Gear (P)review: Buff Balaclava in Merino Wool and Microfiber

Stay dry and keep cheeks and ears warm with Buff’s Balaclava

I have been using a black merino Buff in the brand’s classic tubular shape for several years and have found it to be a consistently great little piece of kit. It can be bunched as a loose-fitting scarf, folded on itself as something more akin to a neck gaiter, and extended to cover the ears and head.

The tubular Buff extends for neck and head coverage.

With cold weather deer season fast approaching in Massachusetts and visibility in the woods in the front of my mind, the folks at Buff were kind enough to send me an Orange Flour Thermal Buff from their Professional line.

Buff Professional in Orange Flour. (photo ©2014 Dennis Cote)

Buff Professional in Orange Flour. (photo ©2014 Dennis Cote)

Buff also provided me with one of their new merino balaclavas in black (the model is also available in grey). Buff’s take on a balaclava is distinct from the classic heavyweight, rib knit, three-hole “ski mask.” Rather, it is a lightweight and stretchy piece with a single opening. The single opening configuration is goggle, hood, and helmet friendly. The stretchiness allows for the lower portion of the opening to move down below the wearer’s chin or up above the wearer’s nose with ease.

Buff also provided me with one of their new microfiber balaclavas. The microfiber model offers up the design features of the wool model for those with a preference for synthetic fabric. The polyester model is also available in an eye-grabbing, colorful octopus print version for those who dress to impress at the terrain park.

Buff balaclavas in merino (black) and microfiber (print).

Buff balaclavas in merino (black) and microfiber (print).

Stay tuned!

With the winds of winter set to arrive any day now, knock on wood,1 I’ll be putting my new Buff products to use in no time. Stay tuned to Snowshoe Magazine this season for the updates from my field evaluation!

1. This is indeed a GRRM reference, should you be wondering. ت

About the author

Matthew Timothy Bradley

Born and bred in Southern Appalachia; currently residing in lovely Southern New England. Follow @MateoTimateo and my blog The Human Family; circle +MatthewTimothyBradley.

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