They don’t just make you look like Bane from the Batman movie, the best elevation masks replicate the effects of training at high altitudes.
It’s no secret that top athletes go to high altitudes in order to boost their peak performance. Coming down to sea level much faster, stronger, and with a noticeable increase in their endurance.
Need some help? Jump to: Beginners Guide to High Altitude Training Masks
We reviewed the top elevation stimulating masks for you:
But do elevation masks really work? Below we take a look at the top ten workout masks on the market which promise users a boost in their performance. We did the heavy breathing so you don’t have to; not yet anyway. So, take a deep breath, and then let’s jump right in!
Not only do the masks in this guide vary based on whether they focus on cold, dust, or breath resistance, but each has its own individual styles, options, and characteristics.
Knowing exactly why you need a face mask is vital to make sure you get the most value from your purchase. Luckily, a lot of the running masks come with excellent purchasing options, like 100% money back guarantees, so you can be confident of your purchase.
Don’t see your favorite one on the list? Drop us a line telling us why it should make the cut! – Team Gymventures
#10 – Chinook Micro Fleece Neck Gaiter from Chaos Hats
- 4-Way Stretch
- 90% Polyester Fleece, 10% Windshield Windproof Fleece
- Washes Easily in the Machine
- Can be Worn as Facemask or Neck Gaiter
- Available in Black
Offering neck and face protection during any activity, the Chinook Neck Gaiter is flexible and versatile. Featuring 4-way stretch technology, this neck gaiter from Chaos Hats creates the ideal feel without being too loose or clingy.
Whether you prefer to wear it as a full face mask or pull it over your head as a neck gaiter, the Chinook Neck Gaiter from Chaos Hats has you covered. Adding to its versatility, when you come back from the slopes, you can just throw it in the wash with your other laundry to keep it clean.
Who Makes It?
Emphasizing unique style and taking inspiration from the four corners of the world, Chaos Hats offers stylish head apparel for both men and women. Their collection includes the hottest fashions for both sexes, like bucket hats and colorful fedoras for women, and ball caps and manly fedoras for men.
For a very dark and sleek looking neck gaiter, the Chaos Hats Chinook Neck Gaiter is a highly flexible option that can also be worn as a face mask.
#9 – MJ Gear Balaclava Ski Mask
- 9 Ways to Wear It Including Neck Warmer, Scarf, and Beanie
- Protects Against Strong Wind, Rain, and Cold
- Made of High-quality Polyester and Mesh
- 100% Money Back Guarantee with Lifetime Warrantee
- Available in Black or Grey
The MJ Gear Balaclava Ski Mask is a truly innovative and adaptable piece of winter apparel. With nine different ways to wear it, it’s no wonder that there are so many imitations of the Balaclava out there. Specifically designed to hold up in harsh, winter climates, the MJ Gear Balaclava replaces multiple face protection accessories, and adds a lot of value to your winter wardrobe.
Who Makes It?
MJ Gear is the company behind this highly-versatile, 9-in-1 balaclava. They seem to be very hands on with their products, with some representatives even answering questions on Amazon.com regarding their balaclava.
Another useful benefit that shows that MJ Gear cares about their customers is that their balaclavas come with a 100% money back lifetime warranty, an offer that makes their already affordable product an even better deal.
There aren’t many products that can be used as nine different forms of protection, but the MJ Gear Balaclava is as versatile as it is affordable. Clearly it’s an excellent deal for anyone who resides in or visits cold environments.
#8 – Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Hydropull Hood
- Materials: 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
- Flatlock Seams Ensure a Tight Fit
- Four Ways to Wear it including Face Mask and Neck Gaiter
- Designed to Keep your Face and Neck Warm and Dry
- Available in Three Distinct Styles: Black, Volt, and Camo
Resembling a well-crafted face mask with visible stitches, the Pro Combat Hyperwarm Hydropull Hood is a protective mask from Nike. Created for both comfort and reliable resistance against winds and cold, the Nike Pro Combat Hood uses Flatlock seams for the best fit possible.
Although it looks like a complete face mask, the Nike Pro Combat Hood is actually very adaptable, and can be worn as a neck gaiter as well.
