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Masks

Since most of us will be adding masks to our packing lists at least for the near future, I guess this could be travel related.

I have a bunch of masks from Tom Bihn. They are excellent masks but they get very warm underneath quickly. Have any of you found any good masks that don't make your face feel like you are looking into an open oven?

Posted by
3212 posts

Not going to be much help because I sew my own, but fabric content, # of layers and weave is going to affect the heat factor. A quick look at his masks show some have 3 layers, some are cotton/poly blend, other are a twill which is a whole lot of tightly woven and overlapping threads - all have some factor that can feel hotter. I use better quality quilting 100% cotton, and inside I use fine thread, tightly woven flat cotton like high count sheets, or 'ticking'. At this point, I don't make a filter pocket. Eventually I might for air travel.

Posted by
198 posts

Maria--I do the same thing. I make my own and use 3 layers of quilting cotton. I have bought a couple masks off of Etsy that are only 2 layers but have an open sleeve to put a filter in. Those masks are a different shape from what I have made and I like having the variety depending on my mood.

Posted by
7840 posts

I've actually ordered twice from France and like them very well as they are light but of a tightly woven fabric. They are the coolest ones I have so far. I've got other fabric ones plus fabric with inserts for filters but they are heavier and hotter.

I have both the 14 Juillet ones and the flamingos but not sure either would appeal to you.

https://lainiere-sante.com/

Posted by
1043 posts

I’ve also made masks from two layers of cotton and used medium weight non-woven interfacing between the layers. They are hot outside. Next I will try a lighter weight interfacing. I have also knit masks out of cotton yarn on #2 needles and lined them with cotton fused with interfacing. They are actually comfortable but still steam up my glasses. I have too many knitting projects to finish before Christmas to rework the pattern now. I received masks from Hanes through an AZ state give-away but they are only two layer with no liner or filter pocket. I’ve used N95 and N95 vented. Doctor offices, Mayo Clinic for sure, don’t like/allow the vented ones but overall they are the most comfortable. I guess the bottom line is no mask is going to be great but the alternative is to not wear a mask which could be deadly.

Last sentence was edited to clarify my thinking. My neighbor had an aunt, uncle and cousin succumb to the virus. Then his son and daughter-in-law were both hospitalized with Covid and both of their children had milder cases.

Posted by
556 posts

I've mostly sewn two layer quilt cotton masks. Did use an old but clean pillowcase -very high thread count cotton - and it wasn't overly hot but the filtration is so good every inhale made.the mask suction to my mouth. Had to add a layer of stiffened fabric and topstitching. I've used both midweight fusible and cotton organdy (bought at an estate sale years ago). Haven't found the perfect pattern yet but experimenting with a sort of circular shape with four darts forming a cup shape. I hate the things clinging to my mouth.

Posted by
157 posts

We initially bought two layer homemade masks of a tight weave cotton outer liner and flannel inner liner for our fire department for instances when we did not need the N95 mask. Theses were a little bulky. A member then found a company making two layer masks of an athletic performance type cloth outside and a softer inner layer. They also have a flexible stay across the bridge of the nose that the others did not have. A few of us bought these for our families and like them. I do not find them that hot but I have not had to wear the mask for long periods of time. I have not tried a three layer mask.

https://propelmasks.com/

Posted by
3023 posts

It is such a challenge to find just the right mask. At least Goldilocks only had to choose between 3 things to find the one that is "just right."
I have found a solution for when I am walking/hiking outdoors. I wear a neck gaiter similar to those by Mission and simply pull up when another walker/hiker approaches. This has worked well for me, but I do try to time my walks/hikes in the early morning to reduce the numbers of fellow hikers.
I really like the fit of Tom Bihn masks but noticed the same thing you did, they are quite warm. They are coming out with some cotton models that might make a difference there.
I bought some Nordstrom masks because they were a good price. (6 for $20) They are a cotton jersey knit and seem to get a little smaller each time I wash them. They are cooler.
I broke down and bought some "button bands" to take some of the pressure off my ears when wearing for an extended time.

