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Psolar EX Face Mask effective or not!
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Bernard Shaw
( - F

Locale: Upstate New York
Psolar EX Face Mask and others really work or not on 12/15/2004 08:01:42 MST Print View

Excuse me if posted elsewhere or not, but do these things actually work? Any articles, reviews, research?

A study by supported by Polarwrap allegedly scientific methods followed

Here is what their promotion says, accurate or not about the mechanisim and the effectiveness

"The Patent Pending mask features a QXTEC module that is made of desiccant coated plastic. The desiccant grabs the moisture from the air, forcing a phase change from vapor to liquid. This phase change releases heat and is added to the natural heat of exhalation, warming the plastic. This warmth is transferred to the air as it is inhaled: creating a warm “breath of sunshine.”

The heat exchanger is up to 80% efficient, meaning that at 0 Degrees, your inhaled breath can be warmed to over 75 Degrees before it enters your body! Efficiencies vary with respiratory rates and lung capacity.

It functions to reduce dehydration and increase lung capacity in extremely cold conditions. By warming cold air as you inhale, the fin-enabled Heat Exchanger helps maintain normal blood flow levels, which keeps more warmth around body extremities like your hands and feet."

Edited by on 12/15/2004 08:17:20 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
A review here on 12/16/2004 23:06:15 MST Print View

go to and read Andy Mytys' review.

Ellen Zaslaw
(ezaslaw) - F
Psolar balaclava on 12/18/2004 13:08:34 MST Print View

I used a Psolar balaclava (not just the face mask) last winter, day hiking (snowshoeing) in temps down to -5°F and camping in temps down to -15°. My husband used one also. We definitely felt they helped us keep warm. The removable breathing module--a hard object--wasn't all that comfortable against the face for either of us, particularly lying down, so we used it only when necessary, which was around zero and below. Even without the module, the balaclava gave terrific protection to the head and neck and was easy to adjust to cover more or less of one's face with a minimum of fuss. Get (or make) a supply of the foam inserts that make it conform better around the nose: they're pretty essential to keeping glasses from fogging, and they shred or peel off after a while.

William Siemens
(alaskaman) - F
psolar on 02/18/2005 02:15:51 MST Print View

Meant to reply to this a while ago - I really like mine - IMO it does indeed work, it ices up less and warms the air better than just a couple of layers of scarf or some such. I would no longer be without it on subzero windy days - when I put it on, my whole outfit seems warmer, several times I have found myself growing cold, wishing I'd brought another layer, but once the balaclava is on, everything is more than adequate. I sleep in it too, unlike the other poster I do not find it uncomfortable, but obviously that's just something that's going to be a matter of individual taste. I agree that whether or not you wear glasses, the foam inserts are important.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Effective! on 04/29/2006 21:57:15 MDT Print View

Yes, it does work; and quite well. The L/XL size facemask with thermal conversion module (TCM) weighs 1.9oz. and easily saves me 1/2 to 1lb in clothing.

Covering the head, neck and face is step one to staying warm with minimal weight. After that, think about the calories expended warming 100s and 100s of liters of cold air each day.
With the TCM you breathe out warm air and breathe in amazingly warm air saving the reheating energy. My next Trans-Sierra ski tour I expect to bring fewer clothes and less food as a result of using this clever, efficient, .6oz. device.

I agree that the $5 foam vapor shield is a must to affix to this or any other facemask to greatly reduce glasses or goggle fogging.

I have used this mask in 18-35 degree F windy and calm skiing conditions. One day the TCM was covered with rime and icicles as much as 2" long! But these didn't seem to impede the effectiveness of the device (although they did give me an appearance even more frightening than normal ;)

Summit CO
(Summit) - F

Locale: 9300ft
Condensation Reduction? on 06/21/2006 01:45:18 MDT Print View

COuld using this for extra warmth in your sleeping bag also end up reducing exhaled moisture and thus condensation inside the tent?

Gear Meister
(gearmeister) - F
Re: Effective! on 06/21/2006 02:06:19 MDT Print View


Edited by gearmeister on 06/21/2006 02:07:00 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Effective! on 06/21/2006 10:55:30 MDT Print View

Al, do you need to inhale through your mouth? If so, what does one do when sleeping?

lance skutvik
(skutvla) - F

Locale: New England / So Cal
psolar on 01/14/2008 09:25:18 MST Print View

After reading your post, I used mine this weekend in Vermont and paid attention to both my mouth/nose breathing and the moisture on the inside of my Golite Shangri-la 3 (new Hex 3).

The lowest temp inside the tent in the morning was about 22F, so it wasn't really that cold.

I do breathe through both my nose and mouth while sleeping and it still worked fine.

I had to remove it during the night because I was too warm. Therefore there was still plenty of frozen moisture on the inside (and outside) of the tent when I woke up.

I'm really impressed how well this works (I've used it at 2F) and I'm looking forward to some -15F to -20F temps in the next couple of months and I'll keep an eye out for less tent condensation.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
YEPPER! on 01/15/2008 02:40:50 MST Print View

My Psolar face mask works very well in winter sleeping and pretty good in tree stand hunting situations.

I think for sleeping the Psolar mask keeps me from getting so thirsty in the wee hours of the morning by reducing the loss of lung moisture. This likely happens B/C the inhaled air is warmer, compared to the normal cold, drier air I'd breath in otherwise.


victor larivee
(vlarivee) - MLife

Locale: white mountains
cold nose/mouth at night on 11/07/2012 16:14:43 MST Print View

It seems my biggest problem sleeping in the cold is keeping my nose and mouth area warm. I use a hat to keep the heat in and a headband over my eyes to keep them warm. I have tried using neck warmers and buffs over my mouth/nose but it gets soaked and is annoying at about 2am. Should I try the Psolar facee mask or are there other options. What do you use?

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
One possible alternative on 11/07/2012 16:34:24 MST Print View

As an alternative to the Psolar consider this balaclava from REI

Chaos Howler Multi-Tasker Pro balaclava

I was considering the Psolar, but wanted to try something simpler first.

This is a heafty wind proof balaclava that has the advantage of a very thin mesh right over the mouth. I am a mouth breather and I tested this sleeping in 5* two weeks ago. Your entire face can be covered by pulling the top down to cover the hole while you're sleeping. You can add safety pins to secure it closed, but I found I didn't need to do that. This means your entire face is covered except for the fine mesh over your mouth. No cold nose.

The fine mesh is easy to breath through and it doesn't wet out like a merino buff would.

Not sure if it qualifies for the 22% off coupon REI is running right now...

Amazon reviews:

Edited by flutingaround on 11/12/2012 16:43:59 MST.

victor larivee
(vlarivee) - MLife

Locale: white mountains
thanks on 11/07/2012 17:56:14 MST Print View

I'll give it a try