I tried it: Zensah running gaiter & mask

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It seems forever ago that I bought this copper infused mask and gaiter from Zensah. They’re made from a relatively heavy cloth material, which actually feels quite nice when it’s cold out.

The heavy material was the reason I hadn’t tried them until now.

If you want a large gaiter you can wear different ways, this is your gaiter

The Gaiter
As a gaiter, it’s great. As I said, it’s a somewhat thick material and that feels great (to me) when it’s colder out. It’s infused with copper, which has antibacterial properties.

It’s also huge. While it works well as a gaiter, it doesn’t work as well as a face covering — for me, anyway. Like most gaiters, it just doesn’t stay up so you have to run holding it in place if you want your nose and mouth covered.

Conclusion: I will definitely use this as a neck gaiter. I don’t intend to use it as a face covering while running.

Surprisingly breatheable (even inside out — oops!)

The Mask
When I bought my mask, the only style was with loops going around your neck and and back of your head. I actually like this feature and I didn’t think I would — it’s easy to take the back of the head strap over your head when you want to pull the mask down — with no worries about losing the mask.

Zensah has since come out with masks with elastic ear loops.

According to the Website:

Excellent sports mask for light to mild running, walking, grocery shopping, and wearing throughout your everyday activities. Perfect for wearing to work, no matter the occupation.

I agree on the light running. I wore the mask for my warmup and cool down miles, and my pace was pretty normal and I could breath. I did not wear it during the bulk of my run, which was a virtual race — I can’t imagine wearing it while running that hard.

When not on the face it works well as a gaiter

I also wore it for my warmup and cool down walks, as well as some light hiking at the end. It was a cool morning, and I have definitely found that wearing a mask when it’s cold can actually feel quite nice. Don’t worry: I will be more than happy to put masks aside when it is not longer necessary to wear them!

Final Thoughts
I could absolutely see myself wearing this mask on a cold easy run. I’m not sure how many miles I could take with it, but my guess is a short easy run would be fine.

The mask fits me comfortably, too. I have a small face and not all masks fit me. I like the behind the head loops instead of ear loops. My pace didn’t suffer at all while wearing a mask and running easy.

Do you ever run actually wearing a mask (not just having it hang off your chin)?

What are your thoughts on using gaiters as face coverings? I personally don’t think that works well, although I have tried it quite a few times. I find it frustrating.

What has 2020 made you try? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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34 thoughts on “I tried it: Zensah running gaiter & mask

  1. I’m glad you found a mask that works well for running, Judy!
    I have done warm-ups and cool-downs with a mask too (from the sports company Odlo) and it works quite well. Although I agree, I can’t imagine wearing one for hard sessions.
    Can you throw it into the washing machine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you can wash it, although I haven’t yet. Although I need to, since I’ve already worn it twice for running!

      I did a 3 mile easy run today and I wore the mask the entire time. It got a bit old towards the end, but I made it through the entire run.

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  2. As I’ve mentioned I don’t spend money on masks, I use the free medical ones. I’ve only worn them in stores. I even put them in the washing machine and dryer.

    Running I also wear my free buffs that I’ve gotten as swag . They actually stay up. Until it got cold I only wore them when others got close. But I run warm so I’m kinda glad it got cold so I can stand to have it in my neck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankfully, we are not mandated to wear masks/face coverings while exercising outdoors (yet, that is). I’m used to wearing gaiters and such in the winter, but it would take a lot of “getting used to” if that was the norm (in warmer weather). That said, it can be difficult to keep gaiters in place, they either slide down, spin around or bounce. But…when I was biking in the cold, the force of the wind keeps them in place pretty nice!

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    1. We’re not either. When I run in my neighborhood I’m rarely really near anyone, so I don’t wear a mask then. In winter i often do wear a neck gaiter. I’ve never had one spin around, but they sure don’t stay up! I have to look at that one Deborah mentioned a while back.

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  4. Thanks for the reviews, Judy. I started wearing a buff while I run. I pull it up over my mouth and nose when we approach someone and pull it down again when we are alone. We very rarely encounter other pedestrians where we run, but I wanted to be prepared just in case. I think wearing a buff or mask for the entire run would be very uncomfortable. It is easier to do now that the weather has turned cold. In July, it would be tough!

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    1. I’ve done that with a buff, too, but a few weeks ago I had to constantly pull it up running on a crowded, narrow path — it was so frustrating.

      I can’t imagine having to wear a mask in Summer either. Not that I’m really eager to wear them right now, either, but I have to admit — especially for walking! — it can actually feel really good when it’s colder.

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  5. I haven’t been running with a face covering because I stay close to home and away from other people. When the pandemic first started I remember wearing a gaiter for a run farther from home when I wasn’t sure if I would see anyone, so I could pull it up if needed . I think the one I have would work for brief periods but I think it would be hard to keep it up for an entire run.

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    1. I also do not wear a mask running in my neighborhood. I’ve been going to a nearby bike path more though, and even though I know the risk is small, I feel better wearing a mask. It’s doable for a short easy run!

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  6. I just purchased an Under Armour mask for working out with SJ. We are required to wear them there, but not outdoors when I run. Nice review and glad you found one that worked for you! All that nose breathing training should help you with mask wearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your review Judy! I’ve noticed with the mask it’s always a bit of trial and error to find the best fit, especially for running. Like you, I have a small face so finding mask that fit properly can be a challenge!

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    1. Finding a well fitting mask even just for walking has been an adventure!

      They actually do make those little things you can slip on the ear loops to change their length. I have enough that I don’t think I need them, but I do have a mask or two I like that they would help with.

      What a weird sentence — a mask that I like!

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  8. I try to avoid wearing my mask, though I bring it with me when I run and put it on if I can’t avoid people. I am happy that it’s cooling off enough to wear a gaiter again. I appreciate the warmth around my neck and it’s super easy to pull it up to cover my mouth/nose.

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    1. I agree — I couldn’t imagine wearing it where you live in the Summer (or even here). But when it’s cool, it actually feels good. Not that I would be wearing a mask on the run if I didn’t have to!

      I really need to look at the gaiter Deborah posted, the one with the holes. Because that’s something I could see myself wearing in winter — even when masks are a thing of the past.

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  9. We don’t need to wear masks outside, so I haven’t bought any sport-specific ones yet. I also don’t have much need for neck gaiters, so I only have a few that I have gotten as race swag. I prefer the ear loops to the back of the head loops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I run close to my house, I don’t wear one either. But I’ve been running at a bike path more. It’s one that isn’t as crowded as some of them (which is part of why I choose it) but there are still a lot of people around.

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  10. I’ve been lucky to have a few buffs that stay up when I run. I find them easier to slip on and off than a mask. So I have it up when I’m passing people and then when I’m on my own, I pull it down and it has worked really well. But now as we are in the heat of summer, it’s just too warm to have around my neck! I’m so looking forward to mask-running to be a thing of the past!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My buffs just don’t stay up when I pull them up Maybe it’s my big nose! All I know is it’s super annoying.

      I am with you, though, mask running needs to go. Although I actually don’t have to run in a mask, and when I’m in my own neighborhood I don’t, but the paths are more crowded.

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  11. I like gaiters for cold winter runs to protect the lungs, but it’s so hard to find one that stays up! I don’t see many people when I run so I don’t wear a mask for the entire run, but this time of year I do pull up my Buff if I cross someone.

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