Thursday, June 8, 2017

Buff: Spring ’17 Review

I started reviewing the Buff last year and I have to say that testing their products is always fun and great. If you missed those reviews then you can still catch it on the links below:

The weather here in Northern California has been iffy for the past few weeks. I’m not a big fan of the heat so I do most of my runs and cycling early in the morning. It is strange how some mornings could be so cold but not the later part. Buff sent me few of their products to test out that could be used on cold and hot weather conditions. Let’s start with the most common tubular head gear that Buff is known for, the Lightweight ¾ Merino Wool.

Main Features
    100% eco-friendly Merino wool
    ¾ length
    Semi seamless
    Soft and comfortable
    Dries quickly and breathable
    Odor resistant
    One size fits all

The construction of this Merino wool is similar with the rest of the Buff tubular products except that this one is made out of wool (polyester is the other material). It’s quite contrary to the old thinking that wool is itchy and uncomfortable to use. The technology has greatly evolved and this is one comfortable tubular headgear that you should have especially on cold days. It helps preserve the warmth when it gets wet but it doesn’t hold the moisture as much as the polyester. I have both (polyester and wool) type of Buff and the difference is the amount of moisture and the cooling effect each provides. I was completely happy and satisfied with the polyester materials that I previously tested but the wool material provides much better cooling and warmth effect on both conditions.

 Main Features
    Provides UPF 40+ protection
    Moisture wicking, breathable and comfortable
    Flatflock seams
    Antimicrobial fabric for odor control
    Lightweight, packable and compressible
    Reflective materials during low visibility condition

Buff has created a new line up of gears for protection under the scorching heat of the sun. This apparel may not be “news” to some since most companies have already created quite similar product. However, those arm sleeves are for compression purposes and may not be suitable to wear during hot condition. This is where the Buff UV Arm Sleeves differ, the construction of the material is not that thick in comparison with other brands and not as compressive. The material used is more subtle and lighter but provides great defense against heat and cold breeze. Though it may not be that compressive, it still provides enough compression and still aids the arm from getting tired and prevent early stage of fatigue especially during long runs. You can practically wear this to fight the morning cold breeze and even leave it on comfortably all day for a UPF 40+ protection from the sun. You can also strip it down easily or have it all the way down to your wrist when you don’t feel like wearing it for a moment. And when it’s time you need it, just pull it up and you’ll get the protection you need.

I tested it many times on trails and even on my late afternoon cycling rides and I was really impressed. There’s no reason why you would leave your arms unprotected when you can have this.

Main Features
    100% Polyester microfiber
    Provides 95% UV protection
    Polygiene fabric treatment to control odor
    Moisture wicking, breathable and quick drying
    Lightweight thermal protection

In addition to the two gears on top is the CoolMax 1 Layer Hat. It provides great protection to my head especially on those early morning runs and bike rides by regulating certain amount of heat escaping thru my head. It’s basically like a beanie but on the slim slide. As the name implies, it’s one layer so it doesn’t have the thickness you’ll see on a regular beanie or skull cap which is notorious in trapping the heat and makes my head toasty. This 1 layer hat is so efficient in wicking the moisture out, plus it pulls away my sweat and perspiration faster than any cap in my possession. I also love the versatility of the hat that I can easily stash it into my pocket or crumpled it on my hand if I decided to take it off. It’s very lightweight yet it gives ample protection from cold wind and harmful UV of the sun.

My Verdict

I’ve been running and cycling for many years now and I have to say that proper gears (and apparels) do make a difference in performance. Buff is a brand that I was not familiar with when I started doing these endurance sports but I’m truly happy to know them not because of some athletes wearing it but by how great the quality of their products. I can honestly say that Buff is equally good and even better compared to some other known brands that could cost twice as much. Give these items a try and I hope that you’ll like them more than I do.

Thanks for reading and let me know how this works for you.