If you are anything like me, even a little chill on the neck can make a ride uncomfortable. Neck gaiters are always an option, but not all of them are comfortable and some are bulky enough to interfere with smooth head turning.
I hadn’t even considered a scarf until a friend told me how wonderful they are for riding. Now that I’ve tried one, there’s no going back to the other neck protectors in my drawer. The Aerostich silk motorcycle scarf is a true winner in my arsenal of gear.
Function Meets Fashion
The Aerostich silk scarf is an all-season, all-purpose, classic scarf that keeps wind, rain, dust and snow from blowing down your neck by sealing the space between your helmet and jacket. And because it is made from silk it has quite a few benefits:
- Comfortable head turning while riding
- Soft and slippery material feels good on your skin
- Manages moisture to keep you cool in the summer
- Insulating to keep you warm in the winter
- Thin and not bulky like wool and synthetic scarfs
- Prevents neck irritation
- Packs really small when not in use
- Classically fashionable
The soft, supple feel of silk is a pleasant alternative to almost any other material. Silk was the fabric of choice for the early aviator pilots who were always looking around for the enemy. The slipperiness against sensitive neck-skin prevented irritation from jacket collars that were buttoned tightly to prevent drafts.
In addition, silk is both highly absorbent—which makes it comfortable to wear in all seasons—and it easily discharges humidity. This keeps skin moist while at the same time letting it breathe. Not to mention, silk is quite durable.
Timeless in function and fashion, the silk scarf is as utilitarian today as it ever has been and has been used by pilots, soldiers, and riders for its unique qualities.
Keep the Cold and Dust Out
In cold climates and chilly seasons, silk scarves are worn for warmth. They keep the wind, rain and snow away. There are several effective methods to wrap around the neck and make for a cozy ride down the street. It can also be used to provide a quickly accessible filter whenever the wind picks up. Just place over your mouth and/or nose to avoid sand, dust and dirt.
On hot days I wet the whole scarf down and wear it loosely around my neck. Instead of tying the scarf into a knot, I let it drape down my chest area but securely tucked into the jacket. As the wind hits me while riding it cools me to the core.
We’ve probably all wet ourselves down on super hot days. I remember one extremely hot ride where my riding buddies and I would look for a garden hose at every stop to completely drench ourselves down before hopping on the bike again. This was before I had the silk scarf and I can honestly say that having the right riding gear—such as compression garments, an optional cool vest, and a simple silk scarf wet down—beat drenching your entire body down any day. And it keeps you cool longer, which means less stops. Silk scarves are definitely more effective than a cotton bandanna. Plus, it’s way more attractive.
We all know that if you don’t pay enough attention to your body’s cooling needs and fluid requirements on hot days you run the risk of having a heat stroke. Wetted and wrapped around the neck and head, scarves provide a fantastic evaporative cooling experience to combat hot and arid riding conditions.
How to Wear
Loop Tie Method
1. Fold in half lengthwise, creating a loop on one end. Drape evenly over shoulders.
2. Pull the loose ends through the loop made by the fold of the scarf.
3. Pull to desired tightness and position knot in center of neck. Tuck loose ends into jacket.
Wrap Tie Method
1. Fold in half width-wise and drape over shoulders with one end hanging a third longer than the other.
2. Bring the long end over the short end and around neck. Repeat for more neck coverage
3. Pull to desired tightness and tuck loose ends into jacket.
You could also just wrap it around once with either a loose knot or knot-less. Just make sure it is properly secured in your jacket. On a particularly windy ride, my husband’s scarf came loose and flapped behind him in the wind. I thought for sure it was going to come off, but he felt the tightening around his throat and pulled over in time to readjust it. The scarf hadn’t been properly secured in the jacket. Now he makes sure it is tied off and tucked in before each ride.
Care and Use
HOT WEATHER: For a pleasant evaporative cooling experience simply wet the scarf, wrap around your neck and ride. Provides cooling effect for 30 to 45 minutes depending on ambient temperature, humidity, riding speed and bikes wind protection. Re-wet from a water bottle or any roadside water source for extended cooling effect.
COLD WEATHER: Wrap securely around neck and tuck into jacket. The natural insulating and wind blocking characteristics of the silk will keep you warmer and drier. The supple slipperiness will provide all day riding comfort and protection against chaffing.
WASHING: Hand wash, hand wring and drip dry. To eliminate wrinkles or creases, scarf may be ironed on low temperature or de-wrinkled with a fabric steamer.
You can pick one up at aerostich.com.
Have you tried the Aerostich Silk Motorcycle Scarf? What do you wear to protect your neck from the elements? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."