Today we just received a detailed review from Korea. More interestingly, the blog “Breathe Safe Air” was started by Ethan Brooke, a New Zealander living in Korea. Ethan started writing about air pollution in his travel blog (Seoulinspired.com) and gets many interested. Early this year, as COVID-19 hit the headlines, he started to write about respirators for the virus. His writing is consistently well researched and objective. Below are some of the highlight from his review:
The first thing that stands out about this mask is the very unique look – it’s transparent with the exception of the filters. Some people love this look as it is more natural, however, there are also those who prefer the more traditional mask look.
What makes Totobobo stand out though, are the other unique features that it has. It’s made to fix one of the most common issues that reusable respirators have. That is the fit.
No mask is effective if it doesn’t fit properly. Not only is mask that leaks only partially (or not at all) protecting you, but it can even be detrimental in the sense of security that it provides.
This is where Totobobo shines. It is a mask that is made for the common user, someone who can’t get professionally fitted masks and doesn’t have training. It’s a mask that lets you perform your own fit testing.
In the video below I demonstrate and describe the Singapore made Totobobo mask (also available in pink) with its replaceable filters (94 and Pro99) finding it extremely comfortable for daily use and suitable for running if masks are required. It is cleanable and is customizable for a good fit.
I highly recommend this to anyone it without any hesitation.
Kent Soh, Singapore
Review by Kent Soh, from Singapore. Date: 2020-05-06 after testing the mask since April 17th.
“I received the Totobobo mask and filters on Friday 17 April. The first impression was not impressed. It looked like a cheap flat plastic mask that would have a lot of leakage around the mask.
Took 2 days following youtube to getting the fitting of the mask right, without gaps. Remarkably, after putting it on and getting the right fit, the design and the quality of construction, and the instructions demonstrated it was the mask I had read about… Two thumbs up.
As a cyclist and jogger, I took the mask for a test run 10 km and test cycle 40 km on different days, been testing it for 14 days. My impression has changed.
Covid-19 impacted my life in many ways. We used to take the air that we breathe in for granted, but not anymore. It will change life as we know it in the world.
The Totobobo mask will be my choice. The mask with clear silicone with white filters. It is simple, well made, reusable, effective against viruses and other pollutants, and easy to breathe through. Simply, it is everything I could ask for from a mask that I use daily.
I highly recommend Totobobo mask to anyone without any hesitation.
I hope to test the new Totobobo mask with an integrated nose clip that comes with the PRO filter which is perfect for outdoor sports … it is out of stock currently. Appreciate it if there is a button for them to contact me when stock arrives.
Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored reviewer.
(editor: sign up to be informed of new stock: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QSeO5NY3SdhsLyN5mh7TqlDgK7lIKk6DntBiQTcxG1Q)
Cycling is a mode of transportation that’s growing in popularity and relevance in our Green-Oriented world.
Worldwide, the numbers of commuters forgoing motor vehicles and switching over to bicycles are increasingly growing. While riding a bicycle is a healthier alternative when compared to driving or taking a bus, due to it’s difference in physical activity, the poor air quality in urban settings contradict the benefits. Heavy traffic spews toxic gases and many fine particles which will then enter our respiratory tract eventually. Aerial pollution causes both short and long term damage to our lungs and the upper respiratory tract, therefore, cycling under these conditions will pose problems in the near future. In order to ride safely without inhaling these harmful particles and gases, a protective mask that is capable of filtering the air you breathe is the best solution.
Things to consider:
An ideal mask for cycling incorporates a number of considerations, specifically for cycling, to ensure it’s effectiveness.
Ease of use
The selected mask should form a tight seal on the user’s face, so as to make sure the air he/she is breathing, will only get in by passing through the filters. The filters must be capable of keeping microscopic particles and noxious fumes, out of the user’s mouth and nose. Wearing the mask shouldn’t inhibit the breathing of the user during vigorous activities, nor should it cause any discomfort to the user. Cyclists will need to breathe harder than pedestrians, high resistance masks (those that are best for filtering the air) increases the strain on the lungs. An ideal mask for riders will be something that balances between both filtration power and breathability.
During a cycling workout, blood is pumped vigorously through our bodies and heat is generated. A mask that traps heat is a major problem, it reduces the intake of oxygen and compromises the ability to breathe easily. Unfortunately, most masks on the market are “heat-traps”.
After a long ride, the mask will be sweaty, damp and dirty, the last thing you would want is to reuse such a mask on your next trip, not knowing what kind of bacteria will be growing in it. The filters should be quickly replaceable and the mask itself should be easy to disinfect.
For cyclists, being able to mount and dismount the mask quickly is critical. While riding in traffic, the rider should be able to remove the mask singlehandedly with a single motion and vice versa, to minimize distraction and lost of time. Weight is also another important factor to consider, anything heavy or cumbersome will only make the ride laborious and difficult. Ultimately, the most important factor for commuters, is the cost of the product. For those who rides and needs a mask daily, the masks and it’s filters should be reasonably priced and easy to come by.
