Saturday, February 26, 2011

Brief review: Shutt VR Signature Buff

As some of you already know, it takes quite a bit to keep me from going out for a ride. But after a head-fake last week with temperatures in the 60's, cold wet weather that has yet again come to plague NYC. So I continue to rely on a piece of kit that I recently purchased that is so simple and yet so effective.

For the earlier part of the winter, I was using a balaclava made by a very good apparel company. There was actually nothing wrong with the balaclava and a lot of people use them quite happily in cold weather. But I get somewhat uncomfortable when I can't freely mouth-breathe when I'm working out. I apparently pant like a horse once the road starts hitting some serious 1.5% gradients.  And the balaclava I was using was difficult to pull down under my chin to let me breathe. So I started looking for alternatives.

The "Buff" (actually, that's the name of the company that manufactures these things) is essentially a neck warmer. It's a long tube of fabric that you can just keep around your neck to block the wind or pull up to cover your mouth and nose when it gets particularly cold (or on a descent). I got my first Buff from Shutt VR and it's been great! I like the flexibility that it offers and the freedom to cover or uncover my mouth easily is a big deal for me. Is it warm enough? Sure! This, combined with a nice Windstopper cap, has kept me quite warm in temperatures well into the 30's. And with some of the thicker Buffs (they come in different fabrics), I've stayed comfortable into the 20's.

I like the color scheme of the Shutt VR Buff but if you look on Buff's website, there are dozens of available colors, patterns, and fabrics. Well worth trying!

Shutt Velo Rapide (Shutt VR)
Signature Buff (£12.99)

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