Length / Versatility
Another fantastic aspect of the Flexi Chute is how versatile it is. At first I thought the Flexi Chute was excessively long, and foresaw issues with bunching in my jacket. However, the length maximizes the options of how it can be worn, yet it’s thin enough that I don’t notice any bunching anyway.
My primary use of the Flexi Chute is for facial protection from Mother Nature, so I usually wear it like a traditional neck gator, with the top extending horizontally across my face and the base zipped into the neck of my jacket. Under my helmet, I pull the sides of the Flexi Chute up and over my ears to prevent it from falling down off my face. This also allows me to easily adjust the front to go either over my mouth or nose, or below my chin.
(Usually, I keep my face fully covered at the start of each run until I am warmed up, at which point I pull the Flexi Chute down below my mouth. Because the Flexi Chute is so thin and lightweight, I can easily adjust it on the move.)
The Flexi Chute can also be worn with the opening outlining the face, kind of like a balaclava, except the hole is bigger and thus fits a little different on my face (from the top of my forehead down to just below my nose). This doesn’t work as well to protect my face from the elements, but it does prevent a lot of heat loss because it encases my entire head.
The bigger hole when worn balaclava-style also meant the Flexi Chute didn’t fit as tightly across my face compared to a Burton balaclava I tried (which was 95% polyester), but the Flexi Chute was warmer and noticeably more comfortable and adjustable. I felt very restricted wearing the Burton. Plus, when I pulled the Burton down over my chin so I could talk or breathe out of my mouth, the top pulled down over my eyes. Furthermore, while the material of both the Flexi Chute and Burton where similar in thickness, the Flexi Chute blocked the wind better and was warmer.
By bunching the Flexi Chute together, it can also be worn as a headband. Or, the Flexi Chute can be used to create a hat by placing it on your head inside out, twisting it several times at the center, and folding the top back down over your head.
Because the Flexi Chute is so versatile it can be used for a wide array of activities besides skiing. For example, I have also worn the Flexi Chute while digging my car out of about a foot and a half of snow. It was relatively cold, snowing, and a little windy. The Flexi Chute was perfect to protect my face from the snow and cold, and it also reduced heat loss through the top of my jacket.
I also wore the Flexi Chute sledding, which saved me from having a lot of snow from going straight down the neck of my jacket. It didn’t take long before I started wearing the Flexi Chute almost every time I went outside, and I now often just “forget” to take it off after skiing, sledding, and shoveling.
I would recommend the Icebreaker Flexi Chute for anyone looking to protect their face and neck from the elements, especially while being active. The Flexi Chute is an excellent neckwear option because of how warm, breathable, and versatile it is. Even on the coldest days so far this season, my face has remained warm. Also, because of how breathable and lightweight the material is, I am able to completely cover my face without feeling restrained or fogging up my goggles, which is huge.
The design of the Flexi Chute also makes it versatile, allowing the fit to be changed for a given activity or weather condition. I have worn the Flexi Chute every day for the past few weeks, and my face has remained warm and protected from the wind, snow, graupel, sun, face shots…you name it.