Neck gaiters are one of those things that has enjoyed a staggering bump in popularity thanks to COVID. Prior to 2020 had you asked the average pedestrian what a neck gaiter was they would have reacted with a blank stare. But in the new age of face masks, a gaiter is largely seen as a comfortable alternative to disposable paper masks, even though it is still up to debate over how effective they are in comparison.
But most anglers would tell you a neck gaiter is an essential piece of clothing if you plan to spend any real amount of time on the water. They are widely considered to be an all-around utility item for warming your neck and face in the winter, using as a headband, and protecting yourself from sunburn in the warmer climes. They have a very strong value proposition.
They are comfortable to wear and ALWAYS there around your neck when you need them. They tend to be universally sized and use generally similar fabrics, but there are some distinctions you may want to be aware of in selecting gaiters.
Above all, you want to use fabrics with moisture-wicking ability. This can help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool blends may be helpful for colder and wetter conditions, but a blend of polyester and spandex offers a great amount of flexibility, breathability and comfort. They should be, above all, easy to use or they won’t be used.
While the fabrics used for gaiters does vary widely, if you’re spending significant time in the sun you’ll want fabrics that offer superior sun protection. A UPF50+ rating assures you that you won’t burn, and protects you from the long-term effects that can lead to skin cancer.
Gaiters will also protect you from the cold and the windburn that can accompany it. Using darker colors in the winter will help preserve your body heat, while light colors are perfect for deflecting the heat and UV rays in warmer temps.
With the onset of their newfound popularity, gaiters have a myriad of options for custom fits, colors and designs. While most of them are basically an elastic tube, options now exist for draw cords, nose bridges and ear loops, all of which can help customize the fit to the individual. In the end it will come down to your preference for comfort, and remember to consider the number of hours you’ll be wearing them. Some even offer built-in odor resistance or insect repellent for those who strike out in unpredictable conditions.
WindRider offers an all-around, affordable neck gaiter that can serve as a multi-purpose face shield, neck protector or headband with full UPF50+ protection rating: https://www.windrider.com/collections/sun-gear/products/helios%E2%84%A2-neck-gaiter
And speaking of options, if you’d like to add a company logo or other custom graphics, simply send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to fulfill a special order. Our goal is for you to look good, stay safe and enjoy the water, so fish on in comfort! -WR