The SuperCool mask is great–hands down. I don’t work for Totobobo–nor am I paid to say this, and I’ve been using this mask for a few months now. I first started with the original one that covered the nose and mouth. I liked the simplicity and that I could easily wash the mask–but as a glasses-wearing cyclist, my glasses seemed to fog up when stopped at red lights or slowed down (at higher speeds the breath exhaust seemed to present less of a glasses-fogging problem). This was a problem.
But when I wrote to the company informing of my problem they were willing to offer a few suggestions. One was to try cutting the mask to better fit my head, but the other was about this new version that only covers your mouth. I gave it a try.
That I am no longer exhaling into the mask, the fogging glasses issue has completely disappeared. (I breathe in through my mouth, which is in the mask/filter, and out through my nose.) Actually, I think I get a better seal with this smaller mask than I did the full one. And I find there is much less condensation collecting in the mask (no humid exhale within the mask), which means I do not need to wash the mask as often. This may also have a positive impact on the filters (keeping them drier), but I’m not a scientist, so I can’t credibly comment on that.
Pulling down the mask to talk to other cyclists is also very easy with this mask. You can talk through the mask, but you might sound a little like Darth Vader, so I simply pull the mask down around my chin if I want to talk, then pull it back up when I ride on. The side straps are very stretchy.
I also have a mask by another company–it’s neoprene and velcros in the back. I haven’t really tried this mask extensively due to a few reasons: 1. it looks like it would tend to get hot in the summer days here in Los Angeles–as it covers a lot of skin on your face and neck essentially with a wetsuit, 2. the metal nose bracket, which I thought would be beneficial to get a good seal, seemed to irritate my nose, and 3. the Totobobo is just so light and easy to use I just haven’t had a compelling urge to try another mask.
Big props to the company–who has seemed to design a great, simple product–and whose customer service has been very responsive and helpful. When I change out the filters they are visibly discolored–and I’m glad that at least some of that stuff that I otherwise would be breathing (dirt, pollution, particulate matter, brake shoe dust, etc.) is in the filter instead of in my lungs.
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