We’d Like to Introduce You to the Bandana’s Cooler Older Cousin — The Neck Gaiter

man wearing a neck gaiter
Courtesy of @missioncooling
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Sun protection comes in many forms — you can douse yourself in sunscreen, don protective clothing and even rock a big floppy hat on your next trip to the coastline. All of these methods work and help protect you from the dangers of too much sun exposure. As we enjoy the last bit of summer sun and head towards fall weather we need gear that’s going to protect us from those UV rays while also transitioning well into the cooler months. Neck gaiters are a great tool for all sorts of outdoor weather. Some have a cooling effect in the summer, some are made to keep you warm in the winter, all of them provide protection from sunburns and can soak up sweat like no other. Think of them as bandanas that have leveled-up to today’s modern textile technology.

Additionally, in the wake of the current health crisis, neck gaiters are a great face mask for activities like running, cycling or hiking outdoors. They’re made of flexible, breathable, athletic fabric that adjusts to the width of your neck and face easily for a comfortable fit. You can also wear them in a variety of ways, giving you choice and the freedom to select how you wish to use it on any given day. They’re versatile, high-quality and applicable to a number of situations whether you’re working out, working hard or enjoying some sun and would rather your skin not feel the after-effects. Here are our favorite neck gaiters for outdoor activities of all kinds.

1. Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter

BEST OVERALL

This is, hands down, one of the best neck gaiters you can buy. It’s cooling, refreshing and protective against debris and wind. It cools instantly when activated by water and the multilayered design has 12+ possible styles you can wear it in. It’s chemical-free, UPF 50, machine-washable and reusable. The UPF 50 capabilities block out 98% of UV rays in the summer or winter, and the garment is made of thin fabric that’s lightweight and durable.

Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter Courtesy of Amazon

  

2. JOEYOUNG Neck Gaiter

RUNNER UP

This super comfortable neck gaiter is made of premium microfiber that’s stretchy, breathable and has great sweat-wicking abilities so you can continue to crush it on the course, trail or coast. This dust-proof design can be worn in 12 different ways depending on your preference during a wide variety of activities including hiking, fishing, cycling, running or lounging. The fabric is strong and durable and comes one size and a variety of colors and patterns.

JOEYOUNG Neck Gaiter Courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Tough Headwear Fleece Neck Gaiter

BEST FOR WINTER

If you’re looking for a neck gaiter to replace your current lackluster scarf, this one is a great option. It’s made of ToughTech polar fleece that’s got the heat retention you need as well as a microfiber layer for wicking away sweat. It’s double-layered for extra warmth during the frigid months. It can be worn in a few different ways including around your neck and up over your ears as a headband. Consolidate a few different winter accessories into one with this versatile, warm winter tool.

Tough Headwear Fleece Neck Gaiter - best winter gaiter Courtesy of Amazon

  

4. FAYBOX Magic Wicking Neck Gaiters (6-Pack)

BEST BUDGET

This 6-pack of neck gaiters comes for a very affordable price given the value and durability you get. These neck gaiters are made of 100% polyester microfiber that’s absorbent and quick-drying, lightweight and very breathable. They have law edges for easy roll-up after use and the super soft fabric makes them comfortable to wear during long periods of time, even during strenuous activity. This pick does require hand washing to avoid damage to the fabric.

neck gaiter, best neck gaiter Courtesy of Amazon

  

5. Nertpow Unisex Reusable Neck Gaiter Balaclava

BEST FOR SPORTS

These neck gaiters are made of super soft, breathable fabric that’s durable and won’t lose its shape over time. The moisture-wicking capabilities effectively transfer heat and humidity away from your body so you can stay cooler, dryer and more focused on the task at hand. It’ll keep you both cool in the summer and warm in the winter with heat retention at a certain temperature, and the high elasticity means it can fit most people comfortably. The elastic tensile fabric also keeps the neck gaiter in place during activity so you won’t need to adjust it a bunch in order for it to suit your needs.

nertpow unisex neck gaiter, best neck gaiters, neck gaiters Courtesy of Amazon

  

6. Buff Men’s Lightweight Merino Wool Neck Gaiter

HIGHEST QUALITY

BUFF is a brand we trust for their high-quality products including this neck gaiter made of 100% merino wool, a warming and breathable fabric that can function well in both the heat and frigid cold. It has a pull-on closure so the fit is superb for a variety of sizes and the wool has natural moisture management and odor control that makes it great for use in the outdoors. This neck gaiter is lightweight, wind-resistant and can function well in all four seasons.

buff neck gaiter, best neck gaiter, neck gaiters Courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Venswell Neck Gaiter Mask

BEST PATTERNS

Why settle for a boring neck gaiter when you could get a vibrant, bright pattern to spice things up? These colorful designs have the same breathable, flexible structure as the other gaiters on this list. They wick away moisture in the summer and provide the UV protection you’re looking for on sunny days. On colder days in the winter they’re another layer to keep your neck, mouth, nose and face warmer in the face of icy wind, snow and rain.

vibrant, bright pattern Venswell Neck Gaiter Masks Courtesy of Amazon

  

8. Jjyee Neck Gaiter Balaclava

MOST COMFORTABLE

This neck gaiter is made of 100% soft ice silk that’s lightweight, soft and has moisture-wicking capabilities just like its polyester compatriots. It has ear holes for a more secure, comfortable fit and can protect from dust, dirt, UV rays and transfer heat away from your body to keep you cool. This neck gaiter is also easy to take care of and machine washable.

Jjyee Neck Gaiter Balaclava Courtesy of Amazon

  

9. PAGE ONE Store 12-in-1 Multifunctional Face Mask

MOST VERSATILE

This neck gaiter is made of high-quality material that’s lightweight without being easy to tear. It’s moisture-wicking and dries quickly to keep you cool but not wet. It has four-way stretch like many pieces of athletic wear with the elasticity to fit your face comfortably without smothering. It also has upgraded stitched edges that keep it from fraying, rolling up or losing its shape over time. There are more than 12 different ways to wear this high-quality performance gaiter including as a bandana, headband and scarf.

versatile neck gaiter, best neck gaiters Courtesy of Amazon

  

10. LUOLIIL VOE Windproof Neck Gaiter 6-Pack

BEST FOR FAMILIES

This neck gaiter can fit all — men, women and children functionally and effectively. The variety of cool designs ensures that everyone in the family will have a pick that they enjoy, and the versatility in terms of ways it can be worn makes it great for a variety of individuals as well. The breathable material will keep everyone cool and pulling one of these on may be easier than forcing stubborn children to put on sunscreen on hot days. Stay protected from dust, dirt and your own sweat in one of these multifunctional, durable neck gaiters. This affordable pack also comes with six different gaiters to choose from so everyone can pick their own or you’ll have plenty to share.

neck gaiters, best neck gaiters Courtesy of Amazon