We have been using the newly designed face mask, AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask, for a full week now. The AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask is a completely redesigned face mask of the brand’s previous model which, though improved, still has its kinks. The AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask, however, may have hit the sweet spot.
But First, We Need To Say…
Man, this company is persistent! In a good way, that is. AusAir is a company that takes criticisms and feedbacks very seriously. Like, super-duper seriously. The company is relentless in the pursuit of the perfect mask that fulfills both form and functionality. I salute AusAir’s dedication to its craft – a virtue that is rare in this day and age.
Recap Of The Last Model
There is only one major issue in the last iteration and that is the ear loop design. While it was improved, it is still not very eyewear-friendly. The adjustability, while working as it should, felt a bit of an afterthought. The adjuster risks slipping off the ear loop. But those two are issues that are completely eradicated with the AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask.
I have been using the AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask for the past one week with varying durations each day, several times a day and I am glad to say that it poses no discomfort or whatsoever for an eyewear user like me.
AusAir retains the two-piece design comprising of a reusable, washable outer mask and a replaceable filter. The new mask is made from Australian Merino Wool. It is impossibly light and super soft with strategically placed airflow zones. In short, it won’t suffocate you while keeping airborne nasties out.
Speaking of which, the heavy-lifting, i.e. filtering, is undertaken by AirWeave Copper Filter that claims to be the world’s most breathable, natural fiber-based filter media with antibacterial copper technology. The wool found in the filter is derived from an elite breed of sheep.
The filters have been independently certified by FDA-registered and ISO 17025 accredited Nelson Labs. It is certified to filter over 99% of bacteria, viruses, and air pollution down to PM0.1.
In addition, the copper layer is also certified by an independent lab to deactivate over 99% of bacteria. So, this mask not just stops bacteria, viruses, and air pollutants but is also deactivates bacteria.
It may have the ability to filter over 99% of bacteria, viruses, and air pollutants but it is surprisingly breathable. It is definitely more breathable than N95, in case anyone’s wondering. And mind you, this is the mask I wore when climbing 7 floors of a building daily.
Unlike the foam design, Merino Wool is as thin as cloth and therefore, felt less of an obstruction when using it with eyewear. The lightweight nature of the mask – with the filter on, of course – along with the adjustable elastic ear loop makes for super comfy wear.
But it is not without its kinks. I do have a slight issue with the Copper Filter. It frays (see picture below). And when it does that, it tickles my cheeks and nose. But the thing is, my wife is using the same make, model, and size mask but her filter does not suffer from fraying.
After some thorough examination, I determined that there are two possible causes. The first is, it is a filter defect. Another possible cause is the mask is too small which results in the filter is being too close to my cheeks.
As the cheeks move when talking, there may have been some abrasion between the filter and my cheeks. Over time, the rubbing creates a static that resulted in the frays that tickle my cheeks.
If the proximity between the filter and the face is the problem, then perhaps a large mask should help. But I am not 100% sure the real cause. I have yet to open a fresh filter – which is good for up to 15 days of use.
Considering the price (25 AUD or about 18 USD for a 3-pack), I probably won’t replace it until the recommended days have been reached. In the meantime, I resolved this by trimming the frays.
It (the trimming) works – for a period of time before it needs another “trimming” to keep it from tickling my face. It is worthy to note that this new type of filter projected usage is shorter than the previous type which has a rated 28 days.
In the area of durability, it does not tear like the first for sure. Wool is pretty much cloth and as such, if you don’t abuse it, it should be as durable as it can be. Though I have some reservations about the elastic ear loop.
The ear loop is now elastic. However, I am not sure how the elasticity will stand up over time. Obviously, we shouldn’t be stretching it to the max for fun. That is part of “how to take care of your own things” which needs no reminding.
While we are at the ear loop… it now has a proper adjuster that will NOT pop off when it reaches the end of the line. Another good news is, it actually holds at its set place – thanks to enough friction between the ear loop and the adjuster.
• 2-layer design • Excellent comfort and breathability • Independently certified filter • Blocks out over 99% bacteria, viruses • Good for air pollutants down to PM1.0
• Expensive replacement filter • The fraying filter (on my copy, at least) • Can only use with proprietary filter
If you ask me, I’d say it is a pretty good mask. A vast improvement over the company’s previous designs. Aside from the fraying which appeared to be an isolated incident, I am impressed with what AusAir has done with this latest iteration.
My wife is as impressed. In fact, shortly after wearing it, she’s already hatching plans to buy more filters. That is how serious she is with the AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask.
Oh, you ask why “stylish” isn’t listed under the “For”? That’s a no-brainer. If it isn’t stylish, it wouldn’t be featured on this blog, would it?
Anywho, if anyone’s interested in the new AusAir AirWeave Merino Mask, you may it up from shopausair.com for 89 Australian money (or about US$64) which includes two pieces of Copper Filter.
All images by Mike for Mikeshouts.com.