Always ending up with a painful sunburn around your neck region after a fishing excursion? The best fishing neck gaiter armed with a 30+ UPF rating can make fishing sunburn-free. You can even use it for other outdoor activities for optimal sun protection!
What You Should Consider Before Buying the Best Fishing Gaiters
All fishing gaiters are designed to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but how efficient it is in doing so can make all the difference. You will also need to consider other factors like ease of maintenance (is it machine washable?) and choice material (is it made from breathable fabric?).
If you are a value-driven angler, you should always keep a keen eye out on the gaiter’s:
- Sun protection rating
- Comfort and fit
Balaclava vs Neck Gaiter
Not sure what’s the most suitable option for your angling needs? Well, these two share certain similarities but generally differ in application.
Also known as a ski mask or running mask, a balaclava protects your head, ears, and neck to protect them from the adverse effects of the wind, rain, or icy air. The complete head covering usually has a cutout for the eyes, but you can find other designs with openings for the mouth and nose.
On the other hand, a neck gaiter is scarf-like. It only covers the lower portion of your face to the neck.
While both balaclava and neck gaiters protect your face and neck from the adverse effects of the elements, neck gaiters are more suitable for fishing. Not only do fishing face mask gaiters offer versatile applications, but their special breathable designs ensure you put them on for the longest fishing duration without any discomfort.
Naturally, the sun produces energy as it shines. This energy constitutes UV radiation in the form of Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). Your naked eyes cannot detect UV radiation. Your skin, however, can feel the effects it unleashes.
Generally, UVA often leads to aging of the skin and UVB burning of the skin. That means prolonged unprotected exposure to either radiation can severely affect the DNA in your skin cells, which may result in skin cancer.
Sun-protective clothing came into the scene to mitigate the damaging effect and offer a more convenient alternative to sunscreen. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is the metric used to measure the amount of UV radiation the fabric of your clothes lets into your skin.
For instance, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a fabric with a UPF rating of 50 can block up to 98% of the UV rays from reaching your skin. That means only 2% of the rays get to you, significantly minimizing your exposure risk.
The popular materials used in making the best fishing neck gaiter include fleece, poly-spandex, polyester, and merino wool.
- Fleece: This fabric is extremely soft, breathable, warm, insulating, moisture-wicking, and dries quickly. However, it easily absorbs bad odors.
- Poly-spandex: This fabric is known for its stretchability (it can retain its shape!) and durability. It is also breathable and moisture-wicking, making it a highly popular choice for activewear.
- Polyester: In the case of polyester, you’ll get a fabric that is UV-resistant, low-maintenance, and comfortable. On the flip side, it lacks breathability and has poor moisture absorbency.
- Merino wool: Merino wool is another popular choice for fishing gaiters because it is extremely soft, odor-resistant, wrinkle-proof, and breathable. On the contrary, the material is very costly, less stylistic, and doesn’t release moisture quickly.
Comfort, Fit and Size
Regardless of the material, the best fishing neck gaiter should be comfortable enough so you can wear it throughout your fishing expedition. You don’t want a gaiter that’s too loose or tight to avoid breathing or itching issues.
While most fishing neck gaiters are one-size-fits-all, you should still check the circumference and length, especially those that aren’t made from stretchable fabric.
In the design of fishing neck gaiters, low stitching comes in handy to mitigate chafing. Skin chafing results from increased friction between your neck or facial skin and the gaiter fabric. Low stitching steps in to minimize that contact while enhancing the soft feel of the material.
Breathability and Moisture-Wicking
Neck gaiter breathability essentially affords you an outdoor-friendly experience in your fishing. Generally, lightweight fabrics offer more breathability than heavy ones. On the other hand, a fabric with a moisture-wicking feature can transport and pull accumulated moisture on the surface, making it faster to dry.
What Are the Best Neck Gaiters for Fishing?
The best fishing neck gaiter is a function of many features, as highlighted above. Whether you are a bait fishing fan or a trolling lover, you will find the following review of the top neck gaiters helpful in finding your best fit.
1. KastKing Sol Armis Neck Gaiter
The KastKing Sol Armis tops as the best fishing gaiter for a compellingly good reason. First of all, it prioritizes protection without sacrificing function. With a UPF rating of 50, the gaiter provides the much-needed maximum protection for your neck and ears from the sun’s UV rays.
Moreover, this top-tier gaiter boasts a breathable poly-spandex fabric that dries quickly to keep you comfortable throughout your fishing expedition. The unique material is also highly flexible stretching in all directions to afford a tight-fitting gaiter that doesn’t detract from comfort.
Secondly, the multipurpose design of the gaiter paves the way for versatile applications, whether as a face mask, fishing mask, hood, balaclava, or headband.
On the flip side, this gaiter is a bit too thin to keep you warm.
2. Simms Sun Gaiter
The Simms Sun Gaiteris aesthetically appealing and also functionally tasteful. Thanks to its hardy design, the gaiter provides uncompromised protection from sun exposure without squeezing out comfort.
The gaiter even features intuitively laser-cut breathing holes in the front section. With this addition, you can breathe easily surrounded by a cool breeze while keeping sunglasses fog completely at bay.
