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10 Best Neck Gaiters for Runners

last updated: Mar 25, 2021
Neck gaiters for running are an essential piece of gear that is often overlooked. These simple designs can help keep you warm while running in the winter, and can also protect your face and neck from the sun’s UV rays all year round. A brimmed running hat can shield most of your face from the sun, but often leave your neck and mouth exposed to harsh UV rays. We made sure that we selected designs that will keep you warm in cool weather, as well as lightweight designs for the summer. It was also important to select a design with smart features that are super comfortable and easy to wear all day long.

In this guide, we have selected some of the best neck gaiters to keep you protected.

This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:

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Tough Headwear
94.6/100 our score
Features
95
Weather Resistance
94
Size
96
Weight
94
Versatility
94
Tough Headwear
Why is it better?

Trusted brand

Breathable air holes

Fleece design holds in heat

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Tough Headwear
Test Winner: Tough Headwear
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Researched Sources
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Reviews Considered
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Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
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Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Features Weather Resistance Size Weight Versatility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Features
96 %
Weather Resistance
98 %
Size
97 %
Weight
95 %
Versatility
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Features
95 %
Weather Resistance
94 %
Size
96 %
Weight
94 %
Versatility
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Features
94 %
Weather Resistance
93 %
Size
94 %
Weight
93 %
Versatility
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Features
93 %
Weather Resistance
93 %
Size
93 %
Weight
94 %
Versatility
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Features
93 %
Weather Resistance
91 %
Size
92 %
Weight
92 %
Versatility
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Features
91 %
Weather Resistance
90 %
Size
91 %
Weight
92 %
Versatility
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Features
90 %
Weather Resistance
89 %
Size
90 %
Weight
91 %
Versatility
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Features
88 %
Weather Resistance
89 %
Size
89 %
Weight
88 %
Versatility
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Features
87 %
Weather Resistance
89 %
Size
89 %
Weight
87 %
Versatility
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Features
87 %
Weather Resistance
88 %
Size
86 %
Weight
87 %
Versatility
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.04.21)

10 Best Neck Gaiters for Runners

1. INFINI2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Neck Gaiter Windproof for Outdoor Sports like Walking
Neck Gaiter Windproof for Outdoor Sports like Walking
Amazon Link
Features
96
Weather Resistance
98
Size
97
Weight
95
Versatility
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Great heat retention

Breathable

Lightweight

Stay in place

Cons:

Slightly expensive

Runs large

What we loved most about this design from INFINI2 is that it boasts sleek design features that keep you warm and protected as you run. It features innovative designs in the mouth that allow you to breathe easily and is composed of stretchy materials that hold in place as you workout. It cost a little bit more than some of the other options that we have seen, but we feel that it is well worth the extra cost.

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The most notable feature of this design lies in the mouth. This option is made especially for runners that need materials on the mouth that allow them to breathe easier. The loose-knit around the mouth works to hold in heat while stiff offering maximum breathability.

We also like that this design is composed of thick and stretchy materials that help to hold in the heat without a lot of extra bulk. It boasts a sports design that fits tightly on the head and necks so that it stays firmly in place no matter how much you move.

If you are in the market for something that will protect your neck from the sun in the winter as well as keep you warm, this is a great option. It is composed of premium materials that work to hold in the heat without affecting your ability to breathe. It is ideal not only for running, but more intense outdoor activities as well.

2. Tough Headwear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Tough Headwear Winter Face Mask & Neck Gaiter
Tough Headwear Winter Face Mask & Neck Gaiter
Amazon Link
Features
95
Weather Resistance
94
Size
96
Weight
94
Versatility
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Trusted brand

Breathable air holes

Fleece design holds in heat

Cons:

Fogs glasses

Stretches out over time

What we love most about this option from Tough Headwear is that it is specifically designed for those that like to take to the trails in the middle of winter. It is composed of incredibly warm materials that help to hold in heat and has accents on the mouth that allow you to breathe easily when you start to pick up the pace. Plus, it comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank!