The combination of polyester and spandex ensures that this face mask by Nike is highly-flexible, and can keep you warm when it counts.
Who Makes It?
Arguably the most famous name in all of sports, Nike rose to legendary status by partnering with the greatest basketball player of all time while he was still in its prime. With the Air Jordan’s as their flagship product, Nike has since expanded far beyond shoes and is now the go to source for anything having to do with sports, from uniforms and gear, to polo shirts and ball caps.
Anything made by Nike is known to be of high-quality and innovative design, and their Pro Combat Hyperwarm Hydropull Hood is no exception.
Featuring a cool selection of designs and Flatlock seems to keep you warm and comfortable, the Nike Pro Combat Hood is ideal for your next skiing or snowboarding sessions.
#7 – Senston New Style Neoprene Anti Dust
- Perfect for Cycling or Motorcycling in Cold Weather
- New Brand and New Style
- Includes Replaceable Six-Layer Charcoal Filter
- Adjustable Magic Paste Closure Lets it Fit Most People
- Available in Four Color Choices: Blue, Red, Camo, and Black
Resembling special forces gear more than a basic face mask, the extra replaceable filters add an extra element of protection from dust. If you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle or rode a bike in an area with a lot of loose dirt, the debris that blows into your face can make the trip difficult.
The Senston New Style Neoprene Anti Dust protects against the problem of dust and cold in an innovative, affordable, and stylish way. With red, blue, and camo options in addition to traditional black, the Neoprene Anti Dust by Senston offers a lot of value for anyone who lives or rides in a cold, dusty environment.
Who Makes It?
Senston is known for a wide variety of outdoor recreation equipment, particularly focusing on racket sports and cycling. Senston sells a lot of outdoor personal accessories that you’d use for camping as well, such as inflatable outdoor pillows and quick-dry towels. If you’re into BMX, you may have already seen their brand name on pedals, straps, and other cycling gear.
Some situations demand a simple face mask, but if you’re in an environment where not only the harsh cold, but poor air-quality is also a concern, then there is no exception for the Senston New Style Neoprene Anti Dust with replaceable filters.
#6 – Panegy Half-Face Mask
- Made from Spandex and Neoprene
- Carbon Filters Remove 99.9% of Fumes and Particulates
- Stylish Half-Mask Design
- Designed with Adjustable Velcro Strap
- Four Unique Designs Including Black Tiger, Owl, and Eagle
With a remarkable set of designs that set it apart from any other face mask out there, the Panegy Half-Face Mask offers protection against cold and dust. The highly-replaceable filters do an excellent job of purifying the air you breathe, removing an impressive 99.9% of all dust, fumes, and particulates. Since they’re made mostly of spandex, you can expect a stretchy and soft material on the Panegy Half-Face Mask.
Who Makes It?
Panegy makes a wide-array of interesting apparel, ranging from stylish women’s clothes to fitness tanktops. For those who live in a cold climate, Panegy has some creative solutions, like their Panegy Women Outdoor Wide Brim Flap Cap with Removable Sun Shield Mask. Such creative and experimental stylish apparel makes Panegy a highly-unique company that stands out from the rest.
Ultimately, the filters on the Panegy Half-Face Mask add functionality, but what truly makes this product stand out are the creative, animal-inspired styles.
#5 – Anti Dust Air Mask with Filter
- Velcro Fastenings for a Perfect Fit
- Aluminum Nose Bridge for Increased Stability
- Open or Close the Exhaust Valves Easily
- Soft and Durable
- Available in Black
Featuring elaborate filters that protect against dust, air pollution, and smog, the Anti-Dust Air Mask sold by Johnston Brands is soft and black in appearance.
The adjustable and removable valves are what really distinguishes this face mask from others on the shelf, because they go beyond protecting against dust to offer additional protection against smog and fumes. Also useful is that the valves can be opened and closed at will, so you can customize the mask to how polluted the environment is.
Who Makes It?
The Anti Dust Air Mask with Filter is sold on Amazon by Johnston Brands, a company that sells a wide range of bike and cycling accessories. These range from bike lights to horns, and include their effective Anti Dust Air Mask.
