Studies are showing that while “buffs” or neck gaiters are great for sun protection, they are not ideal when it comes to curbing the spread of COVID-19. There are now countless manufacturers offering face coverings, both Zhik, Henri-Lloyd, and Helly Hansen have tailored new face coverings for those of us on the water a lot. Zhik’s “Face Mask” design is weatherproof and comfortable. “It is not just another facemask,” they say. “Zhik’s industrial design team has thought this through.”
We’ll take their word for it for now, but the design does appear solid and versatile: a good snug fit and washable to boot. It’s also appropriate for onshore usage due to the one-way air valve that facilitates through-mask breathing.
The Face Mask is a non-medical grade and made of polyurethane foam, which “feels comfortable on the skin and is quick drying.” With stretchy side arms, the mask can be removed quickly with one hand in an emergency. Zhik Face Masks are sold in packs of five, for $35.00 and available from zhik.com
Henri Lloyd’s $24 offering is a simple and effective solution as well. It’s constructed from a soft breathable cotton that’s reusable and machine washable and has small-diameter elastic ear bands that are not too cumbersome. For long-lasting protection, five non-reusable filters are included and recommended to be replaced regularly, so order a few extra filter packs.
Using its long established “LIFA” fabric, Helly Hansen now sells a form-fitting facemask, with a hygienic finish. Contoured, soft to the face and fairly breathable, it also has a metal band across the nose bridge for a snug fit. Like the Zhik and Henri Lloyd masks, they’re washable as well, and these retail for $15 at hellyhansen.com