Best Neck Gaiter: Protection from the Neck Up in Every Season

Neck gaiters keep you warm in winter, cool in summer, block UV rays, and can protect your face too. Here’s the latest in neck gaiter tech.
Three anglers standing on a rock fishing.

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Neck gaiters are versatile pieces of apparel that can help you stay comfortable no matter the conditions you’re facing. During warm days, thin and lightweight neck gaiters can help keep you cool and block harmful UV rays. On frigid days, the best neck gaiter is an essential piece of winter clothing, keeping you warm by providing insulation that covers your neck, face, and head.

There are several types of neck gaiters on the market today. A traditional neck gaiter is a flexible tube of material that slides over your head and fits around your neck. Unlike a scarf, it has no endings to wrap and unwrap. You can pull this kind of gaiter up to cover your face and head. You can even wear it like a headband. Another popular version of a neck gaiter is a balaclava, which includes a built-in head cap. Regardless of which type of neck gaiter you get, the main differences you will find are the material that the gaiters are made out of, and the size.

Best Neck Gaiter for Cold Weather: Turtle Fur Double-Layer Midweight Micro Fur Fleece Neck Warmer

Best Merino Wool Neck Gaiter: Minus33 Merino Wool 730 Midweight Neck Gaiter

Best Neck Gaiter for Cool-Weather Fishing: Simms Gore-Tex Infinium Neck Gaiter

Best Neck Gaiter for Hunting: RedHead Form Fit Spandex Scent Control Camo 3/4 Face Mask

Best Neck Gaiter for Warm-Weather Fishing: Buff Coolnet Uv Multifunctional Headwear+

Best Cheap Neck Gaiter: Unisex Sun Protection Face Bandana Neck Gaiter

Features To Consider When Shopping for the Best Neck Gaiter

When you’re on the market for a new neck gaiter, you first need to know if you need a neck gaiter that will keep you cool in the warm weather months, or one to stay warm during the winter. After that, fit, functionality, and fabric matter. The following guide will help you find the best neck gaiter for your needs. All you need to decide is the look you want.

Are You Looking for A Gaiter To Keep You Warm?

A neck gaiter for cold weather will be thicker and denser than neck gaiters made for warm weather. The first thing you need to do is make sure you get one that is still breathable when you wear it over your mouth and nose. These neck gaiters will likely be made out of insulated material, from fleece to wool to GORE-TEX. This insulation keeps you warm. But it can also hinder you. You don’t want your neck gaiter to make it difficult to breathe in when you’re exerting yourself.

Pay attention not only to the type of material a gaiter is made out of but also the thickness of it. Some neck gaiters allow you to breathe easier by incorporating vents and flaps around the nose or mouth into their design. This can work well, but the drawback is that these vents can also let some cold air to seep in.

Best Neck Gaiter for Cold Weather: Turtle Fur Double-Layer Midweight Micro Fur Fleece Neck Warmer

Sturdy Comfort

Turtle Fur makes a large variety of different styles of winter neck gaiters. They’re all high-quality products and often feature nifty designs. Their Double-Layer Midweight Neck Warmer standard neck gaiter uses Micro Fur Pontetorto Tecnofleece to keep you warm. It’s not too bulky or thick, and is soft and breathable. It’s ideal for winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

Is a Merino Wool Neck Gaiter a Good Choice?

As with other pieces of outdoor apparel, the fabric of a neck gaiter is of paramount importance. This is especially true for outdoor gear made specifically for cold weather situations. You don’t want a gaiter made out of subpar material that will tear or simply not keep you warm enough.

Most neck gaiters on the market today are made out of some kind of synthetic blend of spandex and polyester. Such gaiters are moisture-resistant, warm, flexible, and breathable. But many of them won’t stand up to the coldest conditions. That’s where merino wool comes in. Merino wool is impressively warm, not scratchy like standard wool products, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, and has natural flexibility. Merino wool is the gold-standard of base layers, and works wonderfully as a cold-weather neck gaiter.

Best Merino Wool Neck Gaiter: Minus33 Merino Wool 730 Midweight Neck Gaiter

Soft and warm

The Minus33 Merino Wool Midweight Neck Gaiter is a classic-style neck gaiter that is made entirely out of Australian merino wool. It’s a midweight gaiter, which means it’s warm but still breathable. The interlock knit construction prevents heat from seeping out, and is durable. It’s a great pick for extreme cold.

Do You Need a Neck Gaiter for Fishing in Cool Weather?

A neck gaiter is a great piece of equipment for every angler. Fishing exposes you—and your neck—to the elements. If you’re fishing in cool weather, the fishing gaiter should be water-resistant, so that it stays warm even if it gets wet.

Fishermen should get a neck gaiter that is comfortable and flexible. You don’t want your gaiter to bunch up or restrict your range of motion (one of the worst things that can happen in fishing is missing a take because you were distracted by your own equipment). You need to get a neck gaiter that you don’t have to think about once you put it on.