While others get by on big names and elaborate styles, the Anti Dust Air Mask with Filter has a soft and simple look, but makes up for it with highly-functional valves that protect against air pollution.
#4 – Under Armour Men’s Tactical Hood
- Uses ColdGear® Infrared to Retain Warmth
- Balaclava with Full Facial Protection Against Cold
- Great Mobility: Four Way Stretch Fabrication
- Fabric Uses ColdGear Evo Technology for Warmth and Comfort
- Available in Four Unique Styles Including Orange, White, and Black Dynamite
The Men’s Tactical Hood by Under Armor is designed to provide the perfect protection against extreme cold. The mouth piece is made of Neoprene to keep the face warm with fleece protecting the neck area, making this ideal for skiing, snowboarding, or working in brutal cold climates.
Under Armor is known for innovative fabrics that are designed to control temperature, and their men’s tactical hood uses ColdGear technology to conserve warmth. Further adding to its ease of use, the Men’s Tactical Hood is machine washable in cold water.
Who Makes It?
Under Armour is one of the biggest names in sports apparel, and was founded on the idea of designing a better athletic shirt that repels sweat while keeping the wearer cool. Now Under Armour sponsors major athletes like Cam Newton and Steph Curry, while producing a massive array of sporting equipment.
Under Armor is a company that has mastered infusing temperature control into their stylish apparel, and that is clearly exemplified in their Men’s Tactical Hood.
#3 – Best Unisex Outdoor Sports Mask
- Comes with Bonus Stylus Pen and Bonus Phone Anti-Dust Plug
- Ventilation Holes Facilitate Easier Breathing
- One Size Fits All with Easy Adjustment
- Warm and Waterproof Fleece with Neoprene
- Available in Three Styles with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
The Best Unisex Outdoor Sports Mask is thick and warm, and it comes with some interesting bonuses. The ventilation holes facilitate unobstructed breathing while you’re engaging in your favorite winter activities. The mask is designed to fit most faces, and the adjustment is particularly user friendly.
Assuming you’ll be in dusty areas, this mask comes with an anti-dust plug for your smart phone, in addition to a 100% satisfaction guarantee to ensure that everyone’s happy.
Who Makes It?
AmaziPro8 is the retailer who sells the Best Unisex Outdoor Sports Mask. The product is made in China, but AmaziPro8 is an independent vendor that sells a lot of different products. These include tech accessories like phone cases and charging cords, but also apparel, bags, and cooking appliances.
Particularly soft and warm in appearance with strategically placed ventilation, the Best Unisex Outdoor Sports Mask is made to keep your face warm and air clean. Plus, it comes with the unique bonus of a phone anti-dust plug and has an excellent money back guarantee, both benefits that separate it from competitors.
#2 – CFORWARD Activated Carbon Filtration Mask
- Designed for Anti-cold and Anti-dust Protection
- Aluminum Plating on the Nose Prevents Slipping
- Active Carbon Filters Remove 95% of Dust and Fumes
- Extra Filter Included
- Seven Style Choices
Featuring elaborate designs and advanced carbon filters, the Advanced Carbon Filtration Mask by CFORWARD is an innovative face mask. This mask is designed to emphasize ergonomics, and the Velcro strap ensures that it fits snug on your face.
The filters are more meticulous than most, and not only offer protection against dust and particulates, but they also make your breathing much smoother in general because they feature a double air breathing valve. Finally, the seven style options are truly unique, and feature everything from text-based designs to animals.
Who Makes It?
CFORWARD sells a lot of specialty apparel, like sun-protecting mesh boonie hats and elastic knee compressors. While their products vary greatly, all of them involve some form of protection, especially from the heat, cold, or dust.
Featuring some of the most advanced filters, and coolest style choices on the market, the Advanced Carbon Filtration Mask by CFORWARD gives a legitimate amount of protection from air particles and cold.
The best elevation training mask is…
Tried and tested by thousands, the Training Mask 2.0 is sure to meet your workout needs, no matter the weather or goals!
