**The product discussed in this post was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. The Buff has been reviewed honestly and accurately to the best of my ability. For more details please read my disclaimer**
When the good folks at KitShack kindly offered me the chance to review one of their products, I have to admit choosing just one was really difficult! The website has an amazing range of colours and designs. I eventually settled on the Buff Thermal Hoodie in Vanadis Grey. I’ve had a couple of the standard neck tubes before and a fleece lined one too. I fell it love with them in my teens as a rock climber, I’ve always loved scarfs but these were so much more practical for outdoor activities. When I spotted the new design with a hood I was intrigued!
After choosing my product arrived in just 2 days which is a really fast turn-around. I was a little disappointed with the not-so-eco-friendly giant box it arrived it. I’ve recycled it, anyway that’s not really the point of the review.
The ‘Hoodie’ design is a hooded garment complete with neck and face coverage. To put it on you simply pull it over your head. It’s made for cold weather protection but is stylish enough for daily wear. The optional face covering layer can be pulled up over your nose and mouth for extra warmth or tucked down under your chin. You can wear it with the hood up or down too.
The Hoodie Buff is made with 60% Polyester knitted Polartec Thermal Pro (hood) and 40% Merino wool with a leather trimmed adjustable drawstring through the hood. It’s lighter weight than I was expecting at just 120g, it measures 24.5cm x 53cm. Apparently the Merino wool section is naturally anti-microbial so no bad smells after extended wear with the added bonus of good moisture management. I haven’t owned mine long enough to really test this but so far it does smell fine!
According to the website you can wear your Hoodie Buff skiing, snowboarding, climbing, running, skating, sledging, on the snow bike or motorbike. Since I didn’t have access to any of those activities I’ve been wearing mine when I go out. So far I’ve been shopping, gardening and birdwatching.
So what do I think? Well, the hood is lovely and soft, lightweight too. I’m very pleased with the colour and it looks great with my collection of black, and grey jackets and waterproofs. The grey colour blends in well with other neutral clothing items so it looks like part of the outfit.
There is one seam on the inside of the neck that irritated my skin a little but the more I wear it the softer it gets so I think the harsh seam just needed ‘breaking in’. I do have delicate and easily irritated skin because of my Ehlers Danlos so I wouldn’t let that aspect of the review put you off buying one. From a comfort point of view I am impressed with how warm it is despite being fairly thin and lightweight. It’s not bulky or restrictive and the hood stays up well even with my hair tucked in the back.
The whole thing squashes up to be about the size of a grapefruit. It easily fits in a large pocket, like those on waterproofs. This is a massive plus for me because I suck at regulating my body temperature. I often swing between hot and cold especially when outdoors and undertaking physical activity. I usually find myself stuffing a hat and scarf into my handbag or rucksack. Something pocket-sized gives me more options with less space and less hassle.
Style wise I’ve said it blends in well with my waterproofs and jackets but there is one more big bonus. It covers my allergy mask nicely. As some of my friend/readers will know I have a respiratory allergy to a specific leaf mould. Leaf kicking in autumn becomes a little less fun if you can’t breathe. This autumn and winter I starter wearing an allergy mask from Respro. It does the job really well and I’ve been outdoors a lot more as a result. The only downsides are the questions and staring. I don’t usually mind answering questions about my health (I’m all for raising awareness) but sometimes I just want to walk the dog and catch Pokémon. The Buff hoodie gives me the option to be protected from allergens in stealth. It works a lot better than the hat / scarf/ mask combination too. Less fuzzy surfaces for me to get the masks’ velcro stuck to! It also means I can chop down trees in the garden without looking like and extra from Dexter or CSI.
Oh and if you do decide to get one, keep an eye out for the yellow Buff label, it’s actually a sticker! Mine is now proudly covering some of the scratches on my wheelchair.
Any questions or comments please do let me know.