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Whether you're a skier, a snowboarder, a year-round runner, or you just live somewhere with cold winters, you know that cold necks ruin days. Hyperbole? Maybe. But it's hard to argue with.

When it comes to keeping warm, covering your neck is key. The right protection can make the difference between enjoying the cold and finding it unbearable, especially if you're going to be out for a prolonged period of time.

Enter the neck warmer: warm, practical, and a crucial part of your winter kit. So what should you be looking for in a neck warmer? We've got you covered (literally).


Fit

When it comes to neck warmers, fit matters. Too loose and you’ll miss out on the protection, too tight and you’ll feel uncomfortable. Keep in mind that it’s got to get over your head so it’s important to know what you’re working with.

A good fleece neck warmer will have enough give so that you can comfortably slip it over your head but be able to snap back into shape for optimal protection. It should be long enough to be able to tuck into your collar to keep you covered against snow, wind, and whatever else Mother Nature will inevitably throw your way.

Being able to pull your neck warmer up to cover your cheeks, chin, and mouth is another must-have feature — perfect for when you need to cut the windchill.


Fabric

Arguably one of the most important considerations, fabric can make or break a neck warmer. If you’re going to be relying on something to keep you warm, dry, and protected, you need to make sure that it’s up to to the challenge. Fleece is a popular option for a reason: it really works. Depending on what you need, you’ve got some options:

Original Turtle Fur® Fleece is thick, soft, and incredibly cozy. Traps in warmth and wicks away moisture for comfort and performance.

Polartec® Thermal Pro Stria™ Fleece is midweight, compact, and breathable. Provides superior warmth through eco-friendly technology by trapping your body heat and protecting you from wind and extreme cold.

Micro Fur™ Pontetorto® TecnoFleece™, made from fine Italian micro fleece, is a soft, durable, and lightweight option that provides protection against the cold, wind, spray, and sun.

Chelonia 150™ Fleece is soft, warm, midweight fleece perfect for outdoor activities on extra cold days.

Depending on your plans, you may need something else to provide you with the protection that you’re looking for. Comfort Shell™ UV Performance Fabric, a Polyester and Spandex combination, is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and blocks up to 97% of UV rays. It’s also got 4-way stretch and is antimicrobial to boot.


Function

Not all neck warmers are created equally, and for good reason. What works for a runner may not be ideal for a first responder working outside, a skier, a snowmobiler…you get the idea. While we’re by no means suggesting that you need to have a neck warmer for every occasion, it can help to know what you’re going to use it for.

If you’re planning on braving the elements and anticipate extreme cold, you need a neck warmer that can hold its own against whatever is thrown at it. Look for a fabric that is recognized as being able to withstand extraordinarily low temperatures and has breathable and quick-drying properties. An extra-long option with a face mask can be immensely helpful, especially for those days where the cold seems relentless.

For activities that require a less intense degree of protection, you’re probably safe going for a midweight fleece neck warmer. Warm, soft, and comfortable, you’ll be protected against the elements so that you can focus on having fun.

For skiing, snowboarding, and activities that require protection and visual precision, a FOG FREE™ option is important. With a cold weather breathing system designed to prevent fogging, you can be confident that you’ll stay warm without sacrificing safety.

Situations that require quick changes or the ability to put on and take off your neck warmer without messing with the rest of your gear, a will trap heat, keep you dry, and protect you from the elements without getting in your way.

The good news is that while there are plenty of options, chances are that with a little research, you're bound to find a neck warmer that suits your needs. Just keep in mind that a little love goes a long way, especially when it comes to neck warmers. Following care instructions will help ensure that your neck warmer can keep up with you wherever your adventures take you.

Now that you know what to look for in a neck warmer, the cold will never be able to keep you from what you love. Now get out there and have fun!

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