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I've always loved the Buff tubes since I was given one as a present years ago for wearing as
a neck warmer on the bike in winter. After having problems with my previous neck warmers
being too bulky,causing me rashes on my neck when they got wet or the seams rubbing and
irritating my skin using the thin seam free Buff made a huge difference and I've never been
without one since.
The Buff is a long seam free tube of thin stretchy polyester microfibre material which is breathable
and wicks moisture away from the skin. The Buff material is designed to keep you warm in winter
and cool in summer so it's perfect for wearing on a bike to keep the sun off your neck in summer
and sealing the gap between your jacket and helmet in winter to keep you warm without
restricting your movement.
The Buff can be worn in many ways including a neck warmer, balaclava, face mask, bandana,
hairband or wristband and most outdoor shops seem to have either a display poster or a TV
screen showing you the many ways these can be worn. For me personally my Buffs are usually
used as a neck warmer/sun protection for the bike, snowboarding or cycling and often in winter
pulled up over my lower face for extra warmth on the bikes or ski slopes on really cold days.
I also find the Buff is perfect wearing bandana style under my cycling helmet as it's so thin it
can provide extra warmth without bulk.
I also find the buffs are handy for keeping my long hair out of the way when doing messy stuff
like painting ceilings or plastering walls etc. Although I wouldn't wear the buff in head scarf
style outside it's great for keeping my hair paint and plaster free so I've kept one of my old
buffs especially for those rare moments when I give in to the need to decorate.
Buffs can be washed in the washing machine and due to the material being so light are quick
to dry. The fabric lasts well and I've never had any problems with it fraying or loosing stretch
or falling apart. My oldest Buff is around 5 years old and although it's now a bit faded and
very slightly bobbly on the outer side it is still usable and still comfortable to wear.
Buffs are available in a huge choice of different colours and patterns so there's something to
suit everyone. The Buffs come in 3 different sizes to fit babies, kids and adults and there's
even a dog version available if your pooch is feeling the cold. Lately Buff have also brought
out several different variations of the original including reflective, UV protection ,hoody,
peaked,storm and polar buffs althouhg I've only ever owned the Polar Buff and the original
ones I still prefer the originals.
Buffs are availabe from most sports and outdoor shops and cost between £6 and £13
depending on where you shop.
Whilst running in the cold bitter Northern evening with a friend I had just presumed he was just wearing a a neck warmer. As it turned to a nasty rain shower in a cold wind it proved to be alot more. It came in handy on a few other occasions we were out battling the conditions. This prompted me to purchase one and it was one of the best things I have bought.
As a active person I always keep a buff handy wether I'm up a mountain, walking to work. On holiday somewhere sunny or just doing boring day to day tasks. The materials non rip and can just be bunged in the wash and it comes up like new unless your a male and the original buff can tend to get a few bobbles on it when you have a stubble or a beard but nothings perfect. All the functions look daft in diagram but I can assure you if you head anywhere like the lake district you will see a array of different styles worn in all the different styles. If your a hiker, cyclist, motor cyclist or just wandering round your local area doing jobs its a handy peice of equipment to keep with you!
Having had long hair, I wanted something to keep it out of my eyes while just doing general lesiure activites e.g. walking, playing football or playing pool. I bought my first buff just after Christmas 2007, and it has served me well. I have since bought another one, just because it's pracitcaly very useful to me!
These ingenious items of 'clothing' are basicly a roll or tubing of elastic fabric that would most commonly be used on the head. They can be used for many things, such as a head band, scarf, bandana, wristband, beanie - the uses are endless.
I've seen these in many outdoor shops, often accompanied by a TV with several people demonstrating the various different ways you can wear a buff. They are available in several different designs with different patterns and colours. Despite cutting my hair, it is still relatively long and I still use my buff as a headband most oftenly, though I do use it for other purposes such as scarf, and just to keep it out of the way, on my arm so at least I know I have it if I need it!
Having 2 of them is a good advantage for me. The recent snow we had in February (doesn't seem that long ago), I used one for my hair and ears underneath a hat and one to cover my neck and face, and it was very comfortable and warm when I was out sledging with mates. Even the cold icy winds that blew towards us, I was kept relatively warm, as buffs act as great protection against the wind.
I've known about buffs for a few years, but I was surprised when I looked them up in detail a few days ago only to find out that they'd been around since the early 90s. Originally developed to protect motorcyclists against the wind, their practicaly to people such as myself is greatly appreciated and I'm surprised I haven't known about them even longer.
To contrast against it's winter use, if used in the summer it can protect your skin against the sun. According to the maker's website, it blocks off 95% of Ultraviolet rays, which isn't so good if you don't like tan lines but is worth it on the whole!
