10 Best Neck Gaiters for Runners Reviewed
The best neck gaiters for runners are comfortable, versatile, and easy to slip on. They should provide either the insulation you need for the cold winter months or the breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities needed for summer running. Neck gaiters can be worn in many different ways, so you will have plenty of options to choose from! Many of them come in lots of fun colors and patterns as well—so you can look great whenever you wear your neck gaiter.
Take a look at our list of the top 10 best neck gaiters below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
The amazing material in Merino Wool
- Arc'teryx RHO LTW
- Smartwool Merino 250
- Columbia Freezer Xero
- Buff Multi-functional
- Columbia Fast Trek
- Outdoor Research Lumen Ubertube
- Arctic Extreme
- Carhartt Fleece
- Turtle Fur
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Neck Gaiters for Runners
The amazing material in Merino Wool
Runs a little small
Great colors to choose from
A very lightweight option for you. This gaiter is one of the best gaiters when it comes to breathability and fabric. Since it’s made with very high-quality Merino wool which is a soft and warm material that keeps away moisture and keeps you warm.Read more
Made of merino wool, this neck gaiter is really comfortable and pretty versatile. It is an all-around excellent neck gaiter to consider and if you have never used one before, it is a good one to try out for the first time.
When it comes to weather resistance you will love this neck gaiter. It will keep you warm thanks to the use of Merino Wool. It is also incredibly durable (it is even machine washable) so you don't have to worry about it breaking down on you when the weather gets harsh.
Even though it runs a little small, it still has 10” in length, so for those with small necks, you’re able to wear it in any way you like.
This gaiter is really lightweight and a perfect layering option. It won't weigh you down and while it will keep you warm it is also moisture-wicking so you won't have to worry about your neck gaiter soaking up any moisture and weighing you down.
The gaiter is a great option because of the Merino Wool. This fabric not only keeps you warm; it also has no odor. The fabric also is ideal for those who have sensitive skin. You have many options to choose from, as the gaiter is available in 10 colors and many of them are reversible.
2. Arc'teryx RHO LTW
Soft, stretchy, non-itchy material
Warm & wind resistant (though not too warm)
Too thick; hard to breathe in
Some users think it’s too tight of a fit
Made of natural merino wool and elastane, the Arc'teryx Weather Resistance RHO LTW Men’s Neck Gaitor is a piece of equipment designed for winter wear. It is a non-bulky, durable piece of equipment that is designed to eliminate odors as well as wick moisture away.Read more
This neck gaiter is also made of Merino wool and it is really stretchy and flexible. This makes it really easy to put on and easy to use--and if you cover your face with you will notice that it fits you snuggly and securely.
This neck gaiter is perfect for the winter and it will definitely keep you warm. If you want a neck gaiter that will protect you against the elements and ensure that you stay warm without your neck gaiter sticking to you, then you will love this one!
This neck gaiter is the perfect size for those of you who want versatility. This one can be slouched down to just cover your neck and it is also large enough to be pulled up to cover your face as well.
This neck gaiter is really lightweight and won't weigh you down whatsoever. Since it will wick away moisture it will also prevent it from soaking up any moisture that could potentially weigh you down.
This neck gaiter is really versatile and a perfect addition for any runner who wants to continue training even when the weather gets cold. It comes in lots of color options, so you can get more than one if you want to switch up your style.
3. Smartwool Merino 250
A little more costly than other products
Only available in 2 colors
This neck gaiter is great for those people who are looking to keep away moisture from your body. The main characteristic of this product is the wicking fabric of wool that naturally removes moisture from your skin and still keeps you warm. It’s great to find a product that stays dry as well and doesn’t even have an odor.Read more
This neck gaiter is easily adjustable and can be worn in many ways. It is double knotted for additional warmth and is designed to fit most people.
Since it is made of Merino wool, this neck gaiter will definitely keep you warm during those cold outings. It is double knitted for additional warmth and will ensure that you stay both warm and dry no matter how far or how hard you run.
This neck gaiter was designed to fit most people—but remember to check the sizing because since it is double knitted it has some additional material on the back.
This neck gaiter is a little heavier than others since it is double knitted--but this is what makes it a perfect option if you are trying to stay warm during all of your runs. Since it is moisture-wicking, however, this one will definitely not weighing you down.
This neck gaiter is available in both black and white and since it is adjustable and stretchy, it will definitely be a really versatile option.
4. Columbia Freezer Xero
The Columbia Freezer gaiter is market for fly fishing that provides protection against the sun and outdoor element--which also makes it an excellent option for all runners.Read more
It features unique cooling technology that is activated by your sweat--so you don't have to worry about overheating. It also has UPF-50--so runners are protected from heat and the sun's rays. It also comes with a 1-year warranty--just in case!
