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You need a mask (or three): Here are four local companies that sell them

Posted by on July 1st, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Time to stock up. We’re in this for the long haul.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Bad news: Covid-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future. That means you’ll need to wear a good mask to keep yourself and others safe.

Good news: You can find great masks and face coverings made in Portland and your purchase will help support local bike-related businesses.

Here are some of our favorites:

BlaqPaks

(Photos: BlaqPaks)

You might now BlaqPaks for their awesome and bombproof backpacks and cargo bike canopies. Now they’ve added masks to their line-up. Blaq has three masks and offers some very cool prints. Their adult model comes in 19 different fabrics including Le Tigre, Tie Dye Birds, and Tiger Stripes! All masks ship within two days or you can order online and pick-up the next day at their Riverplace store in southwest.

Specs:

Made from dual layer cotton with elastic to hold them in place. Tight weave cotton outer layer with soft flannel inner liner. We are using fun random colors and patterns for the liners to make them easier to tell apart. Machine washable. Choose the print which fits your lifestyle!

Models:
Kids ($10)
Adult ($10)
Voxx Romana collab ($15)

Biciclista US

Biciclista is decidedly Italian in its roots but firmly anchored in the Portland bike scene thanks to their ever-present and community-minded owner Stefano Spedini. Biciclista’s ever-growing product line now includes a big variety of smartly-styled masks and even a cool neck gaiter with their iconic and colorful “Helmetto” print. Since these are made in Italy, Stefano says they comply with a decree issued by the Italian Ministry of Health so you know they’re legit. (Disclaimer: I’ve used both Biciclista models while biking and they have great breathability.)

Specs:

Our reusable/washable non-medical face masks and neck gaiters have been developed to allow the outdoor activities with an higher grade of protection and respect for the surrounding persons. The Laser Mask is lighter and extremely breathable for use at higher effort and in situation with very low concentration of others persons. The Dual Protection mask with the dual layer construction and the possibility to ad a third filtering layer is suggested for uses in more crowded areas. The Neck Gaiter is a very adaptable and can be folded to become a very safe mask.

Models:
— Dual Protection ($15)
— Laser ($12)
— Neck Gaiter ($24)
See them all here.

North St. Bags

(Photo: North St. Bags)

You knew North St. would step up and be part of the mask-making game. This local company’s panniers and backpacks have become almost standard issue in Portland and we suspect their masks are made to the same level of style and quality. They come in three sizes, two attachment styles (elastic ear loops or over-the-head and tie), and a variety of colors and prints.

Specs:

Covers nose and mouth for containment of COVID-19 and other germs. 3 layers of tight knit cotton for the optimal filtering and breathability. Made with 100% Cotton or Cotton/Poly blend.

Models:
Cotton Masks ($19.99 each or 2 for $35)

Chrome Industries

(Photos: Chrome Industries)

Chrome’s national headquarters are right here in Portland so it’s an honor to consider this respected brand local. If you’re looking for a basic, well-made mask with all the street cred that comes with donning the Chrome label, check out their affordable offerings.

Specs:

(Masks) Reusable, adjustable, easy-to-wear. Adjustable ear slides for comfort. 2-layer 100% cotton canvas. (Gaiter) Breathable, moisture-wicking merino neck gaiter. Naturally antimicrobial and heat regulating. Super soft 65% polyester, 35% merino wool.

Models:
Citizen Chrome Mask Pack ($14 for two masks)
Merino Neck Gaiter ($35)


If money is tight, bandannas make great face coverings too.

How’s your mask-wearing been going? Any tips or recommendations you’d like to share?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)Sheilagh A GriffinRaktajinoPat FranzTed Timmons Recent comment authors
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dan
Guest
dan

Trew Gear is making masks too! https://trewgear.com/collections/trew-accessories/products/face-mask

I really like the behind-the-head ties more than around-the-ear, wish more companies would offer that

David Hampsten
Guest

My n95 mask has behind-the-head elastic and it is much more comfortable and secure, plus it doesn’t fog up my prescription glasses as much, but it isn’t washable. I am essentially looking for a washable version of an n95-type mask with a preformed nose piece.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You can re-use N95 masks. The virus can only survive on surfaces for 5 days at most, so just have a mask for each day of the week. Store in a dry paper bag, not in plastic.

