Cold weather mask

9:51 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Hi everyone,

I ride bike here in ND in the winter and am having trouble finding a face mask that is warm below zero, and will not fog my goggles.

Any suggestions would be a big help.

Snakey

10:15 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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The fogging on your goggles is a fit problem. Im in nh and have found that the goghles must seal and not let your breath get under them. The two brands that work the best for me are, masque and seirus. I clean/polish my goggles with antifog wax, you can get it at any optometrist, maybe other places I always get some when I get new glasses. They sell some at ski shops but I dont think it works as good. I wear glasses too, so I get fogged up bad. Well fitted, well vented goggles are a must. Before I found a setup that worked I pulled some stitches on the seam that runs down under the nose on most masks. I basically made a breathing hole, that works well but will make your lips chap after some time. Lots of options out there, you just need to experiment with diff fits and goggle tightness.

10:27 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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I'm going to be hiking in a place with high wind chill risk next week.  my main face protection will be a combination of a face mask and a neck gaiter.  the face mask has windblock material in front and across your cheek bones; it also has perforations and vents so your breath is theoretically not going inside your goggles.  other than right around your face, it's not windblock material.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor-research-hybrid-face-mask.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=74456BLK&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=%7Bkeyword%7D

the Seirus mask hotdog described is probably neoprene with a smooth nylon outer face and a fuzzy inner face.  their masks usually have vents for your nose and mouth so you theoretically won't fog up.  another good choice.  

likewise, i will have a neck gaiter that has windblock fleece in the front but not the back:

http://www.rei.com/product/788754/the-north-face-windstopper-neck-gaiter,-tnf-black?preferredSku=7887540001&cm_mmc=cse_froogle-_-pla-_-product-_-7887540001&mr:referralID=c819043b-6bb9-11e2-8751-001b2166c2c0

i say theoretically because sometimes, esp. if you are working hard or if there is a lot of moisture in the air, your goggles might just fog up anyway.  i use nikon anti-fog cloths, they work OK.    

10:37 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Its actually a hood, but you are right on the money about the materials. Neck gaiters make me overheat, unless im sitting still or its way below zero. Dont know why, but im hot blooded anyway. Pulling those stitches I mentioned is basically enlarging the vent holes to accomodate the larger volume of air expended during exercise. I think most masks will work well, ive found the fit and anti fogging compounds to be the key.

10:55 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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So is the mask material just deflecting your breath into your goggles, Snakey? Then the above advice plus a looser-knit neck gaiter or woollen Buff might work.

5:13 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Use a window cleaner like Windex to clean the lens, the fine droplets left behind should help keep it defogged. And keep the goggle outside in the cold air. If you put it into your jacket then take it out the warmed lens will fog much quicker.

5:58 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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I have a Serius mask of some kind. My goggles are made by Goggs and sold by Guard Dogs. Mine fit over my glasses and under my ski helmet. They make a lot of different models, but I think mine are these-

http://www.guard-dogs.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=105&osCsid=ca0eca6b637228746530a06c11edf8f1

They are cheap compared to a lot of others and work well for me. Little or no fogging. I got mine at a big ski show years ago so got a deal on them along with extra lenses.

I also have some anti-fog stuff of some kind.There is one called "Cat Crap" that you can find at REI or online. Most ski shops probably have it.

11:28 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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I wear a ski helmet, a Giro G10 to be exact, and I also use the matching Giro goggles, which fit really close to the helmet.  The helmet has ear-pads so my ears are covered but I do remove the inner helmet liner in favor of a balaclava, which covers my neck. I also cover my face with a loose weave scarf that allows my breath to escape, and it partially warms the cold air I am inhaling.  I am warm. 

It has to get really cold...below zero....before I have problem.  The goggles are vented and when I head into the wind I seem to be fine as it blows my hot breath out.  But when I am heading away from the wind, (not the wind from riding as I don't go very fast at all) my breath comes up under the goggle vents and since my glasses are so cold they fog, or literally get covered with frost.  Tom...those Guard Dogs look good...thanks.  I might get a pair as my strap on mine is broken anyway.  The goggles I seem to find are terribly expensive. 

I am thinking of making a snorkel to breath through, with a hose out to the back of the helmet where my breath won't affect it.  Or I may just get a snowmobile helmet. 

