Looking buff this season (or at least wearing one)


When it comes to top outdoor kit, kit that lasts, kit that never lets you down and adapts to changeable mountain conditions, there is one vital piece that often gets overlooked – the humble buff.

Bag a Buff of your choice

The kind folk at Kitshack have agreed to give two of our lucky readers the opportunity to win a buff of their choice from the 16/17 winter collection – just give us the correct answer to the following question.

Competition now closed

The competition ends at 10h00 on Friday, 17 March 2017. A winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries on the same day. Full Ts and Cs are here.

For those of you not in the know (surely only a handful of you outdoorsy types) the buff is a simple piece of seamless tubular fabric, which can turn its hand to being a neck warmer, a beanie, a headband, a face mask, a hairband, a balaclava, a bandana – whatever you need it to be depending on conditions.

The simple buff has been around for more than 25 years and despite many attempts to recreate its genius, it is still widely considered to be the best product of its kind on the market.  Available in 10 different fabrics from polar fleece to coolmax extreme (with up to 95% UV protection) offering over 450 style combinations – there really is something for everyone.

Living in Scotland and travelling frequently to the French Alps, the buff has become an essential piece of my outdoors kit.  From sailing on the chilly Firth of Forth in March to biking in August through the forests of the Scottish highlands and avoiding a mouthful of midges, my family rarely embark on an adventure without a buff.

Rather more glamorously, however, I had the opportunity of putting a brand new merino wool buff through its paces late January in Val d’Isere.  I was glad of it – the temperatures were as low as -15 degrees with wind-chill and the fresh powder was so light and fluffy, it was rather difficult to avoid the spray off your skiing companion’s skis (that’ll teach me for never being in front!)

I managed 3 of the 12 different style combinations that your buff can offer.

The facemask



The bandana – or is it a beanie? (a bit of work needed on my styling)



The under-helmet beanie



My efforts are slightly less impressive than those on the official buff video – having since watched this I am now a pro!


With an April trip to Val d’Isere in the pipeline, I am hoping for warmer temperatures and will be switching back from my merino buff to my trusty old microfibre variety.  My only criticism of it, is that they last a lifetime…..looking at this season’s tempting new range I am trying to find an excuse  for a new one!

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