If you thought you placed your last bulk-order of Under Armour masks this past spring, you’re not the only one. But per new CDC guidelines, and in the wake of a slew of breakthrough cases, masking up is as important as ever—even if, yes, you’re already vaccinated.
So if you’re eager for a morsel of good news on the mask front we’ve got some: Earlier this week, Under Armour slashed the price of its near-perfect SportsMask to $15 a pop. What’s behind this random act of magnanimity? Who knows? Who cares? The important part is that one of the best performance-oriented masks on the market is now significantly more accessible.
The UA SportsMask was initially released last June, but in about the time it takes to listen to your morning episode of The Daily, it sold out. In the interim months, the legend grew. The few who received them raved. One colleague at Condé Nast Traveler said that running with the mask was so pleasant that she signed up for a marathon. Imagine liking a face mask so much that you’d subject yourself to running a distance that’s literally killed a man!
Back then, the Under Armour masks weren’t exactly the cheapest on the market. They still aren’t. (We’ve found plenty of masks that are good and less expensive, or good and much cooler.) But the SportsMask is genuinely suited for workouts in a way other disposable or reusable face masks we’ve tried simply aren’t. It’s triple-layered, but still breathable because each of the layers is made out of a specially engineered synthetic fabric. The nose bridge wire runs most of the length of the mask, creating a tight seal for glasses-wearers. And it comes with soft, stretchy ear loops, which means it won’t yank on your ears when you wear it for long periods of time.
The current uncertainty means it’s more important than ever that our masks fit closely to the face and offer multiple layers of protection. That’s why experts have long advised double-masking, using a conventional cloth mask on top of a disposable surgical mask. Because it comes in multiple-sizes and has a built-in bendable nose bridge, the SportsMask always fits pretty perfectly. (Plus, these masks put three layers of fabric between your respiratory system and the world.) But if you’re finding that the fit isn’t as tight as it should be, especially in high-risk indoor scenarios, go ahead and layer a disposable mask underneath this one before you head out.
If the news has you considering whether it’s time to re-up on masks (hint: it is) this one is the holy grail: a running/exercising/CrossFitting-in-the-park mask that won’t leave you gasping for air. Even if the UA SportsMask doesn’t make you want to run a marathon, it’s almost definitely better than any others you already have.