Disclaimer: I received a Buff Thermal Hoodie to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
It turns out that winter in Canada actually is pretty cold so I’m always looking for new gear to try out to make winter running more bearable, that’s where the Buff Thermal Hoodie comes in!
I’ve actually never had a Buff so I was excited to try the thermal hoodie. It got here just after I got back from North Carolina and as a cold spell hit Toronto, perfect timing!
Finding a running sweater/jacket with a hood has always caused me a lot more headache than it should. It turns out that company’s really love making winter running sweaters and jackets without hoods. And I really love running with a hood on especially when it’s cold so that my neck stays warm. This is why I was especially excited about the Buff Thermal Hoodie. I could finally not worry about whether my winter gear had a hood and just add the Buff when necessary!
I wanted to try the Buff out as soon as it arrived but it was a rest day from running so I wore it to work. The hood on my winter jacket isn’t insulated so that was a good first trial. It worked great! It was so nice to have the built in merino wool neck warmer along with the hood. In cold weather, the Buff has become my go-to for commuting and walking the dog because of that extra warmth. Even Lucy the dog wanted to get in on the extra warmth!
The next day, the Buff and I went running for the first time. It was just around -5C and I wore the Buff with a lined headband underneath. That combo worked really well. The Buff isn’t quite thick enough to keep my ears warm when there’s a strong wind but the hood and headband combo works great. I also tried the Buff with a thin winter running hat underneath and that also worked really well. The thermal hoodie is really versatile which I love about it.
There’s a double layer of fabric at the neck so that one piece can go up and cover your face (like the pics). When testing it, I mostly ran with this around my chin. I wouldn’t recommend running with the fabric over your nose and mouth because even though it fits well, it’s not very breathable and freezes pretty quickly and then you have a frozen face cover. If it’s cold enough that you need your face covered, I would recommend wearing a balaclava underneath. There’s lots of room for extra layers under the thermal hoodie.
For weather between -10C to 5C, this hoodie is ideal. It gives you that extra warmth that you always want a winter run without being too warm.
One of my favourite parts is that it keeps your neck really really warm! I never had any problems with my neck getting too sweaty while wearing the hoodie and when I’ve gone on runs without it, I’ve missed having it. I also love how it’s anti-microbial so it doesn’t smell after a run.
Overall, I’m really loving this Buff hoodie. I love the versatility and how many uses I’m finding for it. I love that it enhances the winter gear that I already have by adding a hood to things that I’ve always wished had hoods. And I love that I can use it for keeping warm on my way too and from runs, if I’m not wearing it while I run. This thermal hoodie has definitely secured its place as an essential piece of winter running gear!
What’s your favourite piece of winter running gear?