Best Neck Gaiters
It is quite possible that some of you clicked on this wondering what on earth a neck gaiter was. No, it has nothing to do with an alligator. Instead, it is an article of clothing that is used to cover your neck in cold climates (most of the time). Even though they are designed to protect your neck, most will have the ability to contour to the rest of your head (nose, ears, etc.) providing even more warmth. As with anything else, though, some neck gaiters are better than others. Whether through design, warmth, fabric, or any other factors, some are simply superior.
- Buff Multifunctional
- Easily washed
- Seam free construction
- Arc'teryx Gaiter
- Merino wool insulation
- Very warm
- Carhartt Gaiter
- High abrasion tolerance
10 Best Neck Gaiters
While the fabric is not very thick, it manages to cover not only your neck but also your head and face if you desire.
Warmth and Comfort
This gaiter is not only designed to protect you from the elements and provide warmth, but its seam-free construction ensures that the seam and hems do not provide irritation to your skin when it is touching.
100 percent of this gaiter is crafted from polyester microfiber. What this provides for you is a material that is durable, soft, highly resistant to the wind and moisture, and excellent treatments against odors.
As you will see with most, if not all, neck gaiters in the world, this is a one-size-fits-most model. But, Buff did not make this gender specific so both men and women can wear it alike.
No doubt, every single person in the world should find a color option that adapts for them. The list is nearly endless and includes colors such as Grima, multi-green, skull mask, plum, graphite and blue.
Not only is this a neck gaiter, but it has so many other uses that you could realistically use it as a cap, hair tie, or balaclava. But, no matter how you use it, its overall design is what sells it.
- You can wear the gaiter in 12 different ways
- It can be easily washed and dries within minutes
- To eliminate irritation, Buff utilized a seam-free construction
- Better craftsmanship could have been present with the edges as they are poorly cut
- The unfinished ends tend to roll up
Due to the blended elastane material, you can easily pull this gaiter up from your neck to cover your nose when the wind begins to howl.
Warmth and Comfort
Arcteryx decided to design their gaiter with wool and that is why it manages to provide so much insulation and warmth. But, it is also soft-to-the-touch making it ideal to wear around your neck.
The merino wool that is used not only, as you already know, is a fantastic insulator but it also handles moisture and odors as well as any fabric in the world.
One-size does fit most here, but users have complained that the size is generally small. If you have a larger and wider neck, it may be too tight for your liking.
You can decide between one of two choices; either select black or light Chandra.
People with wider necks may be taking a risk with this gaiter because of the size, but if it fits you then you will understand why it is so amazing. Truthfully, if Arcteryx makes the garment, then you are practically guaranteed a superb amount of quality.
- Protects you from the elements
- Insulated with merino wool
- If you want, it can work as a hat
- Tends to be tight on wide necks
- Unfortunately, it can be difficult to breathe through it
Because Carhartt decided to go with partial spandex, you can stretch it over your head with minimal effort. In times where it is really cold, this will come in handy.
Warmth and Comfort
The material of this gaiter is designed to protect you from the elements, whether that be strong winds or rain, and deliver warmth in cold weather.
This neck gaiter is constructed of 92 percent polyester and eight percent spandex. You know the benefits of spandex, but the polyester aids in breathability and creates a lightweight gaiter.
While women can technically wear this, it is designed to fit a man’s skull. Again, one-size-fits-most but this particular gaiter is quite large. For smaller necks, it may be too baggy.
One thing is for sure, not a lot of variety is available when it comes to color choices. Do not be too picky, as you can either choose black or shadow.
Just like the previous gaiter, if this properly fits around your neck there is no reason for you not to fall in love with this. Again, some users have alerted that it is large on them. Keep that in mind when looking.
- Without an enormous amount of effort, it can stretch to fit over your head
- Does not suffer from bulkiness
- The polyester fabric has a high tolerance for abrasions
- Tends to fit big, may not be suitable for small necks
- When it is bunched down on your neck, it is uncomfortable
Smartwool Merino 250
Depending on the conditions outside, you will be able to adjust what parts of your face are covered. On extremely chilly afternoons, you can pull it (while on your neck) over your mouth and nose.
