How To Wear A Neck Gaiter: 6 Useful Ways To Style It

by Kevin Gaertner July 17, 2020

How To Wear Neck Gaiters

Neck gaiters are simple tubes of fabric with a huge range of possible uses. This guide explains everything you need to know about these versatile and functional garments: how to use neck gaiters, how to wear neck gaiters, and how to clean neck gaiters.

The six easiest and most useful ways to wear a neck gaiter are:

  1. Neckerchief
  2. Face covering
  3. Beanie
  4. Hair wrap
  5. Headband
  6. Hairband

We’ll get into the details below on how you can wear your neck gaiter in each of these ways — along with some surprising uses for first aid and outdoor preparedness!

Warm & Cold Weather Neck Gaiters

What is a neck gaiter typically used for?

Neck gaiters typically come in two varieties: for warm weather and for cold weather. Our lightweight neck gaiters can keep you cool and protected when it’s hot outside or during exercise, while our insulated neck gaiters can keep you warm on cold days - or year round in colder climates. So how do you use a neck gaiter?

Warm Weather Neck Gaiter Uses

Lightweight neck gaiters are perfect for keeping you comfortable, even on the hottest days. Wear your neck gaiter on your head to protect your hair from dust, sweat, insects, even your own bike helmet! It’s also fantastic for protecting against sunburned scalps, since it’s lighter than a hat or ball cap.

Wear it around your neck to guard against sunburn and soak up sweat. (On an extra hot day, dip your neck gaiter in cold water first to keep yourself cool and refreshed in the process!) Wear your neck gaiter over your face to avoid breathing in dust and pollen, keep bugs out of your mouth, and even serve as a makeshift temporary face mask.

A neck gaiter is great for any of these summer activities:

  • Hiking
  • Road cycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing and boating
  • Running and any outdoor exercise

Warm & Cold Wether Neck Gaiters

Cold Weather Neck Gaiter Uses

Insulated and fleece-lined neck gaiters provide extra warmth in cold weather. Wear a neck gaiter on your head to keep your ears toasty (or just to keep hat hair at bay!). Wear it around your neck to provide more warmth than a looser-fitting scarf or wear it up around your face to protect your chin, cheeks, and nose from frigid winter winds.

A cold weather neck gaiter is perfect for any of these activities:

  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Winter hiking and camping
  • Working outdoors
  • Cold offices and work facilities

Depending on how hot you get while skiing or snowboarding, a lightweight neck gaiter can sometimes be all you need to stay warm and comfortable on the slopes - especially if used as a full face covering.

How do you wear a neck gaiter?

The ultimate multi-use accessory, neck gaiters can be worn any number of ways. It’s fun to experiment with new styles and uses. Pinterest and YouTube have tons of ideas for stylish and functional ways to wear your neck gaiter, and this article from Divergent Travelers shows 16 different ways to wear them. To get you started, here are six of our favorite and most useful ways to wear a neck gaiter.

How To Wear A Neck Gaiter

Neckerchief & Neck Warmer

To wear your neck gaiter as a scarf or neckerchief, just pull the tube of fabric over your head, letting it fall loosely around your neck. It’s a simple way to stay warm and stylish. On cold days, keep a neck gaiter made from a warmer fabric pulled up higher towards your chin to act as a neck warmer.

Give yourself some extra protection from the sun by pulling the neck gaiter up onto the back of your head and over your chin.

Face Covering

To wear your neck gaiter as a face mask, pull the tube of fabric over your head, resting the top just below your eyes and pulling the bottom down to cover your neck and throat. Our breathable fabrics will comfortably protect your face from dust and inclement weather.

Wearing it this way helps protect against wind chill while skiing, snowboarding, or cycling. In a pinch, it can also work as a makeshift face covering when social distancing is not possible and purpose-made face masks are available, as described below.


