With summer temperatures on the rise, wearing a face covering can be sweaty business. Yet, we know it's the right thing to do.
On July 2, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order requiring Texans wear face coverings in public in counties with 20 or more cases of COVID-19. Medical experts say the use of face coverings helps to curb the spread of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, which have surged across the state. More and more businesses are making them mandatory nationwide.
Continued weeks of scorching heat in Austin call for masks that will keep wearers safe and cool. From moisture-wicking fabric to built-in UV protection, these eight top-rated masks, gaiters, and other face coverings should be in every local summer mask wardrobe. They'll help you beat the heat and keep your glasses clear of fog, too. (Just make sure to wash between uses.)
Arctic Cool Cooling Headgear Gaiter
One of the most versatile options out there, Arctic Cool’s multifunctional gaiter can be worn 12 different ways. When wet, the brand’s HydroFreeze technology activates and wicks away moisture, dispersing it throughout the gaiter and keeping you cool. Fabric is chemical-free, antimicrobial, and protects against UVA and UVB rays. $17.99, arcticcool.com.
Hammacher Schlemmer Antibacterial Cooling Face Mask
A breathable technical fabric lines each mask, allowing moisture to escape while remaining cool against the skin. Masks are infused with antimicrobial silver ions to fight against airborne germs and come with five removable filters, which trap bacteria and allergens. You can wear yours with or without a filter, and each filter can be used up to three times. $12.95, www.hammacher.com.
Jjyee Neck Gaiter Balaclava Bandana Headwear
Unlike some styles, this design features cutouts for your ears, creating a snug fit that stays put even during strenuous exercise. It protects against harmful ultraviolet rays and is made with 100 percent soft ice silk, which repels heat and humidity away from the body. $9.99-$12.99, Amazon.com.
Koral Face Masks
Buzzy activewear brand Koral applies the same technology used in its yoga pants and sports bras to face masks. Made with the Los Angeles-based brand’s unique antimicrobial performance fabric, masks are fast-drying, breathable, and comfortable to wear over extended periods, thanks to stretchy Lycra. $20-$27, Koral.com.
Mission Enduracool Multi-Cool Instant Cooling Mask/Gaiter
Stretchy, lightweight material provides ultraviolet protection and is comfortable against the skin, whether wet or dry. For instant relief from the heat, wet it, wring it out, and snap it. When activated, it cools to 30 degrees below body temperature in seconds and stays cool for up to two hours. $19.99, Target.com.
Onzie Mindful Masks
Made from upcycled activewear material, Onzie’s Mindful Masks feature a breathable, multilayer performance fabric that wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Masks are form-fitting but stretchy and feature an inner pocket for a filter (sold separately). Available in sizes for adults and children. Two for $24, onzie.com.
Reebok Face Covers
Reebok masks check all the boxes you would expect. They’re lightweight, breathable, and tight-fitting without being uncomfortable. Stretchy ear loops prevent chafing, allowing for wear over extended time periods. Three for $20, reebok.com.
Solbari Sun Protective Face Mask
Solbari prioritized sun protection when engineering these masks. The brand’s unique performance fabric protects against UVA and UVB rays and masks cover the nose, mouth, and neck. Contouring around the nose provides a snug fit without obstructing vision. $35, solbari.com.