- Simulates High Elevation Training
- Includes Six Replacement Caps and Other Accessories
- Allows for Less Workout Time Due to Challenged Breathing
- Comes with Instructional DVD and Booklet
- Available in Three Sizes
Unlike any other mask on the list, the Training Mask 2.0 is designed to take your workout to the next level by emulating a high elevation environment. This type of training is ideal for endurance athletes, or those who need to prepare for competition in high elevation cities like Denver.
This includes traveling competitors in combat sports such as boxing and MMA, in addition to traditional endurance sports like marathon running and Ironman competition. An impressive amount of accessories accompanies the Training Mask 2.0, including instructional materials, and three nose pieces with varying degrees of intensity.
Who Makes It?
Training Mask is the company that is completely dedicated to their elaborate Training Mask 2.0. This is reflected in their product line, which includes replacement caps, multiple mask designs, and all the accessories you need to customize and maintain your top-quality Training Mask 2.0.
Anyone who’s dedicated to enhancing their cardio will benefit greatly from the Training Mask 2.0, a mask that allows you to simulate higher elevations for optimal endurance training.
Click on a section below to jump right to it.
- What are they?
- Who makes them?
- Who needs them?
- Things to keep in mind
- How to pick a good one
–or jump back up to the list–
Fitness enthusiasts (such as yourself) tend to be very dedicated, and aren’t going to be limited by cold weather, or dusty winds. To continue doing the activities you love, even in harsh weather, a training mask is the most viable solution.
Available in a massive variety of styles, ranging from balaclavas that can be worn multiple ways, to rigid masks that include adjustable filters, there is a running or elevation mask that’s perfect for every athlete that needs one. In this beginners guide to training masks, we’ll explore the differences, uses, and advanced features of some the top workout masks. Afterwards, you’ll be prepped to make a smart and well-informed buying decision.
Elevation training masks aim to replicate the much praised and tested high altitude training, except in the comfort of your neighborhood. Manufacturers are getting better and better at mimicking the conditions our bodies go through at higher altitudes, and they’ve produced a workout gear called an elevation mask as a result of it.
Training in the cold weather introduces a slew of unique hazards that you don’t have to worry about when running along your favorite beach in warm weather. for example. According to running expert, Dr. Pribut, you can expect your temperature to rise 20 degrees while running.
Also notable is that running for speed is not advisable in cold weather, but running for endurance is safe assuming you wear the right protection. The most interesting aspect of Dr. Pribut’s running advice is that there is an ailment called “facial cooling”, and it specifically leads to more dangerous conditions, such as a forcibly slowed heart rate.
If you’re running in the cold, it’s important to also know the three conditions that can cause cold related harm to your body and breathing. These conditions are air temperature, wind speed, and moisture, and only through mitigating each of them can you stay completely safe from cold-related injuries while running.
Fortunately, a wide-variety of affordable elevation training masks are available that can neutralize each of those threats, ensuring that you can go on a fun, productive run, even in brutally cold temperatures.
Everyone knows that fitness crazes are a dime a dozen, so research is necessary in determining what really works from what doesn’t. Luckily for us, when it comes to answering the question of whether training masks actually work, there is legitimate research from reliable sources supporting their effectiveness.
Specifically, the American Council on Exercise commissioned an independent study that found two benefits of the training mask to be irrefutable. The first benefit found was an increase in respiratory threshold, meaning that athletes can engage in activity longer without getting exhausted.
The second advantage of the training mask that was confirmed by research is that the participants were able to achieve more power output before getting winded after training with the face mask. Even with the preliminary research that’s available, it’s clear to see that there are undeniable benefits that come with using the training mask, especially for those who want to enhance their levels of endurance.
While people can use their elevation masks for anything from working to hiking, there are definitely some sports where wearing a face mask is going to make more sense than in others.
As one might expect, sports that take place in harsh outdoor environments, like cold mountains or windy deserts, are excellent candidates for benefiting from a face mask. Here are the sports whose athletes are most likely to find a lot of value in a workout mask.
Cycling and Biking
Whether you ride a bike or a motorcycle, cold, wind, and dust can be menacing obstacles. Each of those obstacles is compounded by speed, and if ignored, each is dangerous in its own unique way. When riding in cold weather, the perfect face mask can keep your nose, ears, and mouth warm.
