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FR - Merino Wool Buff - Rebecca

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  • Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd
    I was so excited to finish and post my Dalea report yesterday I forgot all about posting the Buff report that s been written for a week. Here it is!
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2010
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      I was so excited to finish and post my Dalea report yesterday I forgot
      all about posting the Buff report that's been written for a week. Here
      it is!

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20Merino%20Wool%20Buff%20-%20Rebecca/

      During the Field Testing period the Buff has been a constant companion
      on all of my hikes.

      While Hiking:
      I typically wear it around my neck (as pictured above) while hiking,
      where it provides several functions depending on the conditions:
      Warm neck gaiter: great in cold and windy conditions
      Sweat rag: it's convenient to dab the sweat from my nose and forehead
      Sun protection: I don't like wearing collared shirts, so I need
      some kind of neck protection from the sun
      In camp:
      In camp I use the Buff in place of a bandanna where it fills in nicely
      for several functions. It makes a useful kitchen device, functioning
      as both a pot holder and a dinner cozy. The nice thing is that the
      wool dries quickly, so if the Buff is all dirty from a hot day on the
      trail, I can rinse it out and have it fresh and dry by the time dinner
      rolls around. When I crawl into my tent, the Buff is with me as well.
      I stuff it with my jacket and/or any extra clothes and use it as a
      pillow at night.

      Comfort:
      Around my neck, the Buff is hardly noticeable. In fact, there have
      been many times when I have forgotten I had it on until I get home and
      get ready to shower. The merino wool is soft and doesn't itch at all,
      even when used as a pillow case. It is loose and not restricting in
      the way I wear it. On hotter days the Buff provides sun protection for
      my neck and also functions as a sweat rag - it is easy to pull it up
      and wipe the sweat and trail dust off of my nose or forehead. It isn't
      very absorbent but it gets the job done. On colder days the Buff
      provides a nice amount of warmth and wind protection between my hat
      and jacket. I can easily pull it up over my ears and/or nose in a
      balaclava style if it gets very cold. The material is thin enough that
      I can breathe through it when it is pulled up and over my nose.

      There were a few hikes where it was simply too hot to keep the merino
      wool Buff around my neck. I found this limit to be around 75 degrees F
      (24 C) with sun. I should note that I have been able to wear my other
      Coolmax Buffs in very hot temperatures without discomfort, but they
      have not been as warm in colder temperatures. After this test, I will
      stick with the wool Buff for winter use and the Coolmax Buff for
      summer use.

      Care:
      The first three times I used the Buff I forgot to throw it in the wash
      when I got home. It had approximately 30 miles (48 km) of sweaty,
      dirty hiking on it before its first wash. This is where the merino
      wool shines. It didn't stink. Twice I found it in the bottom of my
      pack, under tons of stinky clothing and gear, and didn't notice any
      smell at all the next time I used it (without washing it in between).
      Washing it is as simple as throwing it in the laundry with the rest of
      my clothes. I haven't noticed any shrinking or bleeding of the bright
      red color.

      Summary
      The Buff is a versatile and useful piece of gear that comes along on
      all of my dayhikes and backpacking trips. I find uses for it
      throughout the entire day and it has functioned admirably for each
      use.

      Pros:
      Comfortable, non-itchy wool
      Dries quickly
      Doesn't stink like a synthetic

      Cons:
      Isn't super absorbent
      A bit too warm for hot weather use

      Check back in approximately two months for my long term report.
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