What’s on top? It’s an important question for colder weather running and exercise. Let’s consider how we can stay warm on the run this fall and winter with some smart layering. Wintry weather is beginning to surface even though the calendar still says fall. Today’s blogpost is a review of the BuffUSA ThermoNet hat and multifunctional headwear that I have been testing for a solid month from September 22-November 12 (today) in Nebraska and in Indiana. But first a disclaimer: I received a BuffUSA ThermoNet hat and multifunctional headwear garments to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
The particular type of Thermonet I tested in this cycle is designed for cold weather and is up to 4X warmer than other comparable warming garments. It is technical fabric, containing thermal insulation,
it is shaped comfortably, and it is fast drying. An added benefit is that it is made of 70% recycled content.
The new ThermoNet™ multifunctional headwear provides maximum protection from the cold. This comfortable, thin multifunctional headwear is made with breathable, durable PrimaLoft® yarn that is four times warmer than regular microfiber. The result of years of research and testing, ThermoNet™ multifunctional headwear wicks moisture away from your skin while trapping heat inside, keeping you comfortable and dry in even the most frigid winter weather.
Buff’s new ThermoNet™ Hat provides maximum protection from the cold with a breathable, durable PrimaLoft® yarn that is four times warmer than regular microfiber. The result of years of research and testing, the ThermoNet™ Hat wicks moisture away from your skin while trapping heat inside, keeping your head comfortable and dry in even the most frigid winter weather.
As far as the hat, I found it to be very comfortable and functional. I stopped wearing other hats as often. I did not need to layer with other hats as much as some of my other hats. When I did pair it with something, it seemed to blend best with the convertible headwear that I tested. It did keep my head dry which is a big advantage, especially for those of us who sweat a lot. And on rainy/snowy runs, it will keep you dry too. I did test the hat as a top and bottom layer with other hats as well as with a fleece headband over it. I did seem to prefer the ThermoNet as the bottom layer because it keeps your head dry. When wearing ThermoNet as the top layer, it seemed that my head didn’t stay as dry as when I wore it as the bottom layer (unless I combined the ThermoNet hat/headwear). So I think we have a wicking advantage wearing it as the bottom layer according to my testing experience.
The multifunctional headwear is very versatile: it can be a hat or scarf and one can adjust it to place it over your nose and mouth, or just your mouth, or covering your chin. It is easily folded,
bunched as a scarf, and performed well even as a loose-style long stocking cap. It is extremely valuable to pull over your ears when running as the cold/wind can create some chilly moments.
The warmth of the headwear that I prefer to call “scarf” is very noticeable. And on cold/windy days, I really appreciated being able to block the cold/wind and breathe through the scarf. The only difficulty with wearing it as a scarf if you wear glasses is that it can result in glasses/shades fogging over if you cover your nose too long with it. But I’ll take foggy glasses anyday over being too cold and uncomfortable on the run.
Winter running is very challenging for me. And as a lean person with big ears and a larger nose, my extremities get cold very easily (my head, my hands and feet). The cold can bother my asthma if it’s extreme cold or coupled with wind. I felt stronger wearing the Buff over my mouth especially. As I usually run with nasal breathing when I am able to, I covered my nose with it occasionally and it did keep my nose warm. In fact, if necessary, you can cover almost your entire face with it (leaving room for your eyes to see of course). The less surface area exposed to cold, the better. Don’t risk frostbite.
While testing the BuffUSA hat/headwear, I noticed my tolerance of the cold and wind seemed to shift: I feel stronger and warmer wearing these (that explains the hidden smile under the Buff covering my mouth that you cannot see). After all, if we can cover our ears, nose, and mouth with a scarf to make it through a run, it’s worth it. If the temperature shifts warmer, then I simply pull the hat back up over my ears and shift the scarf into a loose configuration around my neck. Sometimes with shifting winds and temperatures, it is necessary to shift the configurations a few times on the same run. But I found that for the most part I was able to make those adjustments while running, without having to stop (unless slipping a hat/scarf on/off, then stopping works better). So there is a strong convenience edge to wearing and using these garments.
