BibRave Pro · Product Review

Buff Thermal Hoodie Review

Disclaimer: I received a Buff Thermal Hoodie to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  This is my honest opinion of the product.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hi everyone!  I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Alaska it has been a bit warmer than usual.  This weekend, however, the temperatures cooled down enough for me to need more protection from the elements than usual.  So it was perfect timing to try out the Buff Thermal Hoodie that I was sent to review as a BibRave Pro!  This is the first product I tested for BibRave (I’m still so incredibly excited to be a BibRave Pro!!!), and I felt that it couldn’t have been a more fitting item for someone who lives in Alaska!

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What’s the Buff Thermal Hoodie?  It’s literally a hood attached to a Buff!  If you’ve never worn a Buff you are seriously missing out – it’s a lightweight fabric tube that can be worn many different ways to either keep you warm in the winter or cool in the summer (check out the Buff website for instructions).  I’ve worn them over my face to protect me from the wind during some cold winter weather as well as a headband when it’s warmer out to catch my sweat.  But while the Buff Thermal Hoodie isn’t convertible like the original, it’s got the ability to be a really warm hood and a face covering at the same time!  When I first got the Buff Thermal Hoodie, I was surprised to find that the Buff part was double layered and that the hood was made out of fleece!  I usually wear fleece-lined hats or headbands when I run in the winter, so I knew it would work well for warmth.  I tested it out on a day when it was 23 degrees but felt like 15 due to the wind.  My running route of the day was on the coast just for the extra wind factor, and I made sure to wear my favorite non-hooded running jacket.

img_0015Mid-run selfie.  Ain’t nobody got time to stop running!

Initially I had some issues running with the Buff Thermal Hoodie.  When I usually run with a Buff, I tuck the top of it into the bottom of a fleece headband to keep it from falling down.  This time, however, I had to get it in exactly the right position to make it stay up, which took a few tries.  The hood initially fell too far back on my head, so I had to pull the strings to tighten it up.  And on that note, the strings are really cute but definitely not good for running – they were bouncing all over the place and when I got hit in the face with one of them I had to stop to tuck them into my running jacket!  All of this took about 30 seconds, but after that I didn’t have to make any more adjustments and everything stayed in place for the rest of the run.  I was nice and warm for the first half of the run, and by the second half I decided to drop the mouth covering down to get some air because I was hot!  The hood worked wonders at keeping me warm, and let it just enough air to keep me from overheating.  Once I stopped running and started to walk I could easily pull up the mouth covering again once I cooled down.

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My favorite thing about the Buff Thermal Hoodie is that all the layers are connected.  Layering is key when running in the winter, but having to take layers off and then stash them somewhere for the rest of the run without losing them is tough.  I liked that I could pull down the hood or the Buff and keep it on me while cooling off.  And honestly, it means that I can grab it and go without worrying that I’m going to lose a hat or something between my apartment and the trail.  Am I the only one who does that?

I only had the Buff Thermal Hoodie for a week and a half, but during that time I used it on the following activities:

  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Post-gym on the drive home when I’m freezing in my cold car and need something to warm me up!  Hats are nice but they mess up your hair and can’t be worn with a high ponytail, and they don’t keep your face/neck warm either.

buff hiking 2Staying warm on a hike even though the wind chill was 2 degrees!

I plan on using it when I’m ice skating, snow shoeing, and skiing too!  It’s the kind of gear that I can leave in my car or gym bag so that I can grab it whenever I need to get warm.  If you like the original Buff and want to upgrade to something warmer, check it out!

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What do you use to keep your head/face warm on winter runs?  Are you a Buff fan?  Have you ever lost any winter gear while running?

17 thoughts on “Buff Thermal Hoodie Review

  1. Saturday I was with my husband in Newcastle and went to my favourite sport shop and had exactly that in my hand:
    A Buff thermal hoodie! I liked the history behind it, to keep you warm.
    But when I go running, I prefer a thin running hat or a thin merino running hat. But for that is has to be around +/- 1 C out site.
    As for the Buff hoodie. Unfortunately it would have been to warm for me while running.
    However I do have a merino Buff which I wear for hiking.
    Fortunately I didn’t loose any gear (fingers crossed it stays that way).

    1. That’s awesome! I do recommend it if you run when it’s super cold out (for me, that’s anything under 20 degrees F) but if you take it indoors to the treadmill I’d go with a lighter weight Buff. It’s awesome for hiking though!

      1. Believe it or not, but I have never been on a treadmill except ones for a gait analysis!
        I wish I could use a treadmill every now and then when it is pouring down here but unfortunately the gyms won’t open before 7…

  2. I just noticed yesterday how much warmer Alaska is than Chicago right now .We are minus 17 today with -30wc. My balaclava didn’t feel like enough when I was out with the dogs yesterday. I needed a hat over it. That one looks great!

    1. Haha yep! It’s been in the 30s here for a while and just went down into the 20s which is still pretty nice. I hope it warms up for you soon! In the mean time you could probably use something like this!

  3. I usually wear a headband or beanie to keep my head warm when I’m running. I’ve never run with a buff before but there have been times when one would have been nice. I don’t think I’ve ever lost any winter gear specifically when running but I have lost headbands and once my car key.

    1. I seriously can’t stop losing gloves, and I’m really paranoid about losing my one and only running hat too! I’m the worst when it comes to losing things that are supposed to keep me warm and then I just freeze. And running with a Buff is a game changer! My face/neck stays so much warmer and I’m able to stay out running longer when it’s super windy.

  4. That looks so incredibly cozy… I want one! I’m a Buff fan, but I’ve only used half-size or headbands to keep my unruly short hair out of my face. When it’s cold I usually use a fleece headband to cover my ears or a hat, and I have a neck gaiter that pulls up over my nose for when it’s super cold. I love the look of this hood though! Thanks for the review!

    1. Yes you definitely could! I was so upset when it came while it was in the 30s here and too hot for something like this, so it was hilarious when I was excited about running in the colder weather! I swear that new gear is just what I need to make it out the door sometimes.

  5. You know what I use to keep my face warm in the winter? Netflix! Just kidding (sorta)! I’m such a wuss when it comes to running outdoors, but this looks like a neat little accessory to keep around for days when I’m feeling brave. I’ve seen buffs before, but I never knew they had an official name! Thanks for being brave and testing it out for wimps like me!

    1. Haha! I think it’s intimidating to run outdoors because it’s so cold for that first mile, but gear like this that actually lets me shed layers to stay comfortable really helps me get out there on cold days. I swear it’s not that bad after a few minutes!

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