Airhole is outdoor apparel company specializing in face/headwear. This review is about their daily mask: Ergonomic (e.g.: the mask you use because there’s a pandemic), not the mask you use when you’re snowboarding 😂
Let’s start with the most important (disclaimer): At the time of the pandemic (which at the time of writing we’re still in it), please do practice social distancing especially when it’s enforced by your government. As for face masks/coverings, honestly don’t be phased about the fashion of it all. Any masks meeting the medical requirements are equally as important and as valuable as any branded products.
I availed the 3-pack Ergonomic daily mask. They have three variations for the daily masks: the Basic, Ergonomic, and Advanced. Check this page for the breakdown of the differences.
Of course since it’s about style, the visuals of it so here are some snapshots I took of it.
(and yea, committing to long hairstyle post-covid 😉 )
I definitely like it and the most important thing (for me) is the fit of it. The Ergonomic version provides you this. The Basic kind of give you a one-size-fits-all type of look (not in a good way) while the Advanced has a…~well, advanced look to it: it has a separate layer for your nose bridge.
I was looking for something simple and nothing flappy. Apart from the look, I think there’s a medical/practical advantage to it. If you find your mask too loose and you notice you’re just breathing out and up your glasses or out to the side of your cheeks, I don’t it’s being used as intended, right? Or is that just me?
They sell a 3-pack set and there are 2-3 varieties out there with each pack having different colour combinations. I got the grey/black/maroon(?) set.
Well I can’t really provide you with a scientific, particle-per-volume-of-space experiment for this one (simply because I don’t have the time to) so I will be talking about its perceived effectivity. If you do the blow-on-a-candle-with-the-mask-on test, it passes (it doesn’t affect the candle). If you simply just put your hands in front of it while wearing it and try to blow hard, you won’t feel anything.
The great thing I like about this–and I guess this speaks more of the failings of my previous mask–is that when I inhale and exhale, my mask actually sucks in and puffs out accordingly. My previous mark didn’t do that. Well, it also doesn’t help that the previous mask I had for so long had a valve (yup I know, that’s why I bought a new one: this!).
I think this effect on the mask being sucked in and expanded out are a good sign. This means that your air is actually going through the mask, not around and to the empty gaps of your mask.
Continuing from the last thought above, this contraction/expansion of the mask shows the (great) fit of it. When I inhale, I know that I’m sucking in the mask and the air is coming from the outside, through the mask, and to my mouth. The inner material in itself is comfortable on your skin. I don’t think this is a problem on most masks. As for breathing, you can breathe easy through the mask. It’s not like you breathe in and it’s difficult to breathe and your lungs are overcompensating and next thing you know you’re panting.
I would also add that while I say that it’s very fitting and snug, it’s not at all constricting. For example, there was this one time I was eating this delicious jambalaya and then I had to wear the mask after. I was concerned about wearing masks after eating. I don’t like staining/soiling it because you know it’ll happen even if you wipe your face with tissue. I had to do it anyways so f it. Only then did I realize that there’s actually a good comfortable space in your mask so it doesn’t really touch your mouth inside.
Well it will if you decide to inhale hard through your mouth.
String / Ear Loops
This one was great as well; no discomfort, no abrasions or such, and the loops are adjustable anyways (like all masks). It operates with an adjuster (the tiny elastic to tie the ear loops to make it tight/loose) not just relying on the elasticity of the ear loops like disposable face masks.
Nothing much to report on this front sir.
Nose Bridge Wire
Another thing I like about this mask that seems to be NOT given to most masks is the wiring on the edge of the mask that’s by your nose bridge.
And you know what, I love that feature. Such a simple thing but with a big effect. First, I can tell you that it’s comfortable. It just sticks at that area, it’s not like the wire will slide to the right/left cheek. It just seems to hold there, no matter how many washes, bending/re-bending, etc.
It’s comfortable and it’s very malleable. To give you a perspective it’s not stiff and hard like a paper clip. It’s much more malleable than that, but stiff enough that it doesn’t lose form if you blow air out hard or if you nudge or move your mask. Basically, think of the energy and how delicate you move your fingers when you try and pick your nose. That’s all it takes to bend and form the wiring. So that’s why every time I wear it, I quickly and easily flatten it once and I’m good to go!
Filtering-wise is that this makes sure there isn’t a big hole on the sides of your mask where air just funnels and forces its way through. A common effect with masks is that if you exhale, the air just goes up the nose area since it’s the path of least resistance ( so it feels like there’s little filtering happening). With this wire, it DEFINITELY seals it. It force inhale to go through the mask and exhale through it. Sometimes you’d even feel it; the air trying to get out through the nose bridge area but you can feel the wire is working it that it’s not letting it out. I love this feature.
Price I would say it good and affordable. Of course there’s a brand premium to this since it’s a prominent outdoor/snowboard apparel brand, but it’s not like it’s a $5,000 face mask.
The 3-pack I availed is priced at $50CAD for three. So that’s what, $16~ each? It’s not far off from market average no? Looking at their site right now, they now also have a 5-pack set for $75.
I swear they had a bug last time where they were selling 1pc for $75. I was laughing.
Overall quality is good and decent and I don’t mean that in a “meh” way. It is what it is. It’s great for what it is, functionally and ergonomically; even aesthetically. It’s just that it’s a mask. I’m not gonna trivialize or sell it hard, acting like it’s a premium product. We’re after personal and global health here so let’s not sensationalize it 🙂 .
A mask is a mask is a mask. Avail of one, save yourself, save others, and let’s get this pandemic over
so I can snowboard and travel soon.
Edit (24-apr-2021): the more and more I try on different masks, the more I can say that I like this mask the most. The simplicity of the style and color, the ergonomics of it, the nose bridge wire omg…it just works. It’s awesome.
If you want variety and awesome designs with cool and comfort, why not check out my review of Burton’s face mask?