Blowing dust can be a major annoyance while cycling as well, especially if it hits your nose and mouth and obstructs your respiratory system. Stylish face masks are available to alleviate this problem by filtering out dust and other particles, ensuring that your next ride goes smoothly.
Snowboarding and Skiing
No sports deal with extreme cold as often as snowboarding and skiing. After hours of walking through the snow on cross-country skis or dashing down a mountain on your snowboard, the cold can have a massive impact on your face.
Elevation training masks made to resist the cold are often highly versatile, comfortable, and affordable, and are ideal for people who do winter sports.
In sandy, desert climates, riding a dirt bike, dune buggy, or four wheeler are all popular activities. Soft dirt combined with your speed and natural winds can send dirt flying right into your face, and while helmets protect against cranial damage, not all of them have a face shield that protects against dirt and dust. A face mask can fill this gap nicely, offering protection from a wide range of debris.
Since the purposes of training masks have a lot of significant differences, it’s no surprise that the companies that sell them are widely varied as well.
One interesting observation is that when getting a mask from a brand you know well, it’s likely you’ll see some familiar traits of the brand in the making of the mask itself. For example, fans of Under Armour will be glad to see that the traits the brand is known for are also present in their running mask in the form of their ColdGear Evo technology.
Aside from sports companies, some companies like MJ Gear specialize in their innovative balaclava face mask. With such a wide array of purposes and functions, it’s easy to see why different types of companies have an invested interest in making masks for working out.
If you need an elevation mask, odds are you’ll fit into one of the following categories. Climates that will most likely warrant a good mask include harsh cold, and dry desert environments, but anyone who wants breathing resistance to enhance their cardio can find a mask to suit their needs. Here are three main types of customers who could benefit from a training mask with the corresponding features.
Those Who Spend Time in the Cold
Many stylish masks are available that provide protection from cold weather. A common feature among masks designed for winter activities is that they can usually be worn in multiple ways, including as a neck gaiter, face mask, and scarf.
Unlike masks designed with elaborate filters, elevation masks focused on protecting from the cold are often highly flexible, and made from polyester, spandex, fleece, or combinations of similar materials.
Bikers and People Exposed to Dust
The southwestern United States has more dessert than anywhere else in the country, and those trying to run or ride bikes there are susceptible to dust and sand blowing in their face.
Numerous masks are available to prevent this, and they will typically include holes for ventilation and replaceable filters. The more advanced masks can actually filter out fumes, chemicals, dust, and other particulates, and they usually have stylish designs to choose from as well.
Active Endurance Athletes
Breathing while wearing any face mask can be expected to be a little tougher than normal, but some masks are designed with multiple resistance levels.
The advantage of these masks is that they simulate high elevation environments, and training with these masks will eventually enhance your cardio. Essentially, a training mask that adds breathing resistance can let you get an intense workout in a fraction of the normal time.
According to testimonials from athletes we’ve come across who’ve used them, the benefits of using a training mask include increased oxygen efficiency, enhanced lung capacity, and boosted physical stamina among others.
People Running in Cold or Dusty Areas
Running is the most common and readily available cardio exercise. It cost nothing, and can be done in a huge range of environments, both indoors and out. Running is a major part of the lifestyles of a lot of people, and dedicated runners won’t be stopped by cold winds or dusty environments.
For those who take their running seriously, a running mask might be just the thing for your workouts. Whether you need one that’s resistant to cold, capable of filtering dust, or to make breathing more difficult, there’s a running mask designed for your needs.
When looking at the variety of running masks that are on the market, there are definitely some recurring similarities. Regardless of the mask type, things like comfort and secure fit are a priority, and specific mask types will have traits that are unique to their product, like filters, valves, and warm materials.
These are a few of the common features to compare when shopping for running masks for training or protection.
People like having as many options as possible, and a lot of mask manufacturers understand this. Most masks that are designed primarily to protect against the cold are highly adaptable, and offer multiple ways to wear it.