Thanks for your help...it will be the coldest tomorrow, with minus 30 windchill.  I don't ride far, and I will just stop and walk if it becomes too frosted up.  But what is hard to handle is the a__ hole that let the air out of my front tire tonight.  I had to walk the bike home.  Tomorrow I take my tire pump.  :( 

7:48 p.m. on February 2, 2013 (EST)
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I also use a serius face mask. use dish soap for anti-fog, just a drop is enough. it's the same active ingredient in most anti fog products. been using dial dish soap for like 15 years now

11:43 p.m. on February 2, 2013 (EST)
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Boy, Snakey, that's a good one...I get intermittent fogging issues with my goggles too, and mostly find that a combination of my R1 balaclava and careful, pursed-mouth breathing with a bit of an overbite works...

I would venture a guess that you're "too warm". Sounds like you have a nice area of trapped, dead air space there around your neck/face on account of all that insulation, which then allows the vapor in your "hot breath" to stay unfrozen as it is exhaled past the outer scarf layer, where it promptly hits the cold lens, gets stuck, and is frozen...the "covered in frost" part, right?

So, reduce that warm air "pocket" and let the vapor freeze before it hits the goggle, and give it less ability to stick once it gets there: pare down your neck neck/face/head insulation, use a helmet with the least amount of overhang + copious ventilation, anti-fog coatings...

Maybe switch out the balaclava for a thin liner beanie and a Buff, and loose the scarf.  Again, on the helmet...an integrated helmet/goggles combo sounds like a good idea until your head overheats and the whole system backs up, preventing the convection column of hot air your body is surely creating while at speed in sub-zero temps from quickly dissipating, and leading to frosty goggles every time.

When you get to your destination and take your helmet off, is your head steaming to beat the band?

(Edit: On second thought, please do the snorkel thing. I'd start with a $40 respirator from Home Depot and some Sugru. Take pictures and post them to Trailspace. If I faced such an issue, that's surely what I'd do...)

8:29 a.m. on February 3, 2013 (EST)
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deleted...my post doubled for some reason...see below.

8:30 a.m. on February 3, 2013 (EST)
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pillowthread said:

Boy, Snakey, that's a good one...I get intermittent fogging issues with my goggles too, and mostly find that a combination of my R1 balaclava and careful, pursed-mouth breathing with a bit of an overbite works...

I would venture a guess that you're "too warm". Sounds like you have a nice area of trapped, dead air space there around your neck/face on account of all that insulation, which then allows the vapor in your "hot breath" to stay unfrozen as it is exhaled past the outer scarf layer, where it promptly hits the cold lens, gets stuck, and is frozen...the "covered in frost" part, right?

So, reduce that warm air "pocket" and let the vapor freeze before it hits the goggle, and give it less ability to stick once it gets there: pare down your neck neck/face/head insulation, use a helmet with the least amount of overhang + copious ventilation, anti-fog coatings...

Maybe switch out the balaclava for a thin liner beanie and a Buff, and loose the scarf.  Again, on the helmet...an integrated helmet/goggles combo sounds like a good idea until your head overheats and the whole system backs up, preventing the convection column of hot air your body is surely creating while at speed in sub-zero temps from quickly dissipating, and leading to frosty goggles every time.

When you get to your destination and take your helmet off, is your head steaming to beat the band?

(Edit: On second thought, please do the snorkel thing. I'd start with a $40 respirator from Home Depot and some Sugru. Take pictures and post them to Trailspace. If I faced such an issue, that's surely what I'd do...)

Wow....this is great info!  I never thought about that, and you are probably right as my head does get warm.  The helmet has ventilation that I can turn on or off, which I do use.  The next time I go out I will keep the vents open and see how that helps.  When I use a balaclava that covers my mouth the goggles get fogged up too, worse even.  So what I was doing was to cover my face with a loose weave scarf, which allows my breath to exit better, instead of collecting at my face....much as you have pointed out. Now that you mention it...that probably helps my neck warm up more. 

I came up with the idea to use a snorkel because as I ride (or snowshoe..anything that raises my heart rate ) I start breathing in large volumes of that really cold air.  I discovered this when my throat was always sore which I figure is from the extreme cold air. (It is actually very noticeable as it hurts when I breath so hard in the sub-zero temps)  I was just going to use a snorkel mouthpiece with a hose attached that I will run through my jacket.  I think that will stop the throat problems as it will allow the air to warm before it enters my lungs.  I am working on a check-valve that will allow me to regulate it so that I exhale out one and inhale through another.  I have ordered a new mask which I think will help too.

Thanks!

 

October 25, 2014
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