Warmth and Comfort
In conjunction with the merino wool is a double-layer knitting system. What this produces is an unbelievable amount of warmth and insulation that will keep your neck and face warm on the bitterest of days.
The merino wool that is integrated into this gaiter is naturally antimicrobial, allowing it to control odors with ease. Past this, it is also extremely warm against your skin.
Once again, you will find that one size will fit most. But, the back portion of the gaiter does add some girth which could be an issue for people looking for a tight fit.
Only two-color options are at play here. You can either select black or winter white.
You will quickly appreciate the merino wool inside of this gaiter. But, again, the slight tradeoff to this is when you cover your mouth with the gaiter it can diminish your breathability. This could come into play if you plan on running a lot, as you will be breathing heavier.
- When needed, you can bunch it around your neck without overheating
- Merino wool has a natural ability to wick away moisture and resist odors
- Has a double layer interlock knit system implemented
- When it covers your mouth, heavy breathing can diminish your breathability
- There are two or three inches of extra material on the back which can be an issue for people looking for a tight fit
Columbia Fast Trek
As has been a theme, you can raise this gaiter past your neck and onto your mouth (and even the lower half of your ears) with it remaining on your neck.
Warmth and Comfort
Thanks to the 250 grams of microfleece, Columbia has designed this gaiter to seal out drafts and provide natural warmth as it contours to your neck. However, the sewn-in tags can be a little irritating when rubbed against your neck.
Besides the 250 grams of microfleece, Columbia decided to craft this garment with 100 percent polyester. Again, this material is terrific for breathability and its lightweight nature.
Being designed for both sexes and for most head and neck sizes, this should adapt for a wide range of people. But, this model seems to run a little tight.
Columbia provides you with two choices: black and collegiate navy.
For whatever reason, Columbia deemed it necessary to implement sewn-in tags on the inside. You can attempt to cut most of it off, but some remnants may still remain. Of course, this does not detract from the overall terrific polyester gaiter.
- It manages to fit snug without sacrificing breathability
- Besides excellent neck coverage, you can pull it up past your mouth
- Delivers an exceptional amount of warmth in a sleek fashion
- Could have done without the interior sewn-in tags
- Again, the one-size-fits-all moniker is a bit off here and this is ideal for smaller heads and necks
Technically, this gaiter does properly adjust to cover your neck, mouth, and ears at the same time. But, when you move your body, its large nature makes it prone to constantly fall off your face.
Warmth and Comfort
All the aspects you look for in a neck gaiter, warmth, softness, and overall comfortability, are all here and you certainly never must worry about this neck gaiter leaving you cold in the winter.
As with other manufacturers on this list, Army Universe went with 100 percent polyester fleece to construct their gaiter.
With a stretchable feel and a one-size-fits-most design, most people should be able to properly wear this neck gaiter. Although, for the record, it is not guaranteed to fit every head and neck.
It is either black or nothing here, thankfully, most people will not take an issue with the color black.
Yes, it can be frustrating to attempt to keep this gaiter on your face without it slipping down. If you have a large enough neck and head, this may not be an issue. Either way, it does an admirable job of protecting your neck.
- Combines exceptional comfort and breathability
- It is designed to be used in rugged environments
- Has a stretchy feel
- When you move around, the gaiter may slip off your face when you are covering your mouth
- Maybe a little baggy on some people
Due to its long length, it will cover a majority of your face and neck if you allow it to. However, when applied over your nose, it puts a decent amount of pressure on your nose.
Warmth and Comfort
Utilizing a cotton fabric and a high-quality knit, in conjunction with a double-layer, Aiwolu is able to achieve a gaiter that blocks away the wind, is soft to the skin, and provides ample warmth.
The decision to go with cotton not only makes this gaiter ultra-comfortable but also warm. But, remember, cotton shrinks so be wary of that.
