With autumn weather now firmly established in England my attention turned to keeping warm when out hiking. Let me introduce you to the Buff – The Original Multifunctional Headwear.
Original Buff My Review
So what is an Original Buff? Well it is a versatile neck tube in its basic form but there is a lot more to it than that. With a quick fold and twist it becomes a snug fitting hat, it becomes a mask keeping your ears, nose, neck and mouth warm, it becomes a scarf, a headband and much more.
Buff is derived from the word ‘bufanda’, which means ‘scarf’ in Spanish.
Already you can see how versatile a Buff is. The manufacture’s packaging shows you many more ways of wearing a Buff, depending on your chosen outdoor or indoor activity.
Autumn Hiking on Dartmoor
The version I tested is made from 100% polyester microfibre, which is wind-resistant, breathable and wicks away moisture from strenuous activity. I get plenty of that hiking up tors on the moor. I wore the Buff as a neck warmer for a few miles on lower ground.
The Original Buff has a low thermal insulation rating as it doesn’t have a fleece lining like other Buff versions that are available. So it is more suited for 3 season hiking and not deep winter.
This wasn’t an issue on an autumnal hike as the ambient temperature was around 6C with a light wind blowing. The Buff kept my neck warm and prevented those annoying drafts that can chill the back of your neck after a long period of time when walking with a tail wind.
Original Buff Sizing
This product size information is taken from the supplier:
An Adult Original Buff measures 20 by 9 inches (or 50cm x 24.5 cm) when laid out flat. It weighs less than 2oz/50g. When folded an Original Buff will easily fit into your pocket. One size fits most adults.
For ladies, there is the slightly narrow Women’s Slim Fit which features more feminine, sophisticated designs. Junior/Child Buff headwear is designed are for kids 7 to 12 years old, with more age-appropriate designs and weighs 31g/1.1 oz and measures 48cm x 22.5cm /18.8” x 8.8”.
Baby Buff headwear is smaller again and features designs more appealing to little people 27g/1 oz and measures 45cm x 20.5cm /17.7” x 8.1”.
My Head Size!
My head is big and I found the Original Buff was a little tight to wear when folded over in the cap (hat) style. Just a little too snug around my ears as the photo above shows. Obviously if the Buff was made much larger it would fall down when worn as a scarf or face mask. Just something to be aware of if like me you take a larger size of hat!
When worn however as a face mask or neck tube it was a perfect fit and remained in place whilst I was being active climbing up and down tors, taking photos, talking to Dave the dog!
My Buff Buddy
For true four-season hiking you would need a thermal lined Buff to compliment the lightweight 2/3 season version I tested here. My hiking friend in the photo is wearing a half lined Buff which would be an ideal choice for high level winter hiking in the UK.
When worn in combination with my Tilley hat the Original Buff did a good job of keeping the moderate breeze from my skin and also wicking away moisture from my breath but at any lower temperatures or stronger wind I would want to wear a thermal lined version for increased comfort on exposed terrain.
Original Buff Technical Specifications
Buff headwear is created through a unique proprietary knitting process designed to yield a stretchy fabric tube without irritating seams. This process also allows the fabric to retain its shape without fraying, and gives a tremendous amount of strength to the finished garment.
When a Buff is worn next to the skin it will effectively wick sweat away from the skin thus creating the perfect environment for bacterial growth within the fabric. Whilst the sweat itself doesn’t smell, some of the bacteria that thrive in this environment can create odours.
Polygiene is a silver ion treatment that when applied to fabric, has a long-lasting anti-bacterial effect. The silver ions in Polygiene actively inhibit the growth of bacteria within the fabric, thus eliminating the main causes of odour and making it more hygienic. Polygiene is currently only used on adult product made with microfibre.
Original Buff Headwear Summary
If you are looking for a lightweight versatile neck tube that can be worn in many other ways then the Original Buff is a serious contender. With a product history stretching back to 1992 you can be sure of quality and function, as well as cutting edge style.
Be sure to choose the right product for the right season. I will certainly be taking my Original Buff with me on all future hikes. It’s such a lightweight product yet offers genuine protection from moderate wind, dust and single figure temperatures. For true 4-season hiking combine the Original with a thermal lined version and you can’t go wrong.
Easy to wash, quick drying, simple to use and very lightweight.
The Original Buff I tested was supplied by KitShack and I received no payment or financial incentive for this review.