I think I have a new favorite mask. I suspect I’m not the only person out there who has been through a whole bunch of different specific masks and styles of masks without finding one that would work well for long-term use, and I just got this one that I ordered through Etsy and I think it may be the big winner. What sets it apart is the size; it’s made specifically for men with large beards, so unlike every mask I’ve tried it actually fits completely under my chin and doesn’t get in my mouth. There’s a pouch in there for a filter if I want to put one in (mental note: figure out how to get mask filters? And whether I need them?) and even without the filter it passes the blow test. There’s also a nose wire that seems to work better than the wires in standard surgical masks, which I never was able to position so as to keep my glasses from fogging up.
I spent a few minutes in front of the mirror just sort of talking as if I was addressing a classroom and it never got in my mouth, and it doesn’t put pressure on my ears– the top band wraps around my head and the bottom one goes around the back of my neck. I’m a little concerned about how it sort of pooches away from my face along my jawline, but that’s at a weird enough angle to the rest of the world that I have some trouble imagining danger droplets getting in that way. The only other concern I can think of is that, as you can tell, the elastic is a little bit on the thin side, so that may be a problem in the long-term. For now it doesn’t feel like it’s going to snap on me, and the drawstring in the back means that it’s not pulling super hard anyway.
All that said, I’m going to give this one a week and if I’m still happy with it at the end of the week I’m going to order a few more. This definitely passes the initial quality test, though.