Used: Buff Cyclone MotoGP neck tube

Warmth? Check! Quality? Check! Checks? Check!

THIS winter has not been kind to the two-wheeled tribe. But as I've been buzzing about London town and beyond come snow or shine, one of my must-haves has been this Buff Cyclone neck tube. It's a quality piece of kit that can be the difference between agony and comfort.

It's essentially a two-foot-long roll, made of double-layered polyester microfibre and a fleece fabric named Gore Windstopper, which you pull down over your head. The layers trap warm air and create a windproof yet breathable barrier. Ideally, for maximum protection, you'd wear it the way the photo depicts, but I wear it at chin level as I don't like my nose and mouth covered up; that's just a matter of personal taste. 

Even after two hours on the motorway in subzero temperatures, it doesn't let the cold through. When I forgot to carry it with me one day and rode without, the icy winds promptly slicing into my neck reminded me what a difference the Buff makes. Cold body parts erode concentration, and that's dangerous whether at 20mph or 80mph, so it's pretty indipensable really.

As Buff neck tubes are designed not just for motorcycling but a variety of winter sports, its website lists 10 different ways to wear it, including a balaclava, beanie and bandanna (which sport needs that?). My attempts to replicate some of those styles ended up looking like the result of a large cloth pigeon had pooped on my head. Anyway, all that messing about is irrelevant for motorcycling, as its sole purpose is a toasty neck. 

It's light (about 90g) and fits in a pocket; off the bike, it can serve as a handy scarf. It's machine washable and said to hold its shape and elasticity, which it has over the last three months. One size fits all. The design pictured here is 'Cytracks', £31 at the Buff site; the MotoGP site has a range of 10 designs for €31.50 each.