Ultralight face warmer from Manfur

by backpackingbongos

It’s getting to that time of year when the cool autumn air nips at your face when you step outside.  I was therefore keen to test a new product that eliminates that problem from an up and coming cottage industry called Manfur.  As you are all probably aware, when ordering from a small niche cottage manufacturer there is often a wait of several weeks whilst they build your gear to order.  This was no different when ordering from Manfur.  Their products take between a week to several months to individually craft your order to exact specifications.  The option that I went for took a good couple of months before I received it.

Natural fibres are all the rage theses days, for example Merino and bamboo.  One manufacturer makes waterproofs that mimics the action of animal fur to help pump moisture away from the wearer.  Manfur have also gone down the natural route whilst perfecting their products.  They describe their material as a ‘natural, fully lofting yarn’.  They have a patent pending so don’t go into too much detail of the exact specifications.

Initially I found my Manfur Ultralight face warmer a little bit itchy.  However like many new garments, it soon softened up after a few washes.  It truly is a warm garment, during a blustery few days in Pembrokeshire I hardly noticed the cool air whipping my face.  There are no seams that rub and although some of the edges are a bit rough it is easy to trim them down.  Breathability is excellent, although I have to admit that I have not had the opportunity to test it out during really hot weather.

Weight is obviously an issue for many ultra lightweight backpackers and I can confirm that it weighs only a few grammes.  The only fault that I can really find is that it is a use once product.  If you wish to take it off, a new one will also take several weeks to be produced.

The makers of Manfur have also been working on a new product called ‘Ladyfur’.  This has yet to take off and probably won’t catch on for a few more years yet.  This is probably a niche market as I have seen very few women wearing ultralight face warmers.

Disclaimer: Obviously the integrity of bloggers whilst doing gear reviews are paramount.  I would like to point out that although I received my Manfur product free of charge I have been under no obligation to put in a favourable review.  I have tested this product extensively and under many different types of conditions, no just popping to the shops to test gear for this blogger.

There are some risks to using Manfur products and they should be used responsibly.  Manfur take no responsibility for small children pointing, the risk of fire hazards whilst smoking or food getting attached to their product.  It is recommended that they are washed regularly to maintain full loft and comfort.

51 Comments to “Ultralight face warmer from Manfur”

  1. Oh man, I needed that! Tusen takk!

  2. Awesome!
    I got a t-shirt made by the same company!

  3. 😎

    Be careful of overwintering hedge-sparrows – they can sneak in unnoticed when you sleep.
    See here

  4. Muriel Gray would like you with that. More importantly I like the fact that you made sure its lightweight. I was contemplating cutting a prong of my spork the other day to help shave some pack weight. So to see others saving on extra head gear to keep warm in the winter is good to see. Even better I see the full disclosure in the post – very PC. Like it. Would not want to upset others now would we. Maybe King of the Shaves could sponsor you and fly you out to Greenland 🙂 Uh but that might be seen as bad. Ill get my coat.

    • These disclosure things are very important these days Martin, you have to be careful that integrity is maintained otherwise there may be a call for individual blogs to be boycotted. I also ensured that I took it into the hills a few times before reviewing, no fly by night reviewing on Backpackingbongos. You can’t be too careful as this blogging lark is a very serious business. Greenland, yep I will take that sponsorship, I’ll even wear the tshirt in every single photo in the trip report. Bugger I have ruined it now, better get my coat. See you outside.

      As per lightweight options, have you tried removing a few toe nails, defo shave off a few grammes……………….

  5. I already have the Manfur thong. I’ve been using it for 27 years.

    • Good to hear that their products are durable and last a long time. I have heard though that occasionally there can be a bit of loss of loft and that the colour changes.

  6. I’ve been using a Manfur face-warmer for 30 years with just the odd hiatus for remedial work to the underlying material. It works fine even without a DWR but I find that the drop-down bit above the front-centre aperture does benefit from the frequent application of a little alcohol. It has survived battles with snaggy zips, flaring Jetboils and unruly Zippos, and it’s only ever had to have a proper full service once – when I got married. The only downside to this fine bit of kit is that in winter it can get iced-up quicker than a Dachshund’s todger in a snowdrift.

    Might I suggest that you should set up some sort of gallery of Manfurs currently in use so that folk can get a feel for the range of products out there? I’m sure that I could contribute the odd picture of mine if you’re willing in this venture.

    • I must be doing something wrong during the winter as I have yet to get mine to ice up. Maybe I should go outside?

      I think that the Manfur gallery is a jolly good idea, I will do a post in the next few days inviting contributions. If I get enough, then a gallery will be hosted on backpackingbongos. I am sure that there is a good range of products out there.

      • I take it that said gallery will be for face-warmer pics only. I mean, I assume that you won’t be wanting pics of owdbum’s thong or of my double-seat Manfur boxers 🙂

  7. You ARE on drugs! Like the idea of a manfur gallery though – I’m going to email you a pic. Under no circumstances should you open any pictures Owdbum sends you…

  8. No-ooo, please please tell me that mugshot is faked. Yeah, must be. You had me going there.
    For your next trick you’ll kid us you’ve joined the R***blers.

