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Initial Impressions: Outdoor Research Face Mask

Everyone is required to have a face mask in some capacity, even if many don't wear them at all, or only when they are around others just to appease certain business requirements of entry.  I will refer to any face mask as a "compliance device" from this point forward, that's what it is at the end of the day.  So having the coolest, most high speed, most comfortable compliance device is probably something everyone is looking into.  There is a lot of different options out there for compliance devices.  Every possible variation you can think of, cheapest of the cheap to expensive top-end real-world PAPR respiratory systems.  The goal shouldn't be for you to out fear-signal the next guy, but to get a good solid, well thought out compliance device, which is comfortable to wear, use, and stow.  This OR compliance device is definitely it.

The OR compliance device comes in several colors such as black (pictured above), Gray (think dead bird gray), and Fatigue (which is a dark FDE type).  I opted for the black because it goes with everything, I may still buy a gray version later on as well.  This OR compliance device does come in at around $20 depending on where you get it.  Yes, that does come off as steep for a simple compliance device.  It comes in a nice plastic daka style pouch with three fabric filters which I threw in the trash immediately, I only assume everyone did as well.

It's not made in the US, shouldn't be shocked about that, the material is "durable polyester fabric" which isn't cotton, but does dry quickly and your glasses do not get fogged up while you're wearing them.  As you can see the label is pretty large, I ripped it off as soon as I finished taking the above photo.

There are two features that make this compliance device really good to go, the first being the metal wire at the top of the bird beak-shaped front.  That makes the mask stand out pretty far away from your nose and mouth while you speak.  The metal wire is bendable and the jury is still out on how long it'll last, especially if you plan on washing the mask constantly.  I'd recommend not washing it all the time, maybe using a clorox wipe or something of that nature instead.  If you do wash it, don't put it in the dryer as this will likely extend the life.  The beak-shape of the mask allows you to talk and not have the mask move around on you, which is good.

There are two rubber keepers that allow you to adjust the total size of the length of the ear pieces.  They can come off and if you plan on washing the masks make sure you take them off and retain them as they will fall off and be lost.  They will probably melt in the heat of the sun, a hot water wash, or a hot clothing dryer so definitely take care of where you put the mask and probably avoid keeping it in the sun (like around your rearview mirror).  It's a pretty good idea overall though, way better than non-adjusting ear loops which usually hurt to wear for a long period of time.

The description of the mask online says "two layers" which really means one layer and two pockets that make two layers to hold the filters it comes with.  The overall pocket design probably works well for the filters if you are inclined to use them.  If you don't want to use the filter, the pockets are good for about a handful of the larger peanut M&M's, in case you get hungry and want a snack.

Of course, if you're running an ACRO you could probably keep a spare battery.  In case you missed my article on the issues of the ACRO, this could be a good utilization of this pocket.

Overall, I would say that this compliance device is good to go.  Having been issued masks at work, having bought masks, having been given custom home-made masks, and everything in between including thin gaitors of various designs, this compliance device seems decent for EDC.  Easily folded and kept in your pockets.  If you're in the market for a decent option this is probably one of the better ones out there.

*note* - On the online descriptions, it says "three-pack" or something of that nature, it's just one mask and three filters in the pouch.  So don' expect their masks, since you'll be as disappointed as a democrat in Florida.