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A tubular neck warmer is one of the most versatile pieces of kit that any rider can have, for year-round use, but that versatility (and price) varies hugely across the designs available. The Showers Pass SP Neck Gaiter is one of the best value and most useful I've come across, balancing excellent stretch, good length and superbly moisture wicking fabric with a decent price.
Made from incredibly stretchy fabric, which is a mix of 34% polyester, 60% nylon and 6% elastane, the only seams the Neck Gaiter has are minimal ones at top and bottom, with no seam running down its length. Its dimensions are more generous than many, both in terms of length and width, and the fabric has a high level of solar protection too, with a UPF of 40+.
There are plenty of tubular scarves/Buffs/warmers on the market, with a huge variety of subtly different characteristics. Some are longer, others are warmer, some are made from merino, others from high tech fabrics. This one by Showers Pass, a company known for its kit for foul weather, is super-stretchy and soft to the touch. It manages to deliver good levels of warmth while being very breathable, and it dries quickly. This means it's great to wear over the nose without steaming up glasses too badly, and doesn't get soggy from breath.
The length is such that it covers that bit between jersey and opening of jacket while still having plenty spare for wearing over the nose at the same time (emergency face covering anyone?). Its stretchiness means it works well pulled up over the head too, to act as an under-helmet warmer, and isn't too bulky for that.
The balance of warmth and breathability is great. It's not super-lightweight but nor is it particularly heavy and bulky, and it still rolls up easily into a jersey or jacket pocket, taking up less space than a pair of winter gloves.
Compared with similar scarves/warmers, it's very good value for money, particularly considering its performance and versatility. It's £14 less than the similarly technical Sportful W Neck Warmer at £30, and significantly less expensive than some merino ones, like the knitted Findra Women's Betty Neck Warmer, now £30.
It's a good bit cheaper than Showers Pass's own Merino Neck Gaiter at £23 too, which is also less versatile because of its shorter length.
The Showers Pass SP Neck Gaiter is warm, breathable, fast-drying, super-stretchy and packs down nice and small. As something that can be worn as a scarf, face covering, head covering or hat, it's great – and great value.
Low weight but warm and breathable neck warmer that's versatile and inexpensive too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Showers Pass SP Neck Gaiter
Size tested: One Size
Tell us what the product is for
Showers Pass says, 'A PREMIUM MULTI-FUNCTIONAL ACCESSORY
'A cold wind always manages to find those patches of exposed skin. The SP Neck Gaiter provides a simple and versatile solution for staying warm and comfortable so you can focus on what's ahead.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Showers Pass lists:
Tightly woven fabric increases body heat retention
Able to double fold for greater protection
Complete neck, head, and face coverage
UPF 40+ protection
Flat dimensions: 16.4 inches tall, 9.5 inches wide
Materials: 34% Polyester, 60% Nylon, 6% Elastane
Machine washable at 30
No seam at all on the main bit of the tube, and pretty unobtrusive seams at top and bottom hem. Good quality soft, breathable stretchy fabric.
Soft and comfortable to wear yet provides good warmth and doesn't get soggy.
The fabric can catch on Velcro type fastenings quite easily, but it is fairly robust nonetheless.
Good levels of stretch and good length mean it should fit a variety of riders.
Very light for its levels of warmth.
Very comfortable, soft, breathable and cosy.
Great value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A versatile and effective option to keep out draughts or for extra warmth.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warm, superbly breathable, a good size/length, inexpensive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's £14 less than the similarly technical Sportful W Neck Warmer at £30, and significantly less expensive than merino ones, like the British knitted Findra Women's Betty Neck Warmer at £30. It's also a good bit cheaper than Showers Pass's own Merino Neck Gaiter at £23.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much. Quickly became a favourite piece of kit.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The SP Neck Gaiter is a cut above many, being soft, stretchy, breathable and effective, useful for a variety of purposes. It doesn't cost the earth either.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.