If you’re a prepper or a camping and hiking fanatic, you may have already heard of neck gaiters or face shield masks.
Neck gaiters are amazingly versatiles and are often used during outdoor excursions or sports.
And for good reasons…
There are endless ways how to wear a neck gaiter.
While the term “neck gaiter” is normally thought of as a cold-weather alternative to a scarf.
But what I’m talking about today is something a bit different. It’s more of a face shield mask/neck gaiter combination…
Regardless of what we call it – these pieces of cloth are essential for survival, preparedness, and outdoor adventures.
And I think everyone should own at least one.
So, today, let’s discuss everything I know about neck gaiters, such as:
Neck Gaiter Guide
What Is A Neck Gaiter
Neck gaiters are an excellent clothing item to keep in your survival gear.
For those who don’t know, neck gaiters are tubular scarves, and are useful for covering your ears, face, nose, throat and head with its flexible coverage.
A gaiter sits differently on the head and neck than a scarf.
Whereas a scarf is coiled around the neck, in normal wear, a gaiter is placed over the head and pulled down to the clavicle like a sock over a foot.
While a scarf can loosen and come undone from how it was initially wrapped, a gaiter will stay secure; A good benefit to the user is hands free usage. It won’t loosen unless you manually adjust it.
What Is A Neck Gaiter Used For
The gaiter provides varying degrees of coverage for a wide range of conditions in hot or cold weather.
It can be pulled over the skull and worn like a cap, or pulled up around the cheeks to protect the ears from chill.
Unlike a scarf, a quality neck gaiter can be worn in summertime and keep out annoying insects such as chiggers, ants, mosquitoes, ticks and flies to name just a few.
When buying a gaiter, make sure you find something that fits snugly.
If it’s loose with enough gap, cold air will be felt in the air pocket. Some products are advertised as one size fits all, and that may be, but check to be sure that it isn’t too short or long for you.
You don’t want fabric bunching up your neck or a shortage of coverage. And keep in mind to look for thick or thin, depending on your needs.
Many models are available with an adjustable draw cord for a tighter fit and will seal out the elements.This is fine, but if you want full coverage above the cheekbones, find models that allow you to do so.
The stitching and drawstring on some models prevent this from happening.
How To Wear A Neck Gaiter
A gaiter can be pulled up and over the head until it forms the shape of a periscope.
This look, while silly in appearance, fully covers your face and mirrors the appearance of wearing a balaclava hood; something that cannot be done with a scarf.
Really, a gaiter has multiple configurations it can be worn in, unlike a motorcycle half-mask, bandanna or scarf. And it can be worn under a helmet, baseball cap or ski-cap while fully protecting the ears and face.
For tactical wear, you can quickly conceal your face from identification and unmask just as fast. A good pair of dark eye-pro helps too.
Unlike a scarf, a gaiter doesn’t need to be readjusted in order to perform vigorous activities such as sports, or chores.
Running in the winter is easier to do without being bothered by loosening protective wear.
Riding your bike or cycle in the winter is great and bending over to gather firewood becomes more manageable too.
Try bending over a running engine in the winter with a loose scarf and I think you’ll get a good choke.
15 Ways To Use A Neck Gaiter
- Scarf – simply pull the tube scarf over your neck for an effortlessly cool look, which will also keep you warm.
- Hood – This covers most of your head and is excellent for staying warm. Keep the front of the neck scarf under your chin, and pull the back up to cover your head.
- Face Mask – Start with the tube scarf on your neck, then pull it up to just below your eyes. This style is ideal to protect against dirt, dust, rain or cold.
- Neck Warmer – keep it around your neck but pull it up over your chin and the back of your neck. A great way to protect against wind burn when cycling.
- Sun Guard – put it around your neck and pull the back up and over the back of your head – this works particularly well when worn under a hat or helmet.
- Head Band – Wear the neck warmer round your forehead to keep pesky hair at bay or absorb sweat when you’re on a long hike. Scrunch it up for a more casual look or fold it to look like a pro.
- Bandana – Take your neck warmer and turn it inside out. Put both of your arms through the garment and cross the grab the ends of opposite sides of the tube. Pull both ends to form a knot at 1/3 from the end of the tube – shape it a bit so the opening is large enough to fit your head. Place on your head and adjust the knot until the fit is perfect. This can be worn under your helmet without having to adjust the helmet size.
- Wristband – wrap around your wrist enough times till the fit is snug, a great way to absorb sweat on runs.
- Hat Liner – a neck scarf is thin and lightweight enough to be worn under a hat for extra warmth and protection against windburn. Lay it over your head and simply pop your hat on top.
- Helmet Liner – just like the hat liner, use a scarf to add an extra layer underneath your helmet.
- Beanie/Cap – First grab your neck tube and turn it inside out. Place one end of the tube on the top of your head, and then twist it in the centre at least twice. Then take the opening above the twist and pull it down over your head.
- Sahariane– One of the most classic ways to wear a neck warmer. Turn it inside out, lay it flat over your head with the openings at the front and the back. Open the top layer of the tube, hold inside with a hand over your forehead and with the other hand pull the top layer down over your head to form a cap shape.
- Bobble hat – Give your beanie hat a bit of a flair with the single layered bobble hat style. Start off with the beanie, but tie the loose end of the neck warmer into a big knot instead of pulling it down over your head.
- Do Rag – A simple do rag pulled over your head and left open at the back means you can protect your neck from the sun.
- Foulard – Start with the hairband, but open up the back of the neck warmer slightly. Create some fabulous hairdos with this style!