To wear your neck gaiter as a beanie, start by turning it inside out. Pull it over your head like a hat. Remember, you want the pattern against your head, and the reverse side of the fabric facing out. Give the center of the tube a couple of twists to keep it in place, then pull the open end down over your head, covering the inside-out section.

Hair Wrap (Foulard)

A foulard is just a patterned scarf that can be worn in the hair. To get this fun, boho-inspired look with a neck gaiter, start by pulling it on like an ordinary headband, but pull open the back of the tube so that it drapes loosely like a scarf. This basic technique can serve as the foundation for lots of different styles!


The headband style is fantastic for keeping hair in place or soaking up sweat. For a more polished look, you can fold your neck gaiter first by reaching inside the tube and bringing one edge down to meet the other, wrong sides together. For a more casual effect, just scrunch it up. Once you’ve got your desired width, just pull the neck gaiter on like a crown.


Whether you have short or long hair, this style is perfect for keeping it out of your face. It’s also a great antidote to bad hair days or unfortunate quarantine cuts. Start by putting your neck gaiter on like a scarf, as described above. Then just pull the tube up until it covers your hair. This style can also be folded or scrunched to different widths depending on your hair and preference.

Outdoor Neck Gaiters

Bonus - First Aid & Outdoor Preparedness

A neck gaiter isn’t just a fun accessory. In a pinch, it could even save your life! Popular Science suggests some innovative uses for a neck gaiter if you’re ever caught in the wilderness without the right supplies. Here are a few of our favorites — but we hope you never have to use them!

  • Tend a wound with your neck gaiter. In an emergency, you can wet your neck gaiter to clean a wound, use it to staunch the flow of blood, or turn it into a makeshift bandage. It’s no substitute for a sterile gauze pad, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Turn your neck gaiter into an arm sling. For kids, a single neck gaiter can be looped around the head and injured arm. Adults will need to tie two of them together, looping one around the head and the other around the injured arm.
  • Add a stick to turn your neck gaiter into a makeshift tourniquet. For a bad cut, put your neck gaiter on the injured limb, pulling it just above the wound. Pull the stick through the tube, then turn it in place to tighten.
  • Use your neck gaiter as a strap, shock cord, or guy line. Tie a neck gaiter to a bag or backpack to make a temporary strap. Use it in place of a bungee or shock cord to attach a tent or sleeping bag to the outside of your backpack. Pull it through a tent loop and stake it down to replace a broken guy line.

Even if you aren’t planning to wear a neck gaiter, it’s worth bringing one or two along on your next adventure for peace of mind. After all, a neck gaiter is small enough to fit in a pocket, and so lightweight that you won’t even notice you’re carrying it.

Neck Gaiter Face Mask

Can I use a neck gaiter in place of a face mask?

A neck gaiter is not ideal as a pandemic face mask, but it’s better than nothing at all. The World Health Organization recommends cloth face masks be three layers thick to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but neck gaiters are only one layer thick. Still, neck gaiters can be pressed into service as emergency face coverings if you can’t wear a mask or don’t have one handy. In the context of COVID-19, neck gaiters are most useful for two scenarios: strenuous exercise and unexpected human contact.

Some people struggle to breathe in three-layer masks during intense exercise. A neck gaiter, on the other hand, is designed to be breathable when worn over the mouth and nose. Since neck gaiters are made of a single tube of fabric, they are also easier to keep in place. So if a regular face mask is falling off or impeding your air flow during exercise, a neck gaiter could be a viable alternative. Just remember to maintain social distance, since breathability is a double-edged sword when it comes to airborne viruses.

Neck gaiters are also useful if you unexpectedly encounter people while outdoors. You can wear a neck gaiter like a scarf or neckerchief, then pull it up over your mouth and nose if the need arises. It’s faster than pulling a face mask out of your pocket, and you don’t need to mess with straps or ear loops.

How do you put on a neck gaiter?

