This is part of a series about sewing climbing/mountaineering/backpacking gear.

The fleece mountaineering hood / neck gaiter! One of my longest used pieces of gear I've made. It feels great to wear, is super versatile, and has held up well since I made it. I take it on almost every trip with me, and also stuff it full of clothes and down jacket(s) to make a pillow at night. I wear it flipped up in the cold, and around my neck when it's less cold. It protects me from the sun and wind. It fits under a climbing helmet, over a beanie, under or over a sun hat.

How to wear


You can really pull it up to protect your neck/face from the sun. Sometimes when it's very cold and we're not moving fast, like on a belay or a break, I pull the toggle tighter so the fleece covers my mouth and nose.


Adam is wearing his neck gaiter under the OR Sun Runner hat AND helmet as we're high on the shoulder of Tacoma/Rainier with our climbing partner Luke. (You get VERY dedicated to sun protection while mountaineering.)

everlasting gear - crampons

everlasting gear - eva and amelia mt olympus

I'm wearing the hood flipped up and down on this windy adventure on Mt. Olympus/Sunh-a-do with Adam and Eva.

Fabric & Materials

  • Thin to medium weight fleece, about 1/2 yard
  • Matching thread
  • Elastic or thin cord, about 1 yard / 3 ft. (enough to go around the face opening plus have tails.
  • Cord toggle or cord lock/adjuster for the elastic example etsy search.

I got all of these supplies from Seattle Fabrics. You can also probably repurpose old things – scavenge elastic and toggles from worn out gear or clothing. An old or thrifted fleece blanket might be great material too, but beware that it's not too thick.

Sewing pattern for neck gaiter for mountaineering


mountaineering neck gaiter pattern overview

Sewing Instructions

Sorry these aren't detailed or illustrated like I usually do, but hopefully the construction is simple enough that you can mostly tell by looking!

  1. Cut fabric on the fold, and cut the rectangle for face opening drawstring tube.
  2. Sew the curve and outer hood opening
  3. Try it on and check if you like the amount of space in the head opening around the face – trim down around the neck area a bit more if you'd like.
  4. Lay the hood flat, and measure the length of the curve of the face opening, to find out how long to make your fabric strip for the drawstring tube.
  5. Cut the drawstring tube, a long skinny rectangle with the circumference of the face opening as measured, by 2.5-3" wide.
  6. Sew on the drawstring tube around the hood opening, by folding the fabric strip in half, sandwiching the hood opening within it, and sewing through all three layers of fabric all in one pass. Because it's fleece, all the edges are left raw.
  7. Hem the bottom
  8. Insert elastic / cord through drawstring tube.
  9. Place both ends of cord through the toggle, then knot the ends of the cord together.
  10. Wear your mountaineering neck gaiter on some adventures!

neck gaiter garment overview

PS - a random tip: Sometimes when it's hot on the mountain, and I take the neck gaiter off, but know I'll probably want to put it on and off again for a bit, I don't put it away in my bag. Instead, I thread the strap of my backpack's waist belt through the tube of the gaiter, and carry it on the waist belt for easy access without stopping moving. Here are some of my other favorite mountaineering tips.