Neck gaiters are not a new product, but they have certainly gained popularity in the last year and a half. More and more people have recognized the benefit of wearing this product, especially on hot sunny days. Neck gaiters help protect against sun damage and are an excellent form of protection worn across your face and neck.
Neck gaiter face masks keep the sun off your neck and your face protected from debris.
Whether you're boating, cutting the grass, working on a construction site, riding a motorcycle, cycling, fishing, hiking, running, or skiing, a neck gaiter is one of the most comfortable and versatile forms of protection designed to cover the face and neck. Traditional face coverings are often scratchy and not pieces of clothing most people prefer wearing for extended periods. However, a neck gaiter can be worn for lengthy periods because of its soft, lightweight feel.
This article will give you a better understanding of what neck gaiters do and the various options we stock to protect your face and neck.
What is a neck gaiter?
A neck gaiter is a type of clothing made of soft fabric sewn in a tube shape and designed to cover one's face and neck. Gaiters are often made from synthetic fabrics, such as our non-insulated option made from breathable, wicking birdseye polyester.
However, cotton, wool, and cotton/polyester blend versions are also found in the marketplace.
Cooling, Lightweight, and Loose-Fitting Buff
Two of the primary benefits of wearing buff neck gaiters as a form of face protection are loose-fitting and lightweight due to the comfortable and breathable synthetic materials used in their construction. Here are some of the benefits we've identified that make neck gaiters unique:
- Easy-to-breathe wearability, doesn't restrict breathing as other masks can
- Easily tuck away in pockets for carrying and transporting
- Fabric stretches easily both horizontally and vertically, fitting a wide range of head sizes
- Highly fashionable and functional
- Keep you feeling cool
- Soft to the skin
- Snug and comfortable for long-term wear
- Quick and easy to pull up and cover your face
- Wick away sweat and perspiration
These benefits, among others, make this form of face protection a popular choice across numerous industries. From a bandana to a wristband, gaiters can also be worn in a multitude of ways.
Face Mask Protection
A common question is: What is a neck gaiter used for? Depending on its use, this coverage protects the wearer's neck, mouth, and face from dust, sun, wind, sand, flying debris, and cold conditions. Gaiters also protect the wearer's face and neck from pesky insects like mosquitos. Because of the protection gaiters offer, the police and military have been two of many employment segments to embrace their use, along with industrial construction sites.
Compared to traditional dust masks, a gaiter's loose fit ensures that you don't have to deal with discomfort from ear loops, mask lines on the bridge of your nose, or pain from any pressure points.
When appropriately folded in a double layer, gaiters can help keep harsher elements like dirt and dust from being inhaled. Or, you can always wear multiple gaiters at once to achieve that same result!
Sports and Summer UV Sun Protection
Athletes use neck gaiters, as do people who enjoy being outside for recreational activities. Running, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and backpacking are just some outdoor activities where gaiters can come in handy!
Gaiters provide the same protection as a scarf or balaclava but are more comfortable. Unlike a scarf, gaiters adhere to one's body better and stay in place. Since a gaiter fits closer to the skin, it means this covering doesn't easily slip down or blow away, an essential quality for those enjoying recreational activities.
When the sun shines its bright rays, it makes sense to have some UV protection nearby.
Nobody likes getting a sunburn; they are painful and can lead to days of discomfort. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, the sun can injure your skin within 15 minutes and is a leading cause of skin cancer. Simply put, you don't want to mess around with the sun.
Unfortunately for the neck, it's one of the most vulnerable parts of the body when it comes to sun exposure, and it requires some form of daily sun protection, whether sunscreen or gear. Neck gaiters provide excellent sun protection in the summer and don't wear off during the day as most sunscreens do. And, as we've mentioned, this face and neck covering are incredibly versatile. So, if you want to turn it into a sweatband, you have that functionality, too.
Our HVG8 is our non-insulated hi-vis style designed for the summer months.
Hi-visibility gaiters are made in bright fluorescent colors to draw attention to the wearer. This design is critical in industries such as construction, where moving vehicles are a constant hazard. Any increased visibility helps distinguish individuals and keeps workers safe.
