Buff headlamp

How a Buff helped me drop 2 ounces from my pack

I may be delving into the realm of ridiculously lightweight but if that’s your thing, you may find some good ideas here. The original Buff® truly is multifunctional headwear. Previously on my trips I carried a bandanna as a pot holder, sweat wiper, rag, mud cleaner, napkin, and towel but a Buff acts equally well as replacement for all those uses. Additionally, while a stocking cap is certainly warmer than a Buff, it only serves one single function. The Buff, however, can be manipulated into a balaclava, can be used in warmer temperatures to keep sweat out of my eyes, and can protect the back of my neck and forehead on sunny hikes.

Black Diamond Ion headlamp


Last night laying in bed I tried to think of a replacement for my headlamp strap. I wanted something I was already carrying that could match the headband in comfort and reliability. After failing to think of ways to incorporate a sternum strap into my pack, I thought the Buff may work but I couldn’t imagine how. This morning, after a few minutes of fiddling around, I found that simply folding the buff in half, putting one end over the top of the bracket, and slipping the other end up below the headlamp and twirling from below gave me an even more stable headband than my old strap. The process takes about twenty seconds and once its done the headlamp doesn’t rattle or bounce. The headlamp without the strap weighs 1.24 ounces (with 2 lithium batteries) and dropped nearly half an ounce from my pack. All tallied up, for a weight cost of 1.17 ounces, the Buff replaced a 1.2 ounce bandanna, a 1.55 ounce stocking cap, and a .5 ounce headband strap. And as much as it embarrasses me to admit it, a tube of fabric has now become the most useful thing in my pack.


4 thoughts on “How a Buff helped me drop 2 ounces from my pack”

  1. Did you find that the standard buff was enough for your coldest situations for a head warmer? The buff site has a ton of options, in the end, was the original buff the best choice?

    1. I haven’t ever tried any of the thicker buffs. The standard one worked well for what I needed it for. It’s the lightest option though so I sacrificed some comfort for weight.

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