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There are quite a few features that make this design ideal for winter running. First, it is composed of lightweight and heat-retaining materials that wick away snow while holding in the heat. The long frame lifts up over your ears while still keeping your neck nice and toasty.

Our favorite feature is that it has small air holes around the mouth and nose that allow you to breathe easily. Many winter designs can be a little difficult to breathe in, especially when running. This design boasts air holes that are large enough to allow air in, but not too big that heat will escape.

For those in the market for something that keeps you warm as well as protects you from the sun, this design from Tough Headwear is a great option. We love that it is specially designed with athletes in mind, and comes in at a super affordable price point.

3. MISSION HydroActive MAX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter Customize Your Coverage
Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter Customize Your Coverage
Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter Customize Your Coverage
Amazon Link
Features
94
Weather Resistance
93
Size
94
Weight
93
Versatility
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Stretchy materials

Keeps you cool

50+ UV protection

Very breathable

Cons:

Slightly expensive

If you are a little concerned about putting on more gear when the temperatures climb, this design from Mission is a great option. This unique design is actually built to keep you cooler when the temperatures climb, as well as keeping you protected from the sun. It is composed of lightweight and easy materials that are incredibly versatile, and it is composed of fabrics that are super lightweight as well.

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What makes the HydroActive MAX stand out from the pack is that it is designed to stay up to 30 degrees cooler than your body temperature. Simply soak it in water, wring it out, and the wind that is generated from your running keeps this fabric incredibly cool. Then, as needed, simply wet it again for another boost of cooling fabric around your neck and face.

Not only does this design work to keep you cool, but it also protects your lungs from dirt, dust, wind, and debris. It also boasts a UV protection rating of 50+, making it an ideal design to keep your head and neck properly protected from the harsh ray of the sun.

If you want the ultimate UV protection but are worried about extra gear making you too hot. This design from Mission is a great choice. The smart fabrics work to actually keep your cool when the temperature starts to ride, and the stretchy and durable fabric can be worn in a myriad of ways.

4. ROCK BROS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
ROCK BROS Winter Neck Gaiter Warmer with Ear Loops Cold Weather Half Balaclava
ROCK BROS Winter Neck Gaiter Warmer with Ear Loops Cold Weather Half Balaclava
ROCK BROS Winter Neck Gaiter Warmer with Ear Loops Cold Weather Half Balaclava
Amazon Link
Features
93
Weather Resistance
93
Size
93
Weight
94
Versatility
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Earloops holds it in place

Wicks away moisture

Ultimate UV protection Affordable

Cons:

Not very breathable

Too tight for some

If you find that many of these designs just won’t stay in place as you stay active, this option from ROCK BROS is made to stay firmly in place. It is composed of super stretchy and lightweight materials that work to cool you down and protect you when running on hot days. The addition of the ear loops means that this design will stay firmly in place, no matter how much your move.

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What makes this option stand out from the crowd is the addition of the ear loops. This design slips up over your ears to hold firmly in place. This option is ideal for those that are incredibly active and need something that won’t slip down as they move. Plus, it is super lightweight and incredibly comfortable.

We also like that the materials used for this design work to keep your face cool and dry when running in hot weather. This stretchy and cooling fabric wicks moisture away from your face as it protects your skin from harsh UV rays and dust. Users love that it is super stretchy and can be worn in a variety of ways.

If you are in the market for something that stays securely in place as you move while protecting your skin from the sun, this design from ROCK BROS is worth checking out. We love that it is super comfortable and lightweight, and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.

5. Smartwool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Smartwool Merino 250 Neck Gaiter
Smartwool Merino 250 Neck Gaiter
Amazon Link
Features
93
Weather Resistance
91
Size
92
Weight
92
Versatility
93
best offer for today
all shops
Pros:

Wicking fabric

Odorless

Very adjustable

Cons:

Mid price

Only available in 1 color

This neck gaiter is great for those people who are looking to keep away moisture. The main characteristic of this option 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 have an odor after use.

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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, it will definitely keep you warm during those cold weather runs. It is a little heavier than other options since it is double knitted--but this is what makes it a perfect choice if you are trying to stay warm during all of your runs.

