Friday, December 10, 2010

Buff Seamless Headband Review

Before I delve into this review, I want to give a big shout and say Thank You to everyone for all of your kind words and support after my last post.  I really appreciate it.

The super generous folks at Buff Headwear and Mesh Marketing recently gave me the opportunity to review 3 Buff Headwear products: the Buff Seamless Headband, the Merino Wool Buff, and the Reversible Polar Buff.
I will be reviewing the Buff Seamless Headband today and review the two other Buffs at a later date.  Although the products are similar, they are actually each a unique product with different uses for various conditions, and I feel they each deserve their own review.

About Buff Headwear
Anyone who has watched the CBS Television series, “Survivor” has seen a Buff. It is essentially a tubular hat made of a thin, stretchy, seamless synthetic (or merino wool, or polar fleece) fabric that hugs your head to wick sweat, keep you warm, or keep the sun and wind at bay.  They are lightweight, multi-functional items that can be used during outings that range from ultra-endurance races to long bike rides to nightly jogs through the busy streets of Caratunk. I plan on taking mine on all of my winter back country trips this year.

Seamless Headband
This is a new product that will be made available in Feburary 2011.  I feel very fortunate that I got the opportunity to take a sneak peak at it.

The Buff Seamless Headband is about 8"-9" long, which is half the length of the Original Buff.  It is made of Coolmax fabric, is lightweight, soft and comfortable.  The Seamless Headband has 95% ultraviolet protection and active odor control to boot.  I am all for odor control.  I have been testing it for a few weeks now, and I find myself rarely leaving the house without grabbing it before a run or a ride on the trainer.

The Review
To be completely honest, when I first got this, I scratched my head for a bit, wondering what I was going to do with it (obviously I didn't look at the packaging at first.  I am the girl that opens something up and throws the directions across the room and starts playing with the new thing immediately).

After I played with the Buff for a while, I found the package and saw that the nice folks at Buff list a variety of used on the back of the package: 
Foulard? That is a new word for me!

I thought I would test out all the uses and tell you what I think.

Helmet Liner
I tried it out.  On my trainer since it was 6 degrees this morning:
I am such a geek.
I know, I look like a moron riding my trainer with a bike helmet.  The things I do for you guys.

First, this was extremely comfortable under my helmet. The seamless design of this product makes it super comfortable.  I really wanted to know how this works when you are hot and working hard.  It wasn't bad, I get hot really easy (did I just say that?) and I didn't overheat when wearing it.  I did get warmer than I would have without it.  It really helped to keep the sweat and hair out of my eyes, and I really loved that feature.

I would think on a really hot day it would be difficult for me to wear unless I dunked it in water every now and then (which actually sounds pretty awesome now that I think about it.)  I didn't try that, it is December in Maine.  But there are days when just my helmet feels hot, so adding a layer, no matter how thin, might push me over the edge on the heat index.  That said, I LOVE the way it keeps the sweat at bay and the hair out of my face.
After the test, I feel that I will use it on most of my rides in 2011 as a helmet liner. 

Yes that is the same shirt.

When I learn a new word I try to use it as often as I can in a sentence.  I have been wearing the Buff as a foulard regularly on my trainer rides.  It keeps the sweat and hair out of my eyes.  Wearing it this way I do not feel any hotter like I did when wearing the helmet.  Actually, I delay rides to find my Buff if I can't put my hands right on it.  That is how much I like it.

I am not a hairband/headband person.  I look ridiculous wearing a headband or a hairband.  I mean, look at me:
The tough girl look

The sweet girl look (batting my eyelashes..)
Sorry to do that to you guys.  But you had to see it.  I will say, this would work great as a headband or hairband if you swing that way.  It isn't bulky and stays on your head really well.  I tested the "it stays on your head" theory out by shaking my head really hard like I was jamming at a concert.

I am all warmed up now.  Note Merino Wool Buff on head.

This is how I have used this most often on the run.  I never go without it actually.  It is just cold enough (5-15 degrees) right now to want a thin layer to cover your face when you head outside.  Then as you get warm you can just let the Buff drop around your neck.  It doesn't bother me letting it hang there at all, and when the wind starts blowing it is really nice to tuck your face into.   

This didn't work for me.  It didn't hold my hair enough to do any activity, like say, walk.  I have super fine hair and scrunchies in general do not work for me, so it is no big surprise.  I would go with wearing it as a foulard to do that.

It fits on your wrist perfectly well. See:

And your wrist turns out to be a really good place to hold it until you are ready to use it for other things.  That's all I have to say about that.

Bottom Line
Pros: I find this works great as a liner for my bike helmet, as a foulard (new words!), and as a face mask.  I think the feature I like most about this product is its versatility and comfort.  It has numerous uses for me as a triathlete and as a backpacker, hiker, and back country skier.  It is light enough to take on every adventure.  I have washed this numerous times and it still wears like new. 

This has definitely turned into a go-to piece of gear for me. 

Cons:  As a scrunchy, it definitely doesn't work, at least with my hair.  If you are a person who gets hot easily when working out, using it as a helmet liner on a super hot day might not work for you. 

Where can you get a Buff Seamless Headband?  It will be available from the Buff Headwear website February of 2011. A big thank you to Buff Headwear and Mesh Marketing for giving me the opportunity to test this product.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me by Buff Headwear to test and review.  This review is my honest personal opinion of the product after testing it in various conditions.


Aimee said...

Awesome review! I've seen those and have always wanted to try them out!
I love the "tough girl" and "sweet girl" pics with the headband...ha ha!

Unknown said...

haha .. Tough girl, you look like a butt kicker there! All ninja and stuff!

Meredith said...

I have a Buff and I haven't the foggiest what to do with it. I've only used it as a ear covering for not-so-cold winter runs.

Anonymous said...

I love me some Buff. I love how thin the fabric is, but that I can wear it like a headband over my ears and it keeps them sooooo warm. I've also worn it around the neck. And FYI, REI carries them as well!

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Many uses! Nice.

Chloe said...

Ahhh..I love the buff. Even though I'm a florida girl - it does get a bit chilly down here ;)

Jon said...

I guess the question is, what would the world be like without Caratunk Girl and her multifunctional Buff Headband?

Unknown said...

If a review post is supposed to make you want something, your's is spot-on!! I feel like I need a foulard right this minute!

Tricia said...

great reaview..and pics :)

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

That is a cool product! I ALWAYS wear a bandana under my helmet no matter how hot it is. I've gotten used to it over the years. The only reason i wear keep bugs out of my hair!! The buff looks way better than a bandana and how versatile it is...i likey!

Unknown said...

best. review. photos. ever.
You can never be TOO safe so keep wearing that helmet on the trainer :P
thank you for expanding MY vocabulary. FOULARD. I will try to use it in a sentence when I meet you on Sunday.

Pahla said...

Thank you for the really in-depth review - I'm definitely going to check these out, as I've been looking for a foulard. :P

Julie said...

Oh Mandy, you are just so freaking cute:) Your posts always make me smile! Thanks for the great review!

Unknown said...

I love my Buff, but I don't look near as good in it as you do! I think you have a tri-modeling career in your future!

Anonymous said...

How do you configure it as a foulard?