9 Best Neck Gaiters (Warmers) for Skiing

The Best Neck Gaiters and Warmers for Skiing or Snowboarding

Summary

Although it might seem trivial, planning your skiing apparel is a crucial step toward enjoying your time on the slopes. Today, we’re focusing on the head/neck area. 

Ski masks and balaclavas indeed provide the best protection against frostbite and wind burns on frigid days. But what if it’s not that cold? Do you have to put up with the bent-up moisture? That’s where the neck gaiters come in handy! 

Below, we will take a look at some of the best neck gaiters for skiing.  Let’s get going!

Best Choice

5/5
Turtle Fur Heavyweight Fleece Neck Warmer - Black

Based in Vermont, Turtle Fur knows what goes into the making of outdoor gear that truly keeps you warm for the longest time possible. Since 1982, they’ve mainly focused on headwear, but they currently have several t-shirts and active top lines. 

Turtle Fur is synonymous with neck warmers, being one of the primary brands you’ll find in ski shops. 

This neck gaiter is built from an acrylic fleece fabric that provides premium warmth with zero dampness and incredible softness. If you’re aiming for a balanced look, consider pairing this neck warmer with Turtle Fur’s hat or super stylish headband — they pair up seamlessly since they share the same fabric. 

Also, it is worth paying tribute to the righteous Project Warmth initiative. In 2008, Turtle Fur launched this initiative to give warmth to the people in need. As of 2019, their donations amounted to over 100,000 pieces, all thanks to their loyal customers.

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Your purchase fuels a kind initiative
  • Satisfyingly smooth 
  • Comes in various colors

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: fleece
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: black, navy, pink, plus 8 more

Best Value

5/5
MCTi Neck Gaiter Warmer Winter Fleece Scarves Beanie Hat for Skiing Cycling Elastic Closure Light Blue

In most cases, neck gaiters come in only one size. Even though this size is supposedly based on the average adult neck size, discrepancies are bound to happen since we all don’t follow a single mold. 

If you can’t find a neck gaiter that fits, check out this model from MCTi. Instead of depending on sewn elastics, this neck gaiter sports a drawstring with a cord lock. All you have to do is pull the string tight, secure it with the lock, and enjoy! 

Thanks to the inclusion of rayon, this neck gaiter feels a lot softer than pure nylon or polyester models. It also enhances breathability and moisture-wicking, but it’s more likely to wrinkle.

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Snug fit
  • You can wear it as a beanie
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Adjustable cord lock to keep it snug and in place

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: 72.5% polyester, 21% rayon, 6.5% spandex
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: black, brown, light blue, plus 8 more options

Editors Choice

5/5
Smartwool Merino 250 Reversible Pattern Neck Gaiter Medium Gray Tick Stitch 1 Fits Most Unisex

Smartwool was among the first brands to utilize merino wool in skiing apparel in 1994. They started their journey with merino socks, which revolutionized the industry at that time because they were way softer and warmer than the synthetic alternatives. 

From that day forward, Smartwool started using the same fabric in lots of skiing accessories, including neck gaiters. In addition to the impeccable efficiency, their gaiters are notorious for having lots of eye-catching designs. 

My most favorite design features a skier silhouette, standing on top of a vast mountain that overlooks a blue mountainscape. If you’re looking for a subtler pattern, you’ll love the black gaiter that’s adorned with white dahlias (a type of bushy flowers).

If you’re familiar with ski apparel, you know Smartwool comes at a slightly higher cost than average. However, the quality is unmatched. This neck gaiter in particular is both lightweight, but warm enough for the vast majority of days on the snow.

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Dense fabric
  • Pretty designs
  • Impeccable softness

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: 100% merino wool 
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: 7 colorful patterns

Best Neck Gaiter for Women

5/5
MERIWOOL Neck Warmer Gaiter for Women n Men 100% Merino Wool Ski Wool Neck Gaiter

The Meriwool neck warmer is arguably the softest neck warmer for skiing or snowboarding. The 100% merino wool construction means the fibers are more narrow than other wool, allowing them to bend and stretch softly. These fibers are supremely soft to the touch and completely itch free – not to mention being naturally warm and lightweight.

This gaiter works well for winter sports as a scarf, neck, or ear warmer, but can pull its own weight in warmer months too as a stylish and sweat wicking headband. 