It's available in only black and since it is adjustable and stretchy, it will definitely be a versatile option.

6. Buff Multi

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear
BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear
BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear
Amazon Link
Features
91
Weather Resistance
90
Size
91
Weight
92
Versatility
92
best offer for today
all shops
Pros:

Cool design

Easy to hand wash, dries quickly

Durable

Versatile

Cons:

Frays with use

Can be a little too loose

Lightweight and thin, the Original Buff gaiter is a versatile, durable and compact option. This is one of the most versatile gaiters thanks to its flexibility and ease of use. It is so small and lightweight that you can store it in your pocket whenever not needed.

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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. It's the perfect size for almost anyone. It is lightweight and minimalistic--and made to fit most neck sizes. Lightweight and compact, it can be easily stored in the smallest of pockets.

This option is also extremely versatile. While many of the neck gaiters are adaptable, the Original Buff is ideal for almost all uses. There were some complaints about the durability and loose fit but overall, it's worth every penny.

If you need something for extremely cold weather, you might want to consider another option.

7. Outdoor Research Trailmix

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Outdoor Research Trailmix
Outdoor Research Trailmix
Amazon Link
Features
90
Weather Resistance
89
Size
90
Weight
91
Versatility
90
best offer for today
all shops
Pros:

Thermo regulating treatment

Comfortable

Several ways to wear it

Moisture-wicking

Fleece material

Will resist odors

Cons:

Expensive

Some users don't think it provides the level of warmth they thought it would

The Outdoor Research Trailmix Ubertube is the perfect gaiter for outdoor enthusiasts and those of you who love to hit their favorite trails. It's made of soft fleece, super warm and breathable. It effectively wick away moisture while keeping you warm and protected from all weather elements. It prevents odor from forming--even if you are someone who sweats profusely.

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It's perfect for your favorite trails and for the coldest months. It comes with a thermo-regulating feature that grands extra warmth while also cooling you down once your body temperature rises as a consequence of running or any other outdoor activity such as hiking, snow sports, climbing etc.

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.

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 depending on what your needs are.

8. Wow Towel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
WowTowel 6 Pieces Cooling Neck Gaiter
WowTowel 6 Pieces Cooling Neck Gaiter
WowTowel 6 Pieces Cooling Neck Gaiter
Amazon Link
Features
88
Weather Resistance
89
Size
89
Weight
88
Versatility
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Very lightweight

Wicks away sweat

Stretchy materials

Affordable

Cons:

Runs large

Not ideal for cold weather

Need something that is lightweight and breathable for those hot summer runs? What we loved most about this design from Wow Towel is that it is composed of stretchy and lightweight fabric that can be used in a myriad of ways. It provides users with excellent sun protection without feeling too hot. Plus, it comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank.

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Users love this option because they are available in a pack of 6 that comes in a wide variety of unique color options. They are composed of 95% polyester (that is a cinch to toss into the washing machine) 5 percent spandex and microfibers for an easy, lightweight, and comfortable fit.

This design is incredibly lightweight and the perfect pairing for a hot and sunny day. These materials help to protect your neck and face from the hot summer sun, and they work to wick sweat away from your face where it quickly evaporates on the surface.

What we love most about this simple design is that it is incredibly versatile and can be worn in a variety of ways. It works to keep dust out of your lungs, and harsh UV rays off of your skin. Users love that these designs are incredibly durable, and wash up well when needed.

9. Columbia Fast Trek

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Columbia Unisex Fast Trek Neck Gaiter
Columbia Unisex Fast Trek Neck Gaiter
Amazon Link
Features
87
Weather Resistance
89
Size
89
Weight
87
Versatility
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Comfortable, snug fit

Small, compact size

Durable 100% polyester

Machine washable

Breathable

Cons:

Scratchy tags

Very short

The Columbia option is a comfortable yet tight-fitting winter wear neck gaiter. It is made of a moisture-wicking, durable, and breathable polyester. This neck gaiter is not as versatile as other options out there since it is much shorter, so perfect for those who need a basic option for their neck.

