Skiing is a winter sport that takes you into some of the chilliest climates on Earth. As such, you always need to ensure you’re bundled up when hitting the slopes. There are many ways to make that happen, and some skiers enjoy using a neck gaiter (warmer) to better keep the chill off their body as they go up and down a run.
While many people might not know popular neck warmers, the following options are some of the best money can buy. We evaluated each one based on numerous criteria, including build, look, and insulation, and used that to choose the best of the best.
- Dakine is a trusted winter wear brand, which is why their neck warmer works so well. This item is the best all-around gaiter on the market, and that quality makes it great for skiers who want a little bit of everything. It is warm, feels soft, and has a unique shape that protects both your neck and the top of your chest. There are also several colors to pick from if you’re someone who likes to have options.
- Few Gaiters offer the comfort of the Turtle Fur Fleece. This option has two acrylic layers, making it perfect for skiers who value warmth. The insulation is fantastic, keeping you toasty even on the coldest days. In addition, it has a unique look and multiple color options. If you’re a skier who cares about how their gear looks, or who likes to match their equipment to their style, this is a good choice.
- While it’s not as warm as some other options in this guide, the Buff Original is extremely versatile. This item can be worn in twelve different ways, allowing you to freely adapt to your surroundings. Though the light construction won’t hold up to extreme cold, it’s extremely effective on lighter days. It also helps block out the sun and can be used as a wrist or headband. The best choice for skiers who like options.
Who Should Get This?
Any skier, regardless of skill level or ability, can enjoy a well-made neck warmer. Unlike a jacket or boot that can only be worn in one way, gaiters can be used in a multitude of different conditions. Some people wear them on their necks in frigid temperatures, while others pull them over their heads like a balaclava or fold them into a headband. They can suit any environment.
However, that being said, the clothing items are best suited for those who often find themselves in particularly harsh or unforgiving weather. A neck warmer is fine for a warmer day, especially when folded into a sun-blocking bandana, but they are best used when temperatures get extremely low and the snow starts to dump down on the mountain.
Best Neck Gaiters and Warmers for Skiing: What to Consider
As with any piece of ski gear, you want a gaiter made from premium materials. Most utilize either fleece polyester, acrylic, or merino wool. Some are natural, while others are synthetic. All of those options will keep you warm out on the mountain. However, wool tends to be a little less durable than synthetic materials. It can be a bit pricier as well. Keep that in mind when picking out your warmer.
Neck warmers, as their name suggests, need to work to keep the heat in and the cold out. Even models with excellent ventilation should protect your neck from outside moisture. Always pay attention to the amount of insulation a warmer provides before making your final purchase. See how it sits, how tightly it fits, as well as the different ways you can use it. Even the best gaiters aren’t worth it if they don’t lock out the chill.
Finally, pay attention to how your gaiter feels. Relatively speaking, you’re never going to find a warmer that weighs you down or holds you back. However, you should always cut excess weight when you can. If you only ski in light conditions or on clear days, choose a lighter gaiter that won’t get in the way. If you like to brave tough terrain in the dead of winter, it is best to get a heavier model.
Best Neck Gaiters and Warmers for Skiing: Our Picks
The Dakine Neck Gaiter is a no-nonsense option perfect for skiers who don’t need extra frills. The simple design may not pop, but it keeps your neck warm and the cold air out. It is also durable and can hold up for a long, long time. The Pro Stretch liner works extremely well, while the polyester construction is both soft and warm.
What We Like:
- Pro stretch liner
- Polyester construction
- Warm and comfortable
- Various color options
What We Do Not Like:
- Simple appearance
The Turtle Fur Fleece is one of the warmest gaiters around. Constructed with two acrylic layers, the item is soft, thick, and comfortable. In fact, it is hard to find a more comfortable option on the current market. As an added bonus, the Turtle Fur looks great and comes in a range of exciting colors that go from deep blue to light pink.
What We Like:
- Double acrylic layer
- Soft and comfortable
- Extremely durable
- Thick construction keeps you warm
- Attractive appearance
- Available in many colors
What We Do Not Like:
- Single-size doesn’t work for everyone
- Can shed a lot after heavy use
The Buff Original is a simplistic gaiter with a lot of versatility. This option doesn’t just block out snow, it also can be worn as a headband to protect your skin from the sun. There are twelve ways to wear the Buff Original. The microfiber polyester construction does a great job of wicking away moisture as well. It is also incredibly lightweight, meaning you’ll barely notice it on your runs.
What We Like:
- Extremely versatile, can be worn in twelve ways
- Microfiber construction
- Wicks away moisture
- Different color styles and patterns
- Can be used to block out sunlight
What We Do Not Like:
- Not as warm as similar options
- Wears down quicker than we would like
Useful Tips and Information
A gaiter is a great way to add extra warmth to your skiing ensemble. However, it is not the only way you can stave off the cold out on the slopes. If you want other ways to keep warm on long runs or frigid days, consult the tips in this guide.
As mentioned above, warmers are one of the most versatile ski clothing options. There are many ways to wear them, which allows you to better adapt to the different conditions you might face. This video outlines some of the best ways to wear a warmer beyond the traditional setup.
Staying warm should always be your first priority when skiing. While the basic clothing package is typically enough, it doesn’t hurt to branch out and get extra accessories. A neck warmer may not seem important, but it goes a long way on those extremely cold outings or freezing days.
All of the gaiters listed in this article give you premium features on top of general warmth and comfort. They are incredibly versatile and provide you a completely new way to take on the mountain. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be satisfied.
Do you ever use neck warmers? Where and why? Let us know below!
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.