Home > Apparel

Pioneers of the Head Game: Innovation Differentiates BUFF From the Rest

Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

What started as a single, multifunctional piece of apparel has transformed into an entire category within the outdoor industry.

Since its inception, the BUFF brand has led the charge in multifunctional headwear. But in a market now full of look-a-likes, it can be difficult to distance yourself from the pack.

That’s why the BUFF brand leans heavily on nearly 3 decades of experience to create its products. High quality, practicality, and versatility: These genetics drive category-leading technologies and design.

BUFF-brand products now span hundreds of SKUs, with head and neck options that cover a full array of weather conditions and sport-specific needs. But how did it get here — the course that not only shaped a brand but an entire apparel category?

This is how BUFF products became an everyday essential for almost every outdoor adventurer.

BUFF®: Where It Came From

First developed in 1992 as the brainchild of Joan Rojas, the BUFF brand product (short for “bufanda,” or “scarf” in Spanish) is the “original multifunctional headwear.” Instead of asking what it is, a better question might be: What isn’t it?


There are over 12 ways to wear the tubular accessory, from beanie to balaclava, sunscreen to dust guard. Billed as “performance head and neckwear,” its purpose is to protect outdoor athletes and explorers in a range of environments, including wind, cold, heat, and sun. And with a superlight weight of 1.2 ounces, it remains the most versatile piece of gear in your kit.

Distinctive engineering created the BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear. The result of advanced knitting machines and a proprietary development process, the four-way ULTRA STRETCH fabric construction creates a tested, proven, high-quality woven tube without seams or hems.


The brand weaves the breathable microfiber so you get all the best attributes of performance fabrics in one: UPF sun protection, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and breathability. Plus, its stretchy nature makes it a one-size-fits-most, increasing its versatile impact.

BUFF: Present Pioneers

Today, the company still holds complete control over its process from beginning to end, situating the Spanish headquarters on top of the original, and current, factory. That means the brand designs, engineers, develops, monitors, and produces its product in the same space. This helps drive the creativity and innovation that continues to set the brand apart.

The brand has more designs and technical variations than any of its competitors. In fact, it boasts 12 different categories of multifunctional headwear alone — one for every season, temperature, activity, and aesthetic.

In the BUFF CoolNet UV+® category, the newest addition to the family tree, there are over 100 different design styles from seven different categories. This variety represents something rarely seen from other brands, where the choice is often between only three or four pieces.


The BUFF brand Do More Now sustainability initiative has led to unique product developments. Through its partnership with REPREVE, BUFF-brand polyester microfiber is socially conscious and made from recycled water bottles removed from oceans and landfills. Each product made with REPREVE yarn is 95-percent recycled.

The brand has aligned itself with trusted, proven partners to create high-performance products that stand up against the harshest conditions Mother Nature has to offer. BUFF Windproof, Polar, and ThermoNet Multifunctional Headwear products feature GORE-TEX INFINIUM and PrimaLoft fleece and yarn. This keeps you warm, blocks wind, and reduces weight and bulk.

By responsibly treating products with Insect Shield, BUFF Multifunctional Headwear is fused with a safe application of permethrin insect repellent. It has proven effective in repelling mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges.

Pioneers: Prescient   

Still, the brand continues to look ahead at the needs of enthusiasts. Its latest product innovation, CoolNet UV+ is engineered for ultimate sun protection. It sports UPF 50-plus sun protection to shield your skin from 99 percent of harmful UV rays. Plus, it’s 20 percent lighter than the Original Multifunctional Headwear product introduced by the BUFF brand.


The lineage of CoolNet UV+ remains apparent, with attributes like REPREVE 95-percent recycled yarns, Polygiene odor control application, Insect Shield treatments, and seamless four-way ULTRA STRETCH. BUFF’s new generation of products pushes the envelope even further with the use of HeiQ cooling technology. And for expanded activity, the CoolNet UV+ Reflective Multifunctional Headwear product features a 360-degree, high-visual reflective pattern.

Simply put, the BUFF brand has the experience and knowhow to stay on top of this market. The brand’s forward-thinking design processes and innovative solutions to keep adventurers comfortable place them first in quality, sun protection, versatility, performance, and style.

This article is sponsored by BUFF®.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.