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This is is an excellent moisture-wicking neck gaiter that will keep you comfortable, warm, and dry in cold weather.

While this neck gaiter is designed to fit most neck sizes, it is shorter than other options on our list so it will mostly just cover your neck.

Really lightweight and portable, you can wear it anywhere--and if you need to take it off while you are out you will be able to just stash it in the smallest of pockets.

10. Turtle Fur

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Original Turtle Fur Fleece - The Turtle's Neck, Heavyweight Neck Warmer
Original Turtle Fur Fleece - The Turtle's Neck, Heavyweight Neck Warmer
Original Turtle Fur Fleece - The Turtle's Neck, Heavyweight Neck Warmer
Amazon Link
Features
87
Weather Resistance
88
Size
86
Weight
87
Versatility
87
best offer for today
all shops
Pros:

Soft texture

Microfleece material

Stretchy

Machine washable

Moisture-wicking

Cons:

Bulkier than most options

The Turtle Fur is a double layered gaiter made of a specially processed 100% acrylic material that gives it a soft feel.
Designed for very old weather, this neck gaiter will definitely keep you warm and toasty. we love the many color choices which include bright options, great for visibility.

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Its double-layered construction is an important feature since it grants ultimate warmth in cold weather conditions, perfect for those who love winter sports and those who won't give up running even when very cold outside. The microfleece material is moisture-wicking and soft against the skin.

This neck gaiter will fit most and is the perfect size for those of you who want something they can pull up to cover their face as well. Keep in mind that although it's pretty lightweight, it's also a little bulky compared to other neck gaiters on our list.

While this neck gaiter comes in lots of color options, users have complained the color is slightly different than what advertised.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

Neck gaiters have different features. Some of these features are:

Attachment

Many neck gaiters are made in a way that when worn they can comfortably fit around the neck and keep it warm, always. This means that you need to have the perfect fit for your neck gaiter. Something too loose will mean that it cannot cover your whole neck and it will loosely hang on the lower part. An option that's too tight will make you uncomfortable and probably cause a skin rash. The best fit is when you can comfortably move your neck without any feeling of discomfort.

Adjustability

Some neck gaiters can be adjusted to fit you the way you want them to. They may have additional material or may just be stretchy and flexible enough to fit you snuggly and securely.

Weather Resistance

Many runners are intimidated by the idea of running in the cold, which is fair. Running in cold weather isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous. 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 winter endangers something else as well: your skin. Runners already have a plethora of skin concerns, blisters and infections that can develop from the excess of heat and moisture. Cold weather adds to it with blistering and chaffing caused by the low temperature and the wind. Not to mention the dangers of frostbite and exposure.

A neck gaiter 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 during the hot months.

If you plan to run in 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 wind and water-resistant.

Weight

Light is right when it comes to running gear and accessories. With the current technology, you will definitely find a durable neck gaiter that offers amazingly lightweight features while still granting warmth and protection.

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. On the other hand, if it is hot out you need to make sure that it is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking.

Versatility

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. Most of the options on our list have the ability to be used in many different ways, including as a face mask, beanie, scarf-like, and bandana.

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Find the Right Fit

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!

Beware of Allergies

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 a 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

Value

Just because you want a good neck gaiter, it doesn’t mean you should not consider the price. It’s important to look into reviews that are given to a particular product before making a purchase. Neck gaiters are a good investment and you can be sure that other user reviews will tell you if the product is of quality and worth your pennies.

Bottom Line

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. We prefer lightweight gaiters that still keep you warm without causing excessive sweating.

Our list includes both warm and cold weather options so you are sure to find something that fits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can I use a neck gaiter when it is very hot outside?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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 gaiter?

a:

They are just like a scarf, and when worn, they wick moisture and dry quickly to retain heat. They are often designed and made from fleece-like fabric, and so they are perfect for keeping the body warm. Use a water-resistant gaiter to cover your neck or as a beanie to cover your head when running in the rain.

Sources

  1. Staff, 5 ways to use a Neck Gaiter during the Summer, Consumer Website
  2. Staff, How to wear, Consumer Website