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Apparel Review

 

Taking Sun Protection to another Level – Buff CoolNet UV+ (continued)

 

It is in these extremely bright and warm conditions where the Buff CoolNet UV+ Buffs really excel as they are engineered with a “HeiQ” moisture management finish that is designed to dynamically adapt to body heat and efficiently lift sweat away from your skin and into the evaporative cooling fabric to keep you cool, dry and comfortable all day long. The science works, and I found that the new garments made it easier to stay out longer on the water, enabling me to make more casts and better enjoy time on the water.


The benefits to anglers that spend all day in the sun is obvious, and the garments were recently in the spotlight when Buff prostaffer Ott DeFoe won the 2019 Bassmaster Classic wearing them. Ott, who is rarely seen fishing without Buff gear, routinely provides valuable feedback to the Buff design team. Buff explained that his input and experience with the products helps them continue to innovate and create gear specifically for angling applications.

 


Aggressive casting motions... no problem


“When I fish, Buff means quality gear that allows me to do my job better,” said Ott. “The gear gives me sun protection, adds warmth and helps grip on cold days, and keeps me comfortable while I’m out in the elements trying to catch a bass.”

 


Hard fish landings.... also no problem


When I compared most facemasks they really fall into two styling camps, those that are really form fitting like the Buffs that Ott wears, or those that looser fitting. A new style hybrid garment has also emerged, where a facemask is integrated into the technical shirt or hoody. Personally I still prefer separate facemasks, as they can be removed when not in use, lightening the overall garment. I also prefer the tighter fit of a Buff because I find the garment requires less adjustment when making quick movements, like the countless casts anglers make during the day. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and you should select the style of garment that you find the most comfortable, reliable, and durable.


Though the new CoolNet UV+ Buffs are considered form fitting they are also the most comfortable Buffs that I’ve ever worn because of just how light and stretchy they are. The CoolNet UV+ Buffs weigh in at only 1.2 ounces versus the original Buffs at 1.6 ounces, and the difference is actually noticeable.

 


After a season of use I really appreciated just how lightweight and comfortable these new Buffs are


In terms of maintenance and durability I have washed my CoolNet UV+ Buffs over forty times and they show little to no signs of wear and tear. It is recommended that you do not use fabric softeners, machine dry, or iron these Buffs and as long as you stick to these rules they will last multiple seasons quite easily. I purposely machined dried the garments multiple times and they held up to the abuse very well.

 


Polygiene technology helps keep odor in check after a full day in the sun


Price & Applications: Over the course of the entire last season I fished with the Buff CoolNet UV+ Buffs and can safely say that when it comes to fishing applications these are the best facemasks that the company has introduced to date when used in warmer fishing conditions. The CoolNet UV+ Buffs do a fantastic job protecting your skin and keep both harmful sun and annoying bugs at bay, but in cooler conditions some of Buff’s thicker and more insulated options are preferable.

 


The CoolNet UV+ Buffs are rated UPF 50+


Flexibility continues to be the name of the game when it comes to the Buff CoolNet UV+ garments, and while I used them as a facemask more than 80% of the time, there were times that I used it as a head cover, neck gaiter, or even as an emergency compression device to hold an icepack over a swelling knee injury.

 


There are over 90 different patterns to select from, including some that feature art from talented artists like A.D. Maddox


Retailing for an MSRP of $24.99 the Buff CoolNet UV+ is slightly more expensive than the original which retails for $20 dollars each. I feel that the $4.00 price premium is reasonable considering the added benefits that the new garment offers. I was able to purchase the new CoolNet UV+ Buffs from Tackle Warehouse at the aggressive price of $21.99.
Buff has packed a lot into the new UV+ versions, and most competitors cannot match the CoolNet UV+ Buffs in terms of light overall weight, comfort, and breathability, and the fact that these garments are also 95% constructed from REPREVE microfiber which helps keep bottles out of landfills and waterways is just one more reason to feel good about sticking with team Buff.
 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Buff CoolNet UV+ Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Like the original the new garments are simple and seamless but even more technical than ever before. Not a lot to fail here, these garments are built to last 8.5
Performance Performed as advertised and excels in warmer fishing conditions. The CoolNet UV+ garments are the most comfortable Buffs that I have worn to date 9
Price More expensive than many competing offerings but absolutely worth the money when you consider the advanced technical features 7.5
Features The original got the job done, and the CoolNet UV+ Buffs get the job done better with enhanced ultra stretch, excellent cooling, and improved comfort. It is also cool that they are made out of 95% recycled plastic bottles 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) You can wear the Buff a ton of different ways, the options are many and when your done wearing the garment it doesn't even smell and is machine washable. These new CoolNet UV+ garments are really comfortable and stays on when fishing hard all day long 9
Application Great for anglers and any outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy spending time in the bright sun. The one condition that other Buff garments are better suited are in cold conditions where extra insulation and warmth is required 9

Total Score

8.58

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Seamless design is well constructed - There are a lot of competing offerings and many are cheaper than the Buff CoolNet UV+
+ Ultra Stretch and lighter weight improves comfort over the original - Some anglers prefer looser fitting sun gaiters or masks with breathing holes
+ Excellent sun protection - The lightweight CoolNet UV+ garments do not provide a lot of warmth in cooler fishing conditions but Buff has other offerings that do
+ Absolutely excels in warm weather conditions with HeiQ cooling  
+ Lots of different ways to wear this garment  
+ Great for multiple types of fishing applications (fly and conventional), as well as countless other outdoor pursuits  

  

Conclusion: Sometimes it is hard to beat the original, but Buff has managed to do exactly that with their latest creation. The CoolNet UV+ Buffs provide the excellent sun, heat, and odor protection that we love about the originals, and are now made even more comfortable with ultra-stretch fabric construction and lighter overall weight. Whether you are a weekend warrior or professional angler, like Classic Champion Ott Defoe, Buff’s latest collection will help keep you safe and comfortable so that you can focus on catching more fish.


While the CoolNet UV+ Buffs are ideal for anglers they really are an invaluable piece of kit for any outdoor enthusiast who wants to get the very most from their time spent in nature.

 


The CoolNet UV+ Buffs are great for anglers, and all outdoor enthusiasts, that enjoy activities in the sun


There have been countless times when the CoolNet UV+ Buffs have helped me enjoy my hikes, bike rides, and archery shoots so much more. Multi-functional headwear garments are here to stay, and the countless competing options out there have validated the need for these garments, but in a sea of similar offerings Buff once again rises to the top with the new highly technical CoolNet UV+ Series, making it an easy pick for our Editor's Choice Award.

 

Looking for the CoolNet UV+ Buffs? Try Tackle Warehouse
 

 

 

   

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