Some versions on the list provide up to nine alternative ways to wear your face mask, including different variations of the neck gaiter, scarf, and face masks styles. It should be noted that training masks and masks that contain filters for breathing protection are more likely to be rigid rather than flexible.
Protecting Against the Cold
Companies like MJ Gear and Under Armour use cutting edge materials and technology to create the warmest personal apparel possible. Applied to elevation masks, this means warm materials that excel at keeping out cold, wind, and rain.
Aspects that are important for a face masks designed to keep you warm include a tight fit that doesn’t let cold air penetrate, and materials like polyester or fleece that are comfortable and resistant to cold weather.
Filters That Remove Dust and Fumes
Another popular trait of face masks is that a lot of them focus on filtering the air, and ensuring you don’t breathe fumes, dust, and particulates. To do this, most masks employ filters of varying degrees of complexity.
These filters range from simple versions designed to minimize dust, to elaborate filters which are removable, adjustable, and able to remove chemicals and fumes in addition to solids. Face masks that are created to provide clean air to the wearer are typically more structured since filters are solid objects.
Finding a Good Fit
Since the face is a complex and varied part of the human body, then achieving a snug, comfortable fit is an important challenge for companies that make elevation training masks.
The most common way face masks approach the issue is with using flexible materials in combination with an adjustable Velcro strap to ensure that they fit most people. Other running masks may give an option of multiple sizes. Detailed improvements are implemented to aid the way face masks fit as well.
For example, a lot of masks use aluminum strips near the nose to keep them secure while engaged in your favorite sports and activities. Through a combination of adjustable Velcro straps, soft flexible materials, and subtle details like aluminum strips, face masks are designed to fit surprisingly well, even when you’re in action.
With so many face masks on the market, brands have to go above and beyond to earn the attention of customers. This differentiation ensures that each brand has advantages that are likely to appeal to some people.
These are a few of the more detailed features you’ll see on the list of the best training masks.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Center of Canada (CCOHS), breathing in dust can cause some nasty respiratory ailments, including histoplasmosis, psittacosis and Q-Fever. Filters are included on multiple face masks, some of which also offer cold resistance.
While some of those filters are basic, others are remarkably complex. The more advanced of the filters are removable, adjustable, and capable of protecting from a lot more than just dust. Some of the filters feature superior construction, like the six layer charcoal filters used on the Senston New Style Neoprene Anti Dust Mask.
For masks that include filters, the complexity of their filter will often be an indicator of the price and quality of the mask.
Focus on Comfort
Face masks are designed to be worn during times of action, and that means that comfort and a proper fit are of paramount importance. The most basic way of achieving this is to use the optimal materials that emphasize the purpose of the mask, whether it’s cold protection, dust filtration, or breath resistance.
From there, subtle methods are used to make the face masks as comfortable as possible. One example used by the Chinook Neck Gaiter from Chaos Hats is their 4-way stretch feature, ensuring that their mask is flexible from all angles.
Other brands employ soft stitching, strategically placed patches of material, and features like magic paste to ensure that the mask fits perfectly.
Strategic Breathing Holes
Anyone who has pushed themselves while running or working out understands the importance of knowing how to breathe properly, and of getting enough breath to keep going. This is emphasized in an article by HealthyLiving.com, where the importance of proper mouth breathing and rhythm are explained.
For companies making effective elevation training masks, allowing the appropriate amount of air to penetrate the mask is one of the most vital challenges. Since any parts that allow air through the mask are also allowing cold, wind, and dust to permeate, it’s a more complex challenge than expected.
To solve this, breathing holes and ventilation are often strategically arranged on popular face masks not just for style, but utility foremost.
Ready to train? Jump back up to the #1 Elevation Training Mask
From dust protection to warmth, breath filtering to breathing resistance, there are a surprising amount of elevation training masks on the market for fitness purposes.
The functions vary widely, as some use cutting edge fabric technology to keep cold out, while others use filters that get rid of 99% of the chemicals in the air.
Whether you want to challenge your cardio with a mask that emulates high elevation, or buy a mask that protects against fumes, cold, rain, and more, odds are there is an optimal face mask that fits your needs.
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