    • Nope, that is the face that greets me every morning when I look in the mirror Geoff. Are you still president of the R***blers? I’m sure that I saw you lead a group of 37 walkers in the Peak District the other weekend…………………….

  9. James, I tried Manfur a while back, but I didn’t like the colour I got . Its seem that I keep getting the grey colour and does not go with my blond Manfur hat.

    • Mark, there are some products on the market that allow you to change the colour of your manfur. I think that it is called ‘just for Manfur’ or something like that?

  10. I have on several occasions tried the Manfur face warmer and always keen to save weight I’ve chosen the short-fibered version. While I think it does a great job of keeping the face warm I just can’t get used to the itching at the edges. My wife also claims not to like it as she’s of the opinion that the fibers are to stiff and gives her a rash whenever I get too close.

    I’m instead considering going the opposite way after the winter season is over, literally shaving of skin-out weight like you wouldn’t believe. If people save 5 grams drilling holes in their toothbrushes then surely the weight saving for a “well clad” man must be amazing!

    (I was so going to do a post on this towards the end of winter, but now it would only be a me too.. 😦 )

  11. The whole discussion has gone very “Carry on”. I’ve had to refrain from a whole number of double entendre’s in the name of good blog taste.

    I tried out a thin prototype many years back but I didn’t like the some of the reddish weave that seemed to have crept in by stealth into the manufacturing process

  12. I’ve been using Manfur products for some time, and not just on the face. But one of the great “survival” properties of the facial manfur installation is the long-term storage of “substances”. I’m thinking roast chicken, gravy, cheese and onion crisps, that kind of thing. Saturated fats not only store calories but act as a cheap and effective waterproofing.

    • I suppose it is a good way to get into ‘ultra lightweight’ backpacking – a cheap and light way to store food whilst on a trip.

  13. I feel I need to warn you all to be careful of cheap, off-the-shelf, knock-offs that are available. These inferior products do not have as good heat retention, are not breathable, are not as hard wearing, nor are naturally waterproof. For example: http://www.partydomain.co.uk/images/P/1453904.jpg

    • That does look like a dreadful example Phil, I am glad that you have warned my readers about inferior products that are on the market.

  14. I agree Phil, and am wondering about the quality of James’ Manfur now you have mentioned knock off’s. It looks decidedly dodgy, possibly Chinese in origin as we didn’t provide this sample for James to test? Did you buy from an authorised retailer James? As always, Webtogs has the best selection of manfur on the market as you can see from these examples here and here. Our bespoke and authentic silver, ginger, black and brown fur which is notoriously difficult to replicate, marks it out as a premium product.

  15. excellent review James, looks like a great product. I only recently tried manfur ULfacewarmer for the first time in france although have for several years used the long fibred shoulder scarf – works a bit like paramo.

    • Hope that your Manfur product worked well for you whilst in France. For some reason they become much thicker after a few weeks on the trail.

  16. Foreign imports in the manfur department have long been a problem. I well remember, for instance, one Christmas – probably 1957, when I was shocked to find that father Christmas’s Installation was nothing but a cheap fake and hiding underneath was Mr Dolphin, the school caretaker. That sort of thing can really put you off religion.

  17. Genius! If that patent comes through, those of us with the DIY versions will be in trouble.

    • I know, there will probably be some sort of law which means that you are not allowed to wear any Manfur products without first paying a fee. Capitalism gone mad!

  18. Excellent review! 🙂

    I’ve been using Manfur Face Warmer for well over a year now (it seems to be a bit lighter model, maybe in the SUL range) and have to say that I’m not quite satisfied with the performance in real winter condition. The face warmer seems to be constantly icing up and thus being uncomfortale. But it is great for chilly autumn days & nights. I’d also like to complain about the delivery time of Manfur T-shirts. I’ve been waiting one for years and haven’t received it yet! A heavier full Manfur suit could maybe replace pad & quilt & clothign alltogether leading to reeeally low pack weights?

    • The ordering on those Manfur T-shirts is pretty rubbish, I have been waiting for mine for years as well. Maybe time to ask for your money back?

  19. Have been trialing the full loft winter sack warmer. Zips can be a nightmare. May post a photo.

    • Weirdly enough I sent my Manfur product off for repair last night, should be back fully lofted in the next month or so……………….

  20. Having had the Manfur Face Warmer for 20yrs I’d say I cannot live without it in spite of the ice, the incursion of grey and red fibers amidst the natural brown. However it now appears to be transmuting into a balaclava as its nearly upto my eyes and coming out of my ears! Maybe its been incorporating the Manfur Beanie I used to have as that has rapidly grown threadbare :-/

    • Good to hear that yours has given you 20 years service! It sounds like you have got a different version to mine but I will probably upgrade to the same within the next few years……..

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