I will need to wear masks quite a bit at work when school starts up even though we are starting in a remote mode. I'm going to keep experimenting and then changing out masks during the day to stay comfortable.

Posted by
198 posts

Carol--Did you see the news article today about buffs? We too try to avoid other hikers, but since that is not always possible, we keep a mask attached to our packs. This past week we were in the Steen's and it was fantastic as even up at the summit as well as Wildhorse Lake, everyone had masks on! But then at one viewpoint, there was a group of about 8-10 people around age 60 or so, no masks whatsoever. Yet another groups of about 6-7 who were in their late 20's/early 30's all had proper masks on and even within the group they were distancing. I was so happy to see that, but very frustrated with the older group.

Posted by
3212 posts

Onto soap box.
Buffs/gaiters are fairly snug. You cannot remove them hygenically. Pull it over you head to remove could result in dragging viruses and germs over lips, nostrils, eyes. And the act of lifting it up and down over the face also heightens risk.
Regardless of the plan to use it to protect others, you still need to practice proper hygiene to keep yourself safe.
Off soapbox.

Posted by
1509 posts

Yes that news on gaiters is alarming. Science in action.

Frank II - have not had the problem you describe, either with N95 masks while flying or the normal 2-ply quilting cotton masks many studies recommend for maximum protection for DIY masks.

Posted by
8791 posts

Where did you get N95 masks? The only ones I see are KN95 which are chinese knock offs. I dont know how trustworthy they are.

Posted by
7020 posts

Not really "knockoffs" but the norm in China. Former graduate students sent some from Hong Kong, and we're glad to have them. They seemed to do the job well over there.

Posted by
1509 posts

I was lucky and had about 8-9 laying around after a home repair project from before this all started, and have only used / been reusing one of them. I only use the N95 when I fly because I think the risk level is so much higher.

Posted by
115 posts

I have to take issue with the post that face shields are safer than masks. They might be more comfortable, but definitely not safer. Your health practitioner is wearing both, not just the face shield. Airborne aerosols potentially carrying the virus can easily get around a face shield both inhaling and exhaling. Wear a clean mask, keep your distance, wash your hands and be happy

Posted by
198 posts

As for face shields, look at what Alaska Airlines is doing. You can wear a face shield, but must have a mask underneath it.

Posted by
5298 posts

BigMike ever hear the expression "say it, don't spray it". Thats what shields do. Its to protect your eyes which a mask doesnt. Nothings perfect, but anything is better than nothing.

Posted by
14103 posts

Face shields protect the wearer from others but not others from the wearer.

It's hot and humid all summer here in Tel Aviv and masks are mandatory with a $150 fine for not wearing one - even outdoors when no one else is in sight. The vast majority of the people I've seen use the disposable surgical masks that are typically blue and white.

Posted by
1509 posts

There was a story less than a month ago about an outbreak in Switzerland at a hotel restaurant. Nobody with a mask was infected, all infections were those who wore face shields and no masks.

Posted by
1175 posts

Hi Frank

I’ve been working out in 100F+ lately.

The cotton masks are the most comfortable for me.

The really important feature is to have a large air pocket in front of your face. The mask gets very hot if it is pulled tightly over your nose and mouth.

So find something with a good seal and a large space near the mouth. The “Olsen” style gives a little more room.

Posted by
31111 posts

Unfortunately it's likely that any masks that allow some degree of ventilation are not going to be as effective in blocking droplets. I had a look at the Duke University study that was mentioned earlier in this thread, and the weave of the material is important.

I decided to buy one of these to try it as well as support a good cause - https://vanaquashop.org/vancouver-aquarium-whitecaps-facemask/ . It seems to work reasonably well although it is a bit uncomfortable in hot weather. I haven't tried inserting an extra filter into the mask, as I'm sure that would exacerbate the heat issue. As with other masks, it tends to fog up my glasses.

Good luck with your search! I'll be interested to see if you find a good solution.