Initial impression of the PolarWrap
- I received the PolarWrap product on Feb 28, 2001. I would describe
it as a black form-fitting hood with a single opening for the eyes.
In backpacking circles, this design is most commonly referred to as
a baraclava. But this isn't your ordinary baraclava! Integrated
into the design is a unique heat exchanger apparatus. Without
dissecting the mask, it would appear that air is funneled through
two passages. Each half circle passage is approximately four
inches long and is full of thousands of very fine metal coils
that temporarily store the heat energy from your exhaled breath
and then release it on the next inhale.
The hood is constructed of a thin stretchy material that feels
smooth and silky on the inside and slightly fuzzy on the outside.
The breathing apparatus is covered with a material that is very
similar in feel to velvet. I was pleased to find that the
material does not snag on a few days worth of beard growth
(a common problem with fleece lined masks). The craftsmanship
appears to be high quality with fine, closely spaced stitches.
There is plenty of material to fully cover my neck and an
additional four inches or so is provided in front to tuck into
a shirt. There is a small nose pocket that would be a welcome
addition when skiing. The hood weighs approximately
four and a half ounces.
My initial tests showed that it did indeed noticeably heat my
breath. I'm hoping that our early spring weather will cool
down soon so that I can give the PolarWrap a decent workout
in the conditions it is designed to excel in.
The manufacturer does not yet have pictures of this particular
model on their web page (http://www.polarwrap.com).