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The 12 best neck gaiters for hot weather

To keep yourself from overheating, a neck gaiter designed to handle the heat is a great option. The best neck gaiters for hot weather are made from lightweight and breathable fabrics like polyester or cotton, and some also offer protection from UVA and UVB rays.

COVID-19 guidance

If you're looking for a neck gaiter that can double as a face mask to protect against COVID-19, the CDC recommends wearing a double-layered design, or one that can be folded to create two layers, for maximum effectiveness. You'll also want to avoid options that have mesh panels over the mouth and nose. Since guidance continues to evolve, it's best to visit the CDC's website for the most up-to-date recommendations for face coverings.

Material and fit

When looking for any warm-weather clothing, the first thing you want to consider is material. Polyester is a common choice for warm weather gaiters because it’s good at wicking sweat. It's often mixed with spandex (also known as elastane) to give the neck gaiter more stretch, so it stays up better. Some neck gaiters are made from cotton, which is not only breathable, but also soft and easy to clean. However, it’s not quick-drying like polyester, so it may not be the best choice for sweaty workouts or wet, humid conditions.

Once you pick your material, consider what other features you may want. Some gaiters have drawstring closures for a more secure fit, while others come in multiple sizes. You may also want to opt for a gaiter with mesh sides, vents, or other cooling features.

Some gaiters have the added benefit of offering protection from sun exposure, too. These are usually given a UPF (or Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which, similar to SPF for sunscreen, indicates how much it protects your skin from UV rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing with a UPF of at least 30, and it rates clothing with a UPF of 50 or more as excellent.

Finally, consider the color of your neck gaiter. For added cooling power, you may want to stick to white or light-colored fabrics because they will absorb less heat. However, because darker clothing absorbs more sunlight, it stops more UV rays from reaching your skin, so it's a good choice for anyone who's concerned about sun damage. You may also want to look for an option with reflective accents or a bright neon color to give you more visibility at night.

Beat the heat with options from this list of the best neck gaiters for hot weather.

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1. The one that comes in dozens of colors

You can match almost any look when you choose this neck gaiter mask because it comes in 40 colors and patterns. As practical as it is cool, it's made from lightweight and breathable polyester, and it has four-way stretch for a better fit. You can wear it like a classic neck gaiter, but it also works well as a headband or sweatband.

One reviewer wrote: “LOVE! Got this for Coachella to protect me from any dust storms. The colors are vibrant for photos. It's thin enough so you won't get hot in the heat but definitely will protect you from dirt and sand. My only regret is that I didn't get one to match each outfit!"

  • Available colors: 40

2. The fan favorite

This breathable neck gaiter is a fan favorite on Amazon with almost 10,000 five-star ratings. Reviewers love that it comes in a pack of two for just $10. These gaiters are made from a blend of polyester and spandex, making them more elastic, so they're less likely to slide down your face when you're on the move. They're also sun-proof, according to the brand, though a UV rating is not listed, and they're moisture-wicking, making them especially great for hot days. When you get home after a day in the sun, you can simply throw them in the wash to keep them fresh and ready to go for your next outing.

One reviewer wrote: “This is an amazing Face Covering! It’s easy to breathe and talk with it on. Super soft. Super comfortable. I have to wear this thing for 12 hours plus and I have no complaints. Other gaiters have made me sweat and feel hot, but this one works well in any climate. I love it! It also comes as a two pack! I would definitely buy again from this company!”

3. The sweat-wicking Nike one

This Nike neck gaiter wrap is great for running, biking, and other outdoor activities. It's made from a blend of 89% polyester and 11% spandex, making it both stretchy and lightweight, and it has the brand's "Dri-Fit" fabric that wicks sweat away from your skin to keep you cool. If you like to run or bike at night, this gaiter has a reflective Nike swoosh that offers added visibility, and it's machine-washable for easy care.

  • Available colors: 1

4. The breathable mesh one

If you hate trying to breathe through thick fabric, check out this summer neck gaiter, which is made with a mesh design that allows for better airflow. This also allows heat to dissipate more easily, which, combined with the moisture-wicking nylon and spandex material, makes it a good choice for humid days. This neck gaiter is available in a few neutral colors, and it has a UPF 50 rating, so it provides great protection against the sun (though the mesh design means it's likely not the best choice for COVID-19 protection). It's not machine-washable, but it's small and easy to hand wash in your sink.

One reviewer wrote: “Very good if it’s being used while moving around without needing warmth. it’s very breathable & very comfortable. Very good for the upcoming summer”

  • Available colors: 6

5. The one made from 100% cotton

This hot weather neck gaiter is made from 100% cotton, making it an excellent choice for anyone who prefers natural fabrics. While it doesn't have the added elasticity of spandex, it does have four-way stretch and a convenient drawstring closure. While a UV rating is not listed, it does provide some protection from the sun, and it's available in a bunch of colors and patterns. It's machine-washable for easy cleaning, although the brand recommends washing it on the delicate setting to keep it in good shape.

