Masks are 2020’s hottest fashion item, even if you’re a triathlete. As long as there’s COVID-19, you’re going to need a mask. And as long as you’re still training, you might want two or three, so you can rotate them during your workouts and gym visits (you need to wash those things, you know). Multiple triathlon companies have made the move to offer breathable, protective masks for triathletes and others. “We were absolutely bombarded by requests in early March from not only our endemic triathlete customers and consumers but also many first responders, hospitals, cities, and states looking for help sourcing consumer masks and much needed PPE,” said Kay Martin, CEO of BOCO Gear. “With our factory fully functional and stocked with materials on-hand, we were able to quickly pivot.”
But BOCO Gear isn’t the only triathlon company making face coverings—lots of endurance brands have jumped in to keep the tri community safe. Do the tri thing and support the same multisport brands that are stepping up to help us out. Check out our list of picks below:
Traditionally Known for: Wild high-end triathlon apparel
Price: 5-pack for $50
Wattie Ink. added masks to its repertoire to fill a growing need from the endurance community for breathable, washable masks. Wattie Ink.’s masks are made of the same silky-smooth, durable fabrics found in its triathlon and running apparel. There’s also a great giveback component: For every five-pack of masks sold, Wattie Ink. also donates a five-pack of masks to frontline workers, something they plan on continuing to do as long as there is a need from both consumers and heroes in the coronavirus trenches.
Traditionally Known for: Bright tri suits and its unique two-piece T1 Wetsuit
Price: $14 for a 3-ply mask
When California required all non-essential businesses to shutter on March 19, De Soto knew its future could be in jeopardy—quickly, the tri company realized it could offer something very essential: masks. By March 23, the entire staff was back at work, producing face masks and face/head coverings. Because De Soto makes all apparel in-house, they were able to immediately utilize their technical fabrics that they had originally planned to use to make summer 2020 triathlon kits. De Soto’s masks are made of Skin Cooler fabric, which is non-absorbent, and the masks are adjustable for different face sizes and shapes. De Soto donated thousands of its masks to California- and New York-based medical staff and plans to continue until the need is no longer there.
Traditionally Known for: Wetsuits!
Price: $15 each
Shawn O’Shea, President of Zoot, is determined to give athletes a protected way to train. “The safety of all athletes and those around us is a priority while training. Wearing a face covering is one step we can all take to help protect each other,” O’Shea said. Each mask is engineered to provide as much ventilation as possible for riding and running while still offering a protective barrier. Zoot’s masks are double-layered with Italian “AEROMAX” fabric to promote breathability. The masks are machine washable and have a side opening to allow for the insertion of a disposable filter. For every face mask purchased, Zoot will contribute to the “Zoot One Forward” project that donates another face mask to a USA Triathlon-sanctioned triathlon event for use by staff and volunteers. Zoot also plans to begin offering customizable mask orders for 25 masks or more.
Traditionally Known for: Small-batch, high-end triathlon apparel
Price: $24 each
WYN Republic and its sister company, MALO Republic, began offering “headtubes” for endurance activities because they felt that wearing a traditional mask while exercising can be awkward and cumbersome. WYN Republic’s accessories are designed to be functional, performance-oriented, and stylish. Like all of WYN and MALO’s apparel, this item is made from lightweight, breathable, sweat-wicking Italian performance fabric. As co-founder Beth McKenzie noted, “The ‘buffs’ are multi-use and not limited to COVID-19 use,” so WYN plans on keeping these in-line for the foreseeable future.
Traditionally Known for: Custom tri and cycling apparel
Price: $22 each
Although Primal Wear has been making head tubes for several years, the apparel company began producing non-medical masks to help athletes and those in need get access to face coverings. Primal’s Mask 2.0 incorporates a total of five layers when used with its NT3D NanoTek reusable filter. The Mask 2.0 also offers adjustable straps and nosepiece as well as XFrame, which provides a lightweight structure to the covering to ensure the fabric does not interfere with inhalation. For slightly less fabric, Primal Wear also has a double-layered standard mask. Both the Mask 2.0 and the standard mask’s designs can be customized. Primal Wear is donating 15% of all sales to various nonprofits, including Feeding America, and the National MS Society COVID-19 Fund. The Primal Wear crew has also made mask donations to the Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Traditionally Known for: Comfortable trucker and running hats
Price: $12 each
Beginning in March, BOCO Gear was bombarded with requests for non-medical masks—not just from triathletes, but from first responders and frontline employees, too. The BOCO Gear crew was able to quickly add masks that meet or exceed the CDC guidelines to their production lines. BOCO Gear’s machine-washable masks feature an outer woven shell, an inner knit layer, a side slit to add a disposable filter, and high-quality elastic ear loops. Customers can purchase both their two-layer mask and five-layer disposable filters directly from BOCO Gear. The Colorado-based company plans on launching athlete-focused “X” masks later this month with an even lighter shell to promote easy breathing during workouts.
Traditionally Known for: Custom technical hats
Price: $13 each
Headsweats is another beloved endurance company that added facemasks to their offerings. Their masks are reversible and made of triple-layered polyester that is moisture-wicking, water-repellent, and machine-washable. Soon, folks will be able to order custom face masks for triathletes to match their race kits, their teams, and their clubs—masks made of REPREVE, a “green” fabric made from recycled plastic. With no end in sight for Headsweats’ production of masks, the crew decided to add a charitable component by donating one face mask for every one purchased to the Grassroots Aid Partnership; so far, the team has donated over 1,000 face masks.