neck gaiter for fishing
Moosejaw; Amazon

3 of the Best UV-Ray Face Covers for Fishing & Outdoor Activities

UPF Rating 101

Not all clothing protects equally — when shopping for UV-protective apparel and accessories, keep in mind that anything between a UPF rating of 30-49 offers very good protection, and UPF 50+ rates are excellent. (The higher, the better!) The Skin Cancer Foundation also says that dark and bright colors keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them. When shopping for a new neck gaiter (or any kind of outdoor apparel), consider those colors for ultra-protection. Other things to keep in mind: Be sure to make sure your clothing fits a bit loose because when it's too tight, UV light can pass through the fabric. Take skin damage very seriously — wear your sunscreen and try one of these cooling wraps that will do double-duty when you're outside, because they'll protect you and keep you comfortable. We rounded up our three favorite picks for head protection.

BUFF headwear is exactly what you need if you're looking for a comfortable and multi-use option. Wear it around your head, your neck, under a helmet, or over your face. With cooling tech and odor control, you'll feel clean and comfortable all afternoon. It also offers UPF 50+ sun protection, making it a fantastic choice to protect yourself from harmful UV rays while you're fishing, hiking, or biking. It's super stretchy, easy to take with you anywhere, and one reviewer writes: "They hold up well, wash well, colors hold."

Buff UVX Balaclava

BUFF Adult ThermoNet Hinged Balaclava - Amazon, $34.76

BUFF is a top-rated brand for headwear and neckwear. They can be pricey, but when it comes to lightweight fishing face masks, you'll want to spend money on top-quality breathable fabric that won't make you feel itchy or sweaty. This particular option is moisture-wicking and quick-drying with a 4-way stretch. In addition, the ventilation helps  to reduce sunglass fog, and it offers 50+ UPF sun protection. It'll definitely make a difference next time you're out fishing if you're used to getting sunburned. The only con of this fishing gaiter is that it's handwash only — use warm water, mild soap, and lay flat to dry. If you want a neck gaiter that is machinewashable, skip this one and consider the one above.

3. Best Option Under $10

Flying Fisherman SunBandit Bandana

Flying Fisherman SunBandit Multifunctional Headwear Bandana - Amazon, $7.91

This affordable mask offers UPF 30+ protection and can be worn in 12 different ways — like a Balaclava, foulard, face mask, bandana, pirate, neck gaiter, beanie, headband, and more. The breathable fabric is moisture-wicking and fast-drying. Flying Fisherman's mission to provide affordable and quality fishing accessories is helpful to many anglers on a budget. While this sun gaiter is on the cheaper end, it still upholds quality as the fishermen creating the masks make sure to provide specs that are needed for a day in the sun. For care, machine wash it and let it air dry.

This post was originally published on June 26, 2020.