The Weatherneck - Review

Jan 30, 2017
by Vernon Felton  
The Weatherneck


The Weatherneck is a sort of modular balaclava consisting of a hat and face mask. The hat covers your head, ears and—thanks to a long beavertail-shaped, mullet flap—your neck. The face mask connects to the cap, courtesy of magnets in the face mask that mate with three small, steel tabs that are sewn into the back of the cap. Get too hot in the middle of the ride? You just reach up and pull the face mask off. You can accomplish this one handed and (depending on how bulky your winter riding gloves are) stash the mask into a jersey or pants pocket without stopping. The mask wads up into a tidy, fist-sized ball of fabric.
The Weatherneck Details
• Modular--separate cap and face mask
• Magnetic attachment system
• Mesh panel improves breathability/reduces fogging
• One size fits all--magnet system allows for adjustments
• MSRP: $39.99 USD
theweatherneck.com

If a two-piece balaclava sounds gimmicky to you, I'll readily admit to actually being intrigued by the idea of the Weatherneck. I have a couple balaclavas mouldering away in my dresser drawer. They don’t get out much. For starters, there are only about three months of the year in Western Washington that merit the things. But even when I lived in Buffalo, New York, which has no shortage whatsoever of deep-freeze conditions, I found balaclavas to often be too much of a good thing.

Yes, they kept my head and neck and face from going all rubbery and numb (and those are the good days), but they often did so while simultaneously creating a humid, jungle zone just below my nose. Snot, sweat, condensation….it all just sort of builds up there. Trying to breath through what amounts to a warm, wet washcloth while you're pedaling your heart out is less than awesome. That complaint, of course, can’t be levied at every balaclava out there—some offer better ventilation or more breathing room—but no matter which balaclava I used, I inevitably found myself fiddling with the thing throughout the ride—pulling it down below my mouth on climbs, snugging it back up just before a big descent. Up. Down. Up. Down. Annoying.

As a result, I generally just ride with a skull cap when there’s snow or ice on the ground. When it's truly cold, I'll pair a cap with a Buff, which I use as a neck gaiter. The idea of the Weatherneck made intuitive sense to me--it's basically the same thing, but purpose built and, potentially, easier to use.


The Weatherneck Balaclava

The Weatherneck Balaclava
The mullet flap may not earn bonus points for style, but the extra warmth makes up for that. It's also one of the reasons you might still be using the Weatherneck on those days when a full balaclava isn't called for.
The Weatherneck Balaclava
The face mask portion of the balaclava features a sheer, mesh section that lets you draw in and breathe out in a largely unrestricted fashion--no need to constantly adjust the face mask as you heat up or cool down..

On Trail

To cut to the chase, the Weatherneck actually works as advertised--installing and removing it takes mere seconds. It's no hassle. But there’s something worth noting here—you may not find yourself having to remove the Weatherneck's face mask during your rides--or at least not as often as you would find yourself fiddling with a typical balaclava. The Weatherneck does a good job of keeping you warm without making the front of your face feel like a sauna. The cap features a strip of mesh in the center that provide a bit of ventilation. Ditto for the central part of the face mask; you can breathe through your nose or through your mouth with fairly little restriction when wearing the face mask. If you’re pounding away hard enough on a long climb or it gradually warms up over the course of an all-day ride, you’ll find yourself taking advantage of the quick-detach feature, but thanks to the smart use of mesh, you’re able to comfortably rock the full ninja/bank-robber look in a wider range of conditions than is typically the case with a balaclava.

I wound up using the Weatherneck a lot this season. For starters, it’s been cold. And, yeah, I realize that -6 °C (20 °F) is “not cold” to the many of you out there who are reading this post on a laptop whilst hunkering inside the abdominal cavity of your tauntauns on the Ice Planet Hoth. You're rugged ice-men. Got it. But if there’s snow on the ground, I’m safely going to call my conditions cold.

But more to the point, I’ve been wearing this thing a lot because even when it isn’t cold enough to merit a full balaclava, the Weatherneck cap often provides just the right amount of warmth. The cap features a felt liner, which is downright cozy on your neck and ears and, as mentioned earlier, the sheer mesh strip in the cap’s center helps dump off a bit of excess heat. The little mullet neck flap has a dirty, Nascar/gun show vibe to it, but, comfort wins out over style when the mercury drops.

