Today we’re taking a look at the Airweave merino mask from Ausair. I did order this mask with my own money at full price, however upon looking at the sizing chart I became unsure of my purchase and reached out to Ausair who added an extra mask (a size up) for free so I could do a sizing comparison. Speaking about sizing, I did a whole separate video on it, you can click the link in the top right or below to watch it.
But just to summarise on that sizing video. Measure your face according to their chart and if you’re closer to the next size up, go a size up for a full face fit. The large size fit me but when I opened my mouth to talk or yawn the mask comes off and becomes uncomfortable. The x-large fits me over the nose and chin and allows me room to talk and yawn without it coming off which is comfortable. Wearing a mask clip behind your head and make the fit even more secure allowing a more airtight fit overall too.
I’m going to start off with a few of the negative things about this mask and then go onto the positives. I think one of the biggest negatives I experienced with this mask was with the filters. There is a foam nose pieces at the top which allows for a ‘better fit’ that forms around your face and nose. Beneath the foam is a bendable wire but the foam itself doesn’t have any rigidity. No matter how much I tried it never felt like it helped to form a truly airtight seal but it certainly did feel better than cheaper masks. Anything thing about the foam nose piece is that I thought it might help reduce fogging glasses. I wear this mask with sunglasses all the time and sometimes it didn’t seem to fog up and sometimes it did. So I can’t say it works 100% for reducing glasses fogging. But perhaps the worst thing about the foam nose piece is that no matter how careful you are with the mask the glue that holds it on becomes pliable and weak with use.
In the box you get 2 filters, I’m already on my second filter only because the nose piece on the original fell off, the glue became weak and it started moving around when I put it on and eventually the sticky glue became unbearable so I changed to a new filter. However even with the new filter and trying to be even more careful the nosepiece and the glue holding it have become again unstuck. Sometimes pressing it back in place can hold it for a bit longer but eventually I feel it’ll fall off again. This might perhaps be due to the weight of the glasses I wear or perhaps the humid weather here in Thailand. But either way it makes me very hesitant to recommend this mask with such a weak point in its design.
The material of the filter is a kind of woven fabric that occasionally I can feel strands of tickling my mouth while I’m wearing the mask. And the longer I wear it the more I feel these strands. But this is not a dealbreaker by any means.
Another negative thing I experienced was that the straps that hold it on your ears can become a bit uncomfortable over time. In particular on the right ear I felt it becoming uncomfortable. I even bought a foam ear retainer from Daiso to see if it would help alleviate the pain but the strap still passes over the ear and feels a bit uncomfortable. Using the strap does allow a more overall comfortable and tighter fit that feels more airtight and safer.
This is how I wore it on the flight from Sydney to Thailand and its comfortable and due to the merino and filter it is very breathable and feels very nice to wear. This is one of the positives for me. It’s a very breathable material and feels unrestrictive.
Taking off and putting the mask on is easy and the straps have a little adjustment that make it easy to get a tighter or looser fit. Wearing the mask on one ear is not particularly secure though so I’m always careful to put it back into its carry case when I take it off to eat or drink.
Overall at the current price I dont think I can recommend it unless the nose foam filter is either changed the way its secured, or change the filter design. Its a very good mask overall and has many positive points. I love the merino material and the filter works well and is comfortable and breathable but the foam nose piece is the weakest link and ultimately sours the overall experience and value of this mask in my opinion.