While little children are not meant to be able to adequality wear this gaiter, it is designed for men, women, and teenagers alike. The stretchy exterior adapts for most necks.
Three color choices are available for you to choose from and they are army green, black and gray.
Breathing is a little bit of an issue when applied past your mouth and it does add an unnecessary amount of pressure on your nose, but these small caveats can’t prevent this from securing its spot on this list.
- As it is long enough to cover your face, it can be used as a face mask
- Its double-layer material adds an immense amount of warmth
- Is great for all different kinds of outdoor activities
- When you pull it past your nose, it puts a little too much pressure on it
- The amount of thickness also makes it difficult to breath when it is covering your mouth
Turtle Fur Fleece
It is convenient that the stretchy fit allows you to cover your nose comfortably, but it is frustrating that it is not long enough to cover your nose and neck simultaneously.
Warmth and Comfort
There are two layers of decadent fleece that manage to trap heat that is formed by the walls of insulation. Plus, the rolling nature of the design will keep your neck and face warm throughout the day.
As a change of pace, compared to the rest on this list, Turtle Fur integrated 100 percent acrylic fleece to ensure a luxurious feel and an incredible loft.
No matter if you are a man, woman, junior, or teen, this gaiter is designed to fit all of you (or at least most of you).
Several different color options are available and you must glance through them all to see which one suits you best. But, a few are black, blaze, carbon, tea rose, viva violet, white, and navy.
The thought and craftsmanship that was put into this gaiter are evident. Whether you want to point at the fantastic insulation, multiple color options, or stretchy feel, enough is here to warrant a consideration.
- Features double-layer acrylic fleece
- There are loads of color options to choose from
- It is ideal for sports from skiing to snowboarding
- It is not long enough to cover your nose and neck at the same time
Thanks to the shaped bottom of the gaiter, this provides full coverage of your neck and the bottom half of your face.
Warmth and Comfort
To protect your neck, there are drop-front tucks in the jacket collar. Also, the Micro stretch fleece manages to wick away moisture and deliver an ultra-soft touch.
While most of the gaiter is crafted from polyester (95 percent), the tiny portion of spandex allows it to stretch to contour to your face.
No specific sex is at play here as this is designed to fit most men and women.
Adapting for both men and women alike, the only color option available is black. However, it is hard to argue against that choice.
As great as this is, and it is great, it is more suitable for casual use. After extended periods, the limitations begin to reveal themselves but for short distances, it can’t be beaten.
- Very comfortable and warm against your skin
- While cold air will get in at high speeds (say on a bike), it reduces a substantial amount of it
- Due to its thinness, it is very lightweight and breathable
- For extended use, it is not the best gaiter
- Could have been tighter against the skin
Columbia Freezer Zero
The Freezer Zero does allow you to pull it up to cover your face but its loose nature ensures that if you do so, your neck may be exposed to more drafts.
Warmth and Comfort
When you start sweating, which will happen no matter the temperature outdoors, implemented Omni-Zero technology manages to actively cool you down to prevent you from overheating.
A majority of the fabric is polyester, which is lightweight and breathable, but a small touch is made from elastane.
Do you really expect anything different here? Once again, one size will fit most here. But, it is worth noting that this is designed to contour to a man’s neck. While women can still wear it, be aware that it may not fit you the way it should.
Columbia provides you with a few color choices including cypress, fossil and super blue.
This is not the best gaiter when it comes to weather protection, but it will suffice. Clearly, the Omni-Zero technology is the most notable feature and is rather ingenious.
- The UPF 50 protects you from harmful rays of the sun
- Is backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
- To prevent overheating, it integrates sweat-activated cooling technology
- When the gaiter gets wet, it is impossible to breathe in
- For some, it may be a little loose
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
How Much Face Coverage They Provide
It is a little ironic that this is a vitally important criterion because the true definition of a neck gaiter is a material that provides warmth to your neck. So, why would your face come into play when their primary design function is to deliver insulation below your face. Well, it just so happens that many designers create their neck gaiters to be more versatile and allow you to cover your mouth and ears in frigid conditions. If you intend to be outdoors in freezing weather, having a neck gaiter that can easily slide up to protect your mouth, nose, and ears can be a lifesaver.
