Seattle-based Outdoor Research Produces Mask Kit

Gear company Outdoor Research has announced a new mask kit with US-made re-usable filters to be available in summer 2020.

3 minutes
May 22, 2020

Renowned for their outdoor clothing and gear, Seattle-based Outdoor Research was one of the earliest in the specialty outdoor industry to begin producing masks in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, and now they've announced a brand-new re-usable mask product that appears ready to become a permanent new offering.

Outdoor Research said that they intend to create a mask that is as comfortable and useful as any other important piece of gear. In our view, masks such as this one are clearly going to become a fashion-piece as much as they are a functional-piece.

Let's start with the function. The mask is built as a re-usable and washable face covering, with comfort-adjustable ear straps and a curved shape that will fit most faces (TBD how well it will work with beards). The material is also treated with the promising new Swiss antiviral textile treatment called HeiQ Viroblock, which appears to have been proven effective as a blocker against coronavirus in some scenarios. Outdoor Research is calling their new mask the Essential Face Mask Kit, because it also includes gloves, a carrying pouch, and a 3-pack of US-made filters that can be inserted into the mask, for high-filtration efficiency when desired. Outdoor Research also designed it to be comfortable when participating in activities such as hiking and climbing.

As far as fashion, can you think of a more prominent place to wear a gear company's logo than on your face? For now, it's a simple mask with "Outdoor Research" emblazoned on the side, but we expect to see lots of unique takes emerge on the fashion of face masks. Down the road a bit, we believe there will likely be activity-specific masks, luxury masks, trendy youth-targeted masks, and more.


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