archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool Bandana

For my overland trike journeys, I grow a beard for a couple of reasons. First, the sun protection factor of the bush of hair on my face makes it so I don’t have to use chemicals on my body that I consider not the best thing to be slathering on my skin. Second, it keeps my daily chores to a minimum when I arise out of my tent, and I don’t have to think about shaving, especially on cold or frigid mornings. At wild stealth camps, no such option would be available anyway. Easy morning rituals make a triker happy! I don’t care for hair, but neither do I like shaving in the bushes.

I have been experimenting with the Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool Bandana, which replaces the need for a hairy face. The bandana, often referred to as a buff, has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50, so it protects my skin form burning and rapid ageing, common with sun exposure. The material is super light weight, like a balaclava, and breathing through it is  easy if you are pedaling along under little physical stress. Once on steep inclines in the mountains, or when attempting to reach a maximum speed for a thrill ride, getting air is more challenging of course, so I pull it down to chin level under these circumstances. I only pull it up to my sunglasses if riding into the sun, and since the Catrike 700 is VERY reclined, this is often necessary. The bandana wicks away moisture quickly.

This is not what I consider a good choice for trike gypsies, nomads, or hobos however. Not only is breathing significantly hampered under load of any kind, but if you are wearing eye coverings like sunglasses, the fog factor is a real hassle to say the least! The end of January, I took a 30 mile ride inland on a flat road, and that is the last straw for me. I spent all my time trying to clear the moisture off my Oakley sunglasses, which involved such manipulations as pulling the glasses down my nose a ways so that my hot breath could vent out the top quicker, and while this was marginally effective, I still won’t wear this again.

Mountain Hardwear BuffAvailable at REI for $30.00 US – NOT recommended for trike pilots though

Sweet Creek Loop 2014 04Here is the Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool Bandana in actual use. It is okay for cool days, flat ground, and slow riding. Beyond that, forget it. Keep looking for a solution.


2 responses

  1. Chris Horton

    Hi Steve

    The perennial problem for the trike pilot is staying cool in 40 degree + temperature and avoiding over exposure to the sun. Much like yourself I have sunglasses, legionnaires cap and helmet and over the top of this I wear a fly net. I don’t know if these are perculiar to Australia but I look like a mobile apiarist or beekeeper about to collect honey. Radiation from the asphalt is magnified because we are only a 100 mm or so above it and my beekeeper apparel isn’t the answer but it is the best so far. Sunscreen is virtually useless because the excessive sweating.


    June 8, 2015 at 5:38 am

  2. Randall Oakley

    I wear a “Headsox” rain, hail or shine.

    June 8, 2015 at 7:15 am