But, some of them are not made to do so. At least, they do not make it easy. If they are not the correct length, when you pull them up to protect your face your neck will be exposed to the chilly weather. On the contrary, sometimes it will cover all portions of your neck and face (even being stretchy enough to wrap around your head) and still be flawed because it will not stay up when you begin to run.
How Comfortable and Warm They Are
Here, comfort is an absolute no-brainer. On colder days, you are going to be wearing the neck gaiter for the entirety of the time you are outdoors. It better be comfortable because if it is not, there is no way you will enjoy its luxuries. A lot of the comfort in garments comes from the type of fabric that is utilized (which will be further addressed in the next section). Some may prefer the way polyester feels or even wool. But, without a doubt, the primary function of neck gaiters is their insulation and heating prowess (unless you want to use them to block the sun).
Again, the fabric comes into play but also the knitting system. Are there two layers or only one? This is an important question to have answered as a double-layer will, obviously, provide double the amount of warmth. Of course, the argument against that is a single-layer is oftentimes more breathable and lightweight. No matter because if a neck gaiter does not deliver warmth, it only becomes a remedy to block the sun and not ideal in the winter.
The Fabric That Was Used to Craft the Gaiter
A lot of what was said in the previous section was alluding to the fabric. The material and fabric that manufacturers use to craft their garments will always play a huge factor, but it seems even bigger for a neck gaiter. Let’s start with the two most common fabrics, at least on this list, that are utilized. Firstly, is polyester. It is no surprise that great neck gaiters utilize polyester fabric, as it is one of the best materials in the world. Not only is it high in breathability but it also does a superb job of providing resistance to wind, abrasions and moisture.
Another popular fabric you see often is merino wool. It is debatable, but merino wool might just be the warmest fabric ever put into a neck gaiter. It is an absolutely fantastic insulator and is warm to-the-touch. But, it also has a natural ability to wick away moisture and resist against odors. However, you may also see fabrics such as cotton (which is also extremely warm and soft), spandex (which delivers a stretchy exterior), and acrylic (which is an overall stellar fabric).
If the Gaiter Will Adequately Fit You
Every single neck gaiter that secured a spot on this list use the moniker of one-size-fits-most. People can often confuse this for one-size-fits-all. The reality of the situation is it is virtually impossible for a manufacturer to guarantee that their gaiter will fit you. Every single person in the world will have different preferences and neck/face sizes. As such, designers must do their best to make their gaiter fit as many people as physically possible. This is where spandex can assist because if the gaiter can stretch, it can fit more people.
However, the only thing that you can do is to research and analyze what customers have stated about the size. As you saw with the gaiters on this list, a lot of the time, certain versions are bigger and wider and some smaller and tighter. If you have any doubts, manufacturers should have size charts that you can look at to ensure that it will fit properly and comfortable around your neck.
The Color Choices Provide for You
Sure, the color of any garment is not going to enhance the performance. However, it is never a bad thing if you prefer one colored garment over another. Why on earth should neck gaiters be any different? Sometimes, you want to add a little style and forego the traditional black color that you constantly see with winter gear. Although, it is important to address that the color should not necessarily be the most important factor. Instead, you can use it as a determining factor. For example, let’s say that you are stuck between two choices and they both have amazing design features. If one has a color option that you prefer over the other, this could be the tiebreaker that you have been so desperately searching for. At the end of the day, do not be foolish if this matters to you!
Q: What Exactly is Moisture-Wicking?
A few times during this guide, you have been exposed to the term moisture wicking. Even though the term really does speak for itself, it is not uncommon to be confused on what exactly this means and why it is important. No matter the weather outside, even if it is bitterly cold, your body is going to perspire when your body begins to overheat. Ironically, you will start sweating faster with a neck gaiter on as your body is already exposed to enhanced heat. If sweat builds up and the material of your neck gaiter does not have the ability to “wick” it away, you will get soaked in sweat.
