What is a Buff and Why is it The Most Useful Piece of Travel Kit You Will Take?

Before I had any experience of travel I had no idea what a Buff was and when we were sponsored by Buff they sent us about 12 of them featuring different varieties for warmth, visibility, wackiness of design. However, a Buff is now the first thing I throw in my bag if I am travelling anywhere. I even wear one in bed.

Buff headwear

What Buff say

More than 20 years ago, BUFF® invented the tubular headwear category with our Original BUFF® product. As the outdoor industry has progressed, we have evolved with it, incorporating the latest in technical fabric innovations while remaining true to our heritage of quality and craftsmanship. It’s the reason that athletes and outdoor enthusiasts trust our products, and why BUFF® is the original multifunctional headwear. The manufacturing process takes place on a specially developed tubular loom to make the finished garment seamless. As you can imagine this makes them very stylish, functional, versatile and comfortable. Originally developed for wind protection while motorcycling. It can be worn as a scarf, bandanna, headband, beanie, face mask, tube top, helmet liner, wristband, cap, pirate, Sahara style and other variations.

Buff headwear How to wear

TravelGearReviews says

When traveling in New York City during the winter, I used my UV protective Buff as a neck gaiter and occasionally as a cap to keep my head warm. The Buff replaced the need for me to have both a scarf and a beanie. It also helped to protect me from the wind when the temperature was below freezing. I’ve even found uses for the Buff when running. While running in cold weather, I used the Buff as a face mask to prevent inhaling very cold air. The UV Insect Shield Buff is insect resistant for up to 70 washes and also blocks 95% of UV radiation. When folded, the Buff can easily fit in my fist and weights about as much as a pair of socks. Since it is made of polyester microfiber, it is easy to wash and also dries out quickly.

My take

Buffs are great. Such a simple idea, yet having something round your neck can keep the sun off, the cold and wind out or just offer a feeling of security. A bit of material is often useful if you need to use it as emergency sling, bandage, cloth, support etc.

How I used the product

The non-fleece versions can be worn underneath the helmet to wick sweat away. It can also be worn around the face to keep the mouth area warm and provides some filtering from grit and dust on the road. When I sleep I wear it on my head. When cycling I wear it round my neck for warmth. If its hot I can wear it to wick sweat. If its dusty I can wear it over my mouth for protection. Its simple and effective.


  • UV Protective
  • Insect prevention
  • Lightweight / Compact
  • Design options
  • Odor Control built in
  • Easy to Wash
  • Quick Drying
  • Brilliant for cold weather (fleece version)


  • A bit pricy
  • Some designs look silly (but that's your own fault for choosing it)
  • I prefer to wear a cycling cap under my helmet these days instead of a buff as can be a bit warm (but I might still wear it round my neck to block the sun)


  • The Original Buff - the original microfibrous tube of material. Lightweight, multi-purpose, comes in a myriad of styles and colours.
  • Flourescent Buff - good for visibility on the road.
  • Reflective Buff - has reflective material. Mark wore one of these all the time when we were cycling across Europe together. He may still have it on today.
  • Buff Polar - this one has a section at the bottom made out of soft warm fleece. It is one I wear in bed in the winter and it was an absolute God-send riding in cold conditions to pull up over my face.
  • Merino Wool Buff - I recently acquired a Merino wool Buff for a friend. It is as soft as the original one but warmer.


A Buff is a simple and effective piece of clothing that its difficult to argue with.

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