“My girlfriend Sarah and I have been using and very much enjoying the anti-pollution Totobobo masks in New Delhi – India. I want to say thanks… The radio taxis here have gone wacko and so we are spending a lot more time in rickshaws. I used to have a very bad cough and had to take allergy medicine but it seems to have resolved itself! no more medicine – no more coughs. ” – Sam
Personal experience is critical for the development of innovative technology. I cycle to work daily, and this allows me opportunity to test a number of different safety masks. These provide me with first hand evaluation of products from a cyclist’s perspective. Gathering input from other cyclists and working with their feedback helps take into account alternative climates and riding issues. All in all, I have found that the demands of a cyclist are many and, at times, contradictory. Here are a few:
Breathing versus Protection:
Cyclists need to breathe heavily, but the resistance through a protective filter can uncomfortable and increase strain. A filter with low air resistance would be better, but would be less effective in filtering. Most filters with high protection levels are difficult to breathe through, making finding the goldilocks zone of filtration and “breatheability” critical.
In a cycling workout blood is pumped vigorously through the body and heat is generated. A mask that traps heat is a major problem, because it reduces the intake of oxygen and makes breathing more difficult. Unfortunately, most masks on the market are heat-traps.
Easy on, easy off:
If only part of one’s commute involves heavy traffic and wearing a mask, why not wear it as needed? A well-designed mask should take this into account. The user should be able to remove and replace the mask with ease while cycling.
Additional weight to carry while riding is a nuisance. Protective masks should be compact and lightweight. This makes bringing the mask and using the mask more likely and easier to do.
But rather than drone on further, let me cut to the chase and explain TOTOBOBO’s 12 features relevant to cyclists:
1) Powerful filter: Breathe as easily as not wearing a mask. With the TOTOBOBO filter, air moves freely while still capturing at least 94% of pollutants.
2) Fold flat: Compact and portable, the TOTOBOBO mask is no burden to carry around when not in use. Just fold it up and stick in your pocket.
3) Lightweight: Only 20g, unparalleled among reusable facial protection.
4) Low profile: The mask itself is only .5mm thick, like a second skin over your nose and mouth. It is nonintrusive, and can be worn with glasses or a helmet with no problems.
5) Comfortable strap: Less tension, more comfort. The unique, flexible strap may look flimsy but is surprisingly strong. The mask requires little tension to keep firmly in place with this plastic strap.
6) One hand on/off: With one hand you can take the mask off or put it back on while never stopping the bike.
7) Active valve: The mask acts as a one-way valve; as you breathe, so does the mask.
8) Raised structure: The mask’s design keeps the filter fibers away from your mouth and nose.
9) Customized fit: One mask fits all. The mask adapts to any face shape or size.
10) Anti-viral: A silver ion anti-viral agent stops any virus from growing on the mask, and lasts as long as the mask does.
11) Washable and reusable: Washable with soap and water. Easy and safe.
12) Transparent: The clear masks allows easy adjustment and checking of an optimal seal.
TOTOBOBO is the most comfortable mask on the market for cyclists, but it is by no means perfect. If you are considering using it, be aware of moisture trapping and potential fogging of your glasses. These can be mitigated by tightening the upper strap and loosening the lower strap, or, when exhaling, closing your mouth to break the seal below the chin, allowing the trapped moisture to escape.
Have you used a TOTOBOBO mask before? Have I missed anything?