10 Best Neck Gaiters for Runners Reviewed
Neck gaiters are a type of one-piece fabric tube designed as a one size fits all item of clothing. Many of them are made of either synthetic materials – mainly microfiber polyester for the most part, or wool.
- Buff Original Headwear
- 100% Microfiber
- One size fits all adults
- Moisture wicking
- Polygiene active odor control
- Price: See Here
- Columbia Fast Trek
- 100% Polyester
- 250g microfleece
- Machine Wash
- Versitle Warmth & Softness
- Price: See Here
- Carhartt Fleece Neck Gaiter
- 92% Polyester
- 8% Spandex
- Hand Wash
- Wind/Cold Restistant
- Price: See Here
The ones made of synthetic materials or microfiber are better for running, as it enables the material to “wick” away moisture, while keeping the person wearing the gaiter warm underneath. They can be an important item in a runner’s arsenal when they need to cover the neck, face and head from the elements.
There are a wide variety of neck gaiters available and the ones on this list are just a few of the many out there on the market. If you’re looking for a new one, check out the ones on this list, and see what you think about them. As with any types of products on the market, look over the reviews and see what you think and buy the one(s) you think are the best fit for the types of activities that you do.
1. Original Buff Headwear
Lightweight and compact – this is important because it’s small enough to fit into your pocket without being too bulky.
Extremely versatile. While many of the neck gaiters are extremely adaptable, the Original Buff is ideal for many uses. There were some complaints about the durability and loose fit, but overall, was considered a good product. If you need something for extremely cold weather, you might want to consider another option.
Cost & Value
If you’re looking for a lightweight starting neck gaiter that’s easy on the pocketbook, the Original Buff headwear is the way to go.
- Cool Design
- Easy to hand wash, dries easily
- Frays (“pills”) with age
- Can be a little too loose
2. Columbia Fast Trek Neck Gaiter
Moisture wicking materials are important for runners, because the more moisture builds up, the more the weather affects negatively the runner. Also, wicking materials help in odor reduction.
Some reviewers noted that the tag was itchy and the fit was pretty loose.
For the Columbia Unisex Fast Trek Neck Gaiter is an excellent deal.
- Comfortable, snug fit
- Small, compact size
- Durable 100% polyester
- Machine washable
- Scratchy tags
- Rather tight for some users, may be too small for others
3. Arc'teryx RHO LTW Neck Gaiter
It is made out of a durable merino wool and elastine blend. The wool is stretchy by itself, but the elastine gives it a more of a spring so that it can "hug" the user’s face.
This is a more costly option than some of the other neck gaiters on the market, but many say it’s well worth the extra price paid in terms of durability and warmth. The price is the sole reason why it’s not higher on the list.
- Soft, stretchy, non-itchy material
- Warm & wind resistant (though not too warm)
- Tight Fitting
- Too thick/ hard to breathe in
- Some users think it’s too tight of a fit
4. Smartwool NTS Mis 250 Neck Gaiter
This gaiter is made of merino wool and is fire retardant, odor resistant, and naturally moisture wicking.
Not machine washable (at least according to the label – do so at your own risk). Some reviews have stated that it can be machine washed, but air dried, by laying it flat.
This is one of the more costly options, but for what you’re getting, it’s not a bad deal. The reason why it’s not higher on the list is because of the fact that it wears poorly.
- Made of 100% merino wool
- Clean finish seams
- Very warm, even in the coldest conditions
- True to size fit
- Moisture wicking/ dries quickly
- Contains natural anti-odor properties
- Irritating tag and/or seams
- Not machine washable
- Not as good of quality as some other gaiters on the market, fabric tends to “pill” as it wears.
5. Oakley Factory Neck Gaiter
It is made of soft, durable microfleece polyester. It is also form fitting which is an important factor, because some of the other brands on the market tend to fall off the face.
This is one of the cheaper choices out there, without complaints in regards to quality of construction. The reason it isn’t higher rated is because of the rough seams that bothered a lot of reviewers.
