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.
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.
(Editor’s note 7/30: Cotopaxi says masks are expected to ship in late August 2020.)
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.”
(Editor’s note 7/30: Outdoor Research says inventory will be available the week of August 9.)
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.