If you like to fish or spend a lot of time outdoors, you will love this one. Some people may use this gaiter for running if you would like, but since it is designed for fishing it has specific features that are beneficial for everyone. The UPF 50 will protect you from your sun and protect you from the heat thanks to the breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities that it has.
This neck gaiter is designed to fit most users. Its stretchiness allows it to fit securely and snuggly so that it doesn't slip off while you are wearing it.
While it is incredibly light weight, don't let that fool you. It is also incredibly durable and perfect for those of you looking for a neck gaiter that you can rely on for the long haul.
This gaiter by Columbia comes in lots of colors and designs to choose from. It can be pulled up high to cover the bottom half of your face or pulled down for scrunched, protective fit.
5. Buff Multi-functional
Easy to hand wash, dries easily
Frays (“pills”) with age
Can be a little too loose
Lightweight and thin, the Original Buff is a versatile, durable and compact piece of clothing.Read more
This one is one of the most versatile options thanks to its flexibility and ease of use. And it is so small and lightweight that you can store it in your pocket or wherever you need to.
This neck gaiter is perfect for the hot summer weather. It is breathable and lightweight--and its moisture wicking capability will ensure that you stay cool and dry whenever you wear it.
This neck gaiter is the perfect size for almost anyone. It is lightweight and minimalistic--and made to fit most neck sizes.
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.
6. Columbia Fast Trek
Comfortable, snug fit
Small, compact size
Durable 100% polyester
Rather tight for some users, may be too small for others
The Columbia Unisex Fast Trek Neck Gaiter is a comfortable, albeit tight fitting winter wear neck gaiter. It is made of a moisture wicking, durable, and breathable polyester.Read more
This neck gaiter is an excellent moisture-wicking neck gaiter that will keep you comfortable, warm, and dry when it is cold out.
If you want to stay warm, then you will love this neck gaiter. It is perfect for those of you who need to protect yourself from the cold weather but don't want something bulky that will weigh you down.
While this neck gaiter is designed to fit most neck sizes, it is shorter than other neck gaiters on our list so it will mostly just cover your neck.
Really lightweight and portable, you can wear this Columbia neck gaiter anywhere--and if you need to take it off while you are out you will be able to just stash this one in your pocket.
This neck gaiter is not as versatile as other options out there since it is much shorter than others it is also much less versatile.
7. Outdoor Research Lumen Ubertube
Several ways to wear it
Some colors to choose from
Will resist odors
Some users don't think it provides the level of warmth they thought it would.
The Outdoor Research Lumen Ubertube is a perfect gaiter for outdoor enthusiasts and those of you who love to hit their favorite trails. It comes in some color option to choose from--so you have some style choices.Read more
The gaiter is made of polyester and merino wool and it is breathable and able to effectively wick away moisture. It prevents odor from forming--even if you are someone who sweats easily.
This neck gaiter is perfect for your favorite trails and for the warmer months. It is breathable and moisture wicking, so it will keep you cool and dry no matter how hot it gets out.
This is the perfect size gaiter for almost anyone. It fits snuggly and securely thanks to its stretchiness and will give you a comfortable fit whenever you wear it.
Since it is really lightweight, you won't have to worry about this neck gaiter weighing you down whatsoever.
The best part about this gaiter is that you can wear it several different ways-- so you can pick and chose the function, versatility, and style of the gaiter.
8. Arctic Extreme
Very soft material
Sizing might be an issue
This neck gaiter keeps you warm with insulated fleece. It has a thermal yarn so that it can keep the heat inside and it’s also breathable. When you purchase this gaiter, you get a pack of 2, not just one.Read more
The neck gaiter keeps you warm and keeps moisture out. It’s a great option for those looking for an economical solution. Keep in mind that some reviews have warned about the size. It might work great for men, but not so much for women since women have smaller necks.
This neck gaiter is perfect for those of you who need something that will keep you warm during those harsh cold months!
You might also not be able to fully cover your face because it might be too big, but for those looking to cover just your neck and stay warm, it might be a great solution
This neck gaiter is bulkier and heavier than others. It is definitely not as lightweight as other neck gaiters on our list of reviews but if you want something that will keep you warm then this is the way to go.
Another great feature is that the material is very soft and feels great on your skin and you have the option of buying it in 3 different colors.
9. Carhartt Fleece
Sturdy construction that doesn’t “pill” like some of the other ones out there
Snug fit for the lower half of the face.
Hand wash only
Muffles voice of over mouth/ can chose the user
The Carhartt Men's Fleece Neck Gaiter is made of a soft and warm, super-stretchy 92% polyester and 8% Spandex blend.Read more
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. It is important to note here as well that reviewers also complained about breathability.
This one is designed to keep you warm no matter what--but if you sweat excessively it is not the best at wicking away moisture.
While this one should fit most necks, it does not fit them all--so make sure to try it on beforehand if you can.