On a side note, there’s a little stash pocket sewn into the inside of that beavertail/mullet flap. While you're not going to stow car keys, a cell phone or wallet on the back of your neck, Weatherneck points out that you could tuck one of those disposable, air-activated hand-warmer packets in there.

The Weatherneck Balaclava
Your cold may be colder than my cold. Moving on.

For the record, the flap is warm enough on its own for most cold weather conditions and I tend to think of those packets as being better employed in your gloves or shoes, but it's an interesting feature all the same.

I wasn’t so sure about the whole magnetic-attachment system prior to testing the Weatherneck, but it proved easy to install the face mask and I didn’t have any problem with slippage. The three steel tabs sewn into the back of the hat also give you the ability to fine tune fit, which is pretty cool.

Complaints? I’m starting to see a few minor runs develop on the inside of my facemask. The fabric is thick enough to keep you warm, but thin and pliable enough to allow you to quickly stash it in your pack, which means it’s also less “bomber” than, say, a sheet of Cordura. Common sense really, but I still wound up cramming the mask into a pocket that already housed a multi-tool. That’s operator error on my part, but if you give one of these things a try, it’s worth bearing in mind.


The Weatherneck
Magnets mate with three small steel tabs sewn into the back of the cap. End result? You can adjust the fit of the Weatherneck and, should things heat up, you can remove it, on the fly, in a couple seconds flat.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesAs with most balaclavas, the Weatherneck takes the sting out of a freezing conditions. What sets this one apart is that you can work hard in it without feeling like you are being slowly smothered with a wet towel. It breathes exceptionally well and, should temperatures warm during your ride, removing the face mask can be done on the fly, in seconds. - Vernon Felton





109 Comments

  • + 247
 they will kick me out of America if I wear one of these!
  • + 68
 cant wait to go ride through the airport!!!
  • + 21
 They'd have to catch you first. #ninja.
  • + 9
 It is gonna be grate.
  • - 2
 It's good that winters in southern states are mild. That would get you shot rather quickly. Wearing a full face helmet on top of it wouldn't help either, unless they make a white model.
  • + 9
 Not today isis
  • + 5
 Funny not funny!
  • + 4
 Ha. I have one of these. When I first put it on she told me not to wear it around her mother as she might think me a terrorist.
  • + 9
 @properp: We've got the best balaclavas, we really do. They'r great, it's true.
  • - 1
 Functionally-- I can see myself using that for my KTM 950sm- it's damn cold in the morning.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: I live in Florida, I've seen three of these in as many days on cyclists... The lows been 50* F.... Send help the Vermonter me is slowly dying
  • + 1
 Nug12182@ just try not to blow anything up
  • - 3
 Will they kick me out of america if I wear one of these?
  • + 3
 Magnets. How do they work?
  • + 1
 @bigtim: you'd have to get in first!
  • + 2
 @captaingrumpy: Yes. Other side of the wall for you!
  • + 62
 When you want to ride at 1000 but have to assasinate someone at noon.
  • + 9
 When you're a mountain biker but also the face of antifa
  • + 1
 @Stayslacking

Antifa: When you oppose Nazism but don't want to give up hatred and collective violence. When you believe racists should be rounded up and burned in crematories for being lesser humans.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: problem being ... ?
  • + 3
 @schofell84: Hypocrisy
  • + 5
 @irus: apparently we can't discern the difference between a punch to the dome and genocide. Hrmm ...
  • + 2
 Wacek, with the passage of time, you going looking like a nazi camouflaged as a democrat. "Collective violence" is necessary for people to be free.
  • + 1
 @torero: My NAP feels violated
  • - 2
 @schofell84: Fighting violence with violence. Both are bandits. I'm talking about the present, not about the war and extermination camps.
  • + 2
 Irus - had they been born in nazi Germany they would have been working in nazi police pacifying ghettos. Had they been born in Northern Iraq or Eastern Syria, they'd be driving around Hiluxes and beheading people. This is the kind that gets enrolled to serve as agent provocateurs breaking uo p peaceful protests or manifestations and turning them into mayhem. Anti fascism is just their excuse to go out and channel their aggression woken up by ideological brainwash of people who offer those poor souls comfort of social acceptance. They are turned into useful, -dangerous idiots. The only thing keeping those minds at bay is civilized law system of states punishing murder and assault on their home soil, regardless of the motives. Shofell - don't think too much of yourself when bashing Nazis. You are a human being. You taking a preagnant woman in pyjamas out of home in the middle of winter and kicking her in the stomach because she is of the wrong kind is just a matter of circumstances. Do you think gestapo, NKVD or ISIS insurgents were some paychopatic monsters by a touch of a magic wand or some coctail of genes? No they are rather normal people like you and me that were slowly and patiently moulded into horrific savages under umbrella of certain political conditions.
  • - 4
flag schofell84 (Jan 31, 2017 at 3:53) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Now youre a baby killer if you punch Nazis hahahaha


Get off the horse.

