The reflective Buff is a new development from the Spanish manufacturer of unique and versatile sports headwear. The one we tested, with a wave motif, is a flexible solution to all manner of cold weather problems that strike cyclists and runners.
Cyclists have worn Buff garments for several years and basically this is an original buff in construction, fit and thermal properties but with the addition of Scotchlite reflective strips on each side. Buff say that this addition makes the reflective Buff “an ideal safety garment for activities such as cycling in dark urban and rural areas”.
I have worn Buffs before and they do their job well. The flexibility of design allows the product to be worn as a neck warmer, a half balaclava, a headband, a hat or even in a bandana style. This ability to cover many bases makes it a very useful addition to a cyclists wardrobe. Having one in your drawer for a winter ride is extremely useful, and cycle tourists have sworn by them for years.
I am a triathlete so I tested this both as a runner and as a cyclist. When wearing the buff beneath my Giro Ionos I was able to cover or uncover my ears whenever I wanted to and I could also use it as a way of keeping sweat out of my eyes on a ride. Both of these would be impossible with a conventional beanie or skull cap but not with the Buff, thanks to its very thin and stretchy fabric. When running I found that it kept my head too warm but it served its purpose as I was warming up and getting up to speed and then it can easily be tucked into a pocket.
The reflective Buff has polygiene fabrics and fibres woven into the design to help eliminate odour and bacteria build up, especially useful on a garment like this as it will be in contact with sweaty, delicate areas of your head whenever it is in use.
To me the main plus point for a Buff is that it can act as a safety net in a variety of situations. Stow it away in a pocket and use it when the temperatures drop; it has a seam free construction so nothing is on the inside of the garment to irritate the skin and it fits almost every adult head size due to the stretchy fabric.
Along with this the Buff is cheap. How much does a skull cap, a sweatband, an active scarf and a bandana cost? More than the £11.99 that this reflective Buff costs, it's a sound investment. The design tested isn’t the most garish available but still meant I got several odd looks in Bristol city centre. If you are brave you can go far wilder with Buff but if you want to tone down the colours, the reflective Buff also comes in black.
Overall the Buff is a useful addition to any active wardrobe. It's not a huge investment and it serves some important needs.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Buff reflective
Size tested: one size
Did you enjoy using the product?: It was fine, I got a few odd looks when wearing it but it was useful.
Would you consider buying the product?: Certainly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend?: I already have!
About the tester
I usually ride: at the moment my Orbea Ora tri/tt bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, triathlon