Monday, February 27, 2012

Cold Avenger Recap

So, I have been getting a lot of emails about the Cold Avenger masks I have been using this winter. I thought it might be time for a recap. All winter these masks have graced my face. As we transition into spring and then summer and the temps have risen they find use less and less. There was not a ride I did below 32 degrees that did not include a cold avenger.

As a reminder, over the years I have been dealing with exercise induced asthma. It hits me worst in the cold, and I found this mask to help counter the cold and dry air in the winter. I ended my first Arrowhead 135 attempt with an attack, got diagnosed, got drugs, and then ended the second Arrowhead 135 attempt the same way. If you have never been through a full blown body attacking asthma attack consider yourself blessed. They are something you do not want to relive.

So anyways, back to the mask. I completed 2 ultra bike races this year: one with the classic, the other with the pro mask. Despite the warmer temps, I still believe it is the Cold Avenger that finally saw me cross the finish line in the Arrowhead 135. I will absolutely continue to use these masks in the winter as they are a game changer for me and my pesky lungs.

The mask in general benefits:
-Inhale warmer air
-Inhale moister air
-Very little resistance to your breathing
-Easy to pull down for water/food access
-Helps prevent asthma attacks (that alone is huge!)

-When at an extreme physical output there is some resistance when exhaling. Not a ton, but noticeable.
-Because the air is warmer from your exhaled air, I can only assume that there is a slightly lower percentage of oxygen you are breathing in.
-I am reaching, but you can't wash it in the washer. Hand wash, air dry.
-On that note, can stink pretty bad if you don't occasionally wash it.
-Like with anything, may not fit all faces well. I guess it runs a little big, which was fine for me.

So here are the different masks available:

I used this mask once. Why? It is VERY warm. I was hot in it at -8 degrees. I would easily reach for this when out in the very cold and not exercising or on extremely cold days. I wish it had been colder this winter for me to play with this mask more. For extreme temps I would easily see me using this.

The Pro
This is my favorite of the three. I could regulate my heat really well and keep my face/ears protected. If it got too cold I could put on a hat. This is the mask I rode with during the Arrowhead. This is THE mask I would use for most athletic adventures as it is wind proof and does not soak up much of your sweat.

The Classic
I used this mask during the Tuscobia 150. After 22 hours it began to stink and collecting frost/ice on the outside of the mask from my sweat. Works the exact same way as the Pro, but the Pro uses a nicer material that works out a lot better for working out in the cold. For more modest activity the classic as fantastic.
So there you go, questions?


Doug said...

When I use face coverings I often have trouble with moist air getting pushed up under my glasses.

Did you have trouble with fogging when you used this?

Did you use glasses, or goggles?

Charly Tri said...

I don't ride with eye wear, but they do have a foam insert designed to fill the gap that could let air work its way into glasses.