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Apparel Review

“Buff” Sun Protection for Anglers


Date: 6/5/10
Tackle type: Apparel
Manufacturer: Buff
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.25 - GREAT

Introduction: Buffs have been popular among outdoor enthusiasts for years and this simple yet clever tubular garment is now targeting fishermen with their High UV Angler Series. This seamless piece of clothing is designed to be worn a variety of ways and offers protection from harmful UV radiation as well as a number of other uses we discovered throughout our tests.


Angler Series High UV Protection Buff Specifications

Material Material: Coolmax Extreme™ Fabric
Weight 1.23oz.
Dimensions 20.7" x 9.6"
Sizing Standard fits most adults
Colors/Patterns 60+
Features No irritating seams or hems, machine washable, blocks 95% of ultra violet rays (company spec)
MSRP $23.00


Buff packaging, Buff's are sold online and can be found at many fly fishing retail shops


Impressions: So what exactly is a “Buff?” if you watch the popular reality TV show “Survivor” you have no doubt seen the contestants sporting them. Named after their best known piece the company’s signature product is a multi-functional seamless tubular garment that can be worn as a scarf, facemask, balaclava, or headband (just to name a few ways to wear this versatile garment). It is designed for a wide range of outdoor activities including cycling, skiing, tennis, running and angling. When the company originally started it made use of one material but over the years as they have grown in applications and now incorporate a wide range of different fabrics to tackle everything from extreme cold to extreme heat and sun protection. These fabrics include familiar technical brands such as Windstopper®, Coolmax® and Polartec.


The Buff Angler High UV Buffs are made out of Coolmax fabric, here we take a look at the Striper Pattern (notice the purple highlights)


So how was the “Buff” invented? It all started with Joan Rojas a textile manufacturer who was also an avid trail bike rider who enjoyed riding all around Northern Spain.  He started wearing military briefs around his neck to protect himself from the wind and the cold and got the idea to improve them because they were itchy and in his own words “looked pretty ugly.” Rojas began working on drawings and carrying out tests in the family’s textile factory until he found a way of manufacturing a seamless, tubular garment out of microfiber. At first he just gave them to his family and friends, but soon found that others wanted them as well and he started promoting them among ski instructors. In 1992 he launched the first collection. Three years later, he began to market them abroad, mainly in France, Switzerland and Germany.


We couldn't resist comparing with an actual Delta Striper


Today Buff is headquartered in Igualada a small city located close to Barcelona. At the headquarters “Original Buff S.A. designs” produces and markets the Buffs with a team of 50 staff. Today 80% of the sales are exports to other countries through exclusive distributors. The company also has a sales office and warehouse in the USA located in Santa Rosa, CA.


The Buff logo can be seen on the edge of the garment


Buff now makes Cyclone and Polar Buffs for cold and windy conditions, wool and original Buffs for everyday applications and High UV Protection Buffs for extreme heat and sun conditions. The company’s “Angler Series” fall into the High UV protection category and make use of COOLMAX fabric. The Angler Series Buffs are designed to offer 95% UV protection and is available in a wide range of fishing themed patterns.


Just some of the ways that the Buff can be worn


Real World Test: During our tests we tested the High UV Protection Buffs while fly fishing as well as bass angling. Our tests took us across country from the California Delta to Lake Falcon Texas and on to Lake Toho, Florida. We didn’t have another similar garment to compare the Buff to so all of our tests compare wearing the Buff versus our usual routine of just wearing a visor and sunscreen.


As a neckerchief the Buff protects the back of your neck...


Operation: We were blessed with an abundance of sunny days last season, and while we can’t say the same this year we did log in plenty of hours under the sun last year. I had originally planned to conclude my tests in the Amazon but low water levels forced us to push our trip back until November. During my tests I found that I usually wore the Buff as a neckerchief or facemask/scarf, this allowed me to protect my neck and face from the sun and when combined with a visor I found that I had much better coverage than my normal routine. The Buff is seamless so there are no annoying loose threads or seams that can rub against your skin, I found the garment to be both very comfortable and lightweight.


...worn as a scarf/facemask the Buff can protect both your neck and face



Next Section: The tests continue and Ms. Casey tries the Buff









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