Face masks not only protect your face to some extent, but they also allow you to express yourself. Skull face masks are by far the most common, as well as American flag face masks. You can get both pretty much everywhere, including the closest Wal-Mart.
However, a face mask from a random shop is usually just a piece of cloth with some print on it. A high quality face mask is so much more. If you’re going to wear a face mask for hundreds of hours, and if you’re going to breathe through it, you may want to pick up the best motorcycle face mask you can find.
Good motorcycle face masks tend to be pretty cheap, so there is no reason to not go for quality. In fact, quite often the highest quality face masks cost just as much as the shitty ones. And since that’s the case, there is no reason not to get the best face mask for motorcycle riding you can find.
|Skull Motorcycle Face Mask||High quality microfiber||Half face mask|
|American Flag Face Mask||High quality microfiber||Half face mask|
|Cameo Face Mask||High quality microfiber||Half face mask|
|ZANheadgear Neoprene Full Face Mask||Neoprene||Full face mask|
|ZANheadgear Neoprene Half Face Mask||Neoprene||Half face mask|
|Tough Headwear Balaclava||Neoprene||Balaclava|
Neoprene Face Masks
The most popular face masks for protection against weather are neoprene face masks. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber, which main upside is that it is more corrosion resistant than natural rubber. Because of that, neoprene is often used in for example wet suits.
There are two main types on neoprene, open and closed. Neoprene face masks use open neoprene, which means that the neoprene is breathable, and more flexible. When it comes to strong winds, rain, or even hail, neoprene protects you way better than a cloth face mask.
We reviewed both neoprene and cloth face masks, and found the best for both categories. The best cloth face masks are generally made by Indie Ridge, while the best neoprene face masks come from ZANheadgear.
Note: A face mask is never a replacement for a helmet! Make sure to wear a high quality helmet when riding at all times!
Skull Motorcycle Face Mask
The Skull Motorcycle Face Mask from Indie Ridge is the best motorcycle skull mask we found. The skull mask is entirely made of high quality microfiber polyester, making it both breathable and warm. The mask comes with plenty of cloth, and can get double folded in case you want extra isolation. Even then, breathability is no issue whatsoever.
It’s not one of those bandana ‘face masks’, so no awkward folding. It’s a very easy to use slip on, and stays on neatly. The cloth itself is slightly elastic, and it is marketed as a one size fits all. While that is mostly true, as small heads are no problem at all, if you have a massive head then it might feel slightly constrained.
It’s a very neat half face mask for winter as well, as its insulation ability when it is double folded is rather impressive. Despite that, it is not a neoprene mask, and cold hard winds will still be pretty cold. Generally speaking the skull motorcycle face mask holds up fine against freezing temperatures and also holds up fine against strong winds, but if you add both together it does get uncomfortable.
Since motorcycling comes with plenty of air drag, I would recommend going for a neoprene mask if you are planning on riding in cold states during winter.
Aside from the classic skull face mask print, Indie Ridge offers some other very good looking prints, I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
American Flag Face Mask Print
Indie Ridge offers 3 good looking US flag prints. One of the US flag face masks uses the normal colors, one black and white, and one with cameo colors. If you end up going for the blue-red one keep in mind the line between the blue and red colors is not meant to be in the exact middle of your face. The blue area is supposed to be larger in the front than the red area, if you try to get it split exactly in the middle it actually looks worse and feels slightly uncomfortable over time as well.
The other two face masks are meant to be worn in exactly the same way, but due to their not being a clear color division line, it doesn’t feel counterintuitive the first time.
Cameo Face Mask Print
The blue cameo face mask is the odd one out here, but it looks surprisingly good on some people. It seems to have been primarily made for skiers, as it looks amazing while skiing. Still, depending on your bike and your general clothing style, the blue cameo print can look way better than expected.
Neoprene Full Face Masks
When it comes to neoprene face masks the winner is ZANheadgear, which offers many differently styled neoprene masks. Aside from being super popular, ZANheadgear masks are some of the best neoprene face masks we could find, and they all come with a lifetime warranty.
Since their face masks are made of neoprene, the insulation is top notch. Their designs usually have an area which contains a lot of breathing gaps, making it easier to breath. This also allows ZANheadgear to make the face mask thicker than normal, as otherwise it can’t be too think because breathing should stay easy.
The neoprene mask uses an adjustable Velcro strap to stay in place. This means the back of your neck should either be covered with a scarf, or will be open in the air. Due to the curvature of the mask that usually is not a problem. However, if you are standing still somewhere with a strong cold wind from behind, it will feel uncomfortable if not wearing a scarf or helmet.
The face masks can be normally washed in a washing machine.
Some designs feature rhinestones, but overall we’re not super fond of the designs. Especially the Vendetta one looks rather weird for example. ZANheadgear nevertheless offers plenty of options, both for full face masks as well as neoprene half face masks. There are some great designs mixed in as well, and tastes differ of course.
Neoprene Half Face Mask
Aside from the full face options, ZANheadgear also offers a lot of neoprene half face masks, such as the ones on the side (clickable). Half face masks can be more comfortable to wear in normal circumstances. Of course once it gets super cold the full face masks tend to win out. Still, half face masks can be worn with all types of headgear, and they have their own style as well. Most cloth based face masks are half face masks after all.
Their neoprene half face masks come in 3 sizes, small, adult, and oversized. The middle one works for almost all adults, unless your face is either very big or very small. Much like the full face options, there are plenty of designs to choose from, though not all seem to be super high quality. Since they have plenty of options you can usually find something that suits you after a bit of digging though.
Lastly there are the balaclavas. Tough Headwear wins this category with the best balaclava we could find. The balaclava is a simple dark blue color, with no other designs available. Despite that, the balaclava is super comfortable and super warm, which makes it amazing in cold weather. It gives at least as much protection from the weather as the neoprene face masks give, yet it fits better under helmets, and feels more comfortable on longer rides.
If you’re going to the really cold areas, this balaclava is a must.
The balaclava can be washed like normal, although hand washing is preferred. Still, just throwing it in the washing machine did not seem to damage it. There are very small breathing pores at the front where the mouth is, which allows easier breathing (if you use your mouth over your nose).
The nose area does not have its own breathing pores, so if you primarily breathe through your nose, it will take a bit more effort to properly breathe. However, it is quite simple to poke a few holes in the lower nose area yourself.