What to Look For In A Neck Gaiter
Not all neck gaiters are created equal. And with new textile and printing processes, neck gaiters just keep getting better…
So let’s go over a few of the features to look for when buying a new neck gaiter.
First off, this is important if you plan to use your neck gaiter in hot weather OR cold weather. If this sounds like you, then you’ll want to go for a newer material that’s both breathable and not scratchy.
2. UV Protection
If you’re going to invest in a neck gaiter make sure it’s one with built-in UV protection. Sure any cloth material is better than nothing when it comes to sun protection.
However, I’ve worn a super-thin shirt when outside all day. I was assuming I was protected, only to discover the sun’s UV rays blasted straight through it.
So make sure the material you choose for you neck gaiter is made to block UV rays. This keeps your neck from looking like an angry lobster at dinner…
Everyone has a different sized neck. So the best neck gaiters take this into account by using flexible stretch materials.
This “feature” is highly personal. Do you want something that looks menacing like a skeleton? OR are you more likely to wear something with a pretty flower pattern on it?
So just be aware if you don’t love the design options available. You can always keep shopping around until you do. Just don’t skimp on all the other “more practical” features for the design alone.
As always the price can be a feature. If you can get your hands on a decent quality FREE neck gaiter or face shield mask– then you have nothing to lose. So you might as well give it a tryright?
But if you have to fork over $100 for a neck gaiter, well, then it best be the most amazing neck gaiter I’ve ever seen. And it should be able to cook dinner and wash the dishes too!
The point is, price always comes into play with any survival gear. FREE can be amazing but it can also mean cheap POS as well. But since the risk is so low, it’s normally worth checking out.
Or you can invest a few more dollars on something that’s a bit more proven. Your choice.
5 Best Neck Gaiters / Face Shield
Finding the “best” neck gaiters on the market today can be an overwhelming task. You can spend hours and hours hunting around online. Wasting time reading hundreds of reviews, only to end up being more confused than ever.
The number of neck gaiters and cloth face shields coming on the market is stunning.
That’s why we’re here to help you cut through the chaos and show you our top favorite neck gaiters on the market today:
1 – Tactical Black Face Shield
The is the neck gaiter I want to highlight first.
Why? Because it’s of excellent quality AND affordability.
Let’s cover the quality first.
This Tactical Black Face Shielis ideal for hunting, bike riding, fishing, and any outdoor activity.
It’s also great for protecting yourself from breathing harmful dust when mowing the lawn or on construction sites.
This Face Shield is durable, it won’t fall off, it keeps its colors and it holds its shape!
So if your an active outdoorsman, or woman, you won’t be disappointed.
Plus, at the time of this article being published, you could get The Tactical Black Face Shield for FREE (just pay s&h). So, Click Here Now to see if this fantastic deal is still available!
Other colors available:
2-Tough Headwear Fleece Neck Warmer
This Neck Warmer/Gaiter by Tough Headwear is ready for anything but looks less menacing and more stylish than other neck gaiters.
It’s a double-layered neck warmer and will keep your neck warm and cozy, even in the coldest winter weather.
This Tough Headwear neck warmer is also reversible. One side a stylish design, the other classic black. So you can rock one style on the slopes and another going out with friends.
It’s 3 accessories all in one – an ear warmer headband, a face mask, and neck tube.
It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can’t beat that!Get the Lowest Price on Amazon
3-JOEYOUNG 3D Face Sun Mask
The JOEYOUNG 3D Face Shield Mask is unique with its visual 3D effect.
This 3D effect is great for camouflage if you’re a hunter.
This neck gaiter also passes the SGS UPF TEST – so it blocks up to 95% of the harmful ultraviolet rays.
The JOEYOUNG Neck Gaiter is made of 100% Polyester microfiber. It has exceptional absorbing and wicking features. So it’s cool in summer but warm in winter.
The standard size is 18.9 inches long, 9.4 inches wide and 0.4 MM thick. It’s also highly stretchable so it easily fits both teenagers as well as adults of all ages.Get the Lowest Price on Amazon
4- Terra Kuda Face Clothing Neck Gaiter Mask
The Terra Kuda Face Neck Gaiter is designed to always be mission ready.
Whether you’re in the backcountry, on the water, or cutting a mountain trail, these face and neck covers are designed to protect you from the outdoor elements.
Unlike other leading brands, The Terra Kuda Face Neck Gaiter’sunique design outperforms the competition while staying in place over your nose, even during strenuous activities.
This is thanks to their utilization of cutting-edge fabric welding technology.
It’s both THIN-lightweight and BREATHABLE.
The Terra Kuda Neck Gaiter provides UV protection up to UPF 20 (varies slightly based on the model: color/pattern).
It’s “one size fits most” with dimensions approximately 18.5 inches x 10 inches.Get the Lowest Price on Amazon
5. MIDWEIGHT NECK GAITER
With an extra 2″ in length and featuring 250 gsm Merino-X, the Midweight Neck Gaiter could be the most comfortable, versatile and important addition this season.
This Neck Gaiter can be worn around your neck for warmth and comfort and then easily pulled up over the back of your head and up over your nose for extreme cold and maximum concealment.
This Neck Gaiter is also a great piece of gear for winter fishing, snowmobiling, skiing or snowboarding when the weather gets cold and nasty.Get the Lowest Price on Amazon
As a survival site, we’re always on the hunt for the best gear for any sort of survival or emergencies situation.
In the past, we’ve covered most of the obvious survival gear we think everyone should own, such as:
- a bug out bag
- a survival flashlight
- survival shovel
- survival machetes
- water containers
- Neck gaiters
- etc., etc., etc.
What other survival gear would you like us to review on this website? We want to know your opinions. You can share them below.