Buff's vs Balaclava for cold temp hiking, which do you prefer?
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Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F - M

Locale: SE US
What's a Buff? on 01/30/2014 19:39:23 MST Print View

A little polyester tube. Overpriced for what it is, priceless for what it does.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Buff on 01/30/2014 22:17:19 MST Print View

The Buff is my go-to piece for 3-season hiking. I rarely ever wear balaclavas since my fleece layer has a balaclava-style hood.

In the winter I use my Talus Cold Avenger, which is a warm/humid air rebreather mask. For the rest of my head, a light hat under my fleece hood suffices.

I find that in the winter a Buff gets soggy and frozen and no fun at all to breathe through. However, one usually makes its way into my pack because it has endless uses and makes a fine back-up.

Randy Cain
(bagboy) - MLife

Locale: Palmdale, CA
Love me some buffs! on 01/30/2014 23:03:10 MST Print View

LOVE buffs!!!!!!!!!!! I have a shaved head, so I think of a buff as hair ;) I can wear it in a single layer or double it up as it gets chillier. I love the versatility of using a couple of them.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Buff's vs Balaclava for cold temp hiking, which do you prefer? on 01/31/2014 07:21:14 MST Print View

I have one of the early buff's and do like Chenault. I cut mine in two parts, one 12" long (use as neck gaiter for backpacking) and the other is 6" (use as ear cover for biking).

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Buff's vs Balaclava for cold temp hiking, which do you prefer? on 01/31/2014 16:57:58 MST Print View

Thank you everyone for the further suggestions and ideas.

Ito Jakuchu thank you for the very kind offer. I'm going to look around for awhile more locally and see what i can find.

"I find that in the winter a Buff gets soggy and frozen and no fun at all to breathe through."

Stephen, i really was hoping that wasn't the case. I wonder if having it stretched and thin over the mouth/nose area would help a bit with that? Do you think it's something about the fabric itself, the bunched up nature of it, or something else that makes it poor for that use?

Those Buffs i saw on ebay are a great deal at 14 dollars and supposedly with Polygiene treatment. However, i got to thinking that maybe it's not the more permanent treatment, but maybe they soaked them in the water based, diy temporary treatment.. Hope not.

Rab MeCo balaclava or some kind of polartec power dry high efficiency and polygiene treated "clavs" (nod to Ben) are my top contenders.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker)

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Buff's vs Balaclava for cold temp hiking, which do you prefer? on 01/31/2014 18:47:35 MST Print View

You can't breathe through the polyester buffs when wet, but I heard someone say that you can breathe through the wool buffs when wet.
Can anyone tell me if this is true?

Benjamin Meadors
(thebentern) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Breathable on 01/31/2014 20:48:56 MST Print View

I can breath through my wool buff. It's breathable to a point where the wind resistance suffers somewhat.