Our favorite part of this product are the colors it comes in. This neck gaiter comes in really pretty soft-tone colors ranging from your typical blues, blacks, and greys to wine, teal, and our personal favorite – pink heather.

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: 100% merino wool 
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: 11 colors

Best Lightweight Neck Gaiter

5/5
BUFF Unisex Original Multifunctional Headwear, Black, One Size

Buff is arguably the most well known brand in the multifunctional headwear market space. This is Buff’s original, flagship product that can be used for all kinds of activities year round – not just winter snow sports.

For skiing, this neck gaiter provides lightweight protection from the elements – including the sun and wind. While this won’t keep you super warm on the really cold days, it acts as a nice buffer on moderate or warm ski days in addition to providing UPF 50 protection from the suns rays.

If you are looking to up the warmth level, check out Buff’s merino wool neck gaiter, or some of the fleece products in this article. 

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: 97% Polyester, 3% Elastane
  • Sizes: 1 (one size fits all)
  • Colors: 46 different colors or patterns

Warmest Neck Gaiter

5/5
Turtle Fur Double-Layer Neck Warmer, Chelonia 150 Fleece, Charcoal

When the ski season reaches the chilliest state, you’ve got to take stricter measures to make sure you stay warm. 

If you liked the Turtle Fur neck warmer I previously featured, you’ll probably love this one too! This neck warmer features the same fleece build, except that it’s double-layered. 

Turtle Fur supposedly gives the green light for putting this neck warmer in the washing machine and dryer, as long as you use no heat. However, I think this might increase the chances of pilling. It’s better to wash it by hand and let it air dry to keep it looking sharp.

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Extra dense yet soft fabric 
  • Fits snugly 
  • Affordable

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: fleece
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: red, black, green, plus 15 more

Cheapest Neck Gaiter on a Budget

5/5
Condor Outdoor Thermo Neck Gaiter- Olive Drab

While Condor may not be as famous as the previous brands, its neck gaiter doesn’t fall short of quality standards. Thanks to the microfleece fabric, it’ll provide infinite warmth while embracing your skin with a silken feel. 

However, when compared to the previous neck gaiters, this sizing of this one feels looser and slightly shorter. While this design isn’t necessarily bad, some people prefer a snug fit and plenty of material to work with. Instead, this item is best left to simply use as a neck warmer if you have no intention of pulling it up above your nose. Either way, with its affordable price tag, you won’t hear us complaining!

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Equipped with two front seams to break the monotony
  • Extremely affordable
  • Water-resistant

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: microfleece
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: black, tan, and olive drab

Durable Neck Gaiter

5/5
Helly Hansen Polartec Neck Gaiter, 990 Black, One Size

This neck gaiter is made in collaboration with Polartec, the company that invented synthetic fleece back in 1981. Thanks to its unique knitting, this fabric can efficiently retain warmth while allowing for optimal breathability.

Helly Hansen is well known as a premium ski apparel brand, so expect no less with something even as minor as a neck gaiter. If you see the lifties and resort employees wearing them, then they must be good! Those people are standing out in the cold all day!

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Looks premium 
  • Tight fit
  • Reasonably priced

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: fleece
  • Sizes: 1
  •  

Neck Warmer for Snowboarders

5/5
Burton Mens Ember Fleece Neckwarmer, Starling Mojave, One Size

If you’re a fan of snowboarding, I’m sure you’ve heard of Jake Burton, one of the main pioneers of this sport. In 1977, he founded the Burton trademark to take on his legacy by providing all sorts of high-quality snowboarding gear. 

Built from Burton’s special DryRide Thermex, this gaiter is guaranteed to wick your sweat as fast as possible, allowing you to enjoy your time without worrying about loads of snow sticking to the gaiter. 

Between the four styles of this gaiter, the patterned one is my favorite. That colorful folkloric pattern represents the Mojave People, a Native American tribe that lives by the Colorado River. There’s no better way to stand out among the crowd, even before you actually hit the slopes!

Things We Like About This Neck Gaiter

  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Dries fast 
  • Made of a thick fabric

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: DryRide Thermex (polyester)
  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: black, grey, rose brown, and patterned violet/orange

Special Considerations: Covid-19 or Preventing Airborne Illness on the Slopes

Are Neck Gaiters Worse for Covid-19 or Other Airborne Illness Than Wearing No Mask?

