I also never used the Hood, But I usually wore a hat & as for the Neck / Chin Piece I don't think you need it as the Neck on the Shirt / Coat is higher than I 1st thought when I brought the Extra's with the shirt. that and you can wear a hat and scarf and save cash.
My view on this is based on knowing others with buffalo shirts and many experience, especially one "test" I did with my special 6 shirt.
First off I like the look of the shirts without the hood. The hoods make it look too specialist, which TBH it kind of is. I've walked with people who only wear the buffalo shirts as intended. One guy did the Yorkshire 3 peaks twice in 24 hours mid winter including being out in it during a 2 hour blizzard!! He never wore the hood, ever! So when I got mine I didn't get the hood.
Then one day we went for an hour and a half walk in intermittent heavy rain. It was a little cool too so perfect buffalo shirt test weather. I wore it without anything under or over it. I was almost completely dry. I wore a waterproof baseball style cap to keep my head and glasses dry. Shortly after setting off the rain became almost continuous stair rods. The only wet feeling I got was from rain pouring down my neck which by the end left the shirt wet through significantly. Where the rain fell on my shirt it was dry on my skin side except where the rain got down from the neck.
So my view is a hood has its place in the buffalo system. I'm of the view it's a good idea to carry one and wear it when it helps to cope with conditions better. I'm planning on ordering one before autumn comes in. Any recommendations on where to buy from? Why do buffalo recommend buying only from retailers listed on their website?
If you don't use a hood then what do you do with Easter down the neck? What do you wear instead? Or do you not wear them in really bad conditions except for snow I suppose?
Just thought about that YouTube video by Andy Kirkpatrick about what a softshell is. He says it's a two layer, non membrane item where the inner layer wicks moisture away from the skin and an outer windproof layer. Basically pertex pile jackets/smocks, driclime, vapour rise and similar. He says that to be truly useful as a softshell it must have a hood.
If you are interested it's worth looking at that video. He's simply talking to a camera but he's knowledgeable about kit and an entertaining personality.
Didn't he say something about rucksack straps with ventilated straps that absorb water causing a problem? Or was it something I read about an issue with Paramo and such straps.
I found that with softshells where the sack contacts you don't get issues with compression of the softshell or issues with water ingression not least because the rucksack is there as a barrier. You do get a risk of it preventing sweat to load through and out but that's just like with any clothing system IME.
AK certainly has his views on kit and he's pretty consistent with them. I listened today to one of his psychovertical podcasts under his higher education sub podcast. It was a month or so ago when he put it out and he mentions softshells again. Still holds the views he put out in that video and in an article he be wrote back in 2008.