Products featured are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission from purchases made from our links; the retailer may also receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
With face masks as the norm now, you may have also noticed people wearing neck gaiters. The best neck gaiters can protect you during outdoor activities, say when you’re on a run or at a music festival, but they’re great for camping and hikes too, to wick away sweat while protecting you from dust and debris.
While some people have used neck gaiters as face coverings for Covid-19, not all places accept them as a face mask substitute. This includes American Airlines and Disney World, among other companies, so keep that in mind as well. If you’re traveling on a plane or visiting an attraction, you’ll still want to use a regular face mask.
What is a Neck Gaiter?
A neck gaiter, sometimes referred to as simply a bandana, is a tube of fabric that covers your neck and can extend up to covering your nose. It’s commonly used for outdoor activities as protection from environmental conditions. The best neck gaiters are typically made with a polyester fabric that is breathable and doubles as both cooling and warming. That’s why neck gaiters come in handy for hikes, bike rides, festivals and any other outdoor activities to protect you against the sun, harmful UV rays, biting wind, dust, and insects.
Can a Neck Gaiter Protect You From Covid-19?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a neck gaiter is acceptable when it has at least two layers. If your gaiter is double layered with breathable fabric, it’s sufficient to protect you from the virus. Just be cognizant of the places it’s not allowed to be worn.
The Best Neck Gaiters
Below, we selected the best neck gaiters that are reusable, safe to use for outdoor activities, and/or protect you from Covid-19.
1. Mission Neck Gaiter
The Mission Neck Gaiter on Amazon is perfect for remaining cool during outdoor activities ranging from hiking to even a BBQ. Wet it, wring it out, and snap it three times to activate its coolness in under 30 seconds. The material is lightweight and made with a permanent, chemical-free fabric technology that won’t wash out. It also offers UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50, blocking up to 98% of harmful UV rays, along with protection from dust, debris, and wind. Additionally, you can wear it up to 12 different ways, such as a headband and various head coverings.
2. Achiou Neck Gaiter
This soft, four-way stretch gaiter by Achiou is available in various colors and designs, making it easy to coordinate. It also has a lightweight, breathable fabric that quickly dries, so no need to worry about sweating out your fabric. It comes in one size and was made to fit most people–men and women. Reviewers noted it can be doubled over for more protection. An added bonus is that it’s suitable for both warm and cold weather.
3. TICONN Neck Gaiter Face Cover Scarf (Black 2-Pack)
TICONN’s neck gaiter is constructed with polyester and spandex for a stretchy, universal fit. It’s best for hot days to keep you cool and protected, as it’s extra lightweight and thin. It also is moisture-wicking, so it will remain comfortable and dry. Use this for optimal protection against the sun and wind.
4. The North Face Dipsea Cover It Neck Gaiter
The North Face’s neck gaiter is a soft, thin protector made with polyester and elastane. It’s not intended as a substitute for a mask but can be used when social distancing is difficult. This gaiter is made to protect you from wind and dust, so pack this on your next bike ride or festival. It’s stretchy and available in multiple designs and colors.
5. Future Stitch Primary Gaiter
The Future Stitch Primary Gaiter is another top choice for outdoor activities. Made with comfort as a priority, it has one layer of breathable, super soft Tencel and modal blend fabric. The fabric is hypoallergenic and infused with silver to keep it fresh and germ-resistant. Since it’s only made with one layer, it’s not suitable for COVID-19 protection. However, you’re sure to be comfortable and protected for your outdoor activity of choice.
6. Backcountry x Buff Floral UV Buff
This Backcountry exclusive is sure to keep you cool in the sun. This neck gaiter has HeiQ cooling technology to deliver moisture-wicking comfort. What makes it stand out, however, is its odor control feature to keep it smelling fresh. It also offers high UV protection, so you can be out in the sun all day. Additionally, it’s soft and made out of recycled plastic bottles.
7. Nike Dri-FIT Running Wrap
The Dri-FIT Running Wrap is ideal for what its name says. With Nike behind it, its moisture-wicking power is supreme. Reviewers noted it’s a little big as a mask, but it’s great for keeping the neck warm and sweaty-free.