The question I have been asked most frequently during my six and a half year tenure as Outside’s Gear Guy is, “Are Yeti Coolers Worth the Money?” (Yes and No.) However, it is a sign of our times that this has been in the past two months was surpassed by: “Is the Under Armor sports mask worth the money?” People asked me in the store, at a car dealership, while running and doing a pull-up on climbing frames in a park. My answer is a resounding yes.
The reason? It’s the most comfortable and usable mask of the dozen I’ve tested in the past six months, ideal for all day and hard workouts. (But please note this is not a medical or surgical mask.) Thought I would need a quiver of face coverings when I realized that wearing these masks would become part of our daily routine, this is the only one that I really need.
The longest thing I’ve worn without taking it off was seven hours when I bought a Toyota Tacoma. While the dealership figured out my funding, I honestly forgot I had it on. The easy one The structure kept the polyester and polyurethane fabric (which felt like a nice, insulated base layer) away from the nose and mouth so it didn’t feel restrictive or restrictive my breathing.
(Photo: Sarah Jackson)
The soft and extremely stretchy earbands are made from a nylon-spandex blend that, unlike the cords on most masks, has never been rubbed or pulled on my ears. Even so, the straps created a lot of tension, which kept the mask firmly attached to my face. The pliable bridge of my nose also allowed me to dial in the fit over my beak so it wouldn’t slide off. This is a big job: I have a pretty big, bulbous nose, and it’s a nightmare in most masks. The angle of my bridge and the curvature of the muzzle itself create a steep slope to a cornice – perfect for removing ill-fitting covers from the edge. Still, I never had to pull the sports mask over my nose again.
The sports mask is also the best mask I’ve used for exercising. The first test I did was a stretch that included sprints, pushups, and kettlebell swings. Breathing was significantly easier and holding my face more effectively than any other version. The fact that this mask provided full coverage while holding an air pocket in front of my nose and mouth helped to alleviate the feeling that I was being tortured while sucking for air between sentences. Don’t get me wrong: it sucks working out in a mask so I’m not going to tell you that Under Armor cracked a secret code to get the full flow of oxygen, but it’s the best option I’ve found around Allow you to breathe while keeping your airways covered.
I firmly believe that this mask is worth investing in for everyone. When I recommend products, I often add a caveat: “These skis are worth the extra $ 500 if you ski perfect powder 50 days a year.” There is no such restriction with this mask. At $ 30, it’s roughly twice the price of other performance masks on the market. But I would argue that you will be using it twice as much because of its fit, comfort, and breathability.
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Main photo: Sarah Jackson