Other neoprene masks, like some cyclist-intended masks, are heavy duty equipment that digs a hole in your waller. In addition, they are heat trappers and turn smelly quickly, yet difficult to clean. All the more so, it is larger and troublesome to carry around. It is a product designed for professional looks, but it would be a little too much for a daily user.
While there are a mountain of masks out there, all offering a range of protection, comfort and price, only one provides the balance between the factors that best benefits the user, TOTOBOBO.
Our mask is specially designed and moulded with a unique material that allows the user to custom fit the mask to their face, help firmly onto the face by a pair of ultra elastic and flexible straps. The straps are made from elastic polymers and is friendly on the skin. One mask fits all and it can be folded up when not in use, comfortably keeping it inside our pockets.
The Totobobo Mask forms a snug seal on the user’s face, ensuring air to only pass through by the filters. Unlike other masks, the Totobobo Mask is a master in both high airflow and filtration. The patented body valve design allows low resistance exhalation so that you can easily take in clear air with each breath.
Most protective masks need to be professionally checked for a proper seal, it is time consuming to do so as well, whereas the Totobobo Mask’s seal can be easily clarified in a short period of time. Both children and adults can get a good fit with it.
Our filters are European designed and of the finest quality, capable of keeping out particulates as small as 0.1 microns. Using static electricity to snag the particles while they enter the filter, the Totobobo Mask keeps out all the toxic particles produced from motor vehicles, industrial exhaust, cigarettes, wood fire and charcoal fumes and also incense smoke. Biological components such as pollen , mold pores, dust mites and cockroach allergens, dust and common soil particles, can be filtered out as well.
The mask is anti-viral thanks to Biocote, a silver-ion anti-microbial agent, and important property to be taken into account when heat and humidity of the mask’s interior is involved. This way, you can further ensure the cleanliness and safety of Totobobo Masks. The mask is also easy to disinfect using soap and water. Best of all, the entire mask is reusable, all you have to do is to replace the old filters with a new pair and you’re good to go.
As for being economical, the Totobobo mask can not be beaten when it comes to the bang for your buck. Compared to leading competitors on the market, our masks are unparalleled when it comes to value. As the chart indicates below, the Totobobo Mask is more cost effective than any of the leading alternatives, same goes for the replacement filters!
Cyclists worldwide swore by the effectiveness and usefulness of the Totobobo Mask when it comes to riding in inclement environments. Here are some testimonies of a few elated users from around the globe.
Herve and Bonnaveira and Goska Romanowicz of Develotour, discovered an interesting way to measure and visualize air pollution. On a year long bicycle trek across the continent, the couple traveled through several Asian countries. They visited a number of major metropolises and first handedly experienced the respective air qualities. In each locale they wore our masks to protect their lungs from the polluted air. They wrote to us saying:
“The TOTOBOBO anti-pollution masks came in very useful in India! Weve tested the masks in Delhi, the Indian countryside and Calcuttaused one filter for a days cycling in each placeand we got varying shades of brown.even far from cities and factories the air is very polluted.”
Herve and Goska appreciated the high quality of respiratory safety they enjoyed by using the TOTOBOBO mask on their journey. When they lectured to students along their trip about air pollution awareness, they also informed them of the TOTOBOBO mask�s unmatched quality and value.
Nagaraj Pudukotai of Bangalore, India, test out the Totobobo Mask during his daily commutes to work by bicycle. The air in Bangalore is terribly polluted, within forty five minutes, the filters were already black! Thankfully, the pollutants were trapped in the filters instead of his lungs. He commented :
“It is very effective. It seals your nose and mouth completely, although you can smell intense odors like that of petrol exhaust and diesel exhaust when you are very close to a vehicle, the emissions do not get in your lungs.”
Montgomery Tufeld of New York City regards the Totobobo Mask’s ability as an invaluable thing. Riding around the city on his daily delivery route, he comes across a lot of smog and dust in traffic. Before he started to wear a mask, he would get home everyday with a sore throat and blackened mucus from the soot he had been inhaling. He tried a number of different brands before touching on ours, since then, it has been life changing for him. He stated :
“The mask fits better than anything else on the market. It is snug and comfortable, and easy to put on and take off when riding through traffic. I barely notice it is there.”
Choose Totobobo for Safe Cycling!
Around the world, across the globe, cyclists are adding another item to their must have list, apart from protective gear, they added in the pollution masks. If you’re looking for one, don’t hesitate to try out our Totobobo Masks!
Air pollution has been living alongside out since a long time ago. We have been trying to battle it out but it takes time to completely eliminate this problem. Which is why, for the time being, it is better to protect ourselves while fighting the air pollution. As much as it is important to protect yourselves, it is also important to know what you’re protecting yourself from in order to further enhance your protection.