No one said round up the arkansas trailer trash and eradicate them.

If you believe your race is superior you should be swatted upside the head. Pretty simple.

and yes I understand people are molded by their sociological conditions etc.

Some people would bitch if the didnt get hung with a new rope.
  • + 1
 @schofell84: how does that put me on the horse? I am perfectly aware of traits of my personality that would make me do certain things. I just don't take any crap that people like Antifa do anything good to the world because they are anti nazi (allegedly) They are just waiting for permission, they lick their lips at the very thought of being allowed to go for some group of people.
  • + 2
 You confuse antifa with hooligan. The antifa have nothing to do with the neo-nazi thugs who go to football. We do not fight on a whim, but for our rights.
  • + 1
 Yeah maybe we should start looking at Nazi resistance fighters and call out their hypocrisy too. WTF
  • + 0
 @schofell84: I am from Poland. My grandparents were in the resistance movement. Now there is peace. Anyone who rationalizes the use of violence is an a*shole. No matter which side of the barricade stands.
  • - 3
 We are not running a contest whether Antifa is better than Neonazis. It's would be like a choice between douche and a turd. And I was merely pointing out the fact that it doesn't matter what you say you oppose oppose, you are a freaking disgrace if you behave this way, even if it means showing up as a thug for the sole purpose of fkng intimidating people. Nazis stood for a lot of good things, they had some nice ideals every single nation subscribe under today. For instance, ekhem... Hitler wanted to make Gemany great again. It was pretty much at the core of his motivation. He found a group that was keeping the economy down, immigrants, mainly Mexicans, then he wanted to lock them up behind a wall, taking money from them to fund it, he dealt with Russia as a great ally, not the enemy, even though he knew well enough that they are the biggest enemy. He swore to lock up opposition after election... Oh wait...
  • + 1
 @irus: my grandfather was fighting in Wehrmacht in Stalingrad... what the hell does it matter... should I appeal to Americans that my family has history of fighting communism? Second grandfather got shot in his arse on a farm in Germany in 1942... my wife's grandfather lost hand in Warsaw in 1944. He wasn't a cool grand dad ad he was a horrible father to have. I lived 1h drive from Auschwitz, that my grandmother barely escaped, yet we have take lessons from Americans how bad Nazis are and watch some fkng idiots go out on the streets and teach us about "the right kinds of nationalism". First person to tell my kids to sing national anthem or some pledge of allegiance as the first thing in the morning in school will have a hard time with me. Fkng bollocks. Fortunately Swedes are free of this sort of ideological bullcrap.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: funny, I heard a swede say "we need a guy like trump" the other day. I kinda wanted to punch him, but you know, thought better of it.
  • - 1
 @DiveH: it would be a kind of a social suicide here... not as bad though, as saying women should take care of babies and make dinners (or worse - they should not earn as much as men), or gluten and sugar are good for you Big Grin
  • + 1
 @schofell84: the saying is actually.... if they got hung with a new rope. New ropes are itchy.... worn in ropes are more soft and comfortable.... duh!
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: we should've let Hitler kill you all I suppose? What the hell even is your argument?