David Hampsten
Guest

Thank you. The video was helpful. I may need to shave my beard off for the mask to be effective.

Raktajino
Guest
Raktajino

Have you seen this delightful infographic about facial hair appropriate for n95 masks?

Scott Batchelar
Guest
Scott Batchelar

Our Favorite Tall Bike Clowns Olive and Dingo have been making some pretty cool fitted Masks as well.

David Hampsten
Guest

I wear prescription glasses and it has been a real challenge in keeping them from fogging up while wearing a typical mask, especially when it’s 90 degrees outside. I’ve seen lots of complicated advice on keeping them de-fogged, but does anyone know where we can get transparent face shields? And how effective are they without wearing a breathing mask?

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

Wear a mask when you can’t social distance, please.

“It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.“

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

David Hampsten
Guest

I can understand the advice to social distance whenever possible, and to wear a mask when when it isn’t possible to social distance, but what I’m seeing more and more is people using their masks as a substitute for social distancing, as an excuse to stand close to one another (and even hug, shake hands, etc) even when social distancing is easy to do.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Have you tried an N95 mask or surgical mask with an aluminum strip? I have to wear a mask and safety glasses at work, and I find these are the only ones that work without fogging. You need a really good seal around the bridge of your nose.

David Hampsten
Guest

I’ll have to look for these. Great advice! Thanks.

matchupancakes
Subscriber
matchupancakes

Double sided fabric tape or dress tape. Place it along the upper edge of the face mask. I’m using this with cotton face masks with prescription glasses and it helps.

ejfinneran
Subscriber
ejfinneran

I have the same problem. I have a mask from Blakpaks and was able to feed a straighten paperclip into the top seam such that I could make sure the mask matched the curve of my nose and that helps *a lot* to keep my glasses from fogging up. I’ve also heard of people using pipe cleaners which are easier to bend and stay put easier. There are some youtube videos with more detail. Hope that helps!

Raktajino
Guest
Raktajino

I’ve made a few masks so far and have been folding a pipe cleaner in half and twisting (then tucking into my top seam and restitching). It helps a lot! If you can sew a haphazard button, you can secure the pipe cleaner/paper clip. I’ve also heard that tissue on the bridge of your nose can help, though I haven’t tried it myself.

Ted Timmons
Guest

I have been printing a little “nosepiece” for my fabric masks. It doesn’t stay on well, so I stitch it on- and I’ve always been terrible with a needle and thread.comment image

Christine
Guest
Christine

I just saw this video yesterday and thought it was very enlightening; especially I noted that it seems that bandanas are the least effective in retaining aerosols.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=947824502298203

David Hampsten
Guest

I like your nose-piece. Is it fixed to a shape, or does it bend and shape like a wire? I’m a bit surprised the bike apparel companies like Gore, Nike, or Castelli don’t yet have fabric masks with high-tech filtering material and moisture-wicking capabilities.

Ted Timmons
Guest

It’s 3D printed, a heat gun or even super-hot water will bend it a bit. But generally the shape is close enough to my nose. Now my problem is I have an excess amount of chin for my mask :/ I’m happy to send a few dozen of those nosepieces if someone is making masks.

Pat Franz
Guest
Pat Franz

As a bearded person, I’ve found that a larger, longer mask that goes all the way under to touch my neck works much better for me. When I talk, it doesn’t work it’s way down off my nose. I use wire in the nose area, as others have said, it really helps with eyeglass fogging (and, I assume, helps seal particles in/out).

Sheilagh A Griffin
Guest
Sheilagh A Griffin

Kitsbow in Old Fort, NC is making masks. They are testing really well for medical providers. Kitsbow has supplied masks to hospitals in NC and in Oregon. The CEO, David Bilstrom has connections in Portland. These masks are great, have a hepa filter and a metal nose conforming piece. Check them out! I have a small face and they have sizes. The one size fits all are almost always too big for me.