At around £16 from most outdoor stores, it is costly, though depending on the pattern, they're available for as low as £13 on the Buff website ( https://www.buffwear.co.uk/catalog/index.php ). You could probably get them cheaper on eBay if you're willing to go the extra mile!
You don't have to have long hair to appreciate the usefulness of a Buff, like I said, it has so many different uses, and just because my main use of it is a head band to keep hair away from my eyes doesn't mean it can't be appreciated as much as I appreciate it! Therefore I'd recommend it to anyone. It'd be a good birthday gift. I wouldn't mind another one anyhow, though I'll make do with 2 :)
I discovered Buffs four years ago, after finding them lingering in an outdoor shop accompanied by a dodgy video showing all 26 ways (or more you can use them). And I've been hooked ever since.
Buffs are a seam free tube of stretchy fabric. You can wear them round your neck like a scarf, over your ears, as a hat, bandana, head band, hair band, wrist band, balacalva and according to the video a boob tude though I've never triedetc etc. The seam free material means there is no weak points for the cold and wind to get in.
You can get polar versions - with an addtional attachment of polar tech fleece, great for the colder days and you can pull the top bit of material over your face to keep the wind off. They also do a UV version to protect your head from the sun.
Buffs come in an extremley varied array of colours, patterns and designs, you would be hard pushed to find too many of the same.
I think Buffs are great, I do a lot a cycling and they are great for wearing under your bike helmet, to keep the wind out. I use them all year round, even in the summer they are a good way to keep the hair out of your eyes when sailing. They can be used for just about every activity - motor biking, hiking, jogging, watersports
I think the basic price for a BUff is about £15.00 + but they are worth every penny, and so long as you don't lose them then you will get many good years of wear. I have had my current ones now for 18 months, and wear and wash them regularly and they are as good as new and don't loose their elastic. Everyone needs a buff, they just don't realise it yet!
Some people may have noticed that I finally got round to changing my photo on my profile but the old one had me wearing a Buff hat. I've had a number of comments - most of them fairly rude - about the hat I was wearing in the picture so now that its gone, maybe its time to talk about it. This review was originally posted on Ciao complete with some (if I say so myself) rather excellent photos of my bears wearing Buffs but sadly, dooyoos lack of photo loading opportunities means youll just have to use your imagination.
The hat in question is what's known as a 'Buff'. I have absolutely no idea why it's called that but I don't go anywhere without one and sometimes with two. I'm currently having a bit of a crisis because I can't find the black one but it will probably turn up and if it doesnt I have another two. If it's hot a Buff stops me burning my head, if it's cold it keeps me warm. But that's just putting things too simply - there's a lot more to a Buff than that.
Stylish or What?
When I wear my Buffs people tend to think I am either bald, very grey, of Romany blood or recovering from chemotherapy. Only in my wildest fantasies do I suppose they are thinking 'wow, what a funky hat that very cool woman is wearing'. If you track down one of the Buff websites you'll find lots of gorgeous surfer-dudes, snowboarders, mountain bikers and other cool folk who wear their trousers hung unfeasibly low, all wearing Buffs and looking like they are the bees roller-skates. Me, I just look like I'm wearing it for a bet.
How I found Buff and changed my life
A Dutch colleague introduced me to Buff's. She's a very 'hearty' lady who compensates for living somewhere very flat and sub-sea level by climbing everything that sticks up all over the world. Therefore, when she told me I needed a Buff, I listened and I put my hand in my pocket without a further thought (she's bigger and tougher than me) and bought one. And I've not looked back.
The Hat Challenge
I have a very white scalp that burns really easily. And as large flakes of lumpy red dandruff aren't in anyone's definition of 'a good hair day I go to extremes to avoid getting burned. I've tried just about every type of hat known to man and womankind. Here are the issues:
* I have a big head - well the brains have to have some space - so most hats sit like a pimple on a haystack
* I have very shiny hair - so things tend to slide off
*I am pathologically inelegant - so I look pretty stupid in anything 'pretty' like big fancy straw hats
* I have an IQ higher than 50 - so I can't possibly wear a baseball hat
* I go on a lot of 'outdoorsy' holidays - so I need something that won't crush, fall off in a high wind, or take up too much space
* I have almost no sense of style - so I often look like I'm wearing a flowerpot on my head and I don't give a hoot.
So, what's a Buff?
If you ever hang out in outdoor stores, you may well have seen these and not known what they were or why you might need one. Simply put, a Buff is just a length of tubular stretch jersey fabric- usually in a funky design. The measurements of mine are approx 19 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. It's the sort of thing that probably costs about 20p to make yet sells for upwards of a tenner.
Let's get technical
* The Buff is made from high performance micro fibre - so there!
