Types of Balaclava and When to Use Them

Have you ever tried to get outside when it’s so cold and windy that it takes your breath away? I sure have! We’re talking about those days when scarves and a hat just won’t cut it. Sometimes it seems like those sharp winter winds will cut through even the warmest hats and scarves.

When it’s time for the best wind and weather protection, I reach for a balaclava. Balaclavas are well known for their superior wind and weather protection around the head and neck. But what types of balaclavas are there, and which one is best for you?

Solid Front Balaclavas

There is more than one reason to want a balaclava with a rigid front. That area of fabric right where your nose and mouth is really can make or break a balaclava.

With that in mind, if you hate that feeling of fabric getting in your mouth or if normal balaclavas feel suffocating, a rigid front balaclava can solve these problems. Our Rigid Front Balaclava uses a stiff but flexible material to give structure to the front of the balaclava. 

There’s an added benefit, as well, that the mesh inside helps remove your breath to avoid fogging or moisture problems!

Pro Tip: This type of balaclava is great at repelling wind during things like snowmobiling, motorcycle riding, or fast downhill skiing!

Convertible Balaclava

You’ve probably seen one of these before since they’re quite a popular option! These fleece balaclavas are made so that they can be worn as a neck warmer, half mask, ninja hoodie, or a full balaclava for the best protection.

These are great options for a little extra warmth no matter what activity you’re doing. We don’t always need a full balaclava, right? So using a convertible one means you can use it as a neck warmer around the yard or a full balaclava on the ski mountain and anything in between.

Of course, we’ve got you covered with our thick 
Polar Fleece Convertible Balaclava that can be a steadfast companion no matter what you get up to!

Pro Tip: This thick Polar Fleece may not fit well underneath a helmet. For a helmet compatible convertible balaclava, check out our thin Windproof Convertible Balaclava!

Neckwarmer Focused Balaclavas

Maybe you’re not a fan of having something covering your face and mouth. Or, maybe it’s just not that cold out and you don’t need a full face cover. Instead of a full-face balaclava you should consider a self-supported neck warmer.

We all know that your standard fleece neck warmers just don’t work that well. Their problem is always that they’re hard to keep in place and they fall down, letting cold wind into places it shouldn’t be! 

To solve that problem, we always recommend people consider using our
Helmet Compatible Neck Gaiter. It stays in place thanks to a very thin hood that helps keep you warm without getting in the way of your helmets. It’s a great happy-medium between a neck warmer and a balaclava.

Hoodless Balaclavas

Whether you’re wearing a snowboarding helmet or a motorcycle helmet, having to take the helmet off to adjust your balaclava is a pain. If you want to get around that, you’re going to need the help of our Hoodless Neoprene Mask.

This wrap-around face mask is made from waterproof neoprene and it quickly snaps in place with adjustable velcro behind the head. To further retain its place, you can hook the ear covers up over the top of each ear to make sure it doesn’t slide down as you ride or ski. 

Pro Tip: You can keep this in your motorcycle tank bag and quickly put it on or take it off as weather conditions change! It will also shed light rain and mist with ease to keep you comfy.

No matter what sports or activities you love, there’s a type of balaclava that can help you stay warm and safe. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of gear or a gift for the holidays make sure to start with Tough Outfitters balaclavas!

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