A little bulky and heavy, especially if you sweat.
This gaiter is not too versatile outside of being able to also cover up your face--but it does come in several colors to choose from.
10. Turtle Fur
Soft, luxurious texture
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.
The Turtle Fur Heavyweight Neck Warmer is double layered gaiter made of a specially processed 100% acrylic material that gives it a soft feel.Read more
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.
Designed for cold weather, this neck gaiter will definitely keep you warm and toasty!
This neck gaiter will fit more necks and is the perfect size for those of you want something you can pull up to cover your face as well.
Pretty lightweight but definitely a little bulky compared to other neck gaiters on our list.
While this neck gaiter comes in lots of color options, users who have ordered it online report that it does not match the color that showed up on their screen when placing their order.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Neck gaiters have different features that make them stand out and also make them function more effectively. Some of these features are:
Many neck gaiters are made in a way that when worn they can comfortably fit around the neck and hence be able to keep the neck warm always. This means that you need to have the perfect fit for your neck gaiter. Something to lose will mean that it cannot cover your whole neck and it will loosely hang on the lower part of your neck, making you get overheated on that particular part of the neck. Something too tight will make you uncomfortable and probably cause a skin rash and make you feel too much heat. The best fit is something that you can comfortably move your neck without any feeling of discomfort.
Some neck gaiters can be adjusted to fit you the way you want them to. They may have additional material or may just be stretch and flexible enough to fit you snuggly and securely. If you know you need something that can adjust to fit you then take a look to see if the neck gaiter you are looking at allows for that.
Many runners are intimidated by the idea of running in the winter time, which is fair. Running in cold weather isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous. But many runners see running in inclement weather as a challenge and are undeterred by the risks. Which is why we stress how important it is to keep warm. This is a simple idea if you aren’t planning to exert yourself but the needs of athletes make it complicated. Keeping warm while running means you have a dozen or so other factors you need to account for, from wicking to ventilation.
On top of keeping warm, running in inclement weather endangers something else as well: your skin. Runners already have a plethora of skin concerns, blisters, and infections that can develop from an excess of heat and moisture. The cold weather adds on the factor of damage to the skin, blistering and chaffing caused by the low temperature and the wind. Not to mention the dangers of frostbite and exposure.
All of this is the reason we are so keen to offer a list of high-quality neck gaiters. This little piece of cloth can be a shield from a large number of uncomfortable issues, not to mention its ability to manage moisture. A neck gaiters wicking ability can pull sweat from the neck and face to prevent rashes, irritation, and infections. Its insulated construction doesn’t only protect you from the cold, it can prevent cracking and blistering from the wind as well as sunburn which is just a big a concern in the winter as it is in the summer.
We take into serious consideration all of the criteria that we use to determine the high-quality neck gaiters that end up on this list. It is these criteria that we have also chosen to explain below so that our readership will understand what we use to determine our candidates. It is our hope that this insight will allow our readership to make more sound decisions and properly prioritize when choosing gaiters that will suit them best.
If you plan to run in the snow, or in wet, muddy conditions, you’ll want to get a gaiter that provides you with some weather resistance. Make sure that your neck gaiter is definitely wind resistant and water resistant. This will guarantee that you are always warm regardless of the cold weather. Keeping your neck warm is very important as this will not only keep you warm but also prevent any infections that you may get when running in cold weather. Make sure that the neck gaiter you get is weather resistant.
This is one of the most important factors when looking for a neck gaiter as fit will determine your whole running experience. Make sure you try the neck gaiter out before making any purchase, also take into consideration the material used whether it stretches or not. When you have the perfect fit you will be able to enjoy the comfort and hence make your running experience more enjoyable. Also, you can always inquire from the salesperson if you are making a physical purchase in a store, but if you are doing an online purchase then you can always refer to buying guide charts provided by most online shopping platforms.
When we took a look at the size we made sure to consider how well it is designed to fit most necks as well as whether or not it is adjustable and how well you can make it fit the way that you want it to. Here we considered the thickness of the neck gaiter and took a look at how it fits for size when you put it on--this is important because of some of the warmer options actually have additional material that can be uncomfortable if it is too much for you. We encourage you to try on the neck gaiter before making your purchase just to make sure that it will fit you properly. If you can't try it on before you buy and need to order online, take any necessary measurements to ensure that it will match yours! And at the end of the day, what is most important is that you need to consider tyour own specific needs in terms of size before making your purchase.
Light is right when it comes to sporting gears and accessories. Most athletes make the mistake of ignoring the usability and durability of sporting gears and concentrating more on the weight. And a neck gaiter isn’t supposed to be so thick that it overburdens your neck regardless of the quality but then this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice all the other important factors when considering the weight of your neck gaiter. But then with the current technology, you will definitely find a durable neck gaiter that offers amazingly lightweight features but then they tend to be a little more expensive.
