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It’s been months since the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., and we’ve now been wearing face masks long enough to understand what medical professionals have known all along: Masks help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, but wow, do they get uncomfortable after a while.
We found cooling masks that not only fall within the CDC’s regulations for cloth masks but they’re also a pleasure to wear—and now the younger set can get in on the cooling action.
Like the adult-size Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter, $20, the Mission Cooling Youth Neck Gaiter, $15, is made of one piece of breathable, loose-fitting fabric you wear around your neck and pull up over your mouth as needed—no labored breathing, annoying ear loops, awkward ties or digging edges. In the moments you pull it away from your mouth and nose, it’s little more than a lightweight scarf—and you won’t have to worry about putting it down or forgetting it somewhere.
When temperatures rise, that’s when the self-cooling gaiters really spring into action. You read that right: self-cooling. On those really brutal summer days, just carry a water bottle around to douse the cloth accessory, then wring it out and snap it three times to activate it. Just think: a mask you won’t be itching to rip off. And one that blocks out 98 percent of UV rays, to boot.
The machine-washable gaiters can be worn in 12 different configurations, including head wrap and makeshift hood, so they’re great ‘anytime’ investments.
“This is now my go to face covering when I go out for a walk or a hike. I can put it down around my neck and quickly pull it up over my face whenever I encounter someone,” confirmed one pleased shopper. “It’s easier to breathe through than some other masks. I certainly wouldn’t rely on this in a hospital setting, but it’s great for being out in public and being respectful of the need to protect everyone.”
“When I dropped this in ice water and used it, it felt like my body temperature had dropped 10 degrees,” another added.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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