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Apparel Review

“Buff” Sun Protection for Anglers (continued)


Operation cont'd: When extended over my mouth and nose I found that I could breathe pretty normally and that the Coolmax fabric was able to efficiently wick moisture away, and even though I would sweat into the garment it also dried rather quickly. The UV Buff is designed to help reflect away radiation and even though it is another layer because the sun is not hitting you directly it does help reduce overall skin temperature, I definitely felt more comfortable when making continuous motions like fly casting.


A look at the inside of the Buff, the fabric is breathable


Out in Florida the heat and humidity was absolutely brutal and to cool down I actually dipped the buff in the lake and wore it on top of my head. Sure I looked like a pirate but at least I wasn’t getting heatstroke. The buff did dry surprisingly fast and this is one of the main attributes of the Coolmax fabric which has a four channel fiber that forms a transport system that pulls moisture away from the skin to the outer layer of the fabric.


The Buff folds down neatly and is packable


Throughout the tests I noticed that even though we did sweat into the garment it didn’t smell after use. As much as I would like to think our sweat doesn’t reek the credit really goes to the “Polygiene® technology.” How does it work? When we fish hard, we produce humidity through our sweat and heat due to the increase in our body temperature, which means bacteria encounter the perfect conditions to thrive in the clothing touching our skin. Polygiene® applies a long-lasting treatment onto the material. It introduces silver ions. These stop bacterial growth, eliminating the main cause of bad smells. The bottom line is that the Buffs will remain odor free without having to be frequently washed and that you can store the garment in your tackle bag without it getting that nasty worn clothes smell.


The Buff does provide a little wind protection...


When it comes to protection the Buff delivered. While I still preferred to layer up with sunblock whenever I wore the Buff I would never get burned wherever I was covered. The ability to wear it so many different ways helped me cover up the areas that I felt were getting the most exposure, and whether that was my face, neck or head the Buff was flexible enough to stay on even when making quick and aggressive casting motions or while fighting fish.


...as well as shields the face from insects


Price & Applications: In addition to the outstanding UV protection and the ability to keep us cooler and fishing longer we also found a few other uses for the Buffs. At Lake Falcon we encountered a good sized bug hatch and while we were lucky that these critters didn’t bite it wasn’t pleasant having to deal with trying not to inhale them while fishing, the Buff served as the perfect barrier. We also noticed that the Buff helped reduce a little noise when worn above the ears and running the boat hard, it provided a little wind protection and a surprising amount of protection from stinging raindrops.


Ms. Casey tries the Buff on up top...


Buff also makes what they call a “Top Buff” which is what some of the contestants on Survivor wear. This is basically clothing without sleeves and while our standard Buffs are not necessarily designed for this application they worked just fine. Luckily for our readers she was the only one on our staff willing to test the Buff in this fashion.  Suffice to say this is one very multifunctional little garment.


...as well as below. This is one very multi-functional garment


A standard “Original Buff” retails for $20.00 and the Angler High UV Pro Buffs retail for three dollars more at $23.00. There are a ton of patterns to pick from ranging from simple to artsy or a variety of fish patterns. The price is reasonable for a garment that can be worn so many ways and when it comes to sun protection it absolutely works. Not only did I not get burned at all wherever I was covered by the Buff it also helped me stay fishing longer without feeling worn out or beat down by the elements.


The Buff proved to be both effective and comfortable to fish with even on extremely hot sunny days


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):

Angler Series High UV Protection Buff Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Simple and seamless there are not any seams or strings to fail on this garment. The patterns also resist fading well 8
Performance Performed great in hot weather and did a good job keeping the sun from burning us, worked very well when combined with a hat or visor. Stays on even when casting aggressively and fighting fish 9
Price More expensive than tying a handkerchief over your face, but we think its worth the money for the real Buff 7
Features A pretty simple yet ingenious product. It effectively prevented us from burning in the sun and kept us out fishing comfortably longer 8
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 8.5
Application Great for both fly and conventional anglers as well as many outdoor activities in the bright sun 9

Total Score

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

J Well constructed and comfortable to wear all day long in a wide range of conditions L You look like a bandit on the water, wait is that even a bad thing?
J So good we wish the company made other angler oriented garments as well (the brand is now introducing gloves, a good start) L More expensive than tying a handkerchief over your face, but we think its worth the money for the branded Buff
J Blocks out the sun  
J Keeps bugs away  
J Lots of different ways to wear this garment  
J Great for multiple types of fishing applications (fly and conventional)  


Conclusion: While Buffs were originally designed for other applications they fit the angling application extremely well. The High UV Protection Angler Series Buff did a great job protecting us from UV radiation and I never got burned with or without sunblock wherever I wore the Buff. The garment is comfortable to wear in a wide range of weather conditions and the breathability factor makes it excellent for both cool and hot days. While good for shielding anglers from the sun it is also superb for a little extra wind protection and keeping annoying bugs at bay. Whether you are a fly fishermen or conventional angler these multifunctional garments provide truly “Buff” protection.


Looking for a Buff? Try Monster Fishing Tackle









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