Andy Mossack reviews the AirPop Pocket face mask and finds tech and fashion go hand in hand for once.
It is quite extraordinary how a pandemic can make us all reassess how we live our lives. Suddenly, the humble facemask has made the leap from medical practitioners and workmen to an item of necessity.
Of course, with that leap, it transforms into something much much bigger. Not just as a barrier to potential infection, but also something of a fashion statement too. Not surprisingly there are all kinds of masks that could be classed as fashion wearables on the market, but in many cases, it’s the breathability and barrier effectiveness that is called into question. Perhaps more so for those of us who wear glasses and have to put up with constant fogging.
AirPop is looking to marry technology with fashion with what it calls fit, filtration and function to every mask across all the models. It boldly claims its five filter layers provide 99.3% two-way bacterial and viral protection insulating not just you but others around you too.
Talking of models, there are a few variations ranging from the top of the range Halo+Active model which interfaces with your smartphone to show real-time air quality data and mask performance, the Active range for fitness use, down to the Original which is stripped of the bells and whistles but still offers cutting edge filtration.
I tested out the Pocket range, specifically designed for people on the go and comes with a carry case for keeping the mask clean and secure when you don’t need to use it.
Taking AirPop’s fit, filtration and function mantra literally, I checked out each part and found it happily lived up to the billing. The fit comes courtesy of an ergonomic foam strip that sits snugly on the bridge of your nose and comfortably seals the mask as it conforms to the shape of your face. The filtration aspect was given a best buy by Which? in May 2021. But for me, it’s the breathability aspect that makes this a standout. The mask has a built-in 3D shape which allows a canopy of air to sit between your face and the mask making breathing a lot more comfortable than the standard masks.
AirPop claims the masks provide up to 40 hours of cumulative use maintaining 98% efficiency and can be washed multiple times through handwashing with soap at 30 degrees centigrade and left to dry naturally.
The carry case is novel addition particularly if you’re travelling and want to keep the mask as clean as possible. Personally, tucking it under your chin, as many people do, opens up the mask to all kinds of contamination; exactly the opposite of what it’s supposed to be doing.
The AirPop Pocket mask might not make the catwalk, but it certainly brings tech right into fashionable wearables. You can look good and keep protected, and that’s a great combination.
Tell me more about the AirPop Pocket Mask
The AirPop Pocket is available in black and white. 2 mask pack £14.99, 4 Mask pack £24.99 12 masks plus two cases £59.99. The cases can be purchased separately for £9.99.