Without a doubt, parenting in a pandemic is next-level parenting. The daily uncertainty can be overwhelming, even for the most seasoned of moms and dads. But if you’re anything like us, staying active and staying safe still rise to the top of our priorities list as a mom and dad.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks may help protect from COVID-19. They advise that masks should be worn by individuals two and older, should be made of two or more layers and masks that fit over your nose and to below your chin are most effective. Needless to say, I’ve researched and tested a lot of face coverings (so far) that fit into these categories. Here are some of our family’s top favorites!
Better Bandana by INEX Gear
For many of us, wearing a face covering while recreating is a very new concept, but carrying a bandana is not. The Better Bandana takes a classic concept and makes it even more functional. The original version is everything your standard bandana is…and then some – but the V.2 is by far my favorite in their lineup. While both versions feature embedded nanofiber filter and an anti-microbial treated cotton, the second version of the Better Bandana takes it up a notch by adding an adjustable nose bridge. By adding the bridge, I can wear it loose around my neck, but if other recreators approach, I can quickly pull it up over face and synch it down around my nose without the added time of untying and readjusting to fit better as a face mask. I wore mine around town, on hikes and on my bike. It looks great and washes up really well. Also, while a little long for my 4 year old, it does fit well around his neck/face.
Cotton Face Masks by North St. Bags
One of two bike bag builders-gone face mask makers in this list, North St. Bags is our west coast representative in this list! Sewn in the Pacific Northwest, North St. Cotton Face Masks are the burliest options on this list and (just like another bike bag builder further down this list) some of the most fun colors/designs of the bunch! This classic face covering design (ears loops or adjustable over the head elastic and ties) come in three sizes, small/youth (perfect for my 4 year old), medium (perfect for me) and large. My son especially loves his North St. mask because it is a little thicker (10oz. canvas outer layer) and has fun topo lines screen printed on it.
Junior Filter Mask by Buff
The wont-skip-a-beat face mask for active kids is colorful, comfortable and comes with Buff’s 3-layer replacement filters. Buff’s Junior Face Mask is a different fit and style than most of the other masks in this list and most Buff gear we’re used to. Early on in this pandemic, I remember seeing a lot of people wearing classic Buff neck gaiters around town, but running and riding in them wasn’t as easy (i.e., constant adjusting and pulling over your face). So, Buff went to work. This new design is definitely geared toward more fast-paced activities (cycling, running, team sports) and the light, stretchy fabric is great for the warmer months. It’s also adjustable and it is very easy to replace the filters. It is definitely a great face covering for active kids – and adults!
Masks by Oveja Negra
Based in Salida, Colorado, Oveja Negra is another one of our favorite bike bag-gone-mask-makers! Their Masks are colorful, comfortable and when you buy one, another person in need gets one for free. They feature an over-the-head design, double-layer cotton and a wired nose bridge. We’ve used these masks for in-the-field work assignments, running errands, and bike cruises…but, really, the possibilities are endless. From unicorns, plaids, and favorite adult beverages to bicycles, comic sketches and puppy dogs – the designs are as diverse as the amazing people sewing your mask.
Face Coverings/Neck Tubes by FisheWear
I am a big fan of FisheWear for so many reasons – woman-owned, fish-centric, fly fishing enthusiasts…the list could go on. But, I am especially loving their neck tubes for daily face covering use. Available in kids sizes and adult sizes and in two different thicknesses (a thin sun-protection version for cooler months, and one fleece-lined for colder months), these tubes are quick drying and comfortable. I often keep a spare neck tube in my car and in my pack for unexpected moments (sun protection at quick fishing stop, impromptu grocery run without my standard face mask, etc.). And good news for the die-hard mask wearers out there! If you love their colorful fish designs, but would rather a traditional-style mask, they just released a face masks pre order!