“Disclaimer: I received the Buff Thermal Hoodie to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”
If you have been reading along, you know I have the Full Buff and the UV Half Buff. Both of those are great products, and are great to have no matter if it’s hot or cold, so many ways to wear them. I was actually excited for the weather to get cold, I have been using the full Buff more. However is there something better? – Enter the Buff Thermal Hoodie… a buff specifically designed for cooler weather.
Ok, so maybe the excitement of ripping open the package and immediately taking a photo, doesn’t give you the best image….so here are some more:
The Buff Thermal hoodie is best described as a full Buff with a hood. As you can see there are 3 parts to this. 1) A bottom piece of material to go around your neck and inside/outside your coat/shirt. 2) An inside piece that goes around your neck or you can pull up around your face. 3) Then the hood with toggles to tighten.
Here are the details from – http://buffusa.com/buff-products/women/hoodies/thermal-hoodie/brindle
“It’s what you would get if your favorite hoodie and BUFF® had kids. Whether you sport it on or off the slopes, the Thermal Hoodie summons ultimate warmth to challenge heinous winter conditions. A Polartec® Thermal Pro® hood fuels warmth and wind resistance while the 100 percent merino wool collar which fits over the mouth and chin and double-layer wool neck ensure both maximum thermal properties and natural moisture management. Designed to fit on you or over a helmet, wear this incredibly warm, feature-rich hoodie in a variety of ways.”
- 100% natural merino wool
- Polartec® Thermal Pro® hood
- Thermal protection from cold & wind
- Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
- Quick drying
- One size fits all adults
There are a couple of different models, thermal and windproof. And some various different hood material, notice mine is furry and the thermal model. It is 40% merino wool and 60% polyester.
This picture sums up a good reason to purchase one of these, you can go from wearing 3 different items, to one item.
Now that you can see what it is, and how you wear it. I will share how I tested it on the run.
My first run, I was really excited to try this out. I run year round outside, well unless it’s really super cold or lightning strikes, or basically if it’s not safe. I thought, hey, all the protection from the wind, and my head will stay toasty warm.
First observations: The inner Buff piece that pulls up to cover the face, seems thinner and looser than my original full Buff. (It’s the stripped piece) This caused a little frustration, it pulls up over half way on the back of my head to cover my ears, but since it’s not as tight, the friction with the hood causes this to fall down, due to the bouncing of running. I can tell this, because I could feel a little wind through the furry hood. I have sensitive ears, that were frostbit as a child, I must keep them covered in the cold. At first I thought maybe I didn’t get it in place, so I stopped running, and readjusted, and tied that hood tight. It then stayed in place for the remainder of my run. However I had the hood drawn so tight, my peripheral view was obstructed. Crossing the streets, I had to make sure and turn my entire body/head to check for traffic. The soft hood kept my head warm too.
As you can see the toggles are leather, and then there are long strings when the hood is tight. These never bothered me as I ran, they would be easy to tuck inside the hood.
When I got home the inner layers were wet with sweat. So I was concerned how I was to wash this, the tag inside said hand wash. After checking the website, I see hand wash and lay flat to dry.
In order to be fair, and give this another try, I ran in the hood again. This time it was much cooler, and I had 9 miles on tap. UGH, this was not a great run. The walks in my town were not shoveled and there was a lot of ice, so I walked a lot. This had me annoyed, and to make matters worse, I just couldn’t keep that inner Buff piece up and over my ears. I was all bundled up with gloves, and stopping to keep adjusting this piece was driving me nuts. I did keep that hood tight, but I could feel that inner piece was not on my ears…but once again, I have sensitive ears. However when I got home, my head was sooooo sweaty….the thing really keeps you warm! I also admit, I hadn’t washed it yet, so maybe a washing would make that inner part tighter?
Oh, but there’s more… I didn’t give up on 2 runs, I took a new approach… I wore my full Buff and a hat under the hood. OMG, my head was too hot, but I was not annoyed at my ears not being covered tightly. This method also allowed me to pull that inner Buff across my face as needed, if I was running into a head wind or not. It would freeze up though, and became hard and frozen, lol.
I took it on another run, I wore a stocking hat underneath, to protect my ears. When I slipped it on, the inner Buff, stayed in place wrapped around the back of my head, as it “stuck” to the hat. I ran and had it across my face, but I got hot, so pulled it down in front, but then I was running against the wind again, I pulled it up…it seemed to stay put as it adhered to my hat. Being loose allowed me to pull it up and down easily. Nothing worse than a chapped face in the winter.
When it came time to wash this, I did as instructed. I filled my washing tub/sink with some warm water and put in some detergent. Then I rung it out. I did hang this to dry…I didn’t want to wait forever to use it again. It was dry in 24 hours. Since it was hand washed and hung dry, that inner Buff was no tighter on my head. It did however stay nice and soft.
Another great use is when I have a coat with no hood, especially for walking my dogs. You can see below why I could feel the wind through the hood. I think I would do great with the windproof hoodie.
Also if you need a little something extra over a bike helmet, and I would imagine a skiing / snowboarding helmet. This fits!
I don’t want to confuse you, I really like this hood, it’s cozy and soft and keeps my head warm. However for running, I just don’t see me wearing this without something tighter covering my ears. It just annoys me too much and I am particular about my ears being covered, just a personal preference. Also cuz I am lazy, hand washing is a pain. I would imagine I could put in the washing machine, but don’t want to ruin those leather toggle pieces.
If you still have concerns,check out the other BibRave Pro reviews, some even tested the windproof version: