Best Cold Weather Running Mask For Running Outside in Winter
If you run regularly throughout the year, you may find running in winter a challenging time. Countries like Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Finland face extreme weather conditions that can reach as cold as -30 degrees. While other countries may not get as cold, the lower temperature and cold air can make running much more difficult. That’s why many people use a cold-weather running mask. A cold weather mask can help protect your face from the cold temperature and wind chill, while others can help change the air temperature into your lungs.
In this article, we help you find the best cold weather mask for running and tell you why these may be beneficial to your running during the winter months. So, if you struggle with bronchitis or breathing issues in winter, keep reading.
What Is A Cold Weather Running Mask?
Cold weather running mask is either a covering that is pulled up and over the mouth and nose or a solid mask that covers the nose and mouth with vents to change the air temperature.
An example of a face mask used in Scandinavia is the Airtrim. The Airtrim is a mask that works as a heat/moisture exchanger that recovers the heat and moisture from exhaled air. The filter works by heating the air before it goes into the lungs, which helps protect your airways from cold air. The filters are interchangeable and designed to work in different temperatures.
This type of mask is widely used in temperatures below -10 deg and is often used by skiers, runners, walkers, or anyone doing rigorous outdoor activities in temperatures below zero.
Other masks that help keep your face warm and stop cold air from reaching the lungs are made from breathable materials. These types of cold weather running masks are usually made from a piece of material that is pulled up and over the mouth and nose. These types of face coverings work by keeping the face and nose area warm. However, they typically don’t change the air temperature you breathe. Hence, they are only beneficial in conditions above -5 deg. Anything colder than this, you are recommended to use a face mask like the Airtrim.
Why Should You Wear A Cold Weather Running Mask?
There are many benefits to wearing cold weather running masks in winter. They provide added protection from the harsh elements and keep your face warm. Some masks like the Airtrim help prevent cold air from reaching the lungs, which can prevent bronchitis and other breathing issues.
However, people that run in conditions above -10 degrees will find that wearing a face mask in winter (like a balaclava) can help prevent heat from escaping from the head, which will help the body regulate its temperature better.
Is It Safe To Wear A Face Mask While Running?
It is typically safe to wear a face mask while running as long as it doesn’t affect your breathing. Since most face masks are made from breathable fabrics or use an interchangeable filter, they don’t inhibit your breathing when running.
However, if you use a mask that is not specifically designed to be used for running, you may find it prevents enough air from reaching the lungs. This can cause an irregular breathing pattern and increase your heart rate when you run.
If you have underlying health conditions, such as asthma, a running mask will make it more challenging to breathe during physical activity.
How to Choose the Best Running Mask for Cold Weather
When choosing the best running mask for cold weather, there are a few important factors you need to take into consideration.
Not all face masks are the same size. You will need to pay attention to the size and how it fits around the head and neck if you decide to buy a running mask made from breathable fabric. If you decide to choose a solid face mask with filters, you need to make sure the mask has an adjustable head strap.
If you purchase a running mask that is too small it may end up feeling too tight and uncomfortable. Alternatively, if you purchase a face mask that is too big, you may find it sliding down all the time, and allowing cold air into the lungs.
Even though many face masks on the market are designed to be breathable, not all materials or filters are the same. It is important to know how the fabric breathes or what temperature the filters are designed for.
One of the most important aspects of a running mask or balaclava is the material from which it is made. The material will affect breathability, comfort, and warmth. Thicker materials are often warmer but might feel less comfortable. Test out different fabrics to determine which feels best for you.
It is important when buying a cold-weather mask to make sure it is easily adjustable. While most face masks either have an adjustable strap or stretchable material, you will still need to make sure it fits around your head, mouth, and nose correctly.
3 Best Cold Weather Masks For Running
The best cold weather mask for running is the Airtrim. The Airtrim face mask provides a unique heat and moisture exchange system that protects your air passages from the cold. It does this by converting cold dry air into warm, hydrated air.
If you are running in extremely cold temperatures, the Airtrim filters can covert -22 Degree air into +10 Degree temperature. This makes this mask one of the best additions to your running wardrobe if you run in conditions lower than 0 degrees.
Nike Strike Snood
The Nike Strike Snood is another cold-weather mask designed specifically for outdoor physical activity. It is made from comfortable fleece material and designed to wick away sweat from the face. It also covers the nose, ears, mouth, and neck, making it regulate heat better around the head than the Airtrim mask. However, take into account, that this mask won’t change the air temperature much, as it is designed to keep your head, nose, mouth, and ears warm, rather than change the temperature of the air.
Adidas Alphaskin Balaclava
The Adidas Alphaskin Balaclava is an excellent running mask for cold weather. Just like the Nike Stride Snood, it helps keep the face, ears, and nose warm. However, the main difference is the hood, making the mask much warmer than the stride snood. While this mask is recommended for cold temperatures, anything colder than -10 degrees you are better off using a beanie paired with the Airtrim running mask.