Neck Gaiter skiing
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Neck Gaiter skiing

A neck gaiter to use for skiing is one of the many ways to stay warm on the slopes for skiers or snowboarders. A neck gaiter is known by a number of different names such as neck warmer, a buff or a snood. It's simple purpose it to be worn around the neck in order to keep the skier or snowboarder warm and shield from the wind.

How can I protect my face when skiing?

By wrapping up well and covering your face with a warm face covering or neck gaiter. It is advisable to cover your face when skiing in cold or harsh conditions to prevent chapped lips and to make sure your cheeks don’t get cold. Make sure your face mask or your neck gaiter isn't too thin, as the wind and the cold will just go straight through it! If your face mask or neck gaiter is too thick and you use it to cover your mouth, the moisture from your breath will make the fabric extremely wet and uncomfortable. If you are skiing in very cold conditions, it is likely this moisture on the face covering will also freeze, which needless to say is also quite uncomfortable.

What is a neck gaiter for skiing?

A neck gaiter is a very basic piece of fabric, whether made of cotton or wool, that sits around your neck, or even stretched up around your face to keep you warm and shield you from the wind and cold. Every skier and snowboarder will have their own personal preference for how to keep themselves warm on the slopes. This will depend on where you especially feel the cold, and how warm you tend to keep in general. This could range from just needing a thin thermal base layer plus your ski coat and a helmet on (a helmet is essential for keeping your head safe and for keeping your body warm) to keep toasty while you ski in average conditions of around -5°C to 0°C, or it could mean you need a base layer, a micro fleece, a ski coat, a neck gaiter AND a helmet to stay warm while skiing! Everyone is different and only through trial and error will you find the combination of clothing that works best for you!

What is the point of a neck gaiter?

Neck gaiters are especially effective against the cold because of the exposure your neck gets throughout a day of skiing. Ski coats tend to be a bit looser up around your neck, with a bit more space and freedom to move your head around. This means heat can easily be lost from this region of your body. Although you can easily buy coats that seek to address this issue, an alternative and very simple solution, is to buy a neck gaiter to fill the gaps are your neck and even up past your chin to retain more of that heat.

How do you wear a neck gaiter for skiing?

The great thing about a neck gaiter or any sort of neck warmer is that it can be worn in so many different ways depending on what suits you best, and what keeps you the warmest. If you want to wear it in a similar way to a scarf, as I have explained above, where it sits loosely around your neck, this is one of the most popular ways to use it. Another popular way is to have part of it stretch up over your mouth and nose to give some extra face protection from the cold and the wind. Some people have the neck gaiter up over the top of their head and stretched down under their chin, then turn it back on itself, some people like to wrap it around their heads to make a hat... the list goes on for the different ways you can use a neck gaiter to keep yourself a bit warmer!

Is a neck gaiter the same as a buff?

Yes, a neck gaiter is another name for a buff. They are both names for a tubular neck warmer to pull up around your neck and even around the lower part of your face if it is really cold.

Which buff is best for skiing?

Ther are a number of different materials which neck gaiters and buffs are made out of. Neck gaiters and buffs can be made from merino wool, polyester, cotton or nylon. Each of these materials have different qualities and advantages. Some materials such as merino wool are far more expensive than for example nylon or polyester, but for that larger price tag you get far better breathability, far better thermal properties when wet, exceptional odour resistance, amongst other advantages and disadvantages. Merino wool has become extremely popular in the last decade or so with outdoor enthusiasts due to it thermal properties when wet, its natural anti-microbial properties and it's amazing ability to wick moisture away from the body, which is a fantastic attribute to have for sports where you end up sweating a lot like skiing!

Merino wool come from a special type of sheep found in certain parts of the world. Australia has become one of the largest producers of merino wool, and for the reason described above, it is fast becoming the go to clothing material for hikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.