Clothing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling

8 Best Balaclavas for Winter Sports (Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, etc.) 2019

Best Balaclavas for Winter Sports

Balaclavas, also known as ski masks, are headgears designed to shield the head and the neck from weather elements. Essentially, a balaclava leaves out only the face or some parts of your face, for instance, the mouth and the eyes. Some are designed to cover the nose and mouth, leaving only the eyes which should be protected by goggles. Others are versatile and can be adjusted in many different styles to accommodate different kinds of weather conditions.

A balaclava needs to be warm and moisture-wicking on the inside and protective on the outside. Here are some important features that you need to consider when purchasing one for yourself.

  Price Name Our score
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KLIM Men’s Arctic Fleece-Lined Neoprene Balaclava 4.8
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Self Pro Balaclava – Windproof Ski Mask – Cold Weather Face Motorcycle Mask  4.1
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KLIM Glacier Men’s Ski Snowmobile Balaclava  4.9
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Blackstrap Expedition Hood Balaclava Face Mask 4.5
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Polaris New OEM Snowmobile Black Mountain Balaclava  4.2
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DSG Outerwear Women’s Full Face Black Balaclava 4.5
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KLIM Men’s Covert Balaclava 4.7
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KLIM Men’s Standard Balaclava 4.3

Jump straight to the Reviews Section

 

Material construction

The best and popular fabrics used to make balaclavas are merino wool, neoprene, nylon, and polyester most commonly with a fleece lining if any. Polyester is lightweight, breathable, and exceptionally moisture-wicking. Merino is arguably the best as it has all the benefits needed in the best balaclava for extreme cold conditions. It is warm, moisture wicking, breathable, and odor resistant. On the con, however, it is not exactly cheap. Neoprene comes as the second best option. It is fairly priced and has great water resistance breathability and weather-proofing abilities. Nylon blended with other fabrics presents the most durable and pocket-friendly option.

 

Size

Get a well fitting balaclava if it has to give you maximum protection. You may come across some one-size-fits-all balaclavas made with stretchy fabrics that will not only deliver a great fit but also allow you to wear them in different styles.

 

Versatility

Ideally, the balaclava was intended to be a cold weather face mask. However, a good balaclava mask should be flexible enough to let you open it up as a half mask, use it on the neck or head alone in case the weather warms up.

 

Lightweight

Lightweight balaclavas have often been seen as not warm enough. However, it doesn’t have to be so. There are thinner versions that are lined with light warm fleece that will keep you warm through winter without necessarily being bulky.

 

Design

As already mentioned, balaclavas can be worn in many different styles, that is if they are versatile. On the other hand, some will come in a single design, therefore, you may be forced to select the best design that suits your needs. design s will range from full face to half face to several other styles. Also confirm that the design you choose is compatible with other accessories like your helmet, goggle, and eyeglasses.

Additional features. Additional features include hypoallergenic property to protect your skin from allergic reactions, antimicrobial properties to protect against bacteria, temperature control technology that regulates temperature to match it with the current weather conditions, and a reflective logo to enhance visibility.


 

Best Balaclavas for Winter Sports (Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, etc.) 2019

In this review, we feature 8 of the best balaclavas, well suited for those intending to brave hard winter to have some fun doing what they know how to do best. They are lightweight, highly breathable, warm, and quite comfortable.

 

1. KLIM Men’s Arctic Fleece-Lined Neoprene Balaclava

KLIM Arctic Balaclava


New From: $54.99 USD In Stock

KLIM is an authority in the winter’s technical gear industry and the Men’s Arctic Balaclava doesn’t fall short of quality expectations. This balaclava has been designed with all the right materials in specific areas making it one of the best all-around protectors. It features the revolutionary Windstopper technology both on the heavy fleece fabric around its main body and the compact fleece fabric around eye port. This makes it a completely windproof balaclava that is remarkably breathable on the inside.

The nose piece features premium neoprene fabric known for its excellent thermal insulation and waterproof properties. The stretchy head fleece-lycra fabric along with stretchy gathers on the neck sides are not just protective, they are the reason why this balaclava offers a great fit to all head sizes. It comes outfitted with a wide skirt that tucks in to provide maximum protection from hard winter. Klim’s Neoprene thermal winter face mask is a good bet for men seeking to venture out into hard winter weather.

 

2. Self Pro Balaclava – Windproof Ski Mask

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If you are looking for a windproof ski mask that’s flexible enough to be worn with glasses, goggles, and a helmet, the Self Pro Balaclava presents a good option. First, this balaclava is unisex, offering a good fit for men, women, and children. Secondly, it is engineered with the innovative CoolMax technology which features premium polyester fabric that has been developed to improve its moisture wicking and breathability abilities. On the inside is the soft polar fleece lining to keep you dry and toasty in the harsh winter weather. Overall, this construction is hypoallergenic and will not cause irritation to sensitive skin.

This latest improvement is lightweight and comes with a unique neck design that’s longer at the front for a better shielding from wind and cold. It comes with better cutouts and the no-bulk flatlock seams to deliver a fit that feels natural making it an ideal balaclava for cold weather.

