Rating 9.8 / 10
Value for Money 1.8 / 2.0
Durability 2.0 / 2.0
Comfort 2.0 / 2.0
Weight 2.0 / 2.0
Versatility 2.0 / 2.0
There are two types of hikers in this world; those who wear buffs and those who don’t. I fall into the former category and unless it’s a short day hike I will carry two Buffs on every hike, one wool Buff and one Original Buff.
BUFF®, is short for bufanda, which means ‘scarf’ in Spanish – who knew? This is one of those products that is produced by a number of different companies and goes by a number of names but whoever produces it people tend to default to the name ‘Buff’ which is produced by the US company of that name.
As you can see from our product rating score this is one small but very special piece of equipment which is hard to find any real fault with and one I rate as my most useful/versatile piece of equipment.
Buff produces a number of different types but for me the most useful is the Buff Merino Wool. The Buff Merino Wool is longer than the Original Buff and is made from 100% wool which means that it has more flexibility particularly if you have a larger head. For me my Buffs form a number of functions and this is not just a piece of clothing but in a variety of uses:
My main use for my Wool Buff is as a hat. I will use this through Canberra’s cold winters. While we don’t get snow (usually) it can get down to temperatures as cold as -9° Celsius. In overcast and windy conditions I will wear my Wool Buff instead of a peaked cap which tends to blow off when windy. During really hot conditions I will often wear my buff in conjunction with a peaked cap to provide that extra sun protection which is crucial to those of us who are ‘follicle-y’ challenged (i.e. bald). If you’re hiking in really dusty conditions it makes a great dust mask. If it is really hot, you can soak the Buff in water and it will help cool you down either around your neck or over your head.
There is no end to the uses for this handy little item and for a total weight of under 50 grams this is probably the most versatile piece of equipment I own.
I am in the minority as a male Buff wearer, at least in Australia, and while we exist we are a rarity with most wearers using them as neck protection. I really don’t care what it looks like and will wear my Buff to work (it looks great with a suit). For me its all about function and the Buff has that in spades and at a relatively cheap price!
I usually wear my Buff Marino Wool with one end pulled over my head to keep my head from getting burnt (one of the drawbacks of having no hair). The Wool Buff has more flexibility and can be used with ear buds. While I don’t have an overly large head, I find I can’t do this with the Original Buff as it’s too tight. When hiking, I will pull the front edge of the Buff just over the top of my sunglasses to ensure my forehead is protected from the sun
To keep dust out of my mouth and nose. I rarely wear my Buff like this and if I do I will also be wearing either a second Buff or a peaked cap depending on the sun conditions to keep my head protected
Worn with a knot in the middle. This doesn’t provide as much sun protection but on really windy days it is more stable
The two images above show the Buff folded into a double layer wool hat. In cold conditions down to -7° celsius I will put one end over my head, place a couple of twists into the tail and then roll the other end over my head to provide a double layer of extra warmth. Once its gets colder than that, I will opt for a full winter hat
Worn this way it protects the head, ears and side of the face. I will also wear a peaked cap when worn like this
Go to the Buff USA website to see other options on how to wear your Buff
Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews
If you have worn the Buff Merino Wool or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer