pieces of gear ever. But ... I wear hoodies all the time when I am not in the field. So I am biased.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
hoody on 06/25/2012 16:16:09 MDT Print View

+1 on Dale's post.

Got a huge noggin and I've tried many hats and buffs with no luck. I should post them in gear swap or PIF. I either feel like my head is in a vise and rip off the hat in the middle of the night or I wake up cold with the hat somewhere else. I have had goo dluck with a home made puruvian fleece hat or a hooded jacket.

Good luck in your search.


Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
thanks on 06/26/2012 04:18:14 MDT Print View

Thanks everybody for comments. I think I might have to try one and report back with weights, etc

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
weight on 06/26/2012 09:01:41 MDT Print View

I'd be curious what it weighs, I have a R1 balaclava that works pretty well and weighs in at 2.2 oz

for pure warmth, you won't beat a down hood, they are light too- Katabatic offers two models

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
too expensive on 07/02/2012 03:25:50 MDT Print View

actually at 70 bucks I'm reconsidering seeing as I could buy a 100 weight fleece with hood for that price