Gear Review: Vogmask

Vogmask

As an everyday commuter on two wheels, I am equipped with safety gears to protect me from the risks around the traffic congested city. With dozens of vehicles whizzing past me as I ride my steel commuter bike, sudden road accidents, smog from vehicles that were clouding my vision and shooting up my nostrils, the hazards are just too damn obvious. Good thing a friend of mine introduced me to Vogmask.

Vogmask

These carbon filtered masks was made by a San Francisco based company called Ohlone Press LLC which makes several respiratory protection equipment.

Vogmask was created by Marc Brown and his mom Wendover. Marc got the inspiration from inhaling too much dust from the Black Rock Desert at a Burning Man Festival in Nevada.

Vogmask

Since its creation in 2011, It has been a go to accessory by joggers, commuters, industrial workers, and cyclists to name a few. It restricts dust particles from entering your mouth and nose while you’re out in the city. I was skeptical at first because it looks like an ordinary face mask with some cool designs and an exhale valve in it so I looked it up online for some feedback.

N-Ninety what?

Vogmask has a rating of N99. The rating was done by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency of the United States that is responsible for the prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries.

To put it in perspective, common face masks have a NIOSH rating of zero. Other industrial brands have a rating of N95 which are made out of materials certified to filter 95% of Particles 0.3 um or larger in diameter, around the size of a single virus. (You can check out some of these masks in some hardware stores.)

N99 filters however, are less permeable than the N95s and are only resistant to oil.

Clean Air Store

I got fed up of wearing scarfs that does very little to protect myself from pollutants. They’re good for casual weekend rides up the mountains but I need something way more effective if I’m commuting on a bike on a daily basis.

Opening my Facebook app, I searched for Vogmask and found Clean Air Store’s page.

I chose one among the funky designs available, paid through the given bank account and in two days, my order was right at my doorstep.

Vogmask

The look and feel

From its funky patterns, intricate designs, and just plain colored ones, there are various friendly looking designs to choose from without looking like a character from Mortal Kombat in public.

Vogmask

The mask snugs perfectly on my face and the ear bands wrap well around my ears. It was quite warm when I breath but I know it’s just normal when you get your face covered. The exhale valve makes sure that there is still good ventilation even if the mask is perfectly sealed.

Vogmask

One of the things I like about Vogmask is the piece of metal inside the upper part of the mask for it to fit perfectly around your nose, guaranteeing its seal from the hazards outside. It is also collapsible for better storage.

Vogmask

Vogmask in action

I took my bike to work to try out Vogmask’s promising claims. Thick smog from vehicles welcomed me as I reached the service road. I breathed normally as I braved the 12 kilometer route, pedaling through a grayish concoction of carbon monoxide, dust, and other noxious compounds.

Vogmask

I can faintly smell the smog as I rode past it. The amazing thing was I never felt that I needed to cough it out, and there wasn’t any throat-itching sensation!

How does it work?

I know you’re asking how this awesome piece of fabric can filter out a hefty amount of air pollution. Good thing Mr. Zhang of Clean air store was nice enough to give out the following illustration from his Facebook Page:

Vogmask
These three were put under a microscope so that we can find out how they filter out pollution. (L-R: Handkerchief, ordinary face mask, Vogmask.)

 

Vogmask
The microscope revealed that the handkerchief has a lot of holes where tiny dust particles can easily penetrate.

 

Vogmask
Next is the face mask. Since it is made out of cotton or silk, it also has a lot of holes in it when zoomed in and pollutants can still get through.

 

Vogmask
On the other hand, Vogmask is made of very dense fibers that only air and gas can enter.

 

Vogmask
And then there is also another layer called a carbon filter which blocks gas. Both the particle filter and carbon filter help eliminate toxic compounds.

 

Vogmask
So why do you still smell stuff even if you wear Vogmask? Because gas particles such as oxygen and carbon dioxide are smaller than that of smoke. These particles enter the filter so that you can still breathe.

It is lab tested in South Korea, China, UK, and the US for top quality and performance. Each retailer may also have a certification with them as proof of the product’s credibility and effectiveness.

How to get one?

Vogmask

You can visit Clean Air Store’s Facebook Page if you want to try it out. Just send them a message or give them a call/text via 09175847974 and they will gladly provide the details.

I have finally found a solution to my every day commute. It may take a very long time for us to find out how to get rid of air pollution or how to clear out our atmosphere from harmful chemicals, but the best thing to do for now is to protect ourselves from these nasty emissions that is silently killing us. There may be other means of protecting ourselves but good thing Vogmask retailers are just one Facebook Message away from keeping our lungs clean.    

 Observations

  • Works well in reducing smog and other dust particles.
  • Fits perfectly.
  • Flexible material on the top part for an ideal fit.
  • Cool designs! It also has different sizes to choose from.
  • Washable/Reusable
  • Collapsible. It fits well in my bag or pocket when I’m on my way to the office after parking my bike.
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