PolarWrap Exchanger initial review
- Here are my initial comments and observations based on the time I�ve had to
look at the ExChanger Mask I received today. I expect to be able to provide
comments on field testing after this weekend.
Knowing that it was a face mask, when I took it out of the FedEX box, it
seemed very heavy and bulky. My postal scale puts it at 4.5 oz. The
primary material is a heavy lycra-like material which forms the primary
balaclava. This lycra material forms a full hood and the front is long
enough to cover your neck and tuck into other outer garments. The back is
more form fitting and may not be long enough to tuck into a crew neck shirt
The mask gets interesting when you look at the part in the front of the
face. The exchanger part seems to be around 7� wide and 4� high with a
higher, formed peak in the middle for your nose. It is lined with a soft
micro-fleece except where there is a 1 5/8 x �� rectangle through which you
breathe. The entire 7� x 4� section is about �� thick to accommodate the
exchanger. That�s why the mask seemed bulky at the initial observation.
While there was a letter to the testers with use instructions, the
accompanying material describing why the mask works did not include use
instructions, cleaning instructions, or materials listing. Presumably this
information would end up on a product tag attached to each unit when sold.
The web site, www.polarwrap.com, does offer both use and limited cleaning
instructions. I do wonder if it can be cleaned with some sort of soap or
just rinsed with water.
When I finally put the mask on, I found the exchanger part to be rather
stiff and uncomfortable. By scrunching it gently with my hands, it softened
up a bit and wasn�t too bad.
I, too, must have a big nose. I had to pull the mask down just a tiny bit
to keep the mouth opening at my mouth. But, my nose was still basically
where it needed to be in the nose pocket portion of the mask. For me
though, I found that my nose pushed the mask away from my face and there was
a gap of about a cm or a little more between the mask and my face.
I also found the center seam in the nose to press uncomfortably on my nose
but that may just be me and it may soften with time, too. A more �average�
shaped face and nose might not encounter these types of problems.
The mask fits quite well with ski goggles but does leave the forehead
exposed. I also had small slits along my cheeks and the bridge of my nose
that remained exposed.
I did find that the stiff exchanger portion of the mask extended about an
inch below my chin. This would cause the upper edge of the stiff part to
jam into my nose if I looked down or yawned and then tried to close my mouth
without holding the exchanger in place.
While it�s tight and obviously not designed for this, I can just pull the
hood portion down in back of my to get some cooling up top as needed. It
does tend to pull the top edge of the mask against my nose so I will not be
inclined to do this much.
By making the �output� area by the mouth into a �house� shape with the peak
pointing up towards the nose, would you then also be able to breathe through
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com