One reviewer wrote: “I hate wearing masks but these are really comfortable. Bought this to go on runs during the pandemic and I love it! It’s breathable and allows me to run while covering my mouth and nose. I could say it’s very durable, i put them washer&dryer - no tears.”

  • Available colors: 5

6. The one that’s available in multiple sizes

This neck gaiter from Columbia is available in two different sizes, so you can get a more customized fit. It's made from a blend of 89% polyester and 11% elastane, so this gaiter is both stretchy and lightweight. It also has an Omni-Shade design that blocks UV rays with a rating of UPF 50, making it an excellent choice for sun protection. It doesn't just keep you protected from the sun, but also helps you stay cool thanks to sweat-activated cooling technology and laser-cut venting.

One reviewer wrote: “So happy to find this is a fully hemmed gator. I've received gators in the past that instantly curl because they are raw edge, no stitch or hem. Fits up around your face comfortably and stays up. Great for hot Texas days of fishing on the water!”

  • Available colors: 9

7. The UV-shielding 5-pack

Have a fresh gaiter to wear for every day of the week with this five-pack of neck gaiters. Designed for warm weather, they have UPF 30 protection, which is what the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends, and they are also dust-proof to keep your face clean when out on dry roads. They have four-way stretch, so they easily mold to your face when you pull them on. These gaiters are made from lightweight polyester, and they're seamless, so you won't have to worry about the stitching irritating your neck.

One reviewer wrote: “Nice quality. Very thin. Won’t get too hot in summer.”

  • Available colors: 18

8. The one with a reflective stripe

If you like to walk, run, or bike at night, you'll definitely want to check out this neck gaiter set, which comes in bright colors with a reflective stripe. While the material and UV rating are not listed, the brand does note that this neck gaiter protects against the sun and is dust-proof. It can be worn normally as a neck gaiter, or you can pull it up to use as a headband or wrap it around your wrist as a sweatband.

One reviewer wrote: “These are wonderful things! I use them in summer and winter to guard from wind or cold but they are NOT warm. They keep me warm for fall weather but are cool enough to wear during hot summer days. The color is perfect for hunting days. When I hike with my dog I wrap one around her collar too! [...] Excellent purchase!”

  • Available colors: 6

9. The one with ear loops

If you struggle to keep your wrap in place, try this neck gaiter with ear loops. Perfect for hot weather, it has breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to help you cool down, and it's longer in the front to keep dust and dirt out of your shirt. While there isn't a UPF rating or material specified, the brand does note that this gaiter provides protection against UV rays and wind. It's also available in a variety of colors and patterns, ranging from neutral tones to eye-catching bandanna prints.

One reviewer wrote: “It's lightweight and comfortable. I especially like that it covers the back of my neck as well as part of my chest. I am sun and heat sensitive and it works perfectly. I love it!”

  • Available colors: 28

10. The one with cooling fabric

Rather than vents or mesh panels, this innovative neck gaiter has unique cooling fabric to help you stay comfortable on hot days. Simply dip the gaiter in water, wring it out, then snap it three times before putting it on, and it will cool to 30 degrees below the average body temperature. This neck gaiter doesn't just keep you cool, but also provides protection from the sun with a UPF 50 rating. It's made from 92% polyester and 8% spandex, giving it elasticity, and it's also machine-washable for easy care.

One reviewer wrote: “I love how it is not hot on my neck when dry, how cool it keeps me when damp. Fit is not too snug. It is the best overall. NO other brand can compare!”

  • Available colors: 8

11. The balaclava

Keep your whole head protected from the sun with this full-coverage balaclava face mask. Designed so that only your eyes are exposed, it's made from polyester and spandex, so it has enough elasticity to stay snug on your face. The fabric is also machine-washable and breathable, making it a great choice for hot days. This balaclava is a fan favorite on Amazon with thousands of positive ratings, and it's available in 10 color options, so you can find the right one for your needs.

One reviewer wrote: “I like that the material is thick so it feels durable and it’s breathable. It protects my neck and face from the hot [sun] while I am working day shift security.”

  • Available colors: 10

12. The one with an adjustable drawstring

Another great choice for anyone that's worried about overheating, this black neck gaiter has mesh panels on the side, which make it more breathable and allow hot air to escape. It's made from 80% polyester and 20% spandex, making it more stretchy than some of the other options on this list, and it has a drawstring closure to prevent slipping. This neck gaiter comes in a few neutral colors, including cooling white, and each one has a reflective logo on the front to give you a bit more visibility at night. This gaiter should be hand washed to maintain the best quality.

One reviewer wrote: “Its designed for active people...I wear this in a manufacturing plant where its hot...does a great job staying on the face with the adjustable bungie...definitely a cool fitted covering..helps keep the wind off the neck too”

  • Available colors: 4