A pretty bold statement from the company RZ MASK (formerly RZR MASK) in regards to their neoprene dust mask. Having tried other companies products, with no success I might add, I couldn’t wait for spring to come and the trails to dry out from the snow storms of this winter past so I could put their claims to the test. Being an allergy sufferer and also having major sinus problems, every time I ride the coal trails of Pennsylvania or Southern West Virginia, no matter what I have tried in the past has always led to me eating dust. That in itself is a bad thing but coupled with the health problems listed above, I also seem to end up sick for a week following any ride in dusty conditions. I was hoping that they did have the cure!
I received my mask during the winter and emptying the shipping envelope produced the following products. The neoprene RZ MASK with a 99% carbon- activated filter preinstalled, 3 additional filters and a carry pouch to protect my mask when not in use. Also included was some literature from the company telling their story of how and why they developed the RZ MASK. The filters are 99.9% effective filtering out particulates and pollutants both gasses and solids, according to the pamphlet provided. Also after reading through the literature accompanying the mask I learned they were claiming it would also be good for winter riding to keep your face warm.
I normally wear a balaclava for riding out in the cold and figured there was no way possible the RZMASK would keep me as warm. After my testing during the winter I learned not only did it work as good, but actually better than my balaclava. My balaclava would get wet after an hour or so just from normal breathing and once wet allowed my face to become cold as I traveled down the trails at moderate speeds. The RZMASK stayed dry the whole time keeping my face warmer than my balaclava ever had. Another bonus to the RZMASK for winter riding is due to the way it conforms to your face I never once had my goggles fog up while wearing it. I was pleasantly surprised by the protection it offers for winter riding and will be wearing it exclusively from here out. My testing of the RZMASK during the winter was enough to sell me on the product, but the real benefits of the mask were still waiting to be tested once the snow melted away.
The snow finally began to melt here in North Western New Jersey but was replaced with torrential rainstorms for the better part of a month. Even now in the month of May, our local trails are still wet and muddy. Thank Heavens for our group ride down in Southern West Virginia in the middle of April. Finally a chance to test out the RZMASK in dusty conditions, and as luck would have it we wound up with only one dry day for testing but it was dusty enough for me to put it to the test. As impressed as I was by its protection while being worn during cold weather riding, it was nothing compared to using it for its real intended purpose; filtering out dust. As I mentioned above I have tried various products over the years and nothing has ever worked for me…. until now that is. For the first time while riding in dusty conditions I was breathing dust free air and grinning ear to ear, literally I was able to laugh and smile while riding through clouds of dust and all the while having none of it enter my mouth hahaha. To be able to finish a ride and not have to brush my teeth to rid my mouth of the taste or dirt or that gritty feeling like I just ate a bunch of rocks is like a gift from the Gods! Thank You RZ MASK for finally delivering a product that works! Oh sorry….where was I….Oh yes, the RZ MASK performed flawlessly at filtering out any and all dust from the trails during my testing down in Southern West Virginia.
The RZMASK was very comfortable to wear (most of the time anyway, more on this later) and I never felt like I was sweating from wearing it. As the dog days of summer arrive I will be able to tell if it will make your face sweat but normally I am sweating from wearing my helmet anyway so not a big deal to me if it does. At the end of the ride it was evident who wore one that day by looking at the faces in our group. All riders wearing one had clean faces while the nonusers except for the one rider who was out front that is, looked like they were eating dust all day. Upon inspection of the N99 filter you could see how much dirt it filtered just by looking at it. I took out the filter and used the sink in our camper to clean up the mask and hung it up to dry for the next day. It is very easy to clean and replace the filters with this mask also. Unfortunately we awoke to rain the next morning and the trail conditions didn’t warrant the use of the mask on our final day of our trip but I will get some more time with it in June when a few of us head to SSRT in P.A. to ride for a few days.
I am extremely pleased with the RZMASK. It does everything they claim it does and has plenty of uses from off-road riding to farming and filters out dust, pollen and virtually all things bad for your lungs. I will not only use it for riding but also for doing work around my property when the pollen levels are high to avoid an allergy attack. I recommend this product to everyone whole heartedly and other than one con, everything about it is a positive. The con has to do with the metal band on the upper part of the mask. I have heard people mention this has caused discomfort when they tried the mask and after a few trials with different goggles and an explanation from the owners at RZMASK about the importance of ordering the right size, I had to make this the only negative in a glowing review. I had the same discomfort happen from wearing different types of goggles. My regular goggles work fine with the mask but my OTG goggles caused the metal band to push down into the bridge of my nose. I never used those goggles during my winter testing and I would have never even tried my OTG goggles and known this but I went through 2 pairs of goggles due to soaking them and was left with the OTG goggles as my last pair of clean dry goggles. I still wouldn’t let this be a deciding factor if your interested in ordering one. Just give RZMASK a call prior to ordering to be sure you are ordering the right size so you do not have this problem. The masks are available in sizes Youth through XL and come in a variety of colors and styles. If you have any questions please contact www.rzmask.com or call (888) 777-9422 , or simply post a question for them in their preferred vendor forum here on Rocks and Ruts.com