It can be hard to figure out what’s the best facemask for travel, especially when there are so many choices and conflicting recommendations. So, in this article, I share the 12 criteria for evaluating this hand washable mask with N95-base filter made by LCP-Medical. Find out what makes it the perfect blend of form and function, below.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn why this hand washable mask with filter is one of the best facemasks you can wear for travel and at home, based on these 12 criteria, including:
- Guidelines for Choosing the Right Face Mask
- 1. Comfortable & Sized Right
- 2. Presentable-Looking Mask
- 3. Good Fog Control
- 4. Easy to Store Discretely
- 5. N95 Mask Rating
- 6. Mask Affordability
- 7. More Sustainable Masks
- 8. Made of Quality Materials, Well-Constructed
- 9. Uses Protective Materials
- 10. Breathability!
- 11. Multi-Layering
- 12. Reliably Sourced
- Final Thoughts on Washable Masks
Editor’s Note: For the most up-to-date facts on masking guidelines, be sure to follow the CDC mask guidelines.
How to Choose the Right Face Mask
When LCP Medical asked me to review the FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit, I was happy to take on the challenge.
After all, over the last two years, I’ve worn everything from blue surgical masks to KN-95s to colorful cloth masks to N-95s. I’ve even considered layering two masks based on the changing CDC masking guidelines. While I’m not an expert, I do have discriminating criteria on how to choose the right face mask.
Even though mask regulations are beginning to ease in some places, you’ll feel safer and more protected wearing a quality mask in certain circumstances. This is especially true as you go about daily activities or travel domestically and internationally.
As we’re (hopefully) heading out of the pandemic, my standards remain high for the masks I wear. Keep reading to learn the 12 criteria to choose a face mask, and how the Frontline Protective Face Mask stands up to the test.
1. Comfort & Size
When you’re going to be wearing a mask for extended periods of time, a comfortable mask is of the utmost importance. That’s going to ensure that you keep the mask on to minimize your risk of exposure.
A mask that squishes your nose, marks up your face, or irritates your ears because it’s too tight is not in your best interests. Likewise, stay away from any mask that is too loose, creates gaps, or worse, falls off. The best facemask is going to feel almost like you’re not wearing one at all and fits near as perfectly as possible.
The Frontline Protective Face Mask is a light-weight option with several other features that help make it comfortable.
First, it’s shaped a little differently than ordinary masks, with an elongated cheek area for full coverage. This shape more fully covers your nose, tucks under your chin, and fits snuggly alongside your cheeks and face without being overly restrictive.
Next, the Frontline Protective Face Mask has adjustable ear loops that allow you to get the best fit over your ears. That way the mask is comfortable and stays on.
Perhaps the most unique design is the stiff polymer frame, which means the mask won’t bunch or even make contact with your face. This creates a unique chamber that keeps the mask from smudging a woman’s make-up or rubbing against a man’s neatly trimmed beard.
Finally, let’s ‘face’ it: one size does not fit all, particularly when it comes to masks. So the Frontline Protective Face Mask comes in five sizes, including adult small, medium, and large, and youth small and medium.
These features make LCP Medical’s mask suitable and comfortable enough to wear all-day, if you choose.
2. Looks Attractive
This may sound a little vain, but I feel silly wearing a mask that makes me look like a duck. And while I don’t want to forgo safety for fashion, I do want to feel like I’m wearing a good-looking option.
Therefore, the fact that the styling of the Frontline Protective Face Mask looks good besides providing excellent protection makes me feel confident wearing it—especially in my line of business as a travel blogger. This classic black mask, with a flattering shape and subtle branding, compliments most outfits and occasions.
3. Doesn’t Fog My Glasses
If you’re of a certain age or wear glasses, you’ll rely on your glasses to see everything from supermarket shopping labels to checking the flight schedules at the airport. Don’t you hate it when you wear a mask and your glasses fog up? That is a deal breaker for me.
But the Frontline Protective Face Mask has polymer stiffener along the edges that blocks airflow and helps the mask lie flat. This keeps hot air from blowing up into your glasses when you exhale. Plus, the no-flow neoprene nose bridge wiring allows you to adjust the seal over your nose, further preventing foggy glasses. That means this washable mask with filter checks another box on my best face mask criteria.
4. Convenient Size
It’s good to have a few extra masks stored away here and there for the unexpected situation when you need one. That might be when you step onto public transportation or into government building, or at any venue where there are more people than you feel comfortable being around.
Just in case, I fold a mask into my purse, have another in my car’s glove compartment, and sometimes I even tuck a spare in my pocket. But not every mask is suitable for that. For instance, some of the hard-molded N95 masks, or even the “duck” masks, really don’t hold up well to that kind of usage.
So I was glad to find that the Frontline Protective Face Mask is not too bulky or stiff to fold up discretely in a moment’s notice so I have extra handy. And, since it’s soft and flexible, it stores away easily when not in use.
5. N95-Rated Mask
Nothing seems more important right now than the effectiveness of a mask to protect from viruses. At the start of the pandemic, professional-level protection N95 masks were reserved for medical professionals and ‘front line workers.’ Now, they’re recommended as the best option for the public.
That’s why you’ll want to know that Frontline Protective Face Masks come with a set of five (5) N95-material Base Filters to insert into the filter insert pocket.
