While it’s safe to say we’re all living with more uncertainty, one thing is clear: if you’re going out in public and will be near people you don’t live with, you should wear a mask. This spring, we published an article about how the synthetic neck tubes and face coverings you use for hiking and skiing might not be ideal for preventing the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, tightly woven fabrics and DIY cotton masks are more effective. (Here’s how to make your own with instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Some outdoor brands have pitched in to help stop the spread by manufacturing medical masks for hospital staff and frontline workers, and a handful of them started making cloth face coverings available to the public. We rounded up our favorites that are currently available for order online. While our editors and contributors have used these masks and can vouch for their comfort and feel in public settings, a large majority of these should not be used for medical purposes.
This list will be updated regularly, and we’ll try our best to reflect what’s in stock. Please follow the latest CDC guidelines, and if you’re going outside, recreate responsibly.
A brand known primarily for its snow and lifestyle gear, 686 makes a machine-washable mask of polyester spandex, nylon, and two layers of a merino wool and polyester blend, all finished with an antimicrobial treatment.
This 100 percent polyester mask comes with a slot for a filter (and includes a pair) and has UPF 50+ protection. A wire above the nose helps bend the fit to your face.
The brand known for its climbing equipment and apparel made this simple, two-layer cotton mask. (They also offer a version with “Use Protection” written across the front.) For each mask purchased, Black Diamond will donate a mask to a frontline worker in need.
Blackstrap, a maker of ski balaclavas and neck tubes, made this comfortable mask from upcycled fabric scraps. It’s made in the USA and washer/dryer friendly.
Cotopaxi’s cotton mask is reversible and made from repurposed fabric. For each mask purchased, the brand will give another mask to someone who needs it through Mercy Corps, its nonprofit partner. It has adjustable ear loops and is machine washable.
This moisture-wicking face mask is made of cotton sandwiched between two layers of merino wool, so it’s naturally odor-resistant, a nice feature if you’ll be wearing it for hours on end. Huckberry also offers a polyester-cotton tri-fold version. The brand is donating 10 percent of all mask proceeds to the Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
We love Headsweats for their moisture-wicking headgear and apparel. The brand made a three-layer polyester mask that’s reversible and machine washable, too. Plus, it’s available in a ton of colorful patterns.
We like Keen’s two-layer cotton face mask. It’s made from a thick canvas, so we wouldn’t recommend this for hard workouts or lots of activity, but it’s great for wearing around town. It has cinches on the ear loops, so you can adjust the fit, unlike some masks.
This breathable covering has strips of Lycra on the nose and chin that we found comfortable for moderate activity, like climbing at your local crag. It comes with 30 disposable filters and is sprayed with Polygiene, an antimicrobial treatment.
This tech fabric covering from Mystery Ranch features bands that go over the head instead of loops that tug on your ears. It comes with an internal sleeve to place a filter.
This polyester mask comes in a kit that includes a three-pack of filters and a protective storage pouch. It’s finished with an antimicrobial treatment that the brand says will diminish after 30 washes. One tester said the wire in the nose “gives a secure fit without feeling like Darth Vader.”
Po Campo is known for its bike bags and accessories, and its facemask follows suit: this two-pack features one mask with reflective strips, so you can stay visible on the road. The brand offers three sizes, and for every mask purchase, the brand will donate a week's worth of medical face masks to NYC working cyclists through the Biking Public Project.
The bag manufacturer built this soft cotton mask with long ties that allow you to cinch it snugly around your head. It features a pocket for an optional filter.
Known for its durable, well-constructed bags and apparel, Topo Designs built a two-layer mask that features twill cotton on the exterior, a polyester-cotton interior, a pocket for a filter insert, and a bendable metal nose strip to help you keep it in place.
United by Blue
Made from a blend of organic cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester, this mask is one of the most comfortable we’ve worn. The design isn’t as adjustable as others in this list, so it might take some knot-tying to get the right fit.
The company that makes slick apparel crafted this face covering using a merino wool and nylon blend. The interior is treated with an antibacterial fiber.
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