You're just spouting off in a nonsensical direction.
  • - 1
 @schofell84: yea classic US stopped. One nation under dog
  • + 1
 @schofell84: Hitler is dead and the war is over. Long time ago.
  • - 4
flag therealtylerdurden (Jan 31, 2017 at 21:20) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: quit hating the US because we literally became #1 less than a century after our inception.
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden:you're fantastic. The best. It's true. America is great.
  • - 1
 @schofell84: everything. Our economy, innovation, trends.. Everything.
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden: you're gonna have to be more specific. Our economy is #1 for the uber wealthy. People who work for a living like me? Not so much. Innovation? Debatable. Trends? More to be ashamed of that most. The Kardashians? Give me Bieber for ****s sake.
  • + 1
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  • + 1
 @schofell84: Figured you could use some with your dinner.
  • + 1
 @schofell84: I will say though, motherf*ck the Kardashians. That ain't what I meant by 'trends'.
  • + 60
 What's the average temperature of a Tauntan? Luke warm.
-Dad.
  • + 38
 That magnet adjust fit is a clava piece of engineering.
  • + 23
 It does have a certain attraction to it.
  • + 11
 @bigtim: I see positives and negatives.
  • + 11
 Personally, I find it repelling
  • - 1
 If it's this cold out, I'm going skiing.
  • + 3
 @McNubbin: at the risk of being "that guy" it works really well for skiing too (xc or downhill as customers have reported back)
  • - 1
 @fixitsticksguy: looks like it would be too hot for downhill, especially under a helmet.
  • + 1
 @McNubbin: Just what I have been told by @braveskimom but pick one up and do a review. email me and I'll give you a discount code if you promise to write up a review with some pics...doesn't have to be positive necessarily, just honest but hopefully you like it! info@theweatherneck.com
  • + 23
 I love Baklava
  • + 9
 Makes your face sweaty, orzo I've heard.
  • + 7
 Thanks for the comments everyone (especially the puns, love em!).
This is such a great review I don't have much to add to it, but if you all have any questions I would be happy to answer them. I find that The Weatherneck vs. traditional balaclavas or buff/hat combos is that TWN is a little uncomfortable for the first 5-10 minutes as you are warming up, but allows you to stay more comfortable for longer after that point...vs...other options tend to be more comfortable in the first few minutes but then quickly overheat if you are putting in any effort. That's why it's not windproof or overly thick, I just wanted barely enough protection to get the job done and be more comfortable overall. It's actually made from yoga pants material so it does an incredible job at moisture management and dries out very quickly! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
  • + 3
 I picked one up after hearing you Mountainbikeradio and I can say Vernon's review is spot on, I really love the head cap, and use the mask less of the time, or just around my lower neck to block wind. It washes well and hasn't gotten funky yet, which is kind amazing considering how bad my helmet smells.
  • + 1
 @bbqmike: Thanks, Ben was a reluctant convert similar to Vernon, that's a good sign right? winning them over? Anyway, I think that's another part of this that worked out well (not really my intention, just a happy accident). But being able to use 1 or both pieces gives it even more temp range. I've got a lot of folks I know around me that use just Mullet Hat (especially for runners).
  • + 11
 A reasonably priced item gets a review!!!
  • + 1
 I was expecting at least 3 digits on the price.
  • + 3
 the balaclava looks prety tecnical and should work very nice on really cold, maybe I lost it but looks like you have been using the mask without helmet. can't see no comments about helmet interface. wanted to see a picture of this mask with an open helmet and a full face helmet.
  • + 1
 I just remove one or two Velcro pads from the inside of my helmets when I wear a hat under them. You get used to it.
  • + 4
 I just shot the balaclava minus the helmet so that people could get a grasp of what it looks like and how the two pieces mesh together. It fits seamlessly with a half shell helmet. Didn't use it with a full face. It doesn't add a ton of bulk, but I'm guessing you might need to slightly tweak the padding on some full face lids.
  • + 2
 with the check pads in fullface helmets most balaclavas/fullface combos don't work well - trust me i have tried it for skiing
  • + 3
 If I lost my OR Ninjaclava I might think about buying one of these, but otherwise I can't think of a reason why I would. It seems to solve problems I don't have with the balaclava I'm using. I had no idea that there were folks who thought a normal balaclava was inconvenient and inadequate. Maybe I'm just not picky enough.
  • + 2
 Vernon always writes a good review. Just last night, talking to a bud about reviews, his name came up and there was a question about his age - I said "I think maybe around our age..."

With the Star Wars reference, he may have given it away. I was a child of the Seventies and really dug Star Wars, so on that alone I'll give Vernon the thumbs up on another good review.

All that said, I still a big fan of an old fashioned handkerchief tied around the neck, lifted to the chin, with the helmet strap buckled under it to hold it in place.

Or... how 'bout growing an old fashioned beard. It's worth it here in far upstate NY.
  • + 2
 I've had one of these since December now. I really like the hat part. I am not so convinced on the next part yet. The issue I have is that the washers in the hat for the neck to attach to get obstructed by my helmet (Bell Super) making it near impossible to put on without taking the helmet off. This may not be a issue with other helmets. This doesn't get in the way of taking it off though so if you get too hot on a climb it is easy to remove. I worked around the washer issue by gluing washers to the helmet where I want to attach the neck piece. This kind of works but I am not finding the magnets strong enough in real world usage. They have not been staying in place. I'm still trying different ways to use it so hopefully I can improve its performance.