A powerful material rated UPF 50 undergirds UV protection. The fabric also integrates a quick-dry capability to ensure your angling adventure thrills regardless of a wetting rainstorm or splashy wave.
While this sturdy gaiter promises unwavering protection from the wind, dust, and sun, it may be a little pricey compared to its counterparts offering the same level of protection.
3. Coolibar UPF 50+ Vermilion UV Layered Mask
Made of poly-spandex material with a rating of UPF 50, this gaiter provides full coverage from your nose all the way down to your chest. And as its name suggests, the gaiter is functionally layered to add convenience and flexibility.
The top layer mimics a face mask covering the nose and mouth, while the bottom layer rests on the chin before spreading out to the neck and shoulders. The gapping between the two lightweight layers improves breathability.
Moreover, you can easily adjust the gaiter using dual snaps at the back neck and the ear straps to complement different outfits. Unfortunately, this cleverly designed gaiter is expensive.
4. GOT Sports Fishing Mask Neck Gaiter
GOT Sports Fishing Mask Neck Gaiter is one of the most inexpensive fishing neck gaiters, but you can use it as a running scarf, headband, and neck wrap. It is made from polyester microfiber and perfectly suits both men and women.
The gaiter provides adequate protection against UV rays and insects, wind, dust, and cold. What’s more, the super-thin fabric makes the gaiter extremely lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.
There is even a quick-dry feature that instantly wicks away sweat from your skin. Furthermore, it is washable and reusable. Although fairly inexpensive, the gaiter may not be ideal for maximum UV protection.
5. BUFF Coolnet Uv+ Multifunctional Headwear and Face Mask
Although coming in one size, the BUFF Coolnet still fits the best fishing gaiter description thanks to its multipurpose attribute. With more than 12 wear options, you don’t need a different headwear or face mask for your outdoor adventures.
The versatile gaiter comprises recycled REPREVE performance microfiber and elastane with a UPF rating of 50+ hence promising maximum UV protection. Additionally, the quality fabric integrates HeiQ cooling technology and Polygiene odor control to keep you dry and fresh all day long.
Despite being a single-size gaiter, the fabric can stretch in all directions to accommodate seamless modifications. Moreover, the gaiter comes in diverse colors and patterns to spruce up fishing aesthetics.
6. Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter
This best fishing neck gaiter boasts a poly-spandex fabric to shield you from the sun, surf, wind, and moisture with the same level of dedication. The extremely lightweight design dotted with mesh accents will idyllically suit both male and female anglers in any discipline.
Backed by a UPF rating of 50+, the gaiter promises full-range face and neck protection from the sun’s harshness to let you focus entirely on baiting your prey. The gaiter also features incredible moisture-wicking capabilities to knock out sweat and keep your face ever-dry.
Furthermore, you don’t have to bring home all the fishy odor from your angling thrills. This gaiter boasts special additions to inhibit bad fishy smells from sticking. A great fitting and inexpensive design, the Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter is worth every buck.
7. Columbia Freezer Zero™ Ii Neck Gaiter
This polyester-elastane fishing gaiter melds protection, performance, and comfort. In addition to its 50 UPF rating, the angler-friendly fabric also incorporates Omni-shade protection to mitigate UVA and UVB rays that can potentially cause adverse sunburns and prolonged skin damage.
Moreover, the design is a tight weave to accommodate UV-absorbent yarns for the ultimate protection. The gaiter’s functionality also stands out. It boasts a sweat-activated to keep you cool and comfort stretch fabric and laser-cut venting to guarantee unrestricted movement and comfortable angling.
Needless to say, this best fishing neck gaiter stands out for its unique sun-shielding and sweat-wicking capabilities. However, If you are on a budget, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
8. MISSION Cooling Neck Gaiter
This polyester-nylon neck gaiter takes great pride in its special ability to cool the skin instantly. To activate the cooling effect, simply wet the gaiter with water, wring it, and snap it thrice. In five minutes or less, you’ll be able to lower your body temperature and stay cool for the next couple of hours.
In addition to the eco-friendly cooling, the neck gaiter also boasts a 50 UPF rating that protects your neck from harmful UV rays, debris, dust, and wind. It also comes with more than a dozen wear options, whether as a face mask, hood, bandana, or head wrap.
9. Huk Men’s KC Scott Trophy Neck Gaiter
Although extremely lightweight, this neck gaiter provides excellent protection from the sun. It is neatly woven with UPF 30+ materials to keep harmful UVA and UVB rays from reaching your skin during your angling endeavors.
Besides its ample sun protection, the gaiter also intuitively takes care of odors thanks to its anti-microbial feature that arrests and annihilates any sight of the microorganisms responsible for the funky smell. Moreover, the gaiter fabric is also breathable and features hydrophobic properties, quickly moving moisture away from the sweaty spots to other drier parts of the material.
The inexpensive neck gaiter boasts a stain-resistant treatment for easier maintenance. It is thinner around the mouth to support easy breathing, and compared to other low-quality masks, this gaiter is worth your money.
Avoid Sunburn While Fishing
Don’t let the sun’s harmful UV rays ruin your next fishing trip! With the best fishing neck gaiter, you can finally say goodbye to those nasty and painful sunburns on your nape. Hopefully, this elaborate review will bring you closer to an educated buying decision.