Head band, hat or face mask, the Original Buff is a versatile, lightweight and handy addition to any trip or kit bag.
Take a look at why I’ve been buying Buff since I was 14 years old and usually have one to hand at any given moment…
What is a Buff?
If you’re new to Buff then not to worry but consider this an excellent place to discover a bit of kit that will be a useful addition to any trip.
A Buff, very crudely put, is a tubular piece of stretchy fabric that has multiple uses and is a bit like a scarf. It’s roughly the length of your hand to your elbow, so there’s plenty of fabric to scrunch up.
If you had to relate it to something in fashion, you’d probably say it was a snood. But, don’t be fooled while it’s technically that, it actually has so many more uses.
I’m a bit funny about things around my neck, and even though this is close fitting, there’s enough space and stretch so it doesn’t feel too confined.
The Original Buff is incredibly versatile, not only can it be a scarf, headband or hat. But, I’ve used it as a sweat band around my wrist, a hair tie, to protect my face from the weather, as a basic face mask and to protect things in my luggage among other things.
It’s the OB, not the OG. 😂 Ouch, yes my Dad jokes are terrible.
My weird uses of an Original Buff even extends to a pocket for fruit collecting, I tied a knot in the end and filled it with blackberries we found on a hedgerow. Other uses include a mini towel to dry my face, temporary leg bandage (don’t ask) and once at a festival, a super tight boob tube.
The packaging also has plenty of suggestions of how to wear your Original Buff showing you have to turn it into a bobble hat, a beanie, and a weird jaunty pirate cap sort of thing that you could wear under a bike helmet.
I’ve taken my Buffs on my Duke of Edinburgh hikes, around Australia and on paddleboarding adventures but also on urban trips too. And, my yoga class wouldn’t be complete without one because I have a lot of hair to control. No one wants to be trying to sweep hair from their face when they’re in the down dog position. Awkward.
Also, an Original Buff is great for when you don’t want loads of layers but want to keep the chill from around your neck or your ears warm. In situations where the weather and your body temperature fluctuates, having easy to remove light layers is really useful.
While the Original Buff is undoubtedly Queen, there are many different versions including ones that have UV protection, block wind and thermal ones.
I have a lovely black thermal one that was very useful at 3am as the cold set in when I did Action Challenge’s London to Brighton 100k Ultra. I walked it and it’s tough and little, light bits of kit like this really helped me through. It was bitterly cold despite being May and I ended up having a Buff on my head and a Buff around my neck.
I think I have about eight in total at the moment but there’s new ones coming out all the time. I’ve got my eye on a couple to add to my collection too. Ok, so a couple is a lie, I have a list. 😂😂😂
I’ve received imitation style Buffs in event packs but, the quality just isn’t the same.
A lot of the imitations fray, snag, get holes or just can’t survive the rigours of the washing machine. While my trusty Buff has stood the test of time and many a trip. And, quality wins over quantity every time.
Colourful and reliable
I now own quite a few, and not just the original. I particularly like the event themed buffs because of the unique designs. I have the latest ones from the Banff Film Festival and Ocean Film Festival which have fishes, whales and mountain scapes on them.
Not only do I have a great bit of kit but a reminder of another trip through the design.
There are so many designs so you can pick something you like and goes with other kit or something really vibrant to stand out.
I’ll never forget my first Buff, an Original Buff of course, which was a pale blue with dark blue aztec lizards all over it. The 14 year old me really wanted to channel those hippy surfer vibes (and still does!).
It’s recently been retired after 21 years of impeccable service. It was still going strong but it had started to develop bobbles and I’ve got a few new ones since then so I decided it was time to pass it on to a good home (my Mum as a head band for gardening, if you’re wondering!).
A useful bit of kit
If you’re looking for kit for an expedition, your yoga class or outdoor adventures you’ve got to take a look at a Buff.
The Buff collection is huge and extends well past the Original Buff. Check out all the ranges, originals, caps and headbands variations designed for different activities. Let me know what catches your eye or any unusual uses for Buffs in the comments section.
If you like this, take a look at the whole Kit For Your Trip section, full of great tried and tested kit for you to take on your travels.