For the actual material and breath ability of it I would say that it is pretty good for mid-cold temperatures. I really cold I still prefer my one piece balaclava (it is more snug) with the weatherneck hat added for extra warmth.
  • + 1
 I've been using the under armour infrared balaclava for the past few years now. Definitely the best I've had experience with.... The 'infrared' material is great. It will get moist on the most extreme conditions (and by that i mostly mean the conditions coming out of your nose) but will dry out quickly, even if it is being worn....

I find that is the key when choosing something to wear in front of your mouth and nose because at a certain point there is just no preventing this outside of wearing a full blown ventilator of some sort...

www.underarmour.com/en-us/pid1239863?scid=scplp1239863-002&sc_intid=1239863-002&cid=PLA|US|B|GGL|DES&gclid=CKjXvcyv6tECFVZYDQodfBAKew
  • + 1
 I'll vouch for that. I pull the part that covers your face under my chin so breathing isn't an issue. My beard covers the rest of my face. Also adds ventilation so my goggles don't fog.
  • + 2
 I love my traditional balaclavas and would love to try this one. I admit I've never really been hassled by moving them up and down in my face cuz I'm so happy not to be completely miserable. They're worth the hassle.
  • + 1
 Ive never used one of these things that didnt ice up really bad after 15 minutes, but I only used them when it was so cold it hurt your face. Since then Ive sworn them off completely, but maybe they work better when its not super cold and you are just dealing with wind chill from riding.
  • + 5
 AK47 optional.
  • + 3
 My beard provides all of the same benefits... except it's not so easily removable on trail.
  • + 4
 Thank you Pinkbike for reviewing "real" winter gear.
  • + 1
 Blackstrap (BS) Balaclava FTW and $11 cheaper! My family uses them for skiing and they are lifesavers on nasty days. Can breathe hard through them and they don't fog up goggles (or glasses).
  • + 4
 Grow a beard, these things are silly
  • + 7
 You need both. I ride fatbikes on hoth.
  • + 4
 I don't want my wife to be able to grow a beard and enjoy outdoor activities with her.
  • + 1
 @lifeofloon:

Then lock her in a kennel with a razor. It's going to happen eventually.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: I choose to treat my wife with the respect I want to receive in return.
  • + 4
 Sewn, not sown, FYI.
  • + 3
 Might go do my banking on my bike
  • + 1
 If it's still too cold in your region with the clav, there probably isn't enough life there to fill a star cruiser.
  • + 2
 Or you could just wear a buff
  • + 2
 Buff and a thin toque, ulta versatile.
  • + 1
 I could have used this saturday...when the water in my camelback actually froze...nothing like snotcicles....
  • + 2
 My camelback only thaws in the spring, after you drink blow into the bite valve to empty the tube, it helps but when its really cold the bite valve will be solid for that " just keep it in your mouth." when that fails go home, or skiing spring is coming.
  • + 1
 Just get an Airhole instead
  • + 1
 You can buy this in the UK through us at Cyclorise.com
  • + 2
 Run!
  • - 1
 What's the point of this when there are vents that let the wind and cold in? Seirus and Marmot Windstoppers are better options.
  • + 9
 Have you tried it? The venting strip on the head is, naturally, beneath your helmet--so it's basically just helping dump excess heat. I have to admit that I had my doubts about the strip of mesh right over the kisser, but that portion of my face never got cold and--big bonus--I was able to breathe through it with very little impairment, which is not something you can generally do with most balaclavas. It's not perfect (nothing is), but being cold with this thing on is definitely not a problem.
  • + 0
 ISIS approved! ????
  • + 0
 Kek
  • + 4
 @Pedalen: oh don't get your panties in a bunch. It's called a joke.
  • - 1
 @someguy101:

LEAF REEEEEEE
  • + 4
 @someguy101: I have learned here on P.B., that the majority are devoid of a sense of humor and discriminate against forthrightness!
  • - 1
 If it's cold enough to need one of these I'm not riding.
  • + 0
 BooHoo -San Diegan
  • - 3
 Made in Syria
  • + 4
 nope...'Murica son.
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