The “scarf” as I’m calling it can also be folded and used as a headband if desired. Or a semicircular globe covering the entire top of your head (like a hat). So that’s at least 6 possible uses for the scarf headwear: loose scarf over your neck, scarf covering mouth, scarf covering mouth and nose, loose hat on top, tight hat on top, and headband. One bonus configuration is the one covering your ears as well, especially with the companion hat. So that’s 7 possible configurations for it. None of my other scarfs can do this. Can yours?
The garments wash easily. Usually, I just wash them in zipper bags and hang dry them on the rack. Hand washing works too and I did htat a few times. I did find that they dry quickly compared to other running clothes. And I noticed this on the run too. Sweat seemed to evaporate faster from these garments than others where trapped sweat freezes and makes us feel cold.
As far as precipitation, I did test both in the rain and a little bit of snow. Neither seemed to have much effect on these garments. The precipitation is kept away and we stay dry regardless of the weather.
Yes, I even wore the hat and headwear a little on the treadmill inside too. Just so you can distinguish between the two in the pictures, my hat is mostly blue overhead and the headwear/scarf is mostly yellow overhead (if that helps).
Stylistically, I like the color blends and styles. I actually had a little trouble picking which one I wanted because I like blue and purple. But blue is my favorite. It says these are made in Barcelona, Spain so there might be a little Spanish style and influence in the design.
These garments are designed to mix and match. So I tested these with each other, but also with companion hats made by Patagonia, BocoGear, etc. And regardless of which one I used the BuffUSA with,
the performance was constant and strong. It never disappointed me in any way. The hats had superior softness and were surprisingly lightweight, thin as well. And only one of my other hats seemed to have more warming ability than the BuffUSA ThermoNet: my Patagonia hat (the Patagonia one is thicker fabric with more layers). My ThermoNet outperformed all my other hats and headwear.
The performance fabric used in these ThermoNet garments is called Primaloft and it is eco-friendly (containing recycled content).
One thing I noticed is that it is tough to not wear these two garments together. They are designed to be almost a seamless blend of comfortable warming fabric. Once we get used to that as runner/athletes, we don’t want to part with them. And if you wear them as a double hat (using the long one in the loose configuration) together, it’s easy to remove the top hat and stow it in a pocket. I was impressed at how warm the hat/scarf kept me. On some colder days, I just threw a fleece headband over the ThermoNet hat (just to double-cover ears mainly) and didn’t feel cold at all.
Would you like to try the BuffUSA Thermonet headwear? (The one that I tested is called ThermoNet Arrowhead.) Receive 20% off your entire order at www.buffusa.com when you purchase at least one product from the ThermoNet™ collection. Includes ThermoNet™ Multifunctional Headwear, Hats or Balaclavas. Enter code: BIBRAVETHERMONET20 at checkout. Expires: 11/21/2017
Would you like to learn more about BuffUSA Thermonet and possibly win some? Then please join us for #BibChat on Tuesday, November 14 at 8pm Central time. Participate in the chat and you may be a winner! (Must follow BibRave and BuffUSA to win.)
I was amazed at how many comments I got from friends with this headwear: some thought it looked like camoflauge, others thought our dog needed a matching set, and the jury was split on whether or not I should cover my nose with it or not (hahaha!).
It’s important to remember than in winter, many times one layer will not be enough to keep us warm enough to keep cold/wind away and prevent frostbite. Layer up with two or more and we can run safer and stay warmer. Try these, you’ll love them! I’m confident they will quickly become some of your favorite hats.
Here’s two strong, versatile layers I highly recommend without any reservation: the ThermoNet hat and multifunctional headwear. Get ’em before the cold strikes. (Don’t just get one, get both. And get a Buff baclava to stay warm too while you’re at it. Why not?) Enjoy your running and stay warm everyone!