Regarding our story last week on tubular microfiber headgear by Buff and resulting knockoffs, one regular SNEWS® reader -- a well-traveled gear guru himself -- wrote in to say that he's purchased these type of tubes before in small specialty and surplus stores and he's not surprised the concept can't be patented. "Buff may have cool graphics and fresh fabric, but I believe that's all they brought to the party," he wrote. "About 12 years ago, at a ski shop outside of Santa Fe, I bought a gray tube made of Lycra and polypropylene that could be worn as a hood, a hat, a neck gaiter, etc . Ten years ago, from a military surplus catalog, I bought some black tubes made of polarfleece that were British commando field wear (called a "headover," I believe) that could be worn the same way. And last year, at an Army Surplus store in Berkeley, I found still more tubes, these were blue, made from silk and wool (very comfy!) and were Swiss army artifacts. So it would seem the design has been around a looooooooooooooooooooooooong time."