Here we have, compiled a list of information and studies that are related with air pollution. It is a little wordy but definitely worth your time to read!
“Inhalation of smoke of firecrackers is very harmful not just to the asthmatic and the elderly but also to health human beings and can cause cough, fever and can also cause acute eosinophillic pneumonia.”
“Cycling to work may seem the healthy option, but a study has shown that people riding in cities inhale tens of millions of toxic nanoparticles with every breath, at least five times more than drivers or pedestrians.”
“From my personal experience of using a mask over the last five or six years I would say is particularly effective at preventing infections such as flu and is very good at hayfever prevention and preventing dust from triggering my asthma.”
“I’ve been using it for 2 months and I like my job again. It cuts out the general air pollution around but if you’re right behind a truck or similar you still breathe in some gas but if you know how to avoid and dodge that while your riding then this mask really helps.”
It is important to study a product carefully before buying it, one of the most important things to take note of are the comments made by other consumers who have purchased the same product. To save you the trouble, we have done up a compilation of the different reviews we have gotten over the years from external sources, therefore they are trustworthy and not made up by us!
(Tips: click on the images below to jump to the sources)
Debra Bruno, a freelance journalist and a jogger in Beijing explains her choice of Totobobo mask to the Wall Street Journal during an interview
“This filter was white when I started and it got this nasty grey after only 10km.”Chas Pope – Marathon runner
“The filters show up an astonishing amount of dirt after just a few cycles, which really hits home how dirty the air we breathe in is. It’s easy to attach and I can move my face when wearing it – a bonus.”
“Tipping the scales at 20g, Totobobo is the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. “
“The white filter pads make it easy – and incredibly satisfying – to monitor the particulates that have been caught “
“There was a visible change in the colour of the filters, and I was more aware of the visible dust being kicked up by trucks and was grateful I wasn’t inhaling this. I suffer from hay fever and could imagine the mask would be a huge benefit in reducing the symptoms. “ — Chris Lima, a member ofIoD Oxfordshire
via avid traveller:
“We have started using our Totobobo masks, and changed the filters for the first time after 7 days of usage in Malaysia, plagued by the haze coming from Indonesia. So far we are satisfied, it works well and the filters are getting grey as expected!” Davide Vadalà and Oti from Nomad Travellers
“it is a well-designed, super lightweight mask that allows me to freely breathe as I wheel around town.” Sahn
“Totobobo mask has a good feature where you can customize the mask (and the ear loop) by reshaping it with hot water / hair dryer. This is a very crucial feature, a mask that do not fit your face is not an effective mask at all.”
“Given how dirty the pads get, I can only assume this mask is blocking out plenty of pollution. The mask itself is soft and doesn’t rub, even when sweaty.”
“Totobobo mask is also comfortable to wear and easy to breathe with. So it is commonly used by cyclists, motorcyclists and artists when navigating around in polluted environments.” Pris Chew, runner blogger
via health sites:
“Aside from an amazing name, this mask is interesting for its design – it gets moulded to your face (using warm water) for a good fit, and when worn, is transparent where it’s in contact with your skin, and translucent otherwise. This means that you can just stand in front of the mirror and ensure that you’ve gotten a good seal on the mask.”
“In other masks, there is no way to find out if it is tightly fitted on the face. Totobobo has solved this problem using an innovative ‘water-mark’ technique in which the frosted surface of the mask becomes transparent where there is good skin contact and remains translucent where there is a leakage.”
“the mask itself is more environmentally friendly. You only throw the filters away – not the entire mask. “
“This is the only mask I’ve been able to get used to. “
“As soon as I take it off, I’m aware of how much pastel is on and around me by just breathing (it’s scary to think I was breathing all that dust before!)”
The basic principle of any mask is very simple: Isolation (Proper Seal) and Filtering. The function of the mask is to force all the air entering the breathing zone through the air filters. This can only be achieved if the mask form a good seal with the face.
“Good protection is built on two factors: a good filter and a good seal“.
Surgical Masks are not good enough for airborne contamination
Surgical masks were designed to reduce the spread of germs from a patient, it is not designed to prevent air-borne contamination from entering the bodies. There are numerous gaps between the mask and the user’s face, allowing viruses or pollutants to pass through easily.
Surgical masks were designed to protect nurses and surgeons from blood contamination during an operation. In Japan, it’s common use was to reduce the risk of passing the Flu virus around by the wearers.
N95 mask effectiveness: Fit Testing is a problem.
Respirators, on the other hand, were designed to protect the wearer from airborne viruses. This is possible if the respirator provides a good seal on your face, making sure that the air you breathe, will only pass through the filter(s) before entering your respiratory system. A proper fit test can be conducted by a trained specialist with proper equipment, which is usually inaccessible for the public.
