Balaclava versus Facemask/Neck Chube - Which is Better?
If you ski or snowboard, the simple answer is a balaclava!
This is because balaclavas protect all of the areas covered by a facemask or neck chube plus your ears, forehead and head. Ears can get burned to a crisp in winter sun and frostbite can be a real concern if the weather turns nasty. Similarly, your forehead if left unprotected can burn to a frazzle. Most modern balaclavas are nice and thin so can easily be worn under a helmet or hat so the balaclava forms a nice ‘comfort’ liner between the two trapping an additional layer of air and warmth.
OK, a hat will also keep your head warm but you will end up with gaps between the top of your googles and the hat - as well as around your ears if your facemask or chube slips a bit.
Some people prefer not to have their ears covered in case it affects their balance but this is not an issue with most modern balaclavas because the material is thin and lightweight. After a few minutes you totally forget you are wearing one.
If you overheat whilst wearing a balaclava, most people simply pull the face section down under their chin to cool thigs down for a while.
Best of all, when wearing a balaclava with goggles, the only place you need to apply sun cream is your nose!