The Weatherneck bandana solves the problem of what to do mid-ride with your neck/face covering when things warm up. It's a sporty snood on steroids.
Fundamentally, it's a quick-release 'Buff', the brand name now eponymous with sports-orientated neck coverings. Except the Weatherneck doesn't go over your head to make a balaclava – this is neck-only.
The issues with Buffs or the plethora of similar thin-fabric neck tubes is what to do when things warm up. Removing one while riding and wearing helmet/glasses/casquette is not recommended – the opportunity to come a cropper is obvious. But if the sun's now out after a frosty or dark start, you're nice and warm and the peloton is cracking along nicely, do you really want to pull over just to un-neck?
The reality is you'll probably just suffer on with an increasingly sweaty neck until the next natural break in proceedings – by which time the fabric is loaded with moisture and you're probably unzipped to the navel to keep cool. What if you could have removed it in a second, one-handed, and stuffed it into a pocket?
The trick with the Weatherneck is that it's held together at the back with four very strong, small magnets. To get the size right for your body and clothing you make a loop in one side, and the magnets then snap into place over this, so effectively it's infinitely adjustable. You can wear it over or under your jacket, pulled up to or over the nose, or under the chin.
There's another trick – if you're wearing it over your mouth, there's a strip of meshed fabric down the front to aid breathing and reduce moisture build-up, while holding the rest of it together. It works – even on hard climbs I didn't feel my breathing was restricted.
Why magnets? Velcro would not have offered the adjustability, would have snagged on clothing, been scratchy and would have worn out quickly. Also, a one-handed pull down from the front instead of peeling open would have been near-impossible with Velcro.
The FAQ says the magnets are good for 400 years, and should not be worn by people with pacemakers. It shouldn't be machine-washed either, because of the magnets sticking to the drum and accelerating fabric wear, so handwash only. Luckily that's no harder than rinsing a flannel.
As with all great ideas, it just works. Put on, adjust, ride. Get warm, one-handed pull, and stuff into pocket. That's it. You do need to stop to put it back on should needs dictate mid-ride, but even then, unlike other neck/face-warming options, you won't have to remove glasses or headgear.
The Weatherneck is made in the US and ships for $29 or about £20 including postage. And if you're ordering 30 or more, you can get a custom print to your design.
An innovative, practical way to regulate neck covering and temperature, with one-handed on-bike removal
road.cc test report
Make and model: The Weatherneck Bandana
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's a quick-removable neck covering that you don't have to stop for.
"The Weatherneck is an updated bandana for outdoor adventures!
Using powerful magnets and technical fabrics you can finally re-size, breathe and quickly remove The Weatherneck during your outdoor adventures."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It has magnets, and is made from a stretchy fabric. That's all you need to know.
Can't imagine it ever wearing out.
Takes some getting used to, and how to get it just right.
Weighs next to nothing.
If you have the issue of needing to remove neck covering mid ride, quickly, there really is no other solution.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Looks like new after a few months of washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fabric hexagon design's not to my taste – would be good to see some block colours in the range.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Occasionally I found the Weatherneck bunched up at the rear, requiring readjustment. That's probably inherent to the design and not any sort of design defect. Hence 4 stars.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling