What Is A Balaclava And Why Do You Need One

Picture this: you've just moved to a new town in North Dakota in the middle of February. You were previously living in Texas, where the sun kept you warm starting as early as February. You realize the high temperature for the day is below freezing and wonder how you're going to keep yourself and your kids warm with just jackets and scarves.

In this situation, you need high-quality cold-weather accessories that will help keep your family comfortable when you need to be outdoors for any amount of time. If you or your children enjoy skiing, you'd want to make sure you had even more protection from the fierce winds, ice, and snow. 

One way you can do that is by wearing a balaclava.

Balaclavas vs. Neckwarmers vs. Ski Masks

If you're familiar with cold-weather layering, you might already be acquainted with balaclavas and their benefits. If not, you might be wondering what it is and if it's the best choice for you. After all, couldn't you simply wear a scarf or a neck warmer instead of a balaclava? Let's look more closely at balaclavas, neck warmers, and ski masks to see which you should choose.


A balaclava is a clothing article you can choose to add to your usual cold-weather clothing for extra protection. It covers your neck, wraps around your head snugly, and leaves a hole for your face. Balaclavas are a perfect way to keep your ears and neck extra comfortable if your jacket leaves you feeling too exposed. Put one on after dressing in layers and zip your coat up on top. They're easy to take off, so you can bring one along with you on a blustery winter day.

Neck Warmer 

How is a neck warmer different from a Balaclava? The two articles of clothing are pretty similar. The primary difference is that neck warmers cover your neck only and leave your head and face completely exposed. They function in the same way as a balaclava, however. You can attach a neck warmer over your clothes before you put your jacket on for added comfort in the cold.

Ski Mask 

A ski mask takes protection from the cold to the next level. They differ from neck warmers because they don't usually cover your chest or shoulders at all. They are similar to balaclavas in covering your head, but they differ on one primary issue. Where balaclavas leave a large hole for your entire face, ski masks only feature mouth and eye holes so that the rest of your face stays warm. Some ski masks only leave holes for the eyes, which could still be protected with a ski mask if you're out partaking in adventurous winter activities. 

How to Layer Up to Keep Warm 

If you've moved to a new region where icy days are typical, you might still be getting the hang of dressing in layers. If you're from a southern region, you may think that wearing thick sweaters and jeans is a good idea. Though you might think you'll stay warm this way, these things may make you colder in the long run. Let's explore ways to dress in layers for your entire family to stay comfortable. 

Choose Moisture-Wicking Materials 

Fuzzy tights sound comfy, we know. When you wear a material that increases moisture, you end up getting sweaty even while cold. Once you've been wearing non-moisture-wicking materials for a while, you'll find that you feel more uncomfortable while staying cold. Choose moisture-wicking materials like wool and synthetics for your first layer of clothing so that your skin stays dry and warm at the same time.

Avoid Jeans 

Though jeans appear to be a great defense to the elements, they're meant to be breathable and keep you cool in warm weather rather than the other way around. If you're layering pants, try to choose a style of pants with water-proof, wind-proof material. You can layer this on top of a warm layer to stay comfortable. When dressing to keep you or your children's bodies warm, try to avoid denim and choose something more durable and protective. 

Cover Your Extremities 

Have you ever dressed to go out in freezing temperatures only to forget your gloves? You might think your other layers would be enough to compensate for the cold you feel in your hands, but that's not the case. 

Another way to ensure you keep comfortable running errands or taking part in snow activities is by keeping your face, neck, hands, and feet warm. To do this, you'll want to invest in long-lasting, sustainable neck warmers, water-resistant gloves, beanies, and snow boots. All of these make a significant difference in how warm you feel. 

Where to Buy High-Quality Basics for Freezing Days 

Now you know a few more of the necessities to staying toasty as you venture into the cold with your family. Ultimately, it comes down to dressing in quality layers. If you don't already own durable gloves, balaclavas, or neckwarmers, you may be wondering where to find cold-weather basics for your family. Here are a few reasons Mallary by Matthew has precisely what you're hoping to find. 

Mallary's Sustainable Basics for Your Family 

We have weather-proof cold-weather accessories for your kiddos. There is no need to bundle up in extra scarves when stepping outside for a day of playing winter sports or making snowmen. Our high-quality kids' LEGO gloves, balaclavas, and neck warmers are perfect accessories to protect their bodies and help them stay comfortable. Let's look at a few more Mallary by Matthew basics that are ideal for your family.

Boys' Underwear 

Kids seem to grow overnight sometimes. Before you know it, the socks you bought last week have all disappeared or are suddenly too small for your kiddo. If you need boys' underwear that is comfortable and long-lasting, try our Mallary by Matthew 100% Cotton Briefs for boys. They come in dozens of colors and patterns, so your little one can pick out styles he'll love to wear. 

Quality Kids' Jackets 

While you're searching for cold-weather accessories, it might become clear to you that it's time to replace your little one's jacket. Perhaps they've grown out of their last jacket, or you've realized the one they have now is not as protective as it should be. Check out our Kids' LEGO jacket. They're windproof, breathable, comfortable, and warm. 

Long-lasting Kids' Sheets 

Your kids' sheets need to be tough. Multiple washes after accidents and stains can begin to wear your sheets down if they're made of the wrong material. If you need sheets that will last through blanket forts and apple juice spills, our Mallary by Matthew Kid's Microfiber Sheets Set is for you. They come in eight kid-friendly designs, so you can choose the one that fits your child's interests most. 

In Conclusion 

Your family's clothing basics should be durable enough to endure extreme conditions and all your children's adventures. When it comes to keeping them warm, balaclavas and other cold-weather accessories are vital for layering on freezing days. Our Mallary by Matthew cold-weather wear can help ensure your child is warm as they play, so they can have fun while you have peace of mind. 



13 Tips for Surviving Winter in a Cold City (From People Who Know Best) | Liveability 

'Denim is rubbish for keeping you warm': experts' tips for cold-weather dressing. | The Guardian 

Layering 101: How To Layer Clothing For Cold Weather | Wilderness Times