Gear Review: Buff Neck Gaiter

For late-season deer hunts and predator calling sessions, it pays to go out in the Buff.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about heading into the field wearing only your birthday suit. While a video of such an act might go viral on YouTube, you probably wouldn’t last long enough in the cold to tag a buck or coyote, not to mention the fact you’d probably be tagged by Johnny Law for indecent exposure.

By “Buff” I’m referring to the innovative and versatile product made by Buff USA, the company that found fame when contestants on the TV show “Survivor” proudly wore Original Buffs in various ways—and places of their body. FYI: The company name Buff is derived from the word “bufanda,” which means “scarf” in Spanish.

When temps dip below 40 degrees, you won’t find me outside without my Polar Buff, which is made from 100 percent polyester microfiber and Polartec Classic fleece. It weighs next to nothing and measures (flat) about 9x20 inches. One size fits most adults.

I wear my Polar Buff as a neck gaiter and mask, but you can also manipulate/fold it to work as a headband, balaclava, pirate cap, beanie or several other applications shown on the chart below. Generally I wear it as a neck gaiter while walking to my deer stand, then I pull it up over my nose and mouth and then breathe through it while waiting on a whitetail. The moisture-wicking and breathable microfiber (top) is super comfortable on my face and allows me to shoot my bow without any interference. The fleece portion of the Buff (bottom) stays around my neck.

As for Polar Buff color/pattern choices, you can’t go wrong with basic black, but when there’s snow on the ground I also like the KnitSnow/Grey design, which also looks great around town (think Up North dog-sledding chic).