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  1. #1
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    V4 Impressions and comparisons

    Received the V4 tester a couple days ago and finally got to try it out!



    The V4 model I am wearing above is made of a nice, soft cotton flannel. I like that it's OEKO-TEX certified and, from initial impressions, the flannel is not lint-y or shedding after a wash and tumble in the dryer (on delicate, in a mesh bag). When I first heard they were using flannel, I was worried it would be hot and thick, like a flannel pillowcase. I'm happy to report that this is a much more flexible, breathable material. (Perhaps the soft texture will also eliminate the slight irritation I get from wearing a mask - any mask - for longer than 20 minutes. I'll have to wear it longer/a few times to find out!) It was comfortable enough to wear on a walk with the dog, on a 75F day.

    I also like the new shape - it has a horizontal center seam like the V3, but TB has done away with the short vertical seam at the nose bridge. This makes it more comfortable (for me) and less bulky at the nose, which is key for wearing with glasses.

    Left: V3 s/m in ocean/olive; right, V4 s/m in navy flannel.



    Top - V3 in ocean/olive; bottom - V4 in navy flannel.



    On me, if I adjust the ear loops properly, the V2 fabric moves in and out as I breathe, which I have read is a good indication of proper seal/fit. It does however make it a little more challenging to breathe. In contrast, the V4 shape holds the top and sides of the mask snug, but creates a little more room to breathe without sucking in the fabric, which I like for more active situations.

    (I did have a funny conversation with a family member - who shall remain nameless - as they were complaining that mask-wearing led to foggy glasses when they breathed through their mouth. I kindly suggested they try putting their glasses on top of their mask, *and* breathing through their nose. V4 Impressions and comparisons)

    For comparison: here are the different models so far, as best I recall. From left to right:

    V1 - two sizes shown: light blue (S/M, on top); black (M/L, underneath the light blue mask), ear loops, two layers of a cotton/poly blend;
    V2 - olive (M/L); cotton twill fabric, ear loops and neck lanyard
    V3 - ocean (S/M). Three layers: cotton/poly/cotton/cotton. Ear loops and neck lanyard. Vertical nose seam.
    V4 - navy flannel, 100% cotton (S/M). Ear loops and neck lanyard. Horizontal seam, no nose seam.



    One of the things I like about all versions of the TB masks is the thin ear loops. I wear glasses (reading/sunglasses) most of the time over my contacts - so there are a lot of things going over my ears. In this picture below I have glasses, a bandanna, and the ear loops. Sometimes I'll have a baseball cap on too, which can rest on my ears. Having minimal bulk around my ears/head is key.

    V2 (small/medium) shown in 3/4 view:



    I choose my TB masks for situations where I want to touch my mask as little as possible, and want to be able to put it on/take it off with a minimum of fiddling. For example: going to a doctor's office or the grocery store. (I may also wear a face shield in some cases - even more stuff on/around my face!) Luckily I have not yet had to be in a situation where I need to wear a mask for hours on end (e.g. teachers, health care workers) in high-risk situations. So I prefer to wear a light, flexible mask like the TB V2 or V4, vs. an N95 mask which is itchy and stiff... making the tradeoff that a mask I will wear without fuss is better than a mask I am constantly adjusting.

    (If I had to wear my mask all day I would consider adding a filter to the V2 or V4 model. Rachel on Etsy makes a variation of the TB pattern that includes a filter pocket, with TB's blessing: tombihninspired I've not tried them myself but I'm told the fabric is a synthetic blend, a little more slidy than the TB fabric.)

    The neck lanyard (V2, V3, V4) is a nice addition. Having the lanyard makes it so I don't even have to think about where to put my mask, say as I get into or out of the car. With that said - I'm still of two minds about the neck lanyard. I like the security of not dropping my mask or losing it if I slip it in a pocket. But, it's a bit shorter than I like, especially if I am wearing my hair in a French braid and the lanyard goes over the braid (then it pulls on the ear loops and makes them a little tighter). If I wear the lanyard under my hair, it bothers me slightly. - This is all personal preference, it does not seem to register with my husband. :smile:

    For situations where I am not going into a building, I have a non-TB style I prefer, which has four ties - I can tie the top ones snugly, and tie the bottom straps loosely so they are still connected at my neck but not tight against my skin. So this is a question of which pattern one prefers, rather than a structural issue with the TB pattern(s). V4 Impressions and comparisons (The tie-straps pattern is not as well-suited to quick on-and-off usage, though.)



    (The bottom straps are much looser than the V2 lanyard - shown in the first mirror pic - and a little bit longer than the V4 lanyard, shown at the top of this post.)

    Across the board, my family members prefer their TB masks to all other brands/versions we have tried. My 12- and 16yo both prefer the V1 in small/medium, as does my mother. (My mom likes to add a piece of tissue inside her mask.) They don't care for the neck lanyard. So far they haven't lost any masks, though if they had to go to school (distance learning for now) I would send them with a V2.

    My husband likes the V2 in M/L. He also wears the V3 (also in med/large) without complaint, though most often I see him with the V2 (probably because it's two layers vs. three and thus cooler). He really likes the neck lanyard as it helps him to keep track of the mask and not leave it behind if he takes it off.

    The one version I have not quite warmed up to is the V3, as I find the material a little bulky and hot. Perhaps I will like it more in cold weather. The stiffness of the nose area (with the short vertical seam and three layers of fabric) is also challenging to fit under the bridge of my glasses.

    I secretly enjoy it when the whole family goes out wearing coordinating TB masks. More than once a friend has asked where we got our masks - I think people respond to the simple, clean lines, much as they do with TB bags.

    Tl;dr = highly recommend the V4 mask as the best all-rounder so far in the TB mask lineup!
    Last edited by haraya; 09-13-2020 at 01:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    God information and comparison. Thank you very much, @haraya . Waiting for mask v4 to become available to purchase.

  3. #3
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    VERY interesting review. Iíve made a LOT of V1 masks, and looking forward to make some of the other versions. Good feedback, very helpful.
    Last edited by dgrls; 09-14-2020 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Received V4 and it is awesome! It is my first Tom Bihn mask so I don’t have any comparison comments.

    Breaths great, fit is flexible, love the neck strap, and the fabric is so nice to wear.

    Only bummer was no Tom Bihn airplane logo. Lol

  5. #5
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Great photos! Thank you for your review @haraya

    And @SKIMT I'm glad to hear the V4 is working for you. Nik put a TB label on his flannel mask... I'll see if I can get a photo of it for you and you can let me know what you think!
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  6. #6
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Darcy, thank you for the chance to try out the V4! Very fun - it's about as close as I will ever get to being a test pilot, lol! :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Great photos! Thank you for your review @haraya

    And @SKIMT I'm glad to hear the V4 is working for you. Nik put a TB label on his flannel mask... I'll see if I can get a photo of it for you and you can let me know what you think!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Great photos! Thank you for your review @haraya

    And @SKIMT I'm glad to hear the V4 is working for you. Nik put a TB label on his flannel mask... I'll see if I can get a photo of it for you and you can let me know what you think!
    Yes please do and thank you! I’d love to see it!

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