When you spend a lot of time outside in the sun doing things like riding your road bike, paddling on your iSUP, hitting the slopes with your snowboard or hiking, then you run a risk of getting sunburned. This is true even if you’re using sunscreen since it has to be re-applied regularly. For me, one of the first places that I get sunburned is my forehead. For a while, I was just wearing a hat when I was out in the sun for long periods, but that ends up getting too warm after a while. But a couple of years ago when I was checking out some clearance items at REI something caught my attention – UV headbands.
If you’ve never heard of Buff headgear and you get a lot of head/forehead sunburns, then this just might change your life. Okay, that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration unless you’re bald and then it really may be life changing for you.
Honestly though, I freaking love this thing. In fact, I brought two of these on my 10-month RTW trip that is just now coming to a close. I use it as a stylish scarf, a sweatband, to protect my head from UV rays and to cover my noise when the air pollution is terrible.
So, here’s the thing – Buff makes a lot of different headgear that they mostly just call ‘headbands.’ Some of them are short pieces that when you wear them, they truly are the typical thin headband size. They have some half headbands that I’d say are about double the width of a regular headband. And they have some full size headbands that are pretty long.
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Protect Your Head From Sunburn With Buff UV Headwear
The really important thing that you need to know about these Buff headbands is that some of them have UV protection. That is what I own and what will help prevent you from getting that sunburn on your head or forehead.
From what I have seen, Buff makes each headband in tons of different colors and designs. And most of them are actually double sided, so you end up with two different designs in one. For instance, the black one that I have is solid black on one side and the other side is a black background with white fleur-de-lis designs.
Wearing Your Buff Headwear
One of the really cool things about these headbands is that you can wear them a million different ways. Wanna look like a pirate? Easy. Prefer the style of a do rag? Simple. Dealing with some crappy air pollution and wanna use it as a bandida mask instead? Done. Buff actually has a page on their site showing some of the popular options. They even made a video about it.
The versatility of these things is really great. And since the fabric is so thin, it will easily fit under your bike or motorcycle helmet.
Buying Your Buff UV Headband
If you think one of these will be a good fit for your active lifestyle, then I definitely recommend getting one or two for yourself. I own two of the full size UV headbands and use them regularly. I love how versatile they are and I use them for everything from keeping my neck warm when I’m outside in cool weather to protecting my head from sunburn on hikes and bike rides to covering my nose when visiting Thailand at the start of burning season.
Though I prefer the longest version of the headwear, I suggest you determine which size is best for your needs. Or, try more than one!
The most important thing that you need to remember when shopping for one of these is to look for the UV protection styles! Unfortunately, not all of the Buff headbands are made with UV protection fabric. The good news, is that those with UV fabric are clearly marked as such.
I bought my Buff headbands from REI when they were on clearance (at a price under $10 each!), but REI doesn’t always have the best deal on these. Most of the time, these are cheaper on Amazon but definitely check the REI website to see if they happen to have any colors or styles on clearance before you buy.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that Amazon and REI sometimes have different color choices, so definitely see what both has to offer before you buy. Of course, you can see all of the current color choices on the BuffUSA website. They even sell the gear there.
I think you will love this as much as I do and that it will become a vital part of your active gear, just like it is for me.
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