So, the materials will move away the moisture created from the sweat away from your skin to prevent excessive moisture build-up. Thus, creating a more comfortable experience.
Q: How Frequently Should You Wash a Merino Wool Gaiter?
Special attention is going to be given to merino wool because it is a special material. Fabrics such as cotton, spandex and polyester are ones that you are probably used to when it comes to maintaining them. But, you may be a little uncertain when it comes to merino wool. One big question is how often you should wash a neck gaiter that is crafted from this fabric. Thankfully, as a whole, merino wool is extremely easy to maintain and because it is naturally resistant to both stains and odors, you do not have to wash it as much as you might think.
Honestly, you can wash it as much as you want but a good recommendation is to do so after extensive wears (say several times in a year). If it begins to load up with sweat, it is time to wash it. However, merino wool is like a cat compared to a dog; in the sense that it will care for itself and you do not have to constantly care for it.
Q: Why is Breathability Important When You Are Outdoors?
Even though breathability was not specifically centered upon in this guide, it is still critically important. But, the average outdoorsman may ask why. After all, do not you want it as warm as possible to prevent you from keeping warm? Yes and no. First of all, when you hear the term “breathability”, it means that there are pores in the fabric that allow excess moisture to escape. If this builds up, after a while, it will create a damp gaiter which is problematic in a few ways. One, it is wet and naturally less comfortable. But, also, dampness will actually draw heat away from your body. As such, you will begin to cool down over time which is not ideal in cold climates.
One last note, breathability also comes into play when you run with a neck gaiter. Because your body is naturally breathing harder when you work out, with it over your mouth you can overheat very quickly.
Q: How Do You Wash Merino Wool Neck Gaiters?
Alright, so you now have a strong understanding of how often you should wash merino wool. However, how exactly do you wash a merino wall neck gaiter? Prior to what you may believe, due to its size, you are safe to machine wash the gaiter. Unless, of course, the care instructions on the label recommend you avoid a machine wash. In this case, resort to good old hand-washing. But, if you are in the all-clear, the first thing you want to do is turn the gaiter inside out as wool can pill. For your soap, be sure to either use a mild or neutral detergent to wash it.
As you do not want to compromise the integrity of the merino wool, wash it with either warm or cool water (never hot which can shrink the wool) on a gentle cycle. Once it is done, to air on the side of caution, simply allow the gaiter to air-dry.
Q: Will Your Glasses Fog Up if You Wear the Gaiter on Your Nose?
This is not a question that would be the first one asked in a classroom, but it may be the most unique. The reality is glasses owners know how annoying it can be to wear glasses in the winter. When you enter a building, the heat causes your glasses to fog up ridding your sight completely. Guess what, the same issue arises when you wear garments that cover your nose as when you breathe, it goes out of the opening that is right beneath your glasses.
Yes, neck gaiters will do this but you can position the gaiter in a way that prevents this. It is a little tricky, but mess around with it as you can achieve a warm nose and non-fogged-up glasses (you just may not be able to cover your entire nose).
Q: Are Neck Gaiters Adjustable?
Most, if not all, neck gaiters are designed to be one-size-fits-most. But, are they adjustable? This answer is both a yes or a no, depending on how you interpret the word “adjustable”. In the sense of being able to adjust it to cover your mouth, ears, nose, and neck simultaneously, you can adjust the gaiter (depending on the designer). However, can you literally adjust the size and width of the gaiter? Unless it comes with an elastic band, then you are probably not going to have the luxuries. Sometimes, this is where sizing becomes an issue if you can’t adjust the width and overall size.
Neck gaiters are only a small bit of the ensemble that outdoorsman’s need in the cold climates outdoors. Now, do not get confused, neck gaiters can be used in the summer as a way to block the sun. Honestly, they work great this way but the money lies in the winter-time. You now have the goods and enough source material to make an educated selection. Good luck!