Some manufacturers suggest a “User Seal Check”, which is performed by blocking the filter(s) while blowing into the mask to feel if any air is leaking from the sides of the mask. Such practice is questioned by a study from the Price of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong. The study showed a 25% failure rate when trained users applied the “User Seal Check”. This technique recommended by most manufacturers is too ambiguous and unreliable. “It’s usefulness as a pre-use test must be questioned.”, the study concluded.
While looking for a respirator to protect his children, Francis Chu, the inventor of Totobobo Mask, encountered the same frustration as all the other parents. He became aware of the many difficulties that parents faced and determined to come up with a solution for everyone. He applied his expertise in product designing and experimented with hundreds of prototypes, before coming up with an ergonomic design that fits most users and more importantly, customisable and children friendly. He understands that apart from good seal and filtering, other factors like comfort, cleaning, reusing and portability are also important points to be considered before the product can be considered “Child Friendly”.
Following is a summary of how Totobobo Mask solves the common issues relate to mask wearing:
3 Reasons why Totobobo mask are superior!
Problem 1: Difficult to check for a good seal | Totobobo solution: Watermark visual Check makes it easy
Totobobo mask is transparent, for a good reason. Most masks are made of opaque material, it is not easy to determine if there is small leaks between the face and the mask. Totobobo mask solve this issue with a simple method to visualise the seal and the leaks. Through the transparent mask, the user can easily check the seal with a bit of watermark. First the user wet the face with a dampen cotton wool. Where the mask touches the skin, the frosted surface turns into transparent, immediately indicating a good seal.
Problem 2: Reusing dirty mask | Totobobo solution: Anti-virus, easy to wash, clean and dry
Disposable N95 masks and cloth based mask gets reuse for some times. The contamination and germs accumulated on the mask after each use can be a thread to health. Disposable mask cannot be wash, and cloth based masks are not easy to dry after wash. Totobobo mask is made of a soft plastic with embedded anti-virus silver ion. The Silver ion agent stop the grow of germs and the mask is easy to wash clean and dry for immediate reuse.
Problem 4: Different facial sizes | Totobobo solution: Trim to fit smaller faces
Childhood is a fast growing period, their face size change rapidly and extends a wide range. To address this size range, most manufacturer come up with different sizes, such as S,M and L. However, it is not easy to determine which size before you open the package and try the mask on your kid’s face. Most shop don’t accept returned product due to personal hygiene consideration. The unique solution that Totobobo mask offer is to allow the use to trim the mask according to the size of the face. You can even download a “Totobobo mask simulator” to construct a paper model of the mask to test the cut and the sizing before you purchase.
Parents and school teachers from different parts of the globe have discovered this new solution for their children and students. If you are looking for an effective Respirator to protect your children, Totobobo Mask is exactly what you are looking for!
A true example:
After Chemo, Kayla’s Immune System is still compromised. This mask is our safety net that has proven its workability.
“When Kayla did not have the mask and went to school, she ended up in the hospital for two weeks, every month, for three months, a total of 45 days. With the mask, she had no sickness, no hospitalizations, no colds, nothing.
Your mask is far superior to any other mask on the market. Period!”
Debbie, the mother of Kayla, knew that she needed proper respiratory protection if she wanted to play with other children. She had her tried all sorts of masks, Surgical Masks, N95 Masks, but none of them worked. Due to her weakened immune system after the Chemotherapy, Kayla would fall sick easily after she mingled around with other kids. Determined, Debbie continued to search for a solution. One day, a Google search led her to Totobobo mask. After studying the website, she decided to give it a shot. To her surprise, the Totobobo mask worked!
Long time user and Biking attorney,Ross, sent in his first impression about the PRO filter with his customised SuperCool mask:
(Thanks to Ross for permission to share)
Took the PRO filter on its initial bike ride this morning. Very impressed! The new SuperCool mask fit great right out of the box, and breathing with the new PRO filter was great, too. It’s not in any way heavy or restrictive to breathe through. Of course there was a slight resistance, but I actually found that reassuring to know that air was, in fact, going through the filter medium. Just a note to say thanks, and nice job!
I’ll do a more detailed user experience review –and of course send some updated pictures of me wearing it on my commute through downtown Los Angeles, California.
I’m a great fan of your super-cool mask. For a while I used a 3M face mask when cycling but found that I got a staph infection in my nose owing to the high amount of moisture it created. Yet without any mask when cycling in London my asthma became very bad. The solution was your amazing Totobobo super-cool mask. There are a number of reviews online, even by competing mask manufacturers which dismiss its efficacy and say how unnatural it is to breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. What utter nonsense! After only a few days it had become second nature for me to breathe in this fashion when cycling. Now I swear by the mask and am writing with the express wish that you use my endorsement publicly.