Accessories you take on a hike you want to keep to the bare minimum, no hiker wants to carry more than they need to so you want to pick right. I always choose multi purpose items as well like the bandanna. I would use for a buffer for the wind, protection from the sun, wear over my head when cold as a hat. I would also use it as an eye mask for sleeping, hang on my sternum strap of my pack and here it would become a sweat cloth, a holder for items like my guide book or snacks and even a sling for my arm when I hurt it. At the end of the day I would use it as a wash cloth.
Now you probably all own a bandanna of some sort and there are many different styles out there on the market. I personally have quite a collection and love the versatile use that they give. I use mine not only various ways on my head to keep cool or warm, protect my face if the wind is extreme or even if the rain turns to icy cold hail, I also use it as a wash cloth, eye cover for sleeping, loop it on my sternum strap of my pack and have it as a pouch to carry stuff. I have even used it as a sling for my arm and also wear as a fashion accessory when I have hiked into a town and need to look a little bit more decent the list goes on.
So what makes this Coolcore so different that I need to review it? Easy it really is COOL!
I have often wet my bandannas to try to cool down when hiking only for them to heat up quickly and this one didn’t heat up, in fact it stayed icy cold! Just wet, wring and wear is what they say and it will do the rest. As you sweat the fabric of the Coolcore starts to activate and reduces the surface temperature up to 30% and the best thing of all is it is chemical free! Unlike a lot of other products that claim to have cooling technology that comes from adding some type of chemical into the fabric that only is temporary as it will eventually wash out and surely can’t be good for you, Coolcore uses their performance fabrics that promote great moisture wicking.
The Coolcore multi-chill can be used well for hiking, running, working outdoors, cycling and anything that makes you work up a sweat.
- Chemical Free
- Up to 30% cooler than skin temperature
- It is UPF 50+
- dries softer
- Cooling effect never washes out
I have to say this is a winner and I am now going to look at the other products that they put out, so keep an eye out for more reviews.
Brubeck Unisex Wool Neck Warmer.
Once again Brubeck have not let me down with their product. I am a buff collector as I actually wear one to bed every single night even when off the trail. Funny I know, but they make great eye masks and hold in your earplugs so well. I started doing this when I was hiking through Alaska in their summer mainly as a way to block out the sun so I could sleep. I found it helps me completely shut off to the world at night and I now sleep like a baby every night.
The Brubeck Neck Warmer is not like the typical Buffs, these are larger to begin with and way they have formatted the material really works well.
They say –
These Brubeck Unisex Wool Neck Warmers are designed for extreme winter chill head protection during outdoor activities. Best in variable weather conditions due to its merino wool composition which warms the body up even when wet.
The multifilament polyamide on the inside layer transports moisture out while the soft wool touch prevents irritation to the skin. The double face construction of this 3D knitwear gives exceptional thermal-insulating properties and keeps the skin dry due to the multichannel construction of the added PA fibre. It is perfect for moisture management, antibacterial and anti-allergic protection against the wind during hiking, skiing, cycling and other outdoor activities.
- 54% Merino Wool.
- 41% Polyamide.
- 5% Elastane.
Merino Wool is from a Merino breed of sheep and the wool has been proven as highly resilient and is has natural moisture wicking as well as anti-microbial properties within it. It is also a fantastic insulator for both the warmth and the cold. The other plus is it is naturally breathable fabric.
What I experienced.
Well I got this neck warmer late in the winter season so I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the chance to really test it good. Well I was wrong as it came to my door days before leaving on a short hiking trip out bush that ended up being a very cold few days and I was very glad I had this.
My first impression at home when I put it on was of not sure as it is bigger than my other styles though the fabric felt really soft and great to touch.
Once at camp and it was getting cold I put it on and it was just perfect especially in size. I found as the wind blew I was wearing it not only across my face but up over the back of my hat to keep the hat on my head. I slept with it up over my head and face only leaving my eyes exposed and found it to be very comfortable and wasn’t getting wet from my breathing like some of my others.
So again, Brubeck you hit a winner with me and I know this is a piece of kit that will be heading out on many more adventures.
To purchase your own Brubeck Neck Warmer then head over to The Hiking Society .
Followers of my site can receive a special 10% discount of any of the Brubeck range through The Hiking Society and use the Special code TWOBYTWO10.
Arm Sleeves by ExOfficio
When hiking you are always wanting to protect yourself especially your skin. You are out in the elements for hours at a time and exposed to sun, wind, rain and insects. Not everyone likes to wear long sleeves, sun blocks and insect repellent can only go so far so what else can we do? Easy answer is wear sleeves! You can pull them on whenever you choose without having to change your top. Take them off when you choose again without having to change your top. The sleeves not only protect you from the sun but also insects, wind and cold as well as keep you cool when you need to.
We gave these a great road test for a month-long walk in Norway then a week walk in Scotland and they passed with flying colours. It was summer in both places, yes we did get a few quite warm days, and you could feel the ‘’air conditioner” from the fabric kick in. We also had cold windy days especially through the mountain passes and they just really helped keep that icy wind from making us cold. I am keen to give these a try now in the Aussie sun and see how they perform so I will get back to you on that.
So what makes them so good?
- They are rated UPF 50+,
- Built in Air Conditioning using Xylitol, this is woven into the fabric fibres to create a cooling effect on contact with moisture (sweat). This is a compound that occurs naturally in Birch trees.
- Silicone grip on the inside for the upper arms. While they held up well we did find them to be a bit tight and left marks on our arms.
- Thumb loops.
Worth a try, and they are easy to pack weighing next to nothing. We certainly have got our money worth from them.