We know that not all neck gaiters are the same, and while lightweight is typically the way to go some of you may benefit from a neck gaiter that is bulkier and a little heavier. This would relate to those of you who need a neck gaiter that will keep you warm during those cold winter months. On the other hand, if it is hot out you need to make sure that it is lightweight, breathable, and moisture wicking. The most important factor we considered here is that the neck gaiter is moisture wicking and able to keep you dry no matter what the weather is.
The best neck gaiters should be really versatile and easy to use. Many of the neck gaiters on our list can be used during both the cold and hot months--so you can literally use them all year long. They should look great and have the ability to be used in many different ways so you can look great and stay comfortable no matter where you are. Below is a list of the versatile options you should get from your neck gaiter:
- Scarf or neckerchief
- Standalone turtleneck
- 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
- 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)
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although compression gear can be very helpful when it comes to improving circulation and keeping your body warm, the last place you want to provide compression to is your neck. Make sure that any neck gaiters or neck warmers that you purchase fit you loosely enough to allow you to breathe normally, especially while you are running!
Some of the products listed here are made from Merino wool. Any type of wool, Merino included, can potentially trigger an allergic reaction in an individual with the predisposition towards textile allergies. Extra care must be taken when it comes to allergies around the neck, because any swelling or irritation can lead to restricted breathing and turn into a life-threatening situation.
Other Factors to Consider
Comfort will be achieved by getting the right fit and also picking the right material that doesn’t affect your skin. Good material will ensure that you enjoy comfort and breathability. Ask about the material used in making the neck gaiters. Some neck gaiters use a fabric that is double weave and a little stretchy that offers good breathability around the neck. It is an ideal hard to get a neck gaiter that is full-length and not very stiff as this will make your neck to overheat.
Like many decision when getting running clothing, getting the perfect neck gaiter to suit can turn out to be a very complicated task. With the wide collection and variety in brands, it’s easy to get a neck gaiter that will be able to keep you warm during the cold season and also provide the comfort that you are looking for when running in cold or windy weather.
Other Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Neck Warmer
- It should be affordable
- Able to wick moisture and it is wind and waterproof
- Made from high-quality material and able to retain its original size even after multiple washes
- Fits comfortable and keeps the body warm
- Breathable and able to retain warmness
We all know that the primary sources of heat loss are the head and hands, but what many don’t realize is that a tertiary, yet significant location for heat loss is the neck. Wearing a simple neck gaiter is extremely helpful because not only can it keep your neck warm, but it ought to be pulled up over your chin and mouth if it’s brutally cold. I prefer lightweight gaiters that still keep you warm without causing excessive sweating.
Just because you want a good neck gaiter doesn’t mean you should not consider the price of the neck gaiter. The price doesn’t mean that it relates to the quality of the neck gaiter, though the price might be a good factor to consider. It’s good to look into reviews that are given to a particular product before making a purchase. Neck gaiters are a good investment that should be given great consideration before making the purchase.
While picking out the best neck gaiters other factors were also considered like Their durability, and, of, course you will not waste your money buying a neck warmer that will never last for the expected months/years. Moisture-wicking ability, it is not funny to find some neck warmers that don’t wick moisture. Versatility; you need to be economical; the best neck warmer should have the ability to be used in a wide range of activities like skiing, hunting, snowboarding, and riding. Breathability; will you buy a neck warmer that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe? Of course, don’t even attempt.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I use a neck gaiter when it is hot out?
Normally neck gaiters are designed with insulation in mind, so very few of them would be comfortable in warm weather. If you have issues with excess moisture or skin that is particularly sensitive to sunlight or wind, there are thinner options available that can be used for the sake of protection.
q: Can I wear neck gaiters for more than just running?
Yes! you can wear a neck gaiter when you run, on your bike rides, and so much more. They even make neck gaiters for fishing and other activities that have additional features designed for those specific activities!
q: Are all neck gaiters waterproof or water resistant?
Cold weather is not inherently wet weather. It is important to take into account the region you live in and where you will be running when shopping for a neck gaiter. If your area has a lot of cold weather precipitation then it is better to favor a model with some level of water resistance.
q: Are neck gaiters machine washable?
With any clothing you will be wearing while sweating excessively, washing is important. We always recommend reading the tags or included care instructions when it comes to athletic wear. Especially since the improper washing of specialized clothing can cause excessive wear and shorten the life of your clothes.
If your neck gaiter isn’t machine washable the care instructions will provide a breakdown of how to wash them in other ways.
q: What are the best ways to use my water resistant?
They are just like a scarf, and when worn, they wick moisture and dries quickly to retain heat. They are designed & made from fleece-like fabric, and so they are perfect for keeping the body warm. Since they are wind and water resistant, they are ideal for blocking away cold.