As most people know, I was pretty shocked and honoured to be offered sponsorship by Buff a couple of months ago.
Until I got into ultrarunning, I wasn’t really aware of Buff as a company but as soon as I got into the sport I started really researching what people used and wore, having had a torrid time in my first ultra, completely ill-equipped in 2012.
I remember vividly when I ordered my first Buff and it was following watching Timothy Olson, someone I admire on a number of levels, wearing a Buff at the hot and dusty Transvulcania in 2013. I was due to race the North Downs Way 50 as my Western States qualifier the week after and it was set to be warm, so thought a Buff may be of use primarily to keep the sweat out of my eyes.
It turned out to be so much more than that. Not only did it keep the sweat out of my eyes, it kept me cool. When I first started running in it I did find it kind of oppressive and warm, but the key thing kicks in after about an hour of using it I started to sweat heavily. Absorbing all the sweat, when I stopped for walk breaks or slowed down I realised how cool it kept my head, using that sweat to my advantage. The same applied to when I poured water over my head and it trapped it and kept me cool. It genuinely was one of the reasons why that day I cut an hour and a half off my 2012 time.
So now that I am fortunate to represent the brand, I have a whole box of kit to try and use for training and races. Since being signed up, I have used every piece of this equipment and I have three firm favourites.
The UV Buff Headband
Slightly smaller than the classic Buff, the headband is probably top of my list. It is a simple piece, but works incredibly effectively. The headband is soft, has no sealed edges which can cause chafing or rubbing and is a one size fits all. The team colours this year are the Ciron type and you can see and buy these here (as well as other colours). Aside from feel, the headband are high UV protective and made with 100% Coolmax material, designed to protect on hot days and also wick moisture away and use it to your advantage. Whilst it isn’t its primary purpose, I find it is also great to help secure headphones in your ears.
Aside from the headband use, it is also designed to work as a wristband to use to wipe sweat away or can be used (for women in particular) as a hairband.
The reversible Buff Cap
Looking like a cycling cap, this is again a high UV Buff. The difference to most Buff’s is that it is a full cap and so covers the top of your head. Especially important on hot days, this is designed to keep your head cool and would be ideal for any warm race or training climate. The cap is designed with Fastwick Fabric and incorporating a beehive construction it offers excellent breathability and allows water to penetrate easily when poured over. It also traps sweat to keep the top of the head cool.
Having a peak is also very useful to keep the sun out of your eyes and yet the peak can easily be pulled up for better vision when sun isn’t an issue…or if you want to pretend to be Anton Krupicka for a few hours…
It is a very versatile cap and really comes down to the principles that Buff hold dear. The cap is also reversible so you can use as white or black depending on what you prefer or weather conditions. Again you can explore the range and order here.
The Visor Buff
Acting as a combination between a standard Buff and the Buff Cap, I chose to use this for my third running of the North Downs Way 50 a few weeks ago. This is probably the most versatile Buff available and has all the types of uses of a conventional Buff but brings in the benefit of the peak for when the sun is low or you want it off your face. I tend to just wrap this around my head and pull down or flip up the peak depending on the sun.
However, you could pull the main frame of fabric of the buff down to protect your neck from the sun and use it is a standard cap with a long back, whilst leaving the top of your head free to breath. It is one of those Buff’s that takes some playing around with to make it work for you, but if I had the money to buy just one Buff, this would be the one.
These are my three favourites but do explore the range. Buff are very reasonably priced and are very hard wearing. My first one still looks brand new and I even used it on my run to work this morning. Whilst I am sponsored by Buff, I would only ever write a review for something that I genuinely like and use. I am often sent items that I decide not to review and send back if I don’t like the product, so my thoughts are my own and I will always be a Buff customer regardless of sponsorship.