Product Review: Buff Thermal Hoodie

Disclaimer: I received a Buff Thermal Hoodie to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Winter running in Vermont is no joke. Temperatures fluctuate wildly, there’s precipitation of every kind, there’s wind, there can be weeks on end of below freezing temps… Last winter I completely chickened out and ran on a treadmill until spring. This year, because I’m training for my first marathon, I need to run outside at least sometimes to avoid insanity. When I found out that I’d get to try the Buff Thermal Hoodie as part of being a BibRave Pro, I was pumped, because my stash of winter outdoor running gear is pretty small at the moment.

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What is the Buff Thermal Hoodie?
It’s a cozy Polar fleece hood with a Merino wool Buff attached. The Buff can be worn as a double-layer neck warmer, or you can pull the top up to wear as a face and ear warmer. The hood has drawstrings so you can cinch it down for added protection. Basically, it can be worn as a hood, or a neck warmer/face shield, or both!

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My Experience with the Buff Thermal Hoodie
In colder weather, I prefer to run wearing a long sleeved shirt and a vest, because I overheat really easily. Keeping my core warm and my arms a bit cooler works really well for me. Unfortunately, though, most vests don’t come with hoods, and I personally really like hoods.

Photo Jan 09, 1 36 50 PMI was able to tuck the neck-warmer portion right down inside my vest for seamless wind protection, and I could pull the face portion up and down on the run easily. The hood is super soft, and the Merino wool is breathable when it’s up over my face. I wore it for a few runs, and was pleased to find that the hood is big enough to fit my ponytail in back and still stay up on my head with minimal adjustments–I did have to cinch the drawstring a bit. I think If I wore my hair down at the base of me head, it would have stayed put even without the cinching. Some of my fellow BR Pros were annoyed by the drawstrings bouncing up and down, but I had no problem with it.

I mostly wore the Buff hoodie for walking to and from work. The weather has been jumping around between 50’s and below freezing, so I’ve had a hard time adapting to the cold this year. While 90% of the time, the hood/Buff combo was more than enough to keep my ears warm, there were times when the wind was really blowing that I actually wished the material offered more wind-protection.

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Long story short, if you do ANY kind of winter outdoor activity (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, running, walking your dogs etc), the Buff thermal hoodie is a versatile piece of gear that can adapt to changing conditions easily. I also love that it’s all one piece, so I can eliminate the hat/scarf combo and just have one thing to remember instead of multiples.

Make sure you join me and my fellow Pros for our weekly Twitter #BibChat tomorrow January 19 at 9 pm EST to chat with Buff USA. If you’d like to read more about the Buff Thermal Hoodie, check out what other Pros have to say:

Jen S. | Angie | Gina | Katherine | Andrew | Amy | Heather | Sarah M | Abbie

What’s your number one, can’t-live-without-it piece of cold weather running gear?

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Product Review: BuffUSA Full Buff

Disclaimer: I received a BuffUSA Full Buff as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

You may remember a month or so ago, I received a UV Half Buff for review through my relationship with BibRave. Well, I recently had the privilege of testing out one of their full Buffs. I’m no stranger to BuffUSA products; one of my wedding gifts from Ben was a wool Buff that was instrumental in keeping my face from freezing off during a frigid Valentines Day run this spring. Obviously, the wool Buff hasn’t been getting much use during this blazing hot summer, so I was excited to try the normal Buff.

In case you don’t know, the Buff is a long tube of fabric that can be worn as a scarf, hat, headband, and many other ways as well. I received the Santana Orange color, which is sort of like a bandana print, and I LOVE it.

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About the Buff (Courtesy of the BuffUSA Website)

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax® Extreme fabric
  • 100% seamless
  • 12+ ways to wear
  • Polygiene® Active Odor Control
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Thermal protection from cold & wind
  • Quick-drying
  • 2-way lateral stretch
  • One size fits all adults

My Experience with the Buff

As I stated above, I’m no stranger to Buff products. The way I most often wear mine is as a headband. I don’t know what it is about the Buff material, but it NEVER slips, and doesn’t squeeze my head like so many other headbands. Sometimes I take the time to nicely fold the Buff up, but other times I’ll just scrunch it. Both methods are equally effective, and equally attractive.

