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Best Neck Gaiters: Don’t Let the Cold Keep You Inside

How many times have you wanted to go hiking in winter but harsh wind and cold weather made you think twice before leaving your house? Even though a thick scarf can keep you warm, wearing one on the trail or under your helmet is often impractical, as the fabric isn’t too breathable. That is why finding out more about the best neck gaiters might save you a headache or two!

The right neck gaiter won’t only keep you warm on the trail but it’ll also allow you to breathe freely, unlike winter scarves do. On top of that, most gaiters are fairly cheap and can be used in more than handful ways. Last but not least, they’re so light, you won’t even notice you’re carrying them with you!

In order to help you pick the best one for you, we came up with a list of the best neck gaiters available, as well as a few features that you should consider before buying one. We expect that by the end of this read, you will have a better understanding of what it is that you’re looking for in your next neck gaiter. Read on to learn more!

Our Top Picks

Product NameMaterialBreathabilityMost Suitable ForPrice
Best Winter Hats Reversible Neck Gaiter100% polyesterNot very goodEveryday use, cycling, skiingCheck price on Amazon
Celtek Hangover Neck Gaiter100% polyesterGood breathabilitySkiing, snowboarding, running, cyclingCheck price on Amazon
Drake Waterfowl Neck Gaiter100% polyesterGood breathabilitySkiing, snowboarding, huntingCheck price on Amazon
Sunday Afternoons Ocean Neck Gaiter100% polyesterUltra-breathableEveryday use, running, hikingCheck price on Amazon
Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear100% polyesterNot very goodEveryday use, hiking, backpackingCheck price on Amazon
Sitka Gear Neck GatorFleeceProtects your nose only if you duck into the gaiterHunting, hikingCheck price on Amazon
180s Women’s Lush Neck Gaiter100% acrylicNot that great – also, a bit too shortEveryday use, short hikesCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying 

Before making any purchase, there are a few features you should consider in neck gaiters. Most of the gaiters are similar and will serve the purpose of protecting your neck and keep it warm, however, not all of them are suitable for winter sports, or more extreme temperatures. Hence why the features are key to buying the right one.

Material

Material plays probably the most important part of each gaiter – it should be thick enough to protect you from the cold but also light enough to let you breathe comfortably. Neck gaiters are generally made from some sort of a polyester material, such as fleece. They can be made from microfleece, which is lighter and stretchier, or they can be made of thicker fabric.

Woman wearing Fleece Neck Gaiter

If you’re planning on being outdoors in very cold or windy conditions, look for an option that is thicker and offers additional protection against the wind. For everyday use around town, even thinner models would do their job.  The material on some models is also treated with some water repellent or offers some additional UV protection. So if you know you’ll be skiing with your gaiter on, look for models that have both the water repellent feature and the UV protection.

UV Protection

As said previously, the UV protection matters on your gaiter. Most offer some basic level of UV protection, but if you plan on being out in the sun for many hours, consider a model that has additional protection.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by the cold or by cloudy days, the sun during winter can even be more brutal than the one during summer, and it’s easy to get skin burns. Again, a neck gaiter with the added UV protection is ideal for winter sports such as skiing or any other sun glare from the snow exposed activity.

Breathability

Breathability is one of the most important features when it comes to neck gaiters and is often something that makes or breaks the deal – you won’t be satisfied if you can’t breathe while wearing your gaiter, won’t you?

MAN WEARING UV SHIELD NECK GAITER

For example, if you are skiing or snowboarding, you will be going down a mountain at high speed, and the wind and snow will be constantly hitting your face and neck. The gaiter will protect both, but will it let you breathe properly?

Exactly, if it’s a very thick one or if it’s made of thick materials such as cotton or wool, it will certainly not be breathable. Polyester or fleece are good materials when it comes to breathability, but reading in the descriptions of each gaiter to see how breathable they are is a very good idea.

Ear Flaps

Earflaps might sound like a funny thing now but once you’re out on the cold and open, you’d be grateful if your gaiter has something to help you protect your ears. Since some beanies don’t have them or aren’t big enough to protect your ears from the cold, checking if your new gaiter has some could be a good idea.

