Not all neck gaiters are created equal. While it's perhaps one of the simplest pieces of apparel you'll wear all season, when the neck gaiter isn't doing its job, it leaves you cold and wet—most likely on your face as it's being hammered by the wind. Their versatility keeps you coming back, and you wonder how you ever skied without one. From folding them over to be used as a headband, pulling them over your head as a mock-balaclava, to shielding you from the blazing sun, they have numerous uses. Having a worthy neck gaiter to combat the elements will keep you warm, dry, and sunburn free. Below are a few of our favorites.
The Maverick Neck Gaiter is made of 100 percent Helle Rambouillet Merino wool from sheep raised in Montana. The Maverick has a soft feel and given its natural wool properties, it keeps you warm and regulates temperature super well. I've had mine for three years, and it has never iced up from moisture, even during some nasty storms. The only downside is that your significant other may steal it due to it being so awesome and versatile.
This year, the Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear has been re-designed. It uses a new four-way stretch fabric, and more importantly has UPF 50 sun protection. The polyester/elastane blend is also constructed with 100 percent recycled REPREVE fibers, which are sustainably sourced and derived from plastic water bottles that have been removed from oceans and landfills. The material has a soft-to-touch feel and is cut a little longer for a variety of uses.
Trew's NuYarn Merino wool is very soft and smooth, blending 85 percent Merino with 15 percent nylon. The facemask is also extra light, thanks to its 124 Superfine NuYarn fabric. What makes this facemask unique is its ability to swap from balaclava to neck gaiter with ease. It fits snugly, but isn't super tight, which makes on-the-fly transitions while touring simple.
Ten years ago, while competing as a Nordic skier at Vermont's Burke Mountain Academy, Corinne Prevot began playing with fabrics at her local craft store. Sewing hats and selling them at races were the early beginnings of Skida, who produce a variety of hats and neck warmers in Vermont. The Tour is super versatile, and is constructed of a Brushed Thermal Poly-Spandex fabric that wicks moisture with anti-microbial technology. The women's Strawberry Fields print pays homage to their beginnings when they used to buy scratch n' sniff fabric—note this one doesn't smell, but it will brighten your day. The men's prints are equally as fun.
Designed and tested in Jackson Hole by legendary snowboarder Rob Kingwill, the Avalon7 FaceShield is seamless, soft, and versatile. Made from polyester StretchSOFT fabric, the microfiber wicks away sweat while shielding your face from extreme elements on a powder day. The shield is available in numerous different colors and designs, and has a UPF of 20+, making it ideal year round. A portion of proceeds goes to the nonprofit Futurepositiv, which helps kids connect with the outdoors through winter sports. Additionally, 1 percent of sales is donated to 1% for the Tetons to help fund sustainable projects in Jackson Hole.