Consider These 7 Breathable Neck Gaiters Instead of a Face Mask

Give the mask a rest. Wear a buff instead.

Consider These 7 Breathable Neck Gaiters Instead of a Face Mask
Eddie Bauer

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Wearing a face mask kind of sucks — it’s hot, it’s stuffy and all that recycled air can start to feel a little noxious. But you know what would suck even more is going sans mask, contracting a deadly virus, spreading it to others and further contributing to a global pandemic. So, take your pick. Or, actually, don’t. How ’bout just cover your fucking face?

As much as we’d like to go about our day free to expose the lower half of our faces to the elements, the more we forgo face coverings in the current moment, the more distant of a reality that freedom becomes. Yet after months of daily wear, you’ve probably grown a little lax in the manner you wear your mask, letting it slip down past your nose or hang a little looser, rendering it far less effective. Before you throw caution to the wind altogether, consider an alternative to the mask in the form of a neck gaiter.

With face coverings becoming necessary components of outfits, it’s important to have options, so as to ward off fatigue that can arise from wearing the same one day in and day out. And for those who are starting to find the construction of a traditional face mask too claustrophobic, a gaiter (or buff) is the perfect reprieve. Designed with the outdoors in mind, neck gaiters are often favored by hikers due to their moisture wicking abilities, anti-odor fabric and UV protection. These qualities also make for an ideal face covering.

Eddie Bauer Multiclava

Channel the wild wild West (and your inner cowboy) with this bandana-print ‘multiclava’ from Eddie Bauer. The stretch of the polyester fabric will prove more comfortable and less constricting than if you were to wear a traditional bandana, while still retaining the same effect and aesthetic.

Outdoor Research Echo Ubertube

If you still find yourself committed to staying active in the era of Covid-19, consider this ‘Echo Ubertube’ from Outdoor Research for your next outdoor jog or outdoor workout. The breathable fabric will prove much more conducive to physical activity than a cotton mask might, meaning you can jog without the added worry of passing out along the way.

Mission Max Cooling Neck Gaiter

Extra fabric around your neck or face during the summer sounds like absolute hell, but Mission Max’s gaiter goes so far as to have “cooling” in its name, so you know it means business. If you find yourself feeling extra hot underneath the gaiter, just apply some water to activate the cooling technology, which cools up to 30° F below average body temperature in just 30 seconds, and stays cool up to 3 hours.

Merrell Scout Lightweight Gaiter

Just because you have to wear a face covering doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with them, and this gaiter from Merrell in a hard-to-miss orange is the perfect pop of color. The UPF 30+ fabric will keep your skin protected against the sun’s harmful rays, and once you find yourself back inside the comfort of your home (or any place where it’s safe to freely breathe), slide it up and use it as a headband to hold back your luscious locks.

Buff CoolNet UV+ Solid Buff

Buff champions itself as the original multifunctional headwear, so it’s safe to say they’re the real deal. Their buffs feature CoolNet technology to wick away moisture, while the UPF 50 is ideal for prolonged exposure to the sun. Grab this one in black and use it as the ultimate go-to face covering.

Banana Republic Stretch Cotton-Gaiter

Of all brands to make a neck gaiter, we least expected Banana Republic, but hey, we’re not complaining. Unlike most gaiters on this list, BR’s is made out of cotton (rather than the usual polyester) meaning it’ll be all the more soft and comfortable, albeit less adept at handling moisture.

AlphaCool Cooling Neck Gaiter

Another gaiter designed specifically with cooling properties, AlphaCool’s Cooling Neck Gaiter is activated by water — all you have to do is wet it, wring it out and then snap it to cool, then you’ll be able to remain chill for hours to come. Your outdoor activities shouldn’t be limited this summer, so allow this gaiter to accompany you on walks, to the beach and wherever else you’re wont to take it.

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