How To Wear A Buff

When you’re up in the mountains, and it’s -10 degrees, you’ll be eternally grateful for packing your buff.

There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as the bitterly cold wind finding its way down your neck and into your jacket, with a couple of snowflakes thrown in for good measure, and as a result, freezing you to the core.

How To Wear A Buff

Or even the wind freezing the top of your head off on a slow chairlift taking you up to 2500 m altitude, knowing in your mind that every second that goes by, the air is getting thinner and colder as you creep up the mountain at deathly slow speeds. 

Be cold no more! In this article, we will run through many ways to wear your buff to keep you shielded from the bitter winds of the mountains, or anywhere else freezing for that matter. 

It’s amazing how one relatively small bit of material can be so handy.

Before we continue into the surprisingly plentiful ways of wearing a buff, it’s important to know there are many types of buff to choose from.

To name a few, you have the fleece-lined, windproof, Merino Wool, knitted, long, reversible and even a UV protection buff!

Ways To Wear A Buff

Neck Buff

This is one of the most convenient ways to wear a buff. This is great for protecting you from chilly winds sweeping down your neck and into your core.

It’s also great for keeping your neck warm which has been proven to be important for preventing colds and illness.

It’s also very convenient as it stays in position and doesn’t undo itself with lots of movement. The buff just stays there happily doing an incredibly important job. 

Face Mask

If you find your face being frozen off, then the face mask option tends to be the natural reaction to help keep the cold off your face.

Buffs are made with clever breathable fabrics so that when you breathe in them, they don’t get too wet and cold. The material allows most of the moisture to pass through keeping you dry and warm.

It can be annoying wearing it for long periods of time like this.

You may find it slipping down frequently and having to reposition it. Depending on which buff you have can be better or worse for this.

Some tighter buffs stay on the face better while some different materials can be a little loser. 

Balaclava Buff

This is a clever combination of head protection and face protection. This style can be worn under a helmet as well. It also protects the back of your head from the wind and the cold. 

And last but not least, you look cool as hell. With so much coverage on the face and head, this is one of the best ways to wear a buff for keeping the head warm in very cold conditions.

It’s also a great way to protect yourself from high winds, sand storms etc. when there is fast-moving debris in the air. 

Sun Protection 

For the contrary weather, this style is great for protecting your head from the hot sun. It is great for helping with dehydration and sun damage.

It’s also great for stopping sweat from falling down your forehead and into your eyes, distracting you from whatever activity you are trying to do.

The way the back hangs down is also great for protecting the back of your neck (a very vulnerable place for sun damage).

To add the cherry to the cake, if this is the main reason you are buying a buff, it may be sensible to buy the UV protective buff for added effect. 


This is a great way to turn your buff into a sporty headband. This can be useful for a variety of activities. If you’re playing tennis, running, hiking, cross-country skiing you name it.

This is an excellent style to keep the sweat out of your eyes, and it also helps keep your hair out of your face. It’s also a very fashionable style, so you’ll look mad cool too. 

Headband Buff

This is a nice in-between style, where full protection is a little much, but you still want to keep the chill off your ears.

This way also prevents sweat from coming down and into your eyes. To achieve this style you must fold your buff into thirds.

This style can be worn under a helmet too, just be sure to loosen the helmet a little to fit it over the extra padding. 

Buff Bandana

Buff Bandana

This is one of the coolest styles in my opinion.

Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean vibes, or maybe more appropriately, Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani, who rocked this style under his cycling helmet obsessively, and in turn was nicknamed ‘the pirate’.

This is a simple but cool way to keep your head warm, with a clever twisting adjustable back to make sure it doesn’t slip.

This style is great for wearing under a helmet, it was a very popular style with Italian cyclists back in the 80s and 90s. 

Buff Beanie Hat

This is essentially the double-layered version of the ‘buff bandana’. This style is great for cold hikes in the mountains.

Furthermore, this too is a great style for under helmets, keeping the cold air flow away from the head and maintaining the head’s essential heat.

The beanie hat style has become very popular in recent years so that’s another perk of this variety. 

Bobble Hat

This single layered style gives you a cute bobble at the top, which can be twisted to tighten or loosen the fabric. To achieve this it’s very straightforward, just tie a loose knot at the end of the buff.

This style keeps your head nice and toasty. Not ideal for under a helmet due to the bobble. 

Legionnaire Style

This style is pretty cool too. The Legionnaire style helps protect your head and back of your neck from the burning sun.

If you wet the fabric before wearing it, as it cools it offers cooling to your head and neck in hot conditions. 

Hair Tie

Yup, you guessed it! You can even use a buff as a scrunchie. A useful tool to tame the madness of your hair on windy days. 

Wrist Band 

This is a clever alternative to wrist sweatbands. Just wrap your buff around your wrist until it’s tightish, but not too tight! Then it can be used to wipe the sweat off your head and out of your eyes and face. 

Doggie Buff 

Believe it or not, you can buy buffs for dogs. Or just use a normal buff on your dog, the choice is yours. We’re not entirely sure what this does for a dog, hopefully, it keeps their neck warm?

But if that’s not the case then at least they look cute.

Just make sure it’s not too tight around their neck. Most importantly, don’t forget to get a selfie with you and your dog wearing matching buffs, you won’t regret that. 


As you can see, there are a surprising number of ways to wear a buff. All offer different uses for different scenarios and environments.

If you are freezing or trying to avoid being scorched by the sun, there is a solution for you here. 

The best part of all of this is that you can look like Jack Sparrow or a member of his pirate crew if you want! So, if you haven’t taken anything from this article, at least you know that.

Don’t forget, your dog can rock a buff too, and most likely pull it off better than you do. 

Megan Rinzel
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