Monday, May 18, 2009

Cold Avenger Face Mask

This past winter I tested out the Cold Avenger, produced by Talus Outdoor Technologies. This is, by far, one of the best face masks I have used. It's not just your ordinary gaiter or face mask. This mask has been tested by the manufacturer in extreme weather and I tried to simulate that the best I could in a very cold winter here in NY and the mask performed great! First off, this mask isn't a full balaclava, but I actually like that in this mask because it gives you the option of wearing a winter hat and the mask, and if you start to overheat, you can remove the winter hat for ventilation. This allows you to cool down and not overheat while still protecting your lungs and the areas of the face/head that are prone to frost bite. The main attraction with this face mask is it's ventilating face piece. This face piece, which is made of medical grade plastic, has adjustable vents in the front. By turning the smaller plastic insert you can allow more or less ventilation into to face piece. This ventilation does 2 things:
  1. The mixture of cold air breathed into the mask, with the exhaled air breathed out into the mask is 40-60 degrees warmer than the outside air. This helps to protect the lungs and windpipe from frostbite and other cold injuries. The warmer air and moisture in the air inside the face piece help to prevent the airway from becoming dried out as well. If you've ever spent time outside in the cold, especially exerting yourself, you know how the cold air can really wreak havoc on your airway and lungs.
  2. The ventilation also helps to prevent fogging of goggles and glasses worn with the mask. I really like this. Normal face masks or balaclavas tend to vent the hot humid air you breath out through the top or eye hole. This fogs up your eye wear. With this mask the ventilation prevents this. Additional vents are placed on the bottom side of the face piece to help reduce upward ventilation as well.
Comfort with this mask is excellent, even with the plastic face piece. The face piece is flexible and has an included foam nose piece that you can insert via double-sided tape. The back of the mask is adjustable for the size of your head and has a wide range of adjustment. The only thing I would change in the design of this mask would be the option of completely sealing the ventilation holes if preferred. Also, for smaller faces the top of the mask has the tendency to ride up into the way of your eyes. It only comes up to the lower eyelid and isn't a huge deal, but possibly making this area a little more ergonomic to the shape of the eyes may help for smaller faces. The Neoprene material of the mask is lined with fleece for comfort and wind resistance. Through my experiences this past winter, this mask is an excellent mask and performs as advertised. I never got cold while wearing this mask and never felt a burn in my chest or throat area from breathing in cold air. If you live in an area where it gets cold this is definitely a great investment.

Colors: White, Black, Hunter Camo
Prices Vary depending on model


Anonymous said...

sick setup

Anonymous said...

looks great protection for airsoft games..i was thinking to buy this mask, but i am wondering if i will be able to breath during hot days(summer etc) with this mask...what do u think? its only for cold places right?

Jake said...

Yes, it's meant for cold environments. You'd be able to breath in the warm, but you'd be hot as hell and with the moisture and heat buildup underneath from sweating it may make breathing slightly more difficult than some other protective system.

Anonymous said...

I purchased this mask for my husband 2 months ago. He has severe cardiac problems...on heart transplant list. He has tried SEVERAL masks to try to keep the cold New England air from hitting his lungs; subsequently causing angina/heart pain...ending up in the emergency room, etc. This is the only mask that has worked for him. The air exchange vent system helps warm the air upon inhalation. It does not fog up his glasses up or make his face all other masks. This is a wonderful.
Thank You