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When the pandemic first started, it was clear that we weren't prepared. The lack of PPE — face masks, in particular — meant that if you were able to get your hands on one, you couldn't pick and choose which features the mask had, you just had to live with it. Now that companies have had time to develop and manufacture masks in bulk, it is a little easier to pick and choose which you like and which you don't. We've done the research, so we know which ones we prefer. If you want a no-nonsense mask with a filter pocket that is easy to wear, you can get our pick for the most face-friendly mask on sale right now for less than $10 (savings of 50 percent).
The Face Mask Kit from Outdoor Research comes with a mask, three filters and a pouch for storage. The mask itself has adjustable earloops and a nose-wire for a secure fit and is made from a comfortable polyester material that wicks moisture, keeping mask sweat at bay.
Editor's Note: The understanding of what makes a good face mask continues to evolve, and studies assessing the effectiveness of various types of masks are ongoing. CDC guidelines recommend masks with two or more layers that fully cover the nose and mouth. And recently the CDC recommended masks fit more snugly or to double mask. Before purchasing any mask, make sure to assess what it actually claims to do and its materials. Follow our coverage of masks here.