Skiing at speed in cold weather and snowy conditions can leave your face feeling cold and numb. One way to avoid this is by donning a facemask.

When buying a face mask there are a lot of different aspects to consider. It can seem like the simple task for the average skier or snowboarder but with hundreds different types of mask available, the choice can seem daunting.
Facemasks are designed to be comfortable. Some champion lightweight material and optimise breathability to minimise condensation, and many have exhaust holes to maximise this. Most will be designed to fit with helmets and will be simple to take on and off.  
We tasked Ethan with picking out a few of his favourite facemasks to help you stay warm and dry on the slopes this season. Ethan is currently completing a placement at The Ski Club’s Headquarters in Wimbledon as part of his Snow-Camp programme.
So, without further ado let’s kick off our list, starting from number 7…

7. Arc'teryx Phase Balaclava

This balaclava is comfortably breathable. It’s also quick drying which is fantastic because there’s nothing worse than leaving a soggy mask behind to dry for a whole day during your week on the mountains. The stretchy fabric helps prevent restriction giving full freedom of movement. It absorbs moisture to a degree, so catching those brutal edges doesn’t soak your face mask (but hey, that’s part of snowsports right!). The Flatlocked seams lie flat for added comfort and there is a smooth, stretchy binding around face opening. All around it’s an awesome mask. Here are some extra design features:

• Moisture-wicking
• Breathable
• Lightweight
• Quick-drying
• Stretchy fabric provides freedom of movement
• Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort

 

6. Burton Cora Hood

This mask just looks so snug! It’s got all round superb reviews and you can find it on the Burton website in a range of colours for roughly £40. I personally like it because it appears to be multipurpose, in the sense that you can wear it at home, on a mountain, while travelling etc. and feel cosy in any of the above.

Rated 5 stars by 9 out of 10 users on the Burton website and 4 stars by the remaining 1
Fits with helmet
Multiple sizes available

 

5. Airhole 2L Standard Face Mask

Airhole - another thumbs up emoji face mask!

It has a singular ‘airhole’ to improve breathability and uses Velcro for easy-on, easy-off use. The air hole prevents condensation; it’s very big and retains heat quite well. The brand is well known for its fantastic designs, and I strongly recommend giving them a look. These can be particularly good for children since they add a bit of colourful fun to your ski outfit. 

 

4. Smartwool Men's NTS 250 Pattern Balaclava

The Smartwool balaclava is useful because it is not just a ski mask. It has a multipurpose design is for skiing, snowboarding, motorcycling, dirt-biking and go karting. The mask has one thick layer and it has a wide eyehole designed to assist your peripheral vision. Not to mention it’s 100% merino wool which helps prevent odour build-up. This, in conclusion, creates one very comfortable mask with great breathability.
 

3. Burton Anon Women's Ski MFI MD Neck warmer

Burton Anon women’s neck warmer is among the best face masks out there. With breathing exhaust holes to prevent moisture build up, this is also a machine washable facemask and is designed to retain body heat, it  also looks pretty cool.  If you’re not in to buying women’s ski-wear there are plenty of neck warmers for men or unisex. With this design the mask takes our number 3 slot though…  Features below: 
Exhaust holes to prevent moister build up
Can be washed in machine
Retains body heat
Air hole uses Velcro for easy on easy off
Has a large single earhole to prevent