- Soft & comfortable
- Form fitting (doesn’t fall off face)
- Made of Durable 100% polyester
- Seam somewhat rough
6. Minus33 Midweight Neck Gaiter
Merino wool is a good material to make a neck gaiter out of because it’s fire retardant, odor resistant, and naturally moisture wicking.
This is a middle of the road price, but due to the fact that it gets free shipping, it’s really not that bad of a deal.
- Soft and warm
- Breathable and moisture wicking
- Machine wash (cold only)
- Form fitting
- Fire resistant
- Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating 50+*
- Not designed for extremely cold weather
- Uncomfortable for extended wear
- Tends to roll up after extended use.
7. Under Armour No Breaks Gore Windstopper Neck Gaiter
Very good at blocking wind and cold from reaching the skin. This is important for cold weather runs where the user doesn’t want to breathe the harsh cold air.
It also has a tight fit so it doesn’t slide off the face is an important feature for runners because the user is always moving. The material is also very breathable.
Among all the brands on this list, this one seems to be the most successful at blocking out the wind according to the reviewers. The reason why it wasn’t higher rated is because even though it is somewhat stretchy, some users thought it could use a bit more elasticity and they complained that it felt like it was choking them.
This is a good value for what it offers.
- Made of odor blocking materials
- Wind blocking, yet breathable
- Reflective logo for nighttime running
- Made of wicking materials
- Soft fleece lining
- A little Tight/ Could be a bit stretchier
- Some users didn’t think it was as thick as it should be
8. Buff UVX Head Mask
It is made of a lightweight material and good for summer use. This neck gaiter is designed to filter out dust and insects – perfect for those summer runs along dusty roads or those dawn or dusk runs where you disturb insects resting in the grass. Reviewers wished the UPF rating was higher.
This is a good value for a summer neck gaiter.
- Good for summertime use
- Made of odor-blocking fabric
- Wicks away moisture
- Nicely stretchy
- Good pattern
- Contoured to fit neck and shoulder area
- Holes get stretched out
- Only 95%, which figures out to approximately 25 UPF. Other such masks have a higher Ultraviolet Protection Factor ratings
- Not meant for winter
9. Carhartt Fleece Neck Gaiter
The fact that the gaiter is made of a stretchy polyester and spandex blend is an important factor for runners to consider when examining this product, because some of the other brands out there are too tight.
Reviewers complained about the breathability.
This is the cheapest of all the selections on this list and not that bad for the price.
- Sturdy construction that doesn’t “pill” like some of the other ones out there
- VERY Warm
- Snug fit for the lower half of the face.
- Good price
- Hand wash only
- Irritating tag
- Muffles voice of over mouth/ can chose the user
10. Turtle Fur Heavyweight Neck Warmer
Double layered construction is an important feature for runners because it’s vital for cold weather conditions, to be able to not worry about getting cold easily. The material is moisture wicking.
This is a good price, but may not be a good value, as it may not be as durable as you would like. If you’re looking for a specific color, you may find that the colors are not true to what you see on the computer screen.
- Soft, luxurious texture
- Microfleece material
- Stretchy material which pulls over the user’s head easily
- Machine washable (according to users), air dry.
- Moisture wicking (dries quickly)
- Colors not true to photographs
- Not super breathable
- Size variable, according to some users.
Neck gaiters are a very versatile piece of equipment able to be used in both hot and cold weather can be used in a variety of ways. Among these are:
- Scarf or neckerchief
- Standalone turtleneck
- Hat (beanie or skull cap) or hat liner
- Face mask or breathing protection device (keeps out the cold and, depending on the make and model, dust and insects as well)
- “Ninja’’ face mask hood for under a helmet. Also called a balaclava.
- Headband, saharine, bandana, or sweatband
- “Do –rag” or “pirate rag”
- Water bottle holder
- Alice rag or headscarf – away to keep hair out of your face
- Tube top
- Pony tail accessory
- Wristband (twisted back onto the wrist) or a makeshift pair of gloves/ mittens if you have a pair of them (Useful if you have sweaty hands, but don’t need fine motor control)
- Ear muffs