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Reviews > Clothing > Accessories > Buff Coolnet UV > Test Report by Kurt Papke
Buff Coolnet UV+
|Height:||6' 4" (193 cm)|
|Weight:||230 lbs (105 kg)|
|Email address:||kwpapke (at) gmail (dot) com|
|City, State, Country:||Tucson, Arizona USA|
This is an interesting product to try and summarize. It is basically a seamless tube of fabric that stretches in all dimensions. The model I am testing is designed for hot, sunny climes, as it is made from a high UV protective (UPF 50+) Coolnet fabric (Coolmax Pro). The latter is a type of polyester, and I appreciate the fact that the product is made from recycled bottles (two bottles). The packaging was made from 80% recycled paper.
The manufacturer claims that it has cooling properties, and even has an included tag that indicated who (Hohenstein Institute) and how (HL 17.1.14.0179) that was tested. I went to their website but I was not able to access the testing protocol to see how the claim was established.
The manufacturer also claims that it has permanent odor control
technology (Polygiene) which, according to their website "uses low
concentrations of silver salt (silver chloride)". Silver is
a proven antimicrobial used in many garments.
An interesting aspect of the product is that it comes in so may colors and patterns. I hike a lot in Arizona, particularly in the Grand Canyon so I was excited to test a garment that uses imagery from that iconic venue.
One of the virtues of the Buff products is they can be configured for wear a number of different ways, as shown by an illustration I found on the Buff Canada website:
||Original Buff, S.A. Spain
||UV National Parks
|Country of manufacture
||National Parks Grand Canyon
||One size fits all adults|
||USD $17.50 (sale price, normally $25.00)
||Manufacturer: 1.4 oz (39.7 g)
Measured: 36 g (1.27 oz)
||Manufacturer: 20.5 x 9.75 in (52 x 25 cm)
Measured: 20.75 x 9 in (53 x 23 cm)
I am looking forward to getting this garment out into the
backcountry and trying it out. I am intrigued to experiment
with it in different configurations, in particular I'm curious how
much covering my mouth (and maybe my nose) impacts
breathing. The temperatures are warming up in Tucson
already, so I'll be able to check out any cooling effects in short
|May 5-6, 2019
||Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina
Mountains just North of Tucson, Arizona
Hirabayashi TH to Hutch's Pool
|Mostly sunny, slight breeze. High of
around 85 F, low of 46 F (29-8 C)
|May 18-19, 2019||Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Mountains just North of Tucson, Arizona||AZT: Marshall
Gulch TH to Lemmon Pools
|Mostly sunny, slight breeze, 36-60 F (2-16 C)|
|May 22-31, 2019
||Various locations near Juneau, AK
||Dayhikes from 1-4 miles
|Near sea level
||Sunny, 50-65 F (10-18 C)
|June 22-23, 2019||Mount Baldy Wilderness, near Pinetop, Arizona||Mount Baldy Loop
||20 miles (32 km)||9190-11142 ft
|Sunny, breezy, temperatures 30-68 F (-1-20 C)|
|July 6-7, 2019||Tonto National forest, Pinal
Peak just south of Globe, Arizona
|Partly cloudy, 55-70 F
Another overnight to a stellar but little-known water feature in the Catalina Mountains. There is a reason I am doing so many of these this year: we had great winter & spring rains, and the mountain pools are spectacular.
I wore the Buff continuously for the two days I was on the trail. I even slept in it. When I get sick it often starts in my throat, so I like to keep my neck warm. I used a quilt in my hammock on this trip and it was pretty chilly at night, and the Buff did a serviceable job of keeping my throat warm during the night as well as protecting it from sun during the day. It did not do bug protection duty on this trip.
In the above photo, my use on this trip is shown in the lower
left picture. I wasn't careful on this trip during the day
to make sure all of my neck was covered as is visible in the photo
- we hiked a lot in dappled shade and I wasn't too concerned about
Interestingly enough, several other hikers on this trip also had Buffs. I didn't know they were a "thing"!!
This week-long Alaskan cruise departing Juneau included daily shore, kayak and skiff excursions. We were early enough in the season that the bugs were not horrible yet, but they were certainly a factor. I wore the Buff on all the daily hikes, not so much to keep the sun off my neck but in case I had bug issues.
The main hike I needed it on was a short bushwhack to a muskeg, which is very swampy. The mosquitoes were bad enough that I put the buff up over my head and face like a snorkel. See the above photo at lower right. I looked a little silly, but I used no bug repellent yet had fewer bug issues than the folks I was hiking with. This made me feel very satisfyingly smug.
Though the number of hours I wore the buff on this trip were small, I was very glad I had it with me. Well worth the weight!
I have lived in Tucson, Arizona for 10 years, and never visited, much less hiked, Arizona's White Mountains. Mount Baldy, Arizona's second-highest peak is located there, and I needed some high-altitude training. I drove 5 hours to the trailhead early Saturday morning, hiked until I could no more, then got up the next morning and completed the loop before driving back. I was pretty beat that night when I arrived home.
I wore the Buff all the time I was hiking. This was a very high altitude hike, and at these elevations the sun can burn the skin very quickly. I never had to pull the Buff up over my face on this trip to protect myself from bugs. This is an equestrian as well as hiking trail, and there were lots of horseflies near the trailhead. I hate horseflies, but they love me. They trailed me for miles, but were never able to bite me in the neck because the Buff was in place. I think I am starting to understand the value of wearing this article of clothing.
This was an overnight car camping trip to a campground I had never been to before, despite being less than 3 hours from my house by car. I did some short day hikes up at the peak, but the Ponderosa pines had me going in and out of the shade all the time. I wore the Buff, but I was in no danger of serious sunburn. The temperatures were perfect for wearing it though.
OK, I'm a believer now, a reformed skeptic. The Buff kept me cool when it was warm by keeping it wet, it kept me warm when I was cold at night, it kept the horseflies off my neck when in equestrian territory, and kept mosquitoes and gnats off of my neck, face and ears. The only thing I didn't use for was to blow my nose, but I think I'll try that on my next trip.
The Buff looks pretty much like it did the day it arrived despite
hours in the Arizona sun and repeated washings. It has held
This is a warm/hot weather accessory, though I had my
doubts up-front. I won't take it on all my hikes, but I will
take it in place of insect repellent on many of my future hikes
because I hate using the stuff. I am glad to have an
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