The most common way, especially when used as a neckerchief and neck warmer, is to stretch the opening, place the tube over your head, and stretch it down to your neck. However, the way you choose to wear it will also affect how to put it on. As described above, sometimes a neck gaiter just needs to sit on your head before being fashioned into the style you choose.

Neck Gaiter Care & Washing

Neck gaiter care & cleaning steps.

The best way to wash our lightweight neck gaiter is with hot water and regular detergent. After running your neck gaiter through the washing machine, use the high heat setting on your dryer, or the sanitize dry setting on more modern drying machines. High temperatures will help to kill any germs or bacteria on your neck gaiter.

Insulated neck gaiters made from heavier or fleece lined fabrics sometimes have different care instructions. Ours are machine washable with cold water followed by drying on low heat.

In the context of COVID-19 when using your neck gaiter as a face covering, machine wash and dry on high heat or sanitize as recommended by the CDC. Harsher measures like chlorine bleach or boiling will shorten the lifespan of your neck gaiter, and should only be used if you don’t have access to hot water.

Why is a tie company making neck gaiters?

Owing to our roots in Colorado and our team’s affinity for the great outdoors, we’re thrilled to now be making neck gaiters. With two sizes, two high-quality fabrics, and 40+ designs to choose from, we continue our goal of offering highly custom products made in the USA with an exceptional level of craftsmanship.

Both of our new neck gaiter styles, along with our face masks, are part of our initiative to create fashionable and functional products as we all continue to keep ourselves covered during this global pandemic. All of our neck gaiters are made in Colorado by skilled resettled refugees. Like our face masks, our neck gaiters help keep all of our staff employed during this challenging time, while helping to make our community a little safer.

Additionally, our Insulated Neck Gaiter style is made from REPREVE®, a high-quality fleece lined material made using recycled plastic water bottles. This choice of material continues our commitment to making sustainable products whenever possible. We’re continuing to work hard to have the different fabrics used in all our products also made from recycled water bottles.

Read more about where we’re headed with our impact and sustainability goals in our 2019 Impact Guide.

Neck Gaiters, Face Masks, Ties

Get ready to look good - indoors and out.

Lightweight neck gaiters keep you cool and dry in the summer heat, while insulated neck gaiters offer extra warmth on cold winter days. We offer both styles in a wide range of designs, all proudly made in the USA.

Whether you opt for a lightweight or an insulated style, neck gaiters can be worn any number of ways. Wear it as a beanie, a hair scarf, or a neck warmer. In an emergency, a neck gaiter can even work as an arm sling or a tourniquet! While neck gaiters aren’t ideal as COVID-19 face coverings, they are better than nothing at all, especially for strenuous exercise or unexpected human contact.

It’s hard to find another outdoor accessory as versatile as a neck gaiter. For a simple tube of fabric, neck gaiters provide a surprising level of usefulness, offering protection, comfort, and style in warm and cool weather alike. By offering a great canvas for fun and unique designs, it’s easy to buy neck gaiters that fit your personality and style. Neck gaiters are perfect for outdoor adventures, from skiing, to camping, to everything in between.



Still have questions?

Read our Buyer's Guide to Neck Gaiters, or contact our sales and support team to help. Contact us here

Kevin Gaertner
Kevin Gaertner


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Face Masks 

Adult Standard Adult Small
5" x 8"
Fits most male adults.
4.5" x 7"
Fits most women and young adults.


Neck Gaiters 

Regular Small
9.5” x 14”
Fits most men and those with larger heads.
8.5" x 14"
Fits most women and kids.




Skinny Knotty Classic
2.25" wide 2.75" wide 3.5" wide


Standard Long Extra-Long
58" long 62" long 66" long


Youth Self-Tied
52" long
Ages 10+


Bow Ties 

Adult Kids Pre-Tied Baby Pre-Tied
Self-tied style
Adjustable for necks 14-18"
Ages 2 and over
Adjustable velcro closure
Ages 2 and under
Adjustable velcro closure