A neck gaiter just may be the most versatile article of clothing you could own. You can use it to keep you warm, to keep you cool, and simply to be stylish.
In fact, neck gaiters are so versatile, that you may not even realize someone is wearing one. It’s just so easy to take it for a headband, a hairband, a scrunchy, a doo rag, or even a foulard. And that’s only a few of the uses.
So let’s dig in and take a closer look at this intriguingly versatile clothing accessory.
What Is a Neck Gaiter?
According to that redoubtable resource Wikipedia, here’s what it is: “A neck gaiter or neck warmer, also known as a buff, is an article of clothing worn about the neck for warmth. It is a closed tube of fabric, often thick fleece, merino wool, synthetic wicking, or knit material. Which is slipped on and off over the head. It can also be pulled up over the mouth to keep out wind, sand, and other debris. Some balaclavas have a thin hood attached to what is essentially a neck gaiter.”
That’s true enough, but, really, it is so much more . . .
So a neck gaiter (formerly known as a buff) is simply a closed tube of fabric. And that simplicity is what lends it such extreme versatility.
You can use it to keep warm or cool, depending on the weather and your needs. It’s simple and lightweight and great for outdoor activities, functioning much like a scarf.
As an illustrative example consider WholesaleForEverone.com’s neck gaiters (or tube headbands):
Approximately 20” X 9.5”
95% UV protection
100% polyester moisture-wicking fiber
Protects users from both cold and windburn (for, say, snowboarding or boating)
How to Wear a Neck Gaiter
This is where neck gaiters really display their versatility. Consider wearing your gaiter as a:
Just pull the tube over your head and let it rest around your neck. This will keep you warm on the coldest days, and you can pull it up over your mouth when you need to.
You can also wear one (if you’ve chosen breathable fabric) as a face covering as protection against inclement weather, whether heat or cold or wet. You’ll see a lot of snowboarders doing this.
Whether to keep sweat out your eyes or your hair in place, a gaiter makes a great headband. You can achieve a polished look by carefully folding the edges together, or you can go for a casual effect by just scrunching it up.
It also makes an excellent hairband to keep your hair out of your face. Just put it on as you would a scarf, and then pull the bottom of the tube up till you get the desired coverage.
This is when you actually wear a gaiter like a scarf for a sort of fun Bohemian look. You just put it on as if you wanted a headband, and then pull the back open to allow it to drape down.
Beyond these, you can also wear a neck gaiter as a:
Pirate head covering
Bonus Ways to Wear a Gaiter
And there’s still more you can do with the versatile gaiter . . .
Neck gaiters have numerous uses in emergencies as well, for example:
A makeshift sling
A carrying strap
A shock cord
The effectiveness is still being debated, but you can use a neck gaiter as part of your PPE to stay uninfected and healthy.
A gaiter can serve in place of a face mask if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a mask. You can also use it in conjunction with a face shield for extra protection.
Although you may have heard that they are far less effective in this area than masks, there is mounting evidence that they do provide some protection.
Where to Wear a Neck Gaiter
When it comes to where to wear this unique clothing item, that depends primarily on the activity and the season and temp.
For warm-weather wearing, you’ll want a light-weight gaiter that will afford comfort on even the hottest summer days.
You’ll likely want protection both hair and neck/face protection from sweat, dust, bug, and (maybe) your bike helmet. Worn around your neck, a gaiter will prevent sunburn, and when moistened can help keep you cool.
The warm-weather activities that call for a gaiter include:
When the weather grows cooler, you’ll need a heavier gator, maybe even a fleece line for harsh winter weather. It can keep your head and ears warm, and, worn around your neck, will keep your body heat from escaping. You can also wear it over your face to avoid chapped skin and lips.
The cold-weather activities that call for one include:
How to Choose a Neck Gaiter
What criteria should you use in selecting the right one for you?
First, consider why you’re wearing it and for what. Do you want protection against heat or cold or wind or rain – or a combination of those?
How much do you want to pay – prices can vary widely? For example, WholesaleForEveryone.com offers significant discounts on even single items in addition to the wholesale prices for bulk orders.
And what material do you want it constructed from? Do you have, for example, any allergies you should take into account?
Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider:
Size and fit
Weight and fabric thickness
What Do You Think?
We care about our customers first and foremost, and we’re truly interested in what you have to say. So . . .
Do you wear a neck gaiter?
Where do you wear it?
How do you wear it?
Are you looking to buy a neck gaiter?