Review: Respro Foggy Mask
You wouldn’t think such a tiny scrap of cloth would make such a huge difference, but it does. This little piece of cloth and velcro, properly applied in your helmet, helps keeps your face warm on cool days – but more importantly, it does what a range of sprays and other devices just can’t seem to do: it prevents fogging.
That’s right. The Respro Foggy Mask is an anti-fogging device that actually WORKS.
How the Respro Foggy Mask Works
This little face mask has three pieces of velcro on it to hold it in place; one over each of the cheeks, and one on the chin. Our Arai XD3 helmets have lovely cloth linings that the velcro hooks cling to nicely, which takes care of the cheek pads without having to apply velcro to my helmet. For the chin, this helmet has an excellent chin vent which is great for airflow in summer, so I cut the velcro and applied it on either side of the chin vent. It works perfectly to hold the Respro Foggy Mask in place, and I still get airflow from the vent when I want it.
Positioning the Foggy Mask is a little bit tricky; you have to get it just right over the bridge of your nose to prevent your breath from coming up the sides of your nose and fogging your visor in odd places. But once you get the positioning right, it works like a dream; keeping your warm breath off your face shield. It f0rms a seal over your face so your warm breath stays down – typically venting out the bottom of the helmet. I do crack the face shield a bit at stop lights in really cold temperatures, but otherwise, it works like a dream.
As an added bonus, the Respro Foggy Mask helps keep your face warmer on cold days. It has the practical effect of keeping your warm breath around and below your face, adding warmth inside your helmet. It also keeps any cool air from a cracked face mask from blowing directly on your cheeks or nose. Wearing it has a similar effect to wearing a balaclava under the helmet, without having to wear a balaclava. It just stays in your helmet, and on warmer days, you can easily remove it.
Respro Foggy Mask Cons: Positioning, Claustrophobia and Glasses
I find that sometimes after taking the helmet on and off a few times, the mask gets displaced slightly – especially when I’m wearing the Cyclone Buff under the helmet for added warmth. But Kay doesn’t have that problem, so it could just be that my helmet is a snugger fit over my cheeks. Either way, taking an extra 30 seconds to position the Foggy properly is worth the benefits (and trust me – if you don’t take the time to do it properly, it’ll blow your breath up your nose and fog your face shield over one of your eyes, and it’ll be REALLY annoying, so just take the extra time – K?)
One unique problem I’ve encountered with the Respro Foggy Mask isn’t a failing of the mask – it’s me. I HATE having things on my nose. I have glasses but I hate wearing them for this reason; you’ll usually see me in contacts – especially on the bike. But I also hate a foggy visor, or riding with it cracked in the cold, and the Respro Foggy really works. So I accept it on my face – when it’s really cold and the fog comes quickly. If it’s moderately cool – like 50s to 60s – I usually take it out of the helmet because I hate feeling it on my face. But again – that’s just me – it’s not a failing of the Foggy in any way.
The other thing that could be perceived as a problem is the potential problems a Foggy can cause if you wear it with glasses. As previously stated, I rarely wear glasses when riding, but Kay *only* rides with glasses, so he knows all about glasses with the foggy. If you’re wearing glasses with the foggy, the positioning is even more critical. If there’s a gap around your nose, it’ll direct your warm breath up onto your glasses and you won’t be able to see.
Depending on how you position the Foggy, it may also interfere with wearing glasses – depends on how high up the nose you put it and where your glasses hit your face/nose. So positioning is a bit more critical with glasses, but that being said, Kay still wears the Foggy – even more often than I do, as it doesn’t bother him being on his face so he takes it even on cool but not cold days. He says it’s worth the trade-off.
Be warned that when I bought it, they didn’t include the velcro for the cheeks, so you may need to supply that yourself. It also doesn’t work in all helmets – Respro’s site says it can’t be used with full-face helmets that flip up – i.e. modular helmets..
Respro Foggy Mask Review: Bottom Line
Bottom line: if you hate having a foggy visor on cool days, or get tired of the red-cheeked freezing face when you ride in cold temps, the Respro Foggy Mask is for you. You can get it online, but you may also be able to purchase it at your local dealer. I got mine at Max BMW. For only $20-30 (depending on where you buy) I consider it an essential part of my cold-weather riding gear.