Today’s balaclavas aim to do more than just keep riders’ heads and faces warm. Depending on the type of balaclava, anything from breathability to moisture wicking to wind resistance is key.
First, let’s consider the common fabrics used in balaclavas. Materials range from natural fibers, such as Merino wool, to blends, such as cotton and polyester, to pure synthetic, such as rayon. While at first glance, wool may seem a hot and heavy fabric compared to the others, it has its pros. For instance, it’s extremely soft and comfortable, and it is in fact more breathable than polyester. In addition, it has natural anti-microbial/bacterial properties that help it control odors.