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on December 14, 2010
I work security at night and I work in all kinds of weather. this winter I decided I wasn't going to to freeze like I did last year. I purchased this hood to keep my neck, ears, and nose warm enough for tasks like opening gates, scraping the ice off my car window, and walking patrols. its very adjustable, whether for the head or lower portion of the face. it does save you from having to wear scarves and knit caps, which leaves certain areas of skin exposed to wind. these are excellent even in about 15 degrees. a good investment.
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on December 25, 2013
Hello! For Christmas, I got this balaclava in Foliage Green (which is really more like heather gray), and like many others, I was confused about how it worked! This is because Rothco, the company that makes these, fails to provide images of the back of the balaclava.

However! I was able to figure out how to make this work! Simply take the elastic loop that is dangling around your chin, and pull up and over so that it is behind your head. Presto! The adjustments should be working a bit better, and you'll look a bit more like the official product pictures shown. (I will add a photo of my solution, and likely the right way to wear it, after this review is posted.)

That aside, how is the product? Personally, I find it very warm and comfy, and I'm actually just wearing it around the house, because it is so comfy... It provides very good coverage around the top of the head, ears, and neck, and the bottom can be pulled up over the nose and mouth for extra face protection from the elements. It's made of very thick fleece, so if you suffer cold winters, this is definitely the product for you.

Now, the adjustable elastics are threaded through the top of the hood, so adjusting it tightly might be a little uncomfortable for some people. This also makes hat-wearing impossible. Well, that is, unless you want to wear your hat over the balaclava, but that would look very silly! (And, if you want to be silly, may I suggest a big sombrero?)

Overall, I consider this a 4-star product. I really do like it a lot (5 stars for me), but it's not exactly for everyone. The adjusting elastics are somewhat awkwardly placed, especially if you find them too tight in general, and the lack of accompanying images or instructions regarding how to wear it is definitely not a good thing. It's really an amazing product to me, but in favor of reviewing for the general public, I'll point those out as definite cons. In short:

PROS: very warm, easy to adjust, provides great head coverage against the cold, incredibly comfortable to wear
CONS: no clear instructions about how to wear it, elastics may be tight/awkward for some
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on December 9, 2010
This is a bit more of a bulky Balaclava, and it not form fitting. Great coverage on face, head and neck. Perfect for wearing during cold weather. The head covering part can be worm up or down with ease, making it a comfortable fit. It will be to bulky for wear under a helmet.
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on October 11, 2012
Okay, as you can see I was definitely pleased with this item for being a thicker and heavier fleece that I was anticipating. When it arrived I was really pleased to see this product will meet the below freezing temps and wind chill of the Ohio River Valley head-on and maintain ones core temp. I tried it on of course and within a minute or two my head was beading with sweat so I am confident it will perform flawlessly in the winter, especially in conjunction with a fleece skull cap. Highly recommend to any and all that know they must get out in the frigid cold for any extended period of time. Slainte'.
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on October 23, 2011
Nice item it arrived on time and intact. fits perfectly on me and has many adjustments to make it more conforming to you. I will caution those who are looking for something for under a helmet. The barrell adjusters work fine but may impede use of a full face helmet, Awesome product just check your gear and application first. This will work for me but I wear a hardhat outdoors.
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on November 25, 2010
Morning bike rides to work were killing me... cold wind in the face! A scarf was impractical--it just kept falling down. I researched a lot of options, and this is the one I chose. I've been wearing it for several weeks now, and I'm so glad this is what I bought. It's warm, stays loosely snug, and can be worn in different ways as the need requires. No need for scarf or hat. Just the other day we had snow, and I walked 2 miles work with this balaclava, and felt comfortable the whole way. Excellent product, fairly priced, promptly delivered. I saw something like this in my local mountain supply store for about $30! Can you say rip-off?

The only negative side--if you could really call it that--is that I often remove the item to discover that I have 'balaclava hair'... bits of fleece sticking to my shaved head. If you don't cut/shave your hair short, then I expect this won't be an issue for you. And if you do really mind it, you're probably too vain to being with.

As another person commented, the 'foliage' color is really a shade of blue-gray, but pretty much matches what you see in the photo. I first bought the black one, but liked it so much I bought one for my wife, and so that I could wear a different color on occasion!
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on February 24, 2011
This is a pretty good balaclava and keeps you warm. Being fleece it won't be all that windproof, but as an insulating layer worn under a shell with a hood, it works well. Size seems a little small so if you have a big head you may not find it comfortable.
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on February 13, 2010
This is a GREAT item! I used it in the Colorado Rockies recently, and when the wind kicked up to 15 to 20 knots, in the low 20s, it kept my ears, neck and head warm. It's long enough to easily tuck into my jacket and not pull out, eventhough I was very active. Also, I could easily pull the opening over my chin whan I needed to breathe real hard, and back up to breathe thru when I wanted to. Love it!
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on January 18, 2011
This New England winter is brutal. The winds keep howling, the temps keep dropping and the snow is pounding us like we owe the clouds money. Every day I'm bundling up and shoveling four feet of something -- snow, ice, stranded hybrids, Kennedys -- and I'm done with it. I just wanted to find some way to warm up.

Also, to feel my toes again and have my testicles crawl back out of my rib cage. But I settled for trying to warm up.

I bought this product because I'd seen quite a few people wear them who really seem to know how to stay warm -- hard-core skiers, armed robbers, people from British Columbia. So it seemed like a pretty good bet.

On the plus side, it does keep my head pretty toasty -- but only if I really pull the drawstrings tight to keep the cold air out. Unfortunately, I can't see much out the little hole in the front when I do that, so I tend to run into a lot of things while I'm wearing it -- snow banks, busy intersections, and in one rather unfortunate case, my local bank branch.

Everything got sorted out when the cops arrived -- they agreed that 'premeditated robbery' and four inches of visibility in front of my face probably didn't mesh -- but it was embarrassing, nonetheless. Maybe these should come with some sort of warning. Like a nice 'THIS IS NOT A STICK-UP' embroidered on the neck, maybe? I'm just spitballing here.
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on December 14, 2013
This balaclava is the definition of junk. It looks great in the photo, and the description sounds fantastic. In reality? It's thin material, not long enough to cover the neck (& I am a small/short woman) & has a ton of strings & plastic tabs for adjustment that don't even make sense AND they hang in your face no matter what you do. You can try all you want, but the plastic pieces just move around & don't actually make any adjustments to the fit. It says the material is polar fleece, but it is thin like microfleece. I'm trying to retun the item for a refund. I can't believe I actually spend money on this!
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