Let’s face it, anything over your mouth and nose while you are working out, are not ideal. However, we are still very much in the COVID-19 era and we don’t have a choice but to wear a mask when we are working out. Therefore, I’ve been in search of the perfect mask that is light enough so that I can breath when I cycle and run, but also somewhat protective. I asked a variety of triathlon, running and clothing apparel companies to send me samples so that I could test them out to see which ones are the best masks for running or cycling.
Here are my top picks:
Wattie Ink is a company, founded by Sean Watkins (a.k.a “Wattie”). They sell triathlon, cycling, and running attire. They also have a line of streetwear.
Since COVID-19, Wattie Ink got into the mask business as well. They saw a need for triathletes and runners to wear masks and they created a series of unique and colorful masks to wear for any activity. The masks are made of dry-fit material and fit comfortably over your ears. They aren’t tight on your face so they are breathable. They have a bit of thickness to them but are made from a dry fit material.
They come in a variety of cute colors that can match every outfit. Below, I’m wearing a matching mask to my Roka tri kit. They also sent me a variety of patterns and colors.
What I love about the Wattie Ink masks is that they are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear. They are also really cute!
You can buy them here for $50 for 5 masks! (And, if you’re like me, you work out a lot so you will need a lot of masks!) Here’s the link: https://www.wattieink.com/collections/masks/products/unisex-face-masks-5-pack-design-2
Headsweats Perspiration Technology Headwear® was founded in the winter of 1998 by shoe industry veteran and obsessed cyclist, Alan Romick. I wear Headsweats all the time! I love their trucker hats, running caps, and visors. I love Headsweats so much that I became an ambassador and have been for the last two years.
After requesting a sample, Headsweats sent me two – one in blue and one in white. What I like about them is they are a little easier to breathe because they aren’t sealed to your face. They are lightweight and don’t stick in your mouth when you breathe. They are made from dry-fit material but they are also thick, much heavier than the other masks described here.
The masks come in a variety of patterns but the fabric is similar to all.
The cost is $13 each and you can purchase them here – https://www.headsweats.com/categories/face-masks/.
This is a local tri-state area company, founded in Ridgewood, NJ. The company started as a coaching and racing company but eventually got into high quality running apparel. They have four brick and mortar stores located in NJ and CT.
The mask they sent me was made from a very soft dry-fit material. It has two layers but it’s very thin. There is a slit in the back to add another layer or filter. Interestingly, these masks don’t go around your ears. They go around the back of your head. So, you take the two bands and place them around your head. It fits very snug and there is no air that gets in except for the actual material.
There were times when I wore this mask that when I took a breath in, the mask followed. I liked the feel of the mask and found it interesting the way it worked. It was different than the others described here.
The price of the mask retails for $15 and comes in two colors – orange and green. You can buy one here: https://www.shopracefaster.com/collections/accessories.
I reached out to BOCO. I noticed they had masks for running. When I requested a sample, they responded:
“Most people running and cycling will wear a neck gaiter but those are much too porous to really protect you. You can breathe through them but the level of protection is meh…. For our masks, we made these as consumer masks for heading to the store and as a non-medical face covering. These are not N95 as they are not fitted to your face but they are made of the recommended CDC 2 layer with the option of a filter. People love how light these are and we are proud of how comfortable these are. The fact that we are a company focused on endurance sports, we are cautious as to claims and worry that if we make or promote an athletic mask, to you, this would mean more breathable yet less protective right?”
Perhaps they are right. Maybe the best masks for running are the light buffs or just a bandana. Whatever the case, we need to wear them to keep all the people around us safe.
If you have a favorite mask from a different company, please let us know below. We are a community of runners and triathletes. Any information that you can share will be helpful to others! Thanks!