This is the most versatile balaclava built for summer or winter use and is arguably the best balaclava for snowboarding, skiing, biking, trekking, and cycling among several other outdoor ventures. It can be worn in many different styles as a full face mask, neck gaiter, ninja hoodie, or open balaclava and will still fit perfectly.

 

3. KLIM Glacier Men’s Ski Snowmobile Balaclava

Klim’s Glacier is another balaclava designed for the harshest winter weather. It features the innovative windproof Windstopper construction. Coupled with CoolMax moisture-wicking polyester fabric on the sides, there is no denying that this balaclava winter mask is an aggressive shield in hard winter and the best balaclava for skiing. It is designed with a neoprene breath box that juts out diagonally allowing moisture from the nose and mouth to travel downwards and prevent fogging on the goggles.

Glacier balaclava comes with an over-the-collar skirt fitted with an adjustable tuck strap and slides closure at the bottom to lock out weather elements when fastened. This balaclava is light and features stretchy lycra panel to deliver a good fit.

 

4. Blackstrap Expedition Hood Balaclava Face Mask

The expedition model of Blackstrap hood is thicker with a dual layer of 4-way stretch fabric on the head and neck to give it the flexibility of being worn by different head sizes in several different styles. The all-synthetic construction of a blend of three different fabrics comes with excellent breathable and moisture wicking properties. It has also been UV stabilized with a UPF rating above 50 and given an effective antimicrobial and anti-odor treatment to deliver all-around protection. This hood features the exo-hinge construction that lets you lower down or lift the mouthpiece without stretching the fabric too much to damage it.

This balaclava is exceptionally versatile and can be worn full or half face as well as over or under the helmet. It is compatible with goggles and eyeglasses plus their lenses will be safe alongside the material used for the hood. The Blackstrap Expedition Hood comes with several color options to meet different preferences.

 

5. Polaris New OEM Snowmobile Black Mountain Balaclava

This dual layer balaclava by Polaris features a warm moisture-wicking layer on the inside and a weatherproof layer on the outside. The blend of polyester and stretchy spandex gives it a great fit when worn by different head sizes. Secondly, it has been designed to be worn with goggles and helmets for more enhanced protection.

While it is not exactly lightweight, this hood will provide excellent protection from harsh weather elements. It features a neck design that is longer at the front to provide better shielding from wind and cold to keep your neck warm. Together with low profile flatlock seams, the wearer will hardly feel the bulk of it as is normally the case when wearing ordinary hoods.

 

6. DSG Outerwear Women’s Full Face Black Balaclava

Here is a product designed especially for women. The DSG women’s balaclava comes with a fixed full-face design and a vented mouthpiece making it comfortably breathable in aggressive activities. It features the Windstopper technology which together with the full-face design delivers exceptional warmth and protection.

This balaclava is constructed on one part around the head with DSG’s very own D-Tech 4-way stretch fabric and on the other around the neck, chest, and back with a thick material to block of wind and keep you warm in freezing weather conditions. The chest part isn’t just long, it is impressively wider than that of other units to offer maximum protection. Again the flat stitching and a stretchy edge are a great comfort and fit additions.

 

7. KLIM Men’s Covert Balaclava

KLIM Covert Balaclava Black


New From: $49.99 USD In Stock

The Covert balaclava by Klim features a combination of dual zone balaclava Windstopper fabric and CoolMax fabric around the top and sides of the balaclava making it a good option if you are looking at a favorable balance between breathability and moisture-wicking properties and maximum protection from wind. Its construction also features a stretching fabric at the back allowing it to fit varying head sizes comfortably. On the sides are stretchy side panels which go along to enhance how well this balaclava will fit the wearer around the neck.

Other impressive features in this Men’s Covert piece include the no-bulk flatlock stitching in the entire hood, extended chest and back panels integrated with silicone to keep it intact, along with breather vents on the nose piece. Wear it above or below the mouth as you please.

 

8. KLIM Men’s Standard Balaclava

KLIM Balaclava


New From: 0 Out of Stock

Klim’s men’s standard balaclava is a 2013 model that has remained top in competition since 2013. Featuring premium Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric on its lowers from beneath the chin, around the neck to the chest and back areas, this balaclava offers a mix of protection, warmth, breathability, and waterproof abilities. The top part is engineered with the highly breathable and moisture-wicking CoolMax technology in its fabric with a stretchy lycra back panel. The back panel features ergonomic patterning. Coupled with flat-lock stitching on the entire unit, your comfort throughout is guaranteed.

Being that it has been designed with a stretchy element in its fabrics, this balaclava will fit most head sizes comfortably and can be worn under the helmet.

 

Conclusion

Not protecting your head, face, and neck when out during winter will certainly expose you to the effects of the harsh winter weather. This is why a balaclava together with neck gaiters, goggles, and helmets are important winter gear. They will shield your face, neck, and head from wind, snow, and the sun and still keep your skin warm and breathing.

When it comes to making your selection, there are many different options based on design, function, color, and other factors. The best choice will be determined by your specific requirements. Whatever you choose, make sure it gives you the protection and comfort you deserve.

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