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  1. #1
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    TB Mask Review - poly/cotton blend version, S/M and M/L

    Long rambling review post :)

    I bought quite a few of the original (now S/M) poly/cotton masks for a family I'm helping out and a few for me. I've also bought some of newer M/L sized poly/cotton ones. One of the men in the family I'm helping would do better with the larger size and I wanted to try it out too. Their occupations include cleaner, construction, teacher, and office worker - they like the masks too.

    I put the masks to the test: As some of you know, I'm an engineer... I spent this past week in one of my food factories, working 12hr days. The temps were in the 80s/90s with humidity - blech.
    Hairnet, earplugs, bump helmet, safety shoes, etc. etc. - all the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - plus mandatory masks. I was walking, standing, squatting, bending, lifting, reaching, and breathing hard at times with exertion.
    Happy to say that the masks worked very very well. They stayed on and didn't slip.

    WASHING
    The masks are easy to wash & dry in a machine. I usually use a lingerie bag to ensure they don't get tangled up with anything else, but the one I threw in on it's own was fine.
    In the hotel I hand washed a couple of the masks in the sink at night and they easily air dried by morning.

    EAR LOOPS
    The ear loops are very comfortable overall, easy to use, and feel more secure than the mask style that you have to tie in the back.
    As the directions suggested, I found that pre-stretching them a bit helped, especially after my ears got a bit sore due to the shear volume of time spent wearing the masks.
    The elastic loops worked well both under & over the hairnet. After a while, my method became: ear loop, earplug (they're on a cord), hairnet on one side... and earplug, hairnet, ear loop on the other. That meant that when I stepped outside into the open air, away from other people, I could unhook one side to breath a bit easier without disturbing my hairnet & earplug. The mask couldn't fall off because the earplug cord on the other ear acted as a safety leash, though mostly the mask stayed on fine.
    Just standing outside for a few minutes with one side unhooked was enough to noticeably reduce the humid feeling of wearing a mask. And yes, I wash my hands after.

    OVERALL FIT
    Size-wise, I've alternated between the S/M and M/L. The S/M is probably the best size for my face, but since I'm not used to wearing a mask, I tried the larger one to see if felt less confining. I think I prefer the extra vertical coverage of the M/L, but the extra fabric at the front of the mask is less desirable, so I'll probably stick with the S/M. Regardless of size, after a bit, I adjusted to how it felt, so this may just be that overall I'm unaccustomed to wearing masks.

    I wear glasses, so I found that getting the mask set correctly on the bridge of my nose was key to prevent fogging. The added benefit (along with this shape vs the horizontal surgeon style) was that the mask did NOT slip down off of my nose. I've seen a lot of folks out and about wearing looser/pleated styles and/or masks without the nose wire that have slipped down so they're covering their mouth but not their nose, which is obviously not ideal.

    For the nose wire area, I've used the TB provided wires, two of those same wires, and also the larger/flatter/stiffer wires that are on Peet's coffee bags. Those have fit in the channel of all but a couple of my masks (depends on the stitching) and can be trimmed to length. Of the three methods I have tried, I like using the bigger Peet's wires if they fit..they are harder to bend/conform, but if you preform by bending over your forefinger, it works well and maintains it's shape.

    FABRIC
    The fabric is interesting. My skin is fairly sensitive and I have wicked allergies to pretty much everything, so I thought that I would prefer 100% cotton... the non-TB masks I've had in 100% cotton are more comfortable in terms of skin touch at first, but they quickly become MORE uncomfortable to me with any sort of heat or humidity. The poly/cotton blend felt much much better in high heat, humidity, and extended wearing (ie, you're creating internal humidity just by breathing). The blend seems to stay drier and dries out much quicker than 100% cotton. This was super noticeable in the factory.


    Overall I'm pleased with how these work and they are far better made then any of the other masks I've tried so far. So I placed orders for the various colours that were added this past week, again for myself and the family I'm helping. It's just easier to have more masks in the cleaning/wearing rotation, especially on busy days, and colour coding helps.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  2. #2
    Forum Member BigBadD's Avatar
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    Good review and I have very similar positive experience. Also very happy with price for comfort and quality, accepting that it covers a mask donated for every one purchased.

    I like the idea to have more than needed masks of a few colours, and try to use in weekly rotation. Just waiting in hope that there can in near future be some stock of a range of colours to be able to put in single order. Or some restocking of bags I might fancy to add some more masks to the same order and shipping.

  3. #3
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    I’ve found a method to pretty much completely eliminate my glasses fogging. It involves using a jumbo paperclip (folded into a tall, skinny C shape) instead of the included twist-tie and a spray of Quick Spit Antifog Spray (available on Amazon) on my glasses before leaving for the day.

  4. #4
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    Of all the assorted masks we have tried, so far this is the best! It is comfortable, the straps don't hurt your ears and it stays in place.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawaiianDC8 View Post
    Of all the assorted masks we have tried, so far this is the best! It is comfortable, the straps don't hurt your ears and it stays in place.
    Welcome to the Forums @HawaiianDC8 !
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  6. #6
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Love the idea of using wires from coffee bags! Now I'll have to hunt and see if we have any in the pantry that can be repurposed. :)

    I've found my TB masks to be the most comfortable of all the different ones I've tried. Family seems to agree as well - they are willing to keep these on, unlike all the other ones I've gotten them. (I even got them ones with superheroes!) I do have to figure out how to personalize my own masks (my favorite thus far is the light blue, which matches DD's but neither of us want to switch colors, haha). Perhaps embroidery? :)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Love the idea of using wires from coffee bags! Now I'll have to hunt and see if we have any in the pantry that can be repurposed. :)

    I've found my TB masks to be the most comfortable of all the different ones I've tried. Family seems to agree as well - they are willing to keep these on, unlike all the other ones I've gotten them. (I even got them ones with superheroes!) I do have to figure out how to personalize my own masks (my favorite thus far is the light blue, which matches DD's but neither of us want to switch colors, haha). Perhaps embroidery? :)
    I've been WFH since 17MAR, so that's a lot of coffee at home now :)
    Once I heard of the TB masks, I started saving the wires off of the bags so I have several masks fitted out that way now. Then I take the extra TB wire and use it to doubleup another mask.

    Embroidery is a good idea... if not a pattern, then even a simple whip stitch in a contrasting thread or floss along an edge, the nose, etc., would serve to differentiate
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  8. #8
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    I love my large masks. I agree, they are the most comfortable ones I have, and because of the nosepiece, I have the least problems with my glasses fogging. (When mask use was pushed here at ehe end of our confinement I made the prophecy that we would all soon have as many masks as underwear. I stick to that.)
    I'd love to try the v2 and v3 iterations, but since shipping to France is so expensive, I will have to wait until I get to the US (or until I order something really big....). But please, could we have masks with a small Tom Binh logo? I get that you don't want a logo on the masks destined for health care use, but for streetwear, I'd like to show off....

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