Best Neck Gaiter for Cool-Weather Fishing: Simms Gore-Tex Infinium Neck Gaiter

Supreme Design

Simms is known for making top-quality waders, and the Gore-Tex Infinium Neck Gaiter matches that commitment to quality. The Gore-Tex construction makes the gaiter windproof, water-resistant, and warm. Laser-cut breathing holes keep the gaiter breathable. This neck gaiter is not ideal for extremely warm days, but it’s a great option for nippy and cold days on the water.

Do You Need a Neck Gaiter for Hunting?

A neck gaiter probably isn’t the first piece of equipment that comes to mind when you’re putting together your hunting outfit. But a neck gaiter could make the difference between having an enjoyable day hunting your favorite plot of land and being miserable because of the cold, or even send you home early. A good gaiter will prevent all that body heat from chimneying up and out of your top layer. It’s ideal for putting on once you reach your stand, or take a break from still hunting.

Neck gaiters for hunting are often camo patterned. That’s important on a longer gaiter, because you can pull it up to keep your face hidden. As with fishing, the neck gaiter you bring hunting should be flexible and comfortable, and not impede your head movement when you’re looking for game.

Best Neck Gaiter for Hunting: RedHead Form Fit Spandex Scent Control Camo 3/4 Face Mask

Stay Warm and Hidden

The RedHead Form Fit Spandex Scent Control Camo Three-Quarter Face Mask is flexible, form-fits to cover your entire face along with your neck, has a top section that you can pull up over your eyes for even more warmth and camouflage. Built-in SilverClear Scent Control Technology reduces your scent signature and lasts over 100 washes. Three different camo print options allow you to blend into your surroundings. The mask is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and fast-drying.

Do You Need a Neck Gaiter for Sun Protection?

During the warm months and in perpetually hot climates, a UV neck gaiter will keep you cool and protect you from sunburn and skin damage. That’s especially true if you’re out on the water, which reflects the sun rays. If you’re fishing, a fishing neck gaiter is doubly helpful because you won’t have to constantly reapply sunscreen, which gets all over your hands and makes your tackle difficult to handle. And if it gets really hot out there, you can dip the gaiter in water to help cool off your neck.

A UV blocking gaiter will be very lightweight. It will be similar in construction and function to a long-sleeve sun-protection shirt. A UV neck gaiter should have some moisture-wicking qualities, otherwise it will become warm and uncomfortable when you inevitably start to sweat. It should be stretchy and comfortable. Look for a neck gaiter that is rated to at least UPF 35+ sun protection. Anything less than that isn’t worth wearing.

Best Neck Gaiter for Warm-Weather Fishing: Buff Coolnet Uv Multifunctional Headwear

Literally Cool

Buff is a classic maker of warm-weather neck gaiters. The company offers a lot of slick patterns, making their neck gaiters especially stylish. The Buff Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear is the company’s best offering for sun protection. HeiQ cooling technology keeps you comfortable even on the hottest days. Polygiene odor control means you can wear the gaiter more than once without having to wash it. 4-way ULTRA STRETCH material makes it flexible and comfortable—it’s so stretchy that you can even wear it as a cap, balaclava, or hair tie. UPF 50+ sun protection keeps your skin safe.

Best Budget Neck Gaiter What You Get For Under $3

There’s a wide variety of neck gaiters out there, and some are very affordable. A budget neck gaiter might not have as high-quality construction as a more expensive version, and it might wear out faster, but a cheap neck gaiter is still definitely better than nothing. Just don’t expect to get a fancy design or creative pattern.

Best Cheap Neck Gaiter: Unisex Sun Protection Face Bandana Neck Gaiter

Affordable Function

To say the Fedciory Neck Gaiter is affordable is an understatement. For under $10, you get a four-pack of gaiters. They’re lightweight and elastic. They won’t keep you very warm, but they do protect against UV rays and from dust and wind. They come only in solid colors. This is a great option for someone looking for neck gaiters on a budget, or wants to keep spare gaiters in the truck and boat.


Q: What is the best material for a neck gaiter?

The best neck gaiter material depends on what you’re using it for. During the winter, a merino wool neck gaiter will be the warmest, but synthetic blends do just fine, too. If you need a gaiter for warm weather, make sure it has UV protection built in.

Q: Should I get a neck gaiter or a balaclava?

A balaclava won’t fall down on you like some neck gaiters will, and it will always keep your head covered. But a neck gaiter is more versatile. You can wear it around your neck, or over your face and head as well, if needed.

Q: Do neck gaiters come in sizes?

Most companies offer one-size fits most neck gaiters for adults, along with a separate size for kids. Because many neck gaiters are made of flexible material, they fit most people.

A Final Word on Shopping for Neck Gaiters

If you’re looking for the best neck gaiter to wear during warm weather, make sure it has sun protection built in, and is breathable. Gaiters for cold weather also need to be breathable, because you’ll pull it up high on your face during extreme cold conditions.