What is a balaclava

A balaclava, also known as a balaclava helmet or Bally in UK slang or ski mask in US slang, is an article of headgear designed to protect the head and part of the face. Depending on the style and how it is worn, different parts of the face can be covered. It can be pulled up to cover the crown of the head or pulled down as a scarf around the neck.

This type of headgear was known as an Uhlan cap or a Templar cap in the 19th century. Its name comes from their use at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. British troops knitted this kind of headgear to keep warm during the cold weather.


Thin balaclava is always used under motorcycle or snowmobile helmets for warmth in winter conditions. Race drivers, in some special situations, such as hill-climbs or selective sections of cross-country events, are forced to wear a balaclava made of fire-retardant material under their crash helmets.

Nowadays we have a lot of choice in this kind of product, we can choose balaclava with different designs. The best balaclava is not only for warmth but also can be good-looking or even sun-protective.