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Hey everyone, come see how good I look!

My new favorite form, though, is the beanie. I didn’t know this was a thing until watching the How to Wear the Buff video (posted below), and I LOVE IT. Perfect for a chilly morning, or for days when your hair just won’t behave. I’m particularly excited to do this with my wool Buff this fall and winter.

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Because we’re in the thick of a late summer heat wave right now, my need for the other forms of Buff wearage just isn’t there. I know that come fall and winter I’ll be using it as a face cover, ear warmer, scarf and more, but for now, I’m actually grateful it’s still hot and I only need a headband!

Overall, it’s safe to say I’m in love with Buff products. I will say that the Half Buff is still my favorite size, but both the full and half are versatile and affordable. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the perfect multi-use accessories for active people. Lightweight enough not to take up a ton of room in your luggage, but able to perform multiple functions. What’s not to love?

If you’d like to get a Buff (or several) of your very own, you can use code “bibrave10” for 10% off your order.

Have you ever tried Buff products?

Do you prefer the Full or Half Buff?

Product Review: BuffUSA UV Half Buff

Disclaimer: I received a Buff USA UV Half Buff to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve been a Buff fan for a while. One of my wedding gifts from Ben was a wool Buff that served me super well during my frigid Valentine’s Day run–it was below freezing and spitting snow, but my face stayed warm and my lungs weren’t ripped up by the cold air. Unfortunately, the Buff hasn’t been getting as much use now that it’s summer. But when the folks at BibRave Pro contacted me about trying the new UV Half Buff, I was very intrigued.

About the UV Half Buff (Courtesy of the Buff USA Website):

Shorter than the Original Buff, the UV Half Buff offers style and sun protection without weighing you down. It wicks away perspiration to keep you comfortable in the gym, on the road, at the yoga studio, or on the trails.

There are several different suggestions for how to use/wear the Half Buff, which are demonstrated in the (only slightly cheesy) video below.

My Experience with the UV Half Buff

UV Half Buff 3My first run with the Buff, I just folded it in half to form a wide headband, and kept it relatively low on my forehead and over my ears. It was soft and comfortable, and didn’t slip around at all, which surprised the heck out of me. I’d never yet met a headband that didn’t migrate at least a little bit, until the Buff.

On subsequent runs, I doubled it up again to make a narrower headband, and this has become my default style for wearing it. It stays where it’s supposed to and keeps all the shorter hairs out of my face while I’m running. It doesn’t squeeze my head at all, so I don’t get headaches like I do with some headbands.UV Half Buff 2

I also was able to use my Half Buff on a 25 mile bike ride. For this, I just slipped it up onto my head full length, so that it acted almost as a bandana or head scarf. This kept my hair in check under my bike helmet, and helped to wick away the sweat, so my head stayed cool and dry the entire afternoon. I did this another time as well. I had just blow-dried my hair and we were about to ride our bikes to a BBQ. I was worried that my hair would get all sweaty and frizzy, but with the Buff between my helmet and my hair, I avoided the frizz.

UV Half Buff

I am also not ashamed to say that after a particularly hot and humid hill run, I whipped that sucker off my head and used it to mop the copious amounts of sweat from my face. Worked like a charm.

Overall

I’m in love with the Half Buff. I’ve shunned all of my other headbands since I’ve gotten it, and I want it in every color. They’re quite affordable, and they’re incredibly comfortable and practical. If you’d like to purchase one for yourself, use the code BIBRAVE10 for 10% off your order!

If you’d like to read more about the UV Half Buff, check out some more reviews by my fellow BibRave Pros:

Jessica | Caroline | Amy | Samantha | Laura | Emily | Jenny

Also, don’t forget that BuffUSA will be sponsoring our Twitter #BibChat on Tuesday, August 12 at 9pm EST.