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For months, I’ve avoided running outside. The reason has nothing to do with frosty New England temperatures or my fear of slipping on black ice. It’s all because of the mask. I hate exercising with a mask on.
I find my go-to face mask uncomfortable to wear when exercising, especially in the wet winter weather. And there are safety issues: according to the CDC, when the cloth and surgical varieties grow damp and heavy they become less effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. (It is recommended you switch out your mask when it becomes wet.)
That’s why I was so intrigued when I heard about the Under Armour Sportsmask, which sold out in less than an hour after it became available last June. And right now, it’s currently more than 30 percent off with its 2 for $40 deal running through March.
Created specifically for athletes, the water-resistant UA mask is designed to give your mouth and nose ample space to breathe. It features three protective layers, including a water-resistant outer shell, a polyurethane foam filter and an antimicrobial interior to help keep the material fresh. Stretchy nylon and spandex ear loops and a moldable nose-bridge hold the mask in place.
When I first took the UA Sportsmask out of its packaging, I was struck by its plushness and sleek stitching. Just like the company promised, the fabric felt cool against my skin. But I immediately regretted guessing my size instead of using their size chart. I ordered the small/medium and the ear loops were a bit tight. Take the time to measure your face and get the size right.
I did find myself having to adjust the ear loops — my own fault for not measuring — but I am happy to report that the UA mask lives up to the hype! The mask stayed put during a 40-minute run and didn’t cling to my mouth when I was huffing and puffing up hills. I was sweating profusely but the temperature inside the mask felt unchanged. How amazing is that?
I also sported the UA mask during a 45-minute HIIT cycling class at home and never felt like I wanted to rip it off my face.
Though the UA Mask is designed to be worn while exercising, I’ve been wearing mine just about everywhere I go because it’s so comfortable and my voice doesn't sound muffled.
I’ll definitely be buying another.