When Covid-19 was starting to spread faster than ever, people were searching for alternatives to surgical masks after they went scarce. That’s when Martin Fischer, an Associate Research Professor at the University of Duke, decided to test 14 face coverings with some basic tools, including a cardboard box, laser, and a cellphone camera. 

Results revealed that N95 & surgical masks blocked the highest percentage of respiratory droplets, meaning that they’re the best coverings that can significantly disrupt the viral spread. 

When Fischer tested the neck gaiters, he noticed that they somehow fragment your droplets into finer ones, giving them a better chance of floating in the air and infecting others.

Debunking the Claims

Although neck gaiters do fragment droplets, they also block a considerable percentage. Thus, they’re surely better than wearing no mask at all. But if you weigh them against surgical masks, gaiters would definitely lose.

What to Consider Before Buying Neck Gaiters

Although having a myriad of options guarantees that you’ll find what you need, it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what would work and what wouldn’t. 

In this section, we’ll try to demolish that feeling by detailing the most important factors you should bear in mind before going shopping.

Material

Naturally, the material choice will determine things like how soft the gaiter will feel, how efficient it’ll wick moisture, and how long it’ll last. 

Merino Wool

As strange as it may sound, merino wool has kind of magical properties — it keeps you warm when it’s frigid, but it also keeps you cool when it’s scorching. How? This has to do with the nature of the material itself; that’s how it behaves on a merino sheep. 

Despite its unparalleled properties, the production of this wool may involve lots of inhumane practices. Some farmers cut chunks of the sheep’s backsides in order to prevent an infection that detracts from the wool’s smoothness. Leaving the sheep with such open wounds is not only painful but also medically dangerous. 

You can still enjoy the benefits of this fabric by searching for brands that exclusively deal with ethical farms. 

Polyester & Fleece

Unlike wool, both polyester and fleece are synthetic materials that don’t involve any unethical practices. 

What’s good about these fabrics? First, they have excellent resistance to wind. Even if you wear single-layered fleece gaiters, you’ll be able to hit the slopes with acceptable warmth.

Second, these fabrics are hydrophobic, meaning that they naturally repel water. This way, they’ll rapidly pick up your perspiration and push it toward the surface where it’ll evaporate into the air. This feature is highly beneficial because it’ll prevent your goggles from fogging if you wear the gaiter over your nose. 

Say No to Cotton

Cotton is the exact opposite of polyester and fleece. After picking up the moisture, cotton traps it between its fibers, leading to a clammy feeling that would take forever to dry.

Tightness

The neck gaiter should fit snugly around your neck and base of the head to close the tiny air pockets and provide sustained warmth. 

To achieve that goal, most neck gaiters feature elastic bands that are permanently sewn at each end. Other models include spandex or latex fibers, dispersed throughout the whole gaiter for a more uniform feel. 

Although both options work well for most people, some skiers can still struggle to find a gaiter that fits, especially that most brands produce only one size. In that case, you should consider getting a gaiter that tightens via a drawstring and a cord lock, such as the MCTi Fleece Neck Gaiter.

FAQs

Q: How do I clean my neck gaiter?

Answer:

This solely depends on the actual fabric composition. For the best results, check the gaiter’s label. 

Generally, synthetic fabrics (polyester and fleece) can be cleaned in the washing machine with warm water and mild detergent. Natural fabrics, especially wool, should be washed by hand via cold water only.

Q: Do neck gaiters come in sizes?

Answer:

Mostly, no. Some brands do offer an average of three or four sizes, but most manufacturers follow the one-size-fits-most approach.

Final Thoughts

Neck gaiters and warmers for winter sports like skiing are absolutely essential. Most people will be freezing without any neck or face warmth in the majority of conditions. Even a thin layer will take some of the bite out of the cold wind, especially on the lift.

With that said, there are tons of neck gaiters to choose from and the options can be too much when there isn’t a ton of features to differentiate them.

To make things easy, we would recommend the Original Turtle Fur fleece neck warmer if it is your first one. They are really affordable, warm, and effective. 

Merino wool options like the Smartwool gaiter or the Meriwool are also really good if you prefer softer, more comfortable, or more fashionable options.

Good luck, and stay cozy out there!

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