From a cyclist's perspective: Versatile enough to serve as neck-warmer, neck-and-ear-warmer, or near-equivalent-to-a-balaclava. The wool fabric has enough tension to stay in place no matter where you stretch it around your head. But it's soft and itch-free. And no matter how much you stretch it, one wash (yes, it's machine-washable) gets it back to its original shape. Cycling jackets and long-sleeve jerseys don't do your neck justice. The Smartwool Neck Gaiter is the cure.