* It's windproof - so it keeps you warm when it's cold out
* It's breathable - so you won't get a sweaty head
* If your head sweats, the fabric 'wicks' the moisture away from the head - just like magic
* The fabric dries really fast - whether it's sweat or rain, it doesn't stick around for long
* It's stretch and it fits really snuggly - so it won't blow off or fall off when you are half way up a mountain or hanging upside down off your skateboard - God forbid!
* It weighs about 60g and takes up about as much space as a small bar of Kendall Mint Cake - a nice little outdoor reference there.
Versatility, thy name is Buff
The secret to the value of a Buff is its versatility - it's a sort of 'hat meets Swiss Army Knife'. The packaging suggests about a dozen different ways to wear your tube.
If you check out the websites - just google the term "buff headgear" you can get instructions of the many and varied ways to tie your Buff. My favourite of the many sites is the Spanish one www.buff.es which has some great video lessons in how to wear your Buff. I'd love to claim to be a black-belt at Buff configuration but most of the time I just stick mine on my head and let the tail hang down the back. The main variation is whether my hair goes through the hole or sticks out the bottom. But then maybe that's just proof that I'm not trying hard enough. Apparently the technical term for this look is a 'foulard' - must be foreign for 'flower pot'.
Here then are a few of the variations
Rolled into a band about 2 inches wide your buff can be:
* A sweatband - to keep the sweat from dripping in your eyes - great for cyclists, canoeists or people whose hands are otherwise occupied
* A hairband - to keep your hair off your face and make you look a tad sloany or (for the ladies) to keep the hair out of the way when you are putting on or taking off your make up
* A neckerchief - easy peasy, stick it round your neck, it couldn't be simpler. Soak it in a river than stick it round your neck keeps you cool (literally, not stylistically) for ages
* A hair tie - like a scrunchy without as much elastication.
* An ear-warmer - like the skiers wear
* A blindfold - not sure why you'd want to but you could
Folded in half with both ends open
* A face mask - handy for riding a camel and keeping the sand out of your nose or for robbing banks.
* An open ended hat - or a wide head band - this is one of the ways I typically wear it usually with a pony tail sticking through the hole. It's cooler when the weather is hot
Over the head and neck
* The balaclava - I usually put it round my neck and then pull it up from behind. This style keeps your ears and neck warm when it's cold - or you can wear it like this under a motorcycle helmet and it will wick away any sweat from your head
* The snood - same as the balaclava but a bit more girlie this was one of the ways I wore my Buffs in Iran to avoid using headscarves
To make a beanie, pull the Buff inside out and put one end over your head. Twist the fabric at its midpoint and fold the remainder of the fabric right-side-out over your head. Easier said than done
I had to check the videos again to get this one sorted - this is a pretty cool way of wearing the Buff, much loved by the 'dudes'. Turn your buff inside out and put your hands inside. With each hand, grab the opposite end of the buff and pull. This ties a knot in the middle. Open up the end and pull it over your head.
I have absolutely no idea why you'd want to - but you could wear it as a wrist- band. Might be handy if you've got some sort of altimeter or fancy gear strapped to your wrist and don't want it to get scratched or knocked. I guess I could use it over my dive computer but I'm really not so sad as to go strutting around wearing it out of the water.
Other 'cool' things
I met a couple on a trip to South America who had bought expensive gel-filled neckerchiefs. You dip them in cold water, the gel soaks up the water and then you tie it round your neck. As the water evaporates it cools you down. So on a hot day I now dip my Buff in any passing stream and stick it round my neck.
I also have been known to dip it in water and wear it as a hat - that's how you can recognise me, I'm the one with the steam coming off her head. As you've already gathered, I'm not too proud to look STOOPID.
The astonishing success of the Buff has led the manufacturers to introduce new variants. You can get kiddy Buffs for the little ones, and Polar Buffs (with fleece fabric) for the winter. I've seen photos of 'Buff'Caps - with a visor on one end - on the Spanish website but I don't think they are available in the UK yet. The visor is an excellent idea because it addresses the one big shortcoming of the Buff - no eye shade on a bright day. Undoubtedly this must variant must have been developed on the basis of consumer feedback.
Where can I get one?
Excellent - I haven't put you off completely. Most outdoors shops will stock these - Milletts, Blacks, Mountain Warehouse et al. You can buy on line - just google them and you'll be spoilt for choice. Rohan have their own branded version in their catalogue and on the website. You should pay around £11 - I've got my three for less but I got them in the sales.
So in summary:
The good things:
* Keeps you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold almost as clever as a vacuum flask
* Loads of jazzy designs
* Easy to wash
* No moving parts so nothing to go wrong with them
The bad things:
* No shade for your eyes
* Quite expensive for what they are - typically £10 or more
* Only suitable for people who are extraordinarily cool or completely unfazed by looking daft