Neck Warmers for Cold Weather
When the summer months begin transitioning into colder months, people who find themselves outside in cold weather don't have to abandon wearing gaiters. Instead, they opt for wearing an insulated option that keeps them warm and toasty.
Harsh winds, snow, and cold temperatures wreak havoc on individuals who don't wear face coverings during the winter months. Insulated gaiter styles provide wearers with protection from these elements. Here are some additional advantages to gaiters:
- Dry quicker than other insulated face coverings, making them ideal in snowy conditions
- Increased layers protect against cold conditions
Our insulated gaiters come in both lime and black.
MCR Safety's insulated gaiter styles are made with polyester spandex and fleece, ensuring additional layers of protection for the nose, face, and neck. Fleece is lightweight yet offers powerful protection against the cold, harsh wind.
And, keep in mind, gaiters are not only for use by those who operate outdoors. Those who work in coolers and freezers all day will find an extra level of warmth and comfort by wearing an insulated neck gaiter.
Balaclava or Neck Gaiter?
Choosing the proper protection is about recognizing your specific needs in the workplace. Three of the most common forms of face protection for industrial use are face masks, balaclavas, and neck gaiters. A balaclava is a piece of winter headgear that protects the head and entire face, in addition to the neck. They are versatile, like neck gaiters, and provide a greater degree of insulation. For the coldest months, any additional coverage will help keep you warm and protected, but a balaclava keeps your face the warmest.
MCR Safety carries both gaiters and balaclavas! So, the main question you'll need to answer before selecting either a balaclava or neck gaiter is whether you'll need your entire head and face covered. Keep in mind; the gaiter does dry faster, which can be a perk if there is concern about wet conditions. You might want to consider having both nearby!
MCR Safety's gaiters are multi-purpose and comfortable for long-term wear.
We stock both flame-resistant (FR) styles and standard balaclavas.
What kind of neck gaiter do I need?
- The main thing to decide is whether you'll need insulation for the cold. That will determine what kind of neck gaiter is right for your needs.
What stores sell neck gaiter?
- You can leave us a comment below, and we will have one of our industrial distribution partners provide you a quote. For immediate product trials, visit our Buy & Try site.
How to use a neck gaiter?
- One excellent characteristic about a neck gaiter is that you can wear it in multiple ways. Here are twelve of the most common: cap, do-rag, bandana, beanie, face mask, foulard, headband, hood, neck warmer, pirate cap, scrunchy, and wrist band. You can even use it as a hair tie! For those operating outside, it would be best if you had protection from dust and wind, and a neck gaiter pulled up over your nose and mouth will provide a safe shield to help you breathe easier. For those who need sun protection on the neck, make sure the gaiter fully covers your skin.
How to put on a neck gaiter?
- The best way to put on a neck gaiter is first to pull it over your head. Then, pull the gaiter down over the areas you require protection and up to cover the nose and mouth. Gaiters are incredibly versatile, meaning you can choose only to protect your neck or protect both your neck and face.
Do neck gaiters keep you cool?
- Those made with birdseye wicking material are designed to keep you super cool and comfortable during hot summer months.
Are neck gaiters good for COVID?
- Starting in 2020, people began using gaiters as a non-medical face mask alternative to stop the spread of germs. Numerous studies have been performed, and some show that neck gaiters offer a small level of protection. However, the primary purpose of this face covering is to protect your skin from the sun and extreme cold temperatures. We encourage you to read the CDC's breakdown of different masks as it pertains to COVID-19.
Best Protection for the Neck and Face
A multi-functional gaiter can be adapted to fit almost any environment you encounter. With it, you'll experience one of the most comfortable forms of face protection available today. In this article, we've highlighted both our non-insulated styles for the summer months and insulated designs for the cold. If you have any questions about anything presented in this article, feel free to leave us a comment by clicking the image below.
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We welcome any comments, feedback, or suggestions for how we can best protect people at work.
For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there to provide solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.