Woman posing with a neck gaiter and a pair of sunglasses

You might appreciate some extra earflaps if you know you’ll be exposed to harsher, windier weather during your hiking trip. If you’re only looking for something to use around town on super-windy days, then a regular gaiter might do its job just fine.

Budget

One may argue that most gaiters are on the cheaper side and that there’s no need to spend a fortune on a piece of fabric you’ll get to wear over your neck. However, when you take the overall comfort, fit, and breathability of the gaiter, then you might be interested in going in and doing the investment.

While the overall comfort of the gaiter isn’t always related to a higher price, chances are, you will have to spend more than the average five buck to get what you’re looking for. When paying a higher price, don’t forget to check whether you’re getting some extra features, such as improved breathability, bigger comfort, stretchier material, etc.

Top Products on Today’s Market

In this section, we review seven of the best neck gaiters available. There are options specifically designed for hunting as well as highly versatile choices suitable for plenty of outdoor activities. Take a good look at the list and then decide what model suits you best.

Best Winter Hats Reversible Neck GaiterBest Winter Hats Reversible

Price: Approx. $10

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Size: Up to 24 inches head circumference

Specific features: Available in eight colors (brown, black, navy, dark gray, light gray, burgundy, camouflage, and white camouflage), soft faux fur, overhead fit, 90-day warranty, adjustable pull string, reversible

Best use: Everyday use, cycling, skiing

Description: The Best Winter Hats Reversible Neck Gaiter is a soft, 100% polyester fleece neck gaiter that’s also fully reversible (to its black side). It’s long enough that it can be used to cover your nose and mouth, and the adjustable pull strap allows you to wear it as a hat or headband (fits heads that are up to 24” in circumference).

This is the classic neck gaiter that should be a good fit for most outdoor activities. Actually, it comes as a highly recommended one for everyday use. It is reasonably priced, and the fact that it’s reversible means that you can easily get the most out of both sides.

Add to that the fact that it has a good length that can cover your face and nose, and this gaiter becomes your best friends during really cold days, or for other activities such as running or hiking.

Although advertised for use during pretty much any winter activity, this gaiter is a basic one and doesn’t really have the best breathability. This means that it will protect you during skiing or snowboarding, but you will have a bit of trouble breathing through it.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • Thick & warm
  • Multi-use

CONS:

  • Not the best breathability
  • Not very stylish

Related: The Original Turtle Beanie pairs well no matter the type of neck gaiter you wear. Coming as double-layered, the beanie should keep you warm no matter the freezing weather outside. Being fairly stretchy, one size should fit all though note that the beanie is suitable for teens & juniors as well, meaning it might be on the smaller side for some.

Check the price on Amazon

Celtek Hangover Neck GaiterCeltel Hangover

Price: Approx. $5

Weight: 5 ounces

Size: One size fits all

Specific features:  Available in five colors and patterns (backwoods, black, Colorado, Iron Maiden trooper, and red), two-layer brushed polyester, full coverage tube, under-helmet fit, UV protection

Best use: Skiing, snowboarding, running, cycling

Description: The Celtek Hangover Neck Gaiter features extremely soft and very warm two-layer brushed polyester, and is a neck gaiter designed to easily fit under helmets and provides full coverage. It also provides excellent UV protection and more than decent wind defense.

The product comes in a range of different colors and patterns. Some of the available patterns include the Colorado state flag and an Iron Maiden motif.

When it comes to winter sports, this might be a good choice for you. It offers not only great protection with the double layer, but it has a very good breathability. You can be sure that whether hiking, skiing or hunting, this gaiter will allow you to breathe through it properly.

Since it can easily fit under your helmet, it will be an ideal partner for skiing or cycling, as it offers protection to the neck, lower face, ears, and head. It’s an all in one gaiter for the sports lovers.

PROS:

  • Good breathability
  • Specifically designed to be used under helmet and for winter sports
  • Very warm

CONS:

  • Can be a bit too big/long for everyday use
  • Some might prefer something thicker

Related: If you want to make sure you stay warm on the ski slopes no matter the harsh weather, check out the Celtek Snowboard Ski Gloves – ideal for making the most out of snowy days. Available in two different sizes, the soft material is bound to keep you warm without messing with your grip, while the overall fit of the gloves should feel cozy but not too tight thanks to the green patch on the wrist.

