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Best cycling neckwarmers for riding in winter

Cyclist magazine
12 Mar 2021

More than simply a scarf, buying a good ‘buff’ – a neckwarmer – is one of the best winter cycling investments you can make

Essentially a tube-shaped scarf, a neckwarmer or buff this versatile piece of material can protect everything from your neck up to your forehead and ears depending on how you wear it.

Generally used for sealing the gap between the top of your jacket and your neck, they’re also great for keeping the cold off your nose and lungs during the first few kilometres of a cold ride. Ideally wicking and quick to dry, being made of a stretchy material means it’s largely a case of one size fits all.

Easily pocketable, with current laws in the UK, the humble neckwarmer can also double-up as a face covering instead of a disposable mask when going into communal indoor spaces.

Below are our seven top picks for neckwarmers for you to invest in this winter.

Best cycling neckwarmers for riding in winter

Buff Original 

The creme de la creme brand for neckwarmers is Buff, it is after all that it specialises in. The original Buff is its leading product and is the perfect option for us cyclists.

Very simply, the stretchy polyester microfibre material helps to wick away sweat and trap heat, keeping you warm on those cold rides while the Polygiene treatment given to the fabric is antibacterial meaning you can wash the Buff less as it won't smell as bad as quickly.

Buff also claims its neck tube can be worn in 13 different ways, versatile!

At £15.95, it is also reasonably priced and comes in some pretty groovy designs, not least the ‘Mount Everest’ print.

GripGrab Merino neck warmer

Being a Danish company, GripGrab knows a thing or two about cycling accessories that keep you snug and toasty throughout winter.

Its neckwarmer is no exception making use of wonder material merino wool, a natural fabric that has a soft and luxurious feel, providing your neck and face with a comforting soft hug when pulled up.

It may feel thin but rest assured, this will do the job of keeping the cold at bay while also wicking away any sweat built up on the climbs, again helping to keep you warm.

Available in black, grey and navy, this is a great option for those who prefer a less restrictive feel from their neckwarmer.

Rapha winter collar

Buy now from Rapha for £30.00

Rapha is very good at making excellent cycling garments and there is no exception from its winter collar.

Yes, it is £30 but there is a reason for this. It utilises that aforementioned merino wool material that is an excellent insulator and natural wicker of sweat. The top of the warmer is hemmed which will be more comfortable on the skin than the loose finish of some of the other options, and the bottom of the tube is cut wider to sit better on the rider’s shoulders.

And lastly, there is a little Rapha logo on the bottom meaning that when you wear this to Tescos, you will be able to proudly show off you are a cyclist.

PedalEd Tokaido neck warmer

Buy now from Condor Cycles for £38.00

If you get cold easily and heavy-duty is your thing, look no further than PedalEd’s Tokaido neck warmer. It was developed with the Silk Road Mountain Race in mind, an off-road adventure across the 4,000m high mountain passes of Kyrgystan where temperatures are unbelievably cold.

The inner material is Polartec’s Alpha fabric, developed originally for the US Special Forces, and helps to regulate the wearer’s core body temperature, high-grade stuff that will make mincemeat of the UK’s wintery conditions.

Altura neckwarmer

Another no-nonsense, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin, budget option, this time from Altura, expert in commuter wear.

It is light, stretchy, warm and comfortable, all the things you really need from a neckwarmer when cycling in winter. It also comes in some fun designs which is always a bonus.

Sure, it’s not as advanced as some of the previous options but sometimes simple is best.

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