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Review: Buff Headwear

Last year I went to Mongolia to compete in the Mongolia MTB Marathon, a 1200km stage race through the Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains. I had seen the Buff products before I went to Mongolia last year, but never considered them. Now a convert, lets discuss why this sub-$30 scarf, beanie, facemask, sleeping mask, hairband, sweatband, earwarmer, legionaire style cap, bandanna – and whatever else – is such a good bit of kit to have with you on a tour.

Buff Headwear
The Buff!

I might let the ‘Buff Man’ himself introduce to you what ‘Buffs’ are, with his slightly scary video demonstration:
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Based on the amount of functions it has – I don’t think anyone can argue that it’s a pretty handy bit of kit. It really saved me in the Gobi desert stages of the Mongolia MTB marathon, where I used it predominately as a face mask to make sure that I wasn’t swallowing truckloads of dust. To be honest, I am unsure how most other competitors coped.

Mongolia Buff Headwear
The dusty conditions were made much more bearable when I could use a Buff at times! (I'm 64)

I’d like to illustrate to you what the conditions of this race were like for the first stage, by sharing a passage from my good friend Melinda Jackson’s personal diary: “We were in the Gobi desert but it wasn’t beautiful rolling dunes. It was rather like the biggest, windiest, sandiest, most corrugated paddock in the world. Try to imagine the shittest riding conditions possible and you have Stage 1. It was incredibly boring with nothing at all to see for the whole day, 70km out of the 75km stage were into a driving headwind, and the track surface was horrendously corrugated and sandy. I have never ridden anything like this – every pedal stroke was a battle and there was not one second of freewheel the whole day.”

Mongolia Sandstorm Tent
Mongolian sandstorms made food more natural by integrating desert sand with our meals!

I’m not sure that was enough, maybe this video will aid my argument:
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Quite simply, the Buff made my desert experience much more pleasurable, well… kind of.

Ok, enough about Mongolia and more about the Buff:
– Buffs are incredibly versatile with 12+ wearing options;
– Buffs are highly breathable;
– Buffs keep you cool in summer and warm in winter;
– Buffs are highly wicking;
– Buffs have a nice soft feel;
– Buffs are seamless;
– Buffs are useful in temperatures from -40 to +40 celcius;
– Buffs kill germs and odours;
– Buffs are itch and toxic free;
– Buffs are available in an almost endless range of colours and styles.

Buff Headwear Review
So many colours! These are just an itsy-bitsy sample too.

As this product is so cheap, give it a go. It might take an experience like Mongolia to make you a convert, but there are so many functions to a Buff that I imagine all bike tourers will find it useful sometime.

  1. Thanks for this article/review these seem awesome. I’ve never heard of them before now. Where is the best place to buy them? I saw the BCF stores sell them, not sure how much though. There also seems to be plenty of options on eBay too. I have been thinking about what to do for headwear while touring as I don’t want to bother with a helmet, I was just going to wear my retro style cycle cap as it has a small flip visor that offers a little protection from rain and low-angle sunlight, as well as protecting my scalp. However it doesn’t do much to protect my neck. being able to use less suncream would be ideal as it makes you feel pretty messy and greasy if you don’t get a warm shower each day.

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