With all the mask options out in the market today, you may find yourself trying to balance protection and comfort. Usually, the perfect mask seal leads to discomfort over time. In contrast, a looser and more comfortable mask may not provide the kind of protection that today’s day and age merits. So, it must be hard to find an option that marries protection with comfort, right? Wrong. During CES 2021, I virtually met up with AirPop as they showcased their new AirPop Active+ Halo Smart Mask. This mask has a sensor that monitors your breathing intensity and lets you know when to change filters via a companion app.
While that newly announced feature has me interested, for now, I got the chance to try out their staple AirPop Original mask. Let us dive into the AirPop Original mask to see how effectively it tackles both protection and comfort…
A single purchase of the AirPop Original face mask comes with the AirPop Original outer layer, four filters, and a carrying sack.
The AirPop Original face mask uses a domed design for staying off the user’s face while employing filters for respiratory protection. This “Aerodome” designed shell maintains an outward 3D shape that creates a canopy for easy air circulation and breathing. This flexible outer shell is also temperature, water, and abrasion-resistant. On the sides, you have adjustable ear loops that allow you to adjust for the perfect level of mask tightness.
The AirPop Original face mask then employs the use of replaceable internal filters, which tout a lifespan of 40 hours of cumulative use. These filters are latex-free, skin-friendly, and hypoallergenic, using an ergonomic double seal. This allows the mask to securely seal that spacious air canopy around your face. From what I can tell, bushy beards might be a problem for this mask’s ability to form that perfect seal.
As for the effectiveness of the filter, here are two excerpts from AirPop’s FAQ Page…
All AirPop masks use a unique combination of professional-grade electrostatically charged filter medium and non-woven materials, un-rivaled in a civilian mask and have been subjected to rigorous 3rd party testing across the world including to USA ASTM F2100 Medical Mask performance standards.
In these tests we achieved the following filtration efficiencies:
ASTM F2299 / F2299M-03 Particle Filtration Efficiency 99.3%
ASTM F2101-19 Bacterial Filtration Efficiency 99.9%
This video does a great job of explaining why and how the filtration technology we use works effectively at “trapping” even virus-laden particles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAdanPfQdCA&vl=enSource: http://support.AirPophealth.com/en/support/solutions/articles/43000610040-faq-english
Are your masks n95 rated?
No, our masks are not NIOSH N95 certified at this stage. Our masks are manufactured in the same factories as one of the leading N95 approved manufacturers and we adhere to the same rigorous material performance and quality controls as N95 masks.Source: http://support.AirPophealth.com/en/support/solutions/articles/43000610040-faq-english
AirPop masks exceed international mask material performance standards and European Community Barrier mask requirements in addition to being certified respirators in Asia.
These filters are engineered and battle-tested to handle high levels of particle and bacterial filtration. When you consider that it is now suggested to double-mask in efforts to ensure a better particle and droplet seal for your face, the AirPop Original already handles that scenario on its own. You have a water-resistant outer shell backed by an comfortable and reliable seal in the mask’s filter. Not to mention, a 40-hour cumulative filter lifespan is pretty solid. Now, take into consideration that the AirPop Original comes with 4 filters. That is a total 160 hours of cumulative use before you must consider purchasing a 4-pack filter refill.
I have been using the AirPop Original mask for about a month now with no complaints. Using the adjustable ear loops, I was able to create a fit that was secure without causing wearing fatigue. It was reassuring knowing that I did not have to strangle my face to maintain that perfect seal around my mouth and nose. The double seal is very soft as it conforms to your face with ease. I was able to tell that the seal was solid whenever I wore my glasses outdoors, as rare as that was. I did not experience much in lens fogging as I breathed comfortably through the mask. That air canopy also allowed for easier communication since my lips wear not fully against the inside of the mask, which is usually the case with any other mask I have worn.
Thanks to COVID, most of my time is spent at home working remotely, gaming, and exercising. Currently, I would not spend more than 16 hours a week outdoors. This allowed me to comfortably use a filter for two weeks before I considered swapping it. I would usually go out in 4-hour spurts, where the mask was consistently comfortable regardless of how long I would wear it. Keeping this pace, I would be able to use a single purchase of the AirPop Original mask and its four filters for two months before I would have to spend $24.99 on four more replacement filters. I have to say, $24.99 every two months for comfortable and confidence-inducing protection is an easy pill to swallow.
The AirPop Original mask is my mask of choice during these times. Being able to reach this level of comfort with this level of protection, the AirPop Original mask wearing experience is one I plan to keep in my day-to-day life until COVID finally lets up. If you are looking for a solid mask with top-tier comfort that does not sacrifice safety, the AirPop Original mask is my mask of choice. Check it out for yourself here.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a AirPop Original mask for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.