Best mask for breathability – True Fleece
Best mask for comfort – Ahipao by Waiheke Cashmere, BONZ
Best mask for protection – Untouched World, BONZ, Cactus Outdoors
Best mask for fashion – Mountain Country, Tussock Ridge, Untouched World
Best mask for exercise (cold weather) – Cactus Outdoors
Best mask for exercise (hot weather) – True Fleece
Head strap V ear strap winner – Head strap
Filter V no filter winner – Filter
Untouched World $19.95 to $79
True Fleece $25
Ahipao by Waiheke Cashmere, $22.50
Cactus Outdoors $45
True Fleece $25
Mountain Country $25
Tussock Ridge $19.95
These Helix Filters are kind of a big deal. They are made by Lanaco and are designed capture the tiniest dangerous airborne particles.
This same tech has been scientifically developed for industrial, medical and respiratory health sectors and has been chosen by NASA for critical life support in the next manned exploration to the moon.
Using one filter insert will capture more than 80% of particles 3 micron and larger. Protection levels increase to 95% with the use of two filters.
In addition, the HELIX Filter has extremely low breathing resistance, making it exceptionally easy to breathe through.
The first mask we looked at is one from Untouched World – the first fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability.
It has a few masks to choose from including a simple, double-layer surgical style Pleat Masks in merino and organic cotton for just $19.95, a nano knit mask for $69 and a technical HELIX iso Filter Mask for $79.
The Helix face mask, which is comfortable beyond belief. It is made from two layers of organic cotton. A flexible nose bridge can be moulded to ensure a good fit and toggles can be adjusted to ensure elastic ear loops fit well.
Both masks are exceptionally comfortable and breathable I wore one on the bus this morning and didn’t touch my face once. There is a significant difference between the two – unsurprisingly, I found the Helix mask to be more breathable and just felt better protected. The pleat masks are a bargain at $19.95 and as I said can be washed and endlessly reused.
This little beauty is made by True Fleece.
This double-layer surgical style cloth face mask is made from soft breathable, merino wool cloth. This mask offers light protection and acts as a great reminder not to touch your face. It’s machine washable for easy care, it is endlessly reusable.
I’m a big fan of merino wool cloth. It is a naturally lightweight, sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable. With its breathability it’s perfect for any season, keeping you cool in the warmer weather and toasty warm in the cooler weather.
Merino wool cloth is fantastically soft and itch-free. For someone with eczema like me, it works especially well.
True Fleece’s merino cloth face masks are made from 92% ultra-fine natural merino fibre, which means it is super soft against your skin.
There’s some elastic at the back which gives it a snug fit. I can’t feel any air escaping from either the top or bottom of the mask.
For $25, I’m impressed.
The next one is by BONZ, a Queenstown-based clothing company founded in the 1980s.
BONZ is your quintessential Kiwi clothing company providing high quality, its products are sustainably produced, New Zealand designed and made– which is primarily knitted.
It has 14 stores throughout Australia, a testament to the quality of the clothing it produces. Its seamless merino reusable knitted facemask has an odour resistant and breathable merino outer layer, with an organic cotton inner lining for comfort and durability. The mask also features a metal nose bridge to make a tight seal on your face.Combining its premium merino yarns natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and the PM 2.5 filter, our Merino Facemask is a good defence against any airborne germs.
The Merino Facemask will protect you from pollutants and keep you warm while exercising, commuting, shopping and travelling It is machine washable and will last 50 or more cycles. These are $39.
Ahipao by Waiheke Cashmere
This business prides itself on creating garments that are sustainably made and natural. Because all our fibres are created by nature rather than in a petrochemical laboratory, every product is naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.
These super soft and sustainably made masks are 3D knitted (no hand-stitching or cutting) which allows us to eliminate any waste during production.
It’s a simple, seamless design which is very comfortable. It comes in various sizes and colours and is double-layered, allowing for a filter to be placed inside.The ear strap might not be quite as effective as a head strap over time, but it is an incredibly comfortable mask you could literally fall asleep in.
Allanah from AhiPao says being listed on the Buy NZ Masks page has led to a huge increase in sales. The business has gone from 0 sales to 50 or more which has been a lifeline for the company.
The next mask is made by Cactus Outdoors, a well-known New Zealand business that has been around for 28 years. It goes without saying that everything Cactus produces is very high quality and long-lasting.
This time Cactus has teamed up Lanaco to produce an impressive mask for $45.
The wool filter it has used is designed to be more than twice as easy to breathe through than standard masks. This is very important since most N95 masks are very difficult to breathe through.
It’s designed it to seal snugly around the face for superior protection and it includes an adjustable nose-wire to form a protective seal.
This one takes a bit more effort to get on due to the tie, but for the physical activity it is superior than elastic. It also looks fantastic!
This Tussock Ridge merino mask is one of the best looking I’ve come across.
The merino is also incredibly comfortable. It comes in several different colours and is a real bargain at $19.95. It’s no surprise that Tussock Ridge sold out of these recently but now they are back in stock.
The double fabric layers will protect against unwanted particles and moisture. It is incredibly easy to breathe through. The merino is soft and doesn’t irritate the skin; is naturally anti-bacterial, stain-resistant and won’t hold odours. It is a breathable fabric that naturally expels moisture.
The only thing I’ll say is that it comes in both small and large. This one is large and there is a bit of room under the neck. I have a pretty slim face so would opt for the small version.
Mountain Country’s high-end products are all designed, knitted and manufactured on-site in Auckland and are crafted from premium Possum, Merino wool and Mulberry silk yarns grown in New Zealand.
So this mask is designed and made in New Zealand, it’s washable, comfortable and reusable.
The inner and outer layers are made from Mountain Country’s trademarked Triple-Tech fabric manufactured inhouse using performance-proven sports fibre yarns.
This mask is soft against the skin, and very breathable, and is fitted with an adjustable nose piece. Its reusable face masks are designed to be used on their own or fitted with replaceable HELIX filters.
The mask is $25, so again for something of the quality I wouldn’t think twice about spending that amount. That’s one meal in Wellington or Auckland these days.