Disclaimer: I received a pair of Buff© UV Arm Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
I was excited to get my pair of Buff© arm sleeves during marathon training — when we were still experiencing some chilly mornings and evenings. Even better, I got to test these for a race scenario and two different long runs in preparation of running my full marathon (where I also wore the arm sleeves).
First impression: I LOVE the colors and pattern! I also like that there are reflective elements. The material is light, soft and slinky, and the fit felt good. I’m the type of runner who likes to prepare for all conditions, and considering race bib situations, these solve the issue of making sure your bib is always on your outside layer (I have mastered the art of changing bibs from outside-to-inside layer mid-race, however).
Benefits of BUFF© UV Arm Sleeves:
- UPF 40+ protection
- Breathable moisture-wicking fabric
- Light compression
- Durable, comfortable four-way stretch
- Stretch flatlock seam
- Antimicrobial fabric treatment helps control odors
- Lightweight, compressible and packable
- Reflective elements for low light visibility
Test run: I barely notice that they’re on… until I do. If that makes any sense. The arm sleeves have light compression, and on the day of my marathon, I had wrinkled marks around my elbows for a couple hours after taking the sleeves off. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all, but at a point I felt like my fingers were swelling, and the sleeves felt more constrictive with the heat. I found them comfortable temperature-wise to wear even in the higher 60s – and they stayed cool after I wet them down at several aid stations during my race. They really helped to keep me cool!
That said, the elastic band to keep them up around my upper arms felt uncomfortable at times due to tightness. Despite the flat seam, I experienced chafing near my armpits every time I have worn them (despite using extra anti-chafing lubricant after the first incident). It’s possible that I incorrectly assumed that I would wear a S/M; based on the sizing chart and that my upper arm measurement is in-between the two sizes. So if you have a 10″ bicep, maybe size up.
During my marathon, I had people asking about my arm sleeves, which was a great opportunity to share BUFF’s new product on-the-run. It was awesome! (One guy even suggested putting ice down the sleeves, which was EXACTLY my suggestion to other Pros reviewing in warmer climates.)
Race photographer caught me pulling off the sleeves!
What I love: The arm sleeves take up NO room, which makes them easy to pack when race weather is unpredictable and easy to stash when things warm up. But even if you don’t plan to remove them, the sleeves provide UVF 40+ sun protection (an added bonus to my already-weird running tan lines ?), and I intend to use them for hiking and trail skating, too. I love (and own several) Buff© products, and their arm sleeves fill a gap in my running gear; no more scrambling for “throw away” shirts on race morning!
Buff© is sponsoring this week’s #bibchat! Join us on Twitter this Tuesday (6/06) at 8pm CST for a chance to win your own pair of Buff© UV Arm Sleeves!