Gear Up: Hoo Rag

A big part of enjoying the outdoors, especially in extreme conditions—harsh sun, cold winds, etc—is protecting yourself from the elements. Well-made coats, pants, and shoes do a great job of this, but our faces and necks can sometimes receive quite a beating. To counter this, many use a hat, a bandana, a balaclava, or a neck warmer. That’s a lot of individual products to buy, though, and you have to change from one to another to match the situation. What if there was one product that is really all of those in one, though? I recently had the chance to test out a product that is just that: the Hoo Rag.

The Hoo-rag, a soft polyester microfiber tubular bandana, can be worn in a variety of styles, depending on the need of the wearer at the time. The polyester is soft and smooth, with no loose threads or other imperfections, which makes wearing the Hoo Rag very comfortable; I almost forgot I was wearing it after a while. The fabric was warm enough to keep me comfortable in this cool, late October weather we’ve been having in the Midwest lately, as well, though I’ll have to take some winter hikes to see how it stands up to more frigid temperatures.

Though it’s quite comfortable, the real beauty of the Hoo Rag is its sheer versatility. With simple folds, twists, and pulls, the Hoo Rag can be fashioned into over a dozen different shapes to accommodate nearly any need for its wearer. Wear it as a beanie, a bandana, a neck gaiter, a balaclava, or a head band; the possibilities are amazing! The Rag itself comes with a series of pictures of the different styles, but this doesn’t really help you figure out how to create them. I had to visit the website for a video on how to make them, which does a great job at showing how each style can be quickly created.

There is a large variety of different patterns of Hoo Rag available on the product’s website, and there is also an option to have one custom-made with your own unique design. The Rag costs $14.95, which is a great deal when you consider how many products are rolled into one Hoo Rag.

The Hoo Rag does a great job of blocking the wind, sun, and bugs, and I can see myself wearing the it  for a variety of activities. One Hoo Rag does the job of nearly a dozen different products, so any outdoorsman—angler, hunter, hiker, snowboarder, etc—would do well to add one or two to their gear.