Sunday, March 13, 2016

love to the buff: merino wool review

Disclaimer: I received a Merino Wool BUFF® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

If you've seen in the past, I've had the chance to test out a few BUFF® products: UV Half, the Original Full, Thermal Hoodie, and now: Merino Wool.

I have a pair of Merino Wool socks that I love wearing in the winter. They keep my feet warm and are super soft, so the Merino Wool BUFF® intrigued me. When the package came, I felt the material and to my excitement it was so nice and soft. Dimension wise it's a bit longer than the Original, but about the same width.

I really love the color options, and the one I got is a beautiful grey stripe that pretty much goes with anything. Not that I'm a super matchy person most of the time, but it's nice to have some items that you can grab without even thinking about colors clashing - you'll know it'll just go well no matter what. The print is called Cugnot and I just love it.

When I received the Merino Wool BUFF®, weather here in Chicago was starting to warm up, which made me nervous, since for me, merino wool means cold, winter weather (I know, it can be worn in summer too, but it's just not for me with how much I overheat once it hits 50s and I'm being active outside haha. I'm in that camp that needs to have on as little as possible in order to not pass out - if my eyes weren't so sensitive, I would ditch even the visor). Luckily, it cooled down some more with some very windy days, which were great for testing it out.

My favorite way to wear it was as a headband (though I suppose in the 'ways to wear' Buff calls it Hairband). It would cover my ears and keep all of my little stray hairs out of my face. It also come in handy as a neck warmer/scarf, and even as a way to keep my face warm while I waited outside for a Bruce Springsteen concert (face mask). I was very happy that I decided to toss it in my purse for a quick trip to Milwaukee. 

One run, the transformation of BUFF Merino Wool usage.

On the super windy days, which hurt my ears if they are uncovered, it was perfect for keeping them wind-burn free and warm. You guys know how easily I overheat, so I love that it could go from a hat, to a headband, to a wristband easily. Sometimes it went from headband to wristband and back to headband depending on how the wind went throughout the run. I also love that it scrunches it up well so that I can put it in the pocket of my Orange Mud VP1 if I was getting too hot to have it on at all. 

Waiting to get inside to see The Boss.

They have a great variety of colors and prints to match your style or mood. I'm eyeing a few myself. I love that there are so many great qualities about the Merino Wool BUFF®: moisture management, microclimate control, 100% Merino Wool, odor resistant (I think we all know how important this is!), thermal protection, wind resistant, semi-seamless, and natural stretch.

Most used style - 'hairband'.

A few details about the Merino Wool BUFF® from the website:
It's the classic BUFF® headwear shape, but with a few extra inches of length for cozy protection in the fabric outdoor enthusiasts love most. Made from soft 100% natural Merino Wool and feature subtle tone-on-tone designs, the Merino Wool Printed BUFF® feels great next to the skin, and it keeps you warn even when it's wet. It's the soft, breathable extra layer of insulation you need for chilly days. Plus, BUFF® donates 1% of the proceeds from Merino Wool Printed BUFF® to the plate so you can feel warm and fuzzy on the inside too.
• 100% natural Merino Wool
• 12+ ways to wear
• Merino Wool's natural qualities include: water repellent, odor resistant, flameproof, durability, UV protection, and natural stretch and elasticity
• Thermal protection from cold and wind
• Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
• Semi-seamless — small, unnoticeable seam on top and bottom of Wool BUFF®
• Quick drying
• One size its all adults.

Like I said, I heat up easily... and sweat a lot even on a short run.

Care instructions:

• Hand wash in warm water with mild soap
• Lay flat to dry
• Do not use fabric softeners
• Do not bleach
• Do not iron

Ways to wear:

• Neckerchief
• Sun Guard
• Face Mask
• Hood
• Cap
• Neck Gaitor
• Do Rag
• Pirate
• Foulard
• Hairband
• Headband
• Hair Tie

In all honestly, I never hand wash anything. Seriously - nothing gets hand washed. Our machine is easy-going with clothes (there's no agitator, which I think is what used to ruin some of my clothes when we had an older machine), so I wash it on delicate and then toss it on our drying rack. It's been working just fine, though I'll admit I don't wash it very often... you know, thanks to that whole odor resistant aspect ;)

The Merino Wool BUFF® will cost you between $27–32, depending on which color style you choose, and really - so many great options to choose from. Definitely a reasonable price for such a solid product.

I love BUFF® as a company - they make quality products, and they are very active on Twitter and Instagram. If I have a question they always answer promptly, and they are very nice with the likes and comments. I'd suggest giving them a follow.

BUFF® will be sponsoring #BibChat on Tuesday, March 15th at 8pm CT. Come join some fun runners/people for an hour of answering questions and discussing food, beer, running... just about everything you can think of!

Connect with Buff:

website | twitter | instagram | facebook | youtube | pinterest

What do other Pros think?
Jen | Angie | Mark | Janelle | Christine | Bradley | Katherine | Laura

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