Where a standard N95 mask would be discarded or thoroughly disinfected after using, the replaceable filter pack allows you to reuse the mask with 5 replacement filters provided in the Frontline Protective Face Mask Kit. Plus, you can affordably order more with advanced filter technologies to suit your needs:
While versatility is not on my list of criteria for choosing the best mask, if it were, the Frontline Protective Face Mask Kit would get high marks. Choose from three filter options you can switch into your mask, depending on your needs:
- N95-material Base Filter – Use this filter alone or with the Anti-PathoGen Filter. You’ll automatically receive five of these base filters when you order the FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit.
- Anti-PathoGen Copper Filter – This enhanced filter comprises several layers of pure elemental copper than can prevent up to 99.9% of viruses. You should use it together with the N95 compliant base filter.
- Sport Filter – Use this filter when for exercise, sports, outdoor activities, and other times when you want high-flow filtration.
*Note: This product has not been approved by FDA or NIOSH. Submissions are pending. Claims of pathogen destruction have not yet been tested or evaluated by the FDA. Therefore, this product is not approved for medical use. Preliminary review indicates this product complies with ASTM F3502-21 Barrier Face Coverings Standard Level 2 when used as directed.
6. Affordable Mask
Last year, I spent a good amount of money buying masks for myself, my family, and loved ones. While I realize I am fortunate to have the disposable income to have made this a priority, not everyone is so lucky. That’s why quality masks should be affordable.
The FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit cost about the same as buying a couple of pizzas for dinner (depending on where you live), and it includes 5 filters. For under $30, you get an effective, washable masks and you can replace the filters. That means you’re saving the cost of replacing disposable masks time and time again for a more economical investment.
Which brings us to sustainability.
7. Sustainability of Mask
I can’t tell you how many discarded masks I’ve seen lying on the ground in parking lots, parks, alongside the road. Have you, too? Plus, no-one wants to pick up a potentially virus-laden face mask, so once someone carelessly discards a disposable mask, it’s staying there for the long-term.
So, the fact that the FrontLine Protective Face Mask is a washable mask with filter you can reuse makes it aces in my book. The fewer discarded masks, the better.
8. Quality Materials & Construction
I’ve tried a lot of masks that were so poorly made that the ear straps broke off and I’ve had to walk around holding a flapping mask to my face. That was risky, not to mention embarrassing!
Or, they’ve been so flimsy that I really didn’t feel like they were doing much at all to keep me safe, anyway.
I’m happy to report that the FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit is a well-made product. The stitching along the seams and edges is very neat and sturdy, and it’s obvious that each mask is made with care and attention to detail.
This washable mask with filter is going to stand up to long wear and washing. (In fact, the packaging encourages you to hand-wash it before first use.)
9. Protective Materials
Research has shown that the tight weave of natural fibers like cotton is more three-dimensional when compared to synthetic materials. That means cotton is better able to prevent viruses from penetrating on a microscopic level. In fact, this MIT Medical reports states that “tightly woven 100% cotton outperforms most synthetics” as a barrier to particles. So, the best masks are arguably made with cotton.
While the outer layer of the FrontLine Protective Face Mask is a breathable high air flow polyester, you can rest assured that the interior is cotton. When you layer in the filters—either the base filter alone or the base plus the copper filter—you get maximum protection.
10. Breathable Mask
At the same time, I don’t want a mask that’s fitted so snuggly, or woven so tightly, that I can’t breathe at all.
FrontLine Protective Face Mask’s breathable design includes layers or breathable polyester, a cotton interior, and the unique embedded air chamber to make it a breathable but safe mask to wear.
11. Multiple Layers for Safety
At one point over the last two years during the pandemic, the current wisdom was to wear several masks to achieve multi-layered protection. Folds in the fabric can have the same effect.
Because the FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit is made with two layers of fabric, plus the filters, it effectively provides three (3) or more layers of protection in one mask.
12. Reliable Source
I remember seeing videos online of masks being sewn in sweatshops, where unmasked workers sat on a dirty floor, and heaped the masks they’d just made beside them. Not only was that objectionable from a human rights standpoint, but it was appalling to see the masks produced and handled in such a way when a sterile mask is so important!
FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kits are made in the US and arrive individually wrapped, in a resealable plastic package. The 5-pack of filters are packaged separately, too!
No one has picked over them, like at the checkout bins at the convenient store. None sit on a dirty factory floor.
In fact, FrontLine Protective Face Masks are Award Winning! SmartBrief awarded them the 2021 Product Innovation Award for Travel Health and Safety.
Final Thoughts on Best Facemask, Hand Washable Mask with N95-material Base Filter
Like most people, I’m looking forward to a time when mask-wearing is a distant memory. Masks are a nuisance, make it hard to read facial expressions and lips if you have any hearing trouble at all, and wearing them is an unnatural way for humans to interact.
Yet, here we all are, wearing masks in the interest of our own and the safety of others.
So, until that time that masks are no longer needed, I’ll be masked whenever I’m not feeling safe from COVID and its variants while I travel or at home. It will certainly be a mask that meets all the 12 criteria above. I hope you do, too.
That makes the FrontLine Protective Face Mask Kit my first choice. In my opinion, it’s as close as you can get to feeling good about wearing a mask at all.
If you want to learn more about NLP Medical and the variety of quality masks they make, you can have a look here.
Photo credits: Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of Canva Pro.
This article is part of a sponsored collaboration. Special thanks to LCP Medical for providing me with sample masks and filters for the purpose of evaluation. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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