Check the price on Amazon

Drake Waterfowl Neck GaiterDrake Waterfowl Fleece Neck Gaiter

Price: Approx. $15

Size: One size

Specific features: Ear flaps, arched bottom, windproof, Realtree® Max5 Camo print, Drake logo adjustable, shock cord, sun protection, non-binding fit, machine washable

Best use: Skiing, snowboarding, hunting

Description: The Drake Waterfowl Neck Gaiter is a high-performance windproof neck gaiter featuring a non-binding fit with an arched bottom that is designed to comfortably fit directly over the shoulder.

Made from warm and durable 8-ounce polyester microfleece, it comes in stylish and durable Realtree Max5 Camo print, with a brown interior and the Drake logo attached to the left ear tab.

Additional features you might appreciate include sun protection, built-in ear flaps, and an adjustable shock cord. The sun protection feature is an important one for outdoor sports lovers. As highlighted above, the sun during winter can be pretty strong, and this gaiter was designed for hunters as well as for people who spend a long time in the outdoors.

A great thing about this gaiter is that it comes with earflaps. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a hat under the helmet when skiing, this gaiter will protect your neck, lower face, and ears. And if you’re just going hunting and spending a long time without moving, waiting for a prey, you know your ears won’t get cold from sitting too long on a spot.

PROS:

  • Earflaps added
  • Great UV protection
  • Very warm & soft

CONS:

  • Not that great for everyday use
  • Some might be bothered by the earflaps

Related: If you’re looking to pair your camo gaiter with an appropriate beanie, then check out the Drake Waterfowl Camo Cap – it comes in exactly the same design as your gaiter! Apart from being extremely warm and soft, the cap is also water resistant and windproof, two features you’re very likely to appreciate when it comes to hunting in the colder months.

Check the price on Amazon

Sunday Afternoons Ocean Neck GaiterSunday Afternoons Ocean Neck Gaiter

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 4 ounces

Size: One size, stretchable

Specific features: Breathable, 4-way stretch fabric, UV coverage, tubular knit design, can be worn over eight different

Best use: Everyday use, running, hiking

Description: The Sunday Afternoons Ocean Neck Gaiter can be described by the word ultra – ultra breathable, ultra-stretchy and ultra-soft! It can be worn over eight ways and fits easily with a ball cap.

Coming in a trendy blue digital print pattern, the gaiter includes a 4-way stretch fabric that can be easily be stretched four ways, as well as a full UV coverage, allowing you to maximize time out in the sun.

One of the reasons why buyers love this product is its versatile use. It can be used to cover all the way up to the nose, so if you are doing any winter sports such as running or skiing, you can protect your whole face and neck very easily. On top of that, the breathability is exceptional, probably one of the best ones out there.

Unlike other gaiters that also protect the face, this one isn’t uncomfortable if only worn on the neck, as it has a special design that stretches or unstretches easily. Finally, it has UV protection and can be used over a long period of days without needing to wash it or worry about the hygienic conditions, as said, it is very breathable.

PROS:

  • Excellent breathability
  • Very comfortable
  • UV Protection

CONS:

  • Pricier than most
  • Some might find it too long/too big

Related: The ALpx Touchscreen Winter Gloves are rather popular and no surprise – as their name suggests, you can easily wear them while using your phone. The gloves are great for everyday use as well as winter sports, promising to keep you warm and comfortable at all times. Gloves can be used both by men and women.

Check the price on Amazon

Buff Original Multifunctional HeadwearBuff Headband

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 1.2 ounces

Size: One size fits most adults

Specific features: Available in many different colors and patterns, soft microfiber stretch fabric, wind resistant, odor resistant, can be worn over 12 different ways

Best use: Everyday use, hiking

Description: The Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear is a multifunctional accessory that can be worn over 12 different ways, including as a headband, hat, hair tie, and a balaclava.

The soft microfiber stretch fabric is available in numerous different colors. An iconic accessory for hikers and trekkers, the Buff Headband is wind, odor, and moisture resistant. It’s a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts.

