Gear Roundup: BUFF® Tech Fleece Headband

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF® Tech Fleece Headband to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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As the temperature drops and we head into winter, I add layers to my running outfits. I move from shorts to leggings, from t-shirts to long sleeve shirts, and then start adding a vest or a jacket to my ensemble as the winter gets colder.

But before I even increase the length of my pants or transition to long sleeves, I pull out my two mandatory pieces of winter gear – a headband that covers my ear and a pair of gloves. My current favorite running gloves, which I have mentioned in blog posts before, are a pair of brooks gloves that have a mitten option that pops out of a pocket (they are an older model, but closest to the “nightlife” glove that they currently sell). 

As for headbands, I have a little more of a collection. My go to has been a newbalance one that I bought with the NYC marathon logo on it in 2017, and then I have two other ones that float around. Point is, I am a fan of headbands that can keep my ears cozy when I run. 

When BibRave opened up an opportunity to test a Buff tech fleece headband, I signed up to give one a try. My headband arrived in the mail about a week later, and I was excited to try it out! The first things that I noticed about the headband were that the material was much thinner than other headbands I have, and the inside was so soft! The headband is supposed to be wind resistant, and since I was set to volunteer at a race that was going to be cold and windy I thought it would be perfect to try out the next morning.

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The Buff website lists the product details for this headband, and it includes that the headband is made of stretchy polyester elastane with a soft brushed fleece inside. It is also moisture wicking, quick drying, and breathable – I have had issues with other headbands winding up soaked through with sweat in cold weather, so this was another feature I was looking forward to testing. 

The first day I wore the headband, it stayed in place and kept me warm as I ran around performing various volunteer duties. It was so windy that day that the finish line chute had to be assembled last minute so that it wouldn’t blow away, and despite all that windiness my ears stayed warm – which I took as a “check” in wind resistant column. 

About a week passed before it was cold enough on a morning run to warrant a headband, but was soon as the temps dropped into the 40s, I put my new headband on as I headed out the door.

The headband was so comfortable, that I almost forgot I was wearing it! With other headbands I sometimes have the issue that I sweat through it, and then I am very aware of how cold the air is as the white headband sits on my ears. But with my new buff tech fleece headband I never had that issue. I am looking forward to more miles with my headband as the winter continues to get colder. I am confident it will keep my ears warm and keep me comfortable for many miles.

If you’re interested in trying out your own Buff Tech fleece headband, head to www.buffusa.com/bibrave and sign up for their emails for a 15% off coupon code! Let me know what you think of your new headband too – because I am guessing you’ll love it as much as I do once you feel the softness of the fleece.

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Gear Roundup: Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0

Disclaimer: I received an  Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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As I trained for my first triathlon last summer, more than once I found myself in a public area and in need of an outfit change. I know, I know – they make plenty of clothing for triathletes that you can wear from swim to bike to run, but as a newbie to the sport, my wardrobe was more limited. I owned heavy padded bike shorts, that were no good for running and a bathing suit that needed to be changed out of after a swim, which lead to me searching for a public restroom or climbing into my car and trying to be discrete as I swapped outfits.

As the seasons changed to fall and my swims moved inside, I was trekking to the public pool armed with ratty old pool towels, that were hand-me-downs from my mother in law. They got the job done, but were a bit more bare bones with each use.

I had heard other triathletes talk about using a transition towel, and even seen a few put them to use. So when the BibRave team presented an opportunity to work with Orange mud and their new transition wrap 2.0, I applied to be a tester.

When I received my Orange Mud Transition wrap 2.0 from the folks at Orange Mud, it was all neatly packaged up in its bag. I got a purple one, and happily plopped it into my gym bag so it could come along for my next swim. I was surprised at how much softer it was than a standard towel

Now, the orange mud transition wrap 2.0 is more than just a standard pool towel. It is billed as a towel with three uses

  1. It has a zipper on one end that enables you to hook it onto your car seat, so that when you are sweaty after a workout you can protect your car seat

  2. It has an integrated adjustable belt so that you can wear it around your body while you change under it

  3. Of course, it has the standard feature every towel comes with – it can dry you off when you are wet

The next time I headed to the pool, I tried out the belt feature that the towel has. To give myself a little added privacy in the locker room I clipped the towel around me. I found that it worked better for me when I clipped it around my shoulders instead of around my waist, since it has to wrap around itself for me to securely clip it to my waist – which would work if I was just changing my pants, but made getting a one piece bathing suit on more complicated than it needed to be.

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But it checked the box of having a private place to change – so it was onto the next, and most basic test: How would it perform as a towel?

I got my laps in, and wrapped the towel around my body once I finished my swim. Once again, I was surprised at how soft the towel was. It felt smooth on my skin, rather than abrasive as old pool towels sometimes seem. I headed to the locker room and used the towel to dry off before changing. It did the job faster than a normal towel, and didn’t feel sopping wet as I tucked it back into my gym bag. When I got home I hung it out to dry, even though it seemed to have mostly dried off already.

There was only one thing left to check – how was it on a car seat? I headed for a run with mt friend Mike, and he offered to drive us to a local path. I packed my towel in my running bag, figuring I could save his seat from my sweat on the ride home.

After the run the towel easily zipped up and attached to the seat’s head rest. Mike pointed out that I we had taken his car to hot yoga in the past, and that I had already gotten his seat all sweaty once – but hey, thanks to orange mud I can now be a more considerate friend, and leave my stink behind a little less often!

All in all, this towel has quickly become my new favorite. It has already become a staple in my gym bag, and I am sure next summer it will come along for many open water swims and bike rides. If you are in the market for a towel that does more than just dries you off – the Orange Mud transition wrap 2.0 is just what you are looking for.