The 12 different ways to wear it make it a favorite for people that look for an everyday use neck gaiter. It might not be the best one for winter sports, although it is very warm.

This is because the breathability isn’t exactly its best feature. This was a gaiter designed for a more stylish look and to be worn for example, as a headband or even as a beanie if positioned properly.

That’s the reason why people love it so much as to wear it every day. Some days it’ll be sued as a neck gaiter, others as a headband, but if things get cold, it will just be adapted and used for what the occasion requires.

PROS:

  • Very stylish & warm
  • Great for everyday use
  • Can be used in 12 different ways

CONS:

  • Not the best breathability
  • Hunters & sports enthusiasts might prefer something different

Related: The OZERO Winter Gloves can be worn both my men and women but what you’ll love the most about them is the fact that they’ll keep you warm no matter how much the temperatures drop, as they’re designed for the extremely cold weather! Being extremely soft & durable, they should prove to be a great asset to your outdoor gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Sitka Gear Neck GatorSITKA Gear Neck Gator

Price: Approx. $35

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Size: One size

Specific features: Available in two patterns (Whitetail and Elevated 2), high-pile fleece, wind resistant, DWR treated outer fabric, 4-way stretch, articulated pattern

Best use: Hunting, hiking

Description: The Sitka Gear Neck Gator has a heavy, double-thick, high-pile fleece lining for optimal warmth and comfort. Wind resistant and warm, this gaiter is great for hunting or layering with other Sitka products.

It’s available in two patterns and also features articulated patterning, a versatile 4-way stretch, and DWR treated outer fabric.

This is a very warm and resistant gaiter. It might not be ideal for an everyday use, as the design is a bit too specific unless you like camo colors and patterns. However, when it comes to hunting, Sitka definitely has little competition.

The only problem is that it is almost exclusively a neck gaiter. It doesn’t stretch as much as others, which mean it will protect your nose and mouth if you lower your face and sort of duck into it, but it won’t be as easy to handle as others. That said, it’s still a favorite amongst hunters, especially because of its design.

PROS:

  • Exceptionally warm
  • Very durable
  • Great for hunting

CONS:

  • Suitable mostly for hunting or camouflage
  • Doesn’t stretch as much as others

Related: The Sitka Gear Gradient Glove is perfect for hunting. Made of super stretch microfiber fleece, it gives lightweight warmth and dexterity to your hunting experience.

Check the price on Amazon

180s Women’s Lush Neck Gaiter180s Women's Lush Neck Gaiter

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 4 ounces

Size: One size

Specific features: Available in three colors (Gentian violet, shocking pink, and tango red), moisture-wicking quantum fabric, logo tag

Best use: Everyday use, short hikes

Description: The 180s Women’s Lush Neck Gaiter is a soft, stylish women’s neck gaiter that features warm and comfortable stretch fleece, as well as tonal stitching and a logo tag. It’s designed to fit snugly around the neck and has a quantum fabric to retain heat and repel moisture. Note that this product must be washed by hand.

Before you buy this product, it must be said that it is not ideal for winter sports, for hunting or that sort of activities. The breathability is not good at all, and it doesn’t stretch enough as to protect your face or nose.

This is strictly an everyday neck gaiter. It is very warm, it is very affordable, and items in many colors for the reference of the buyer, but it is not the highest quality one. It will serve you during a couple of winters, and it will look good for a very good price.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • Warm & stylish

CONS:

  • Suitable only for everyday use
  • Doesn’t protect the face or nose very well

Related: The Women’s Lush Gloves should be a great addition to the Lush gaiter as well – they’re soft and fluffy, promising to keep you warm even during the coldest days. Available in two different sizes, you’d probably care to know they come in two sizes, large and extra-large, thus allowing you to get the right fit for yourself.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

Neck gaiters can be just the right thing you need to give you that much-needed coverage and warmth around the neck area during the cold months. In this article, we went over some of the essential features to look for in a neck gaiter, then provided some suggestions for some of the best neck gaiters, including multipurpose options, and some specifically designed for women or for hunting.

After having read it, you should now be able to buy the one you want, but especially the one you need based on what your plans are for the next winter. Think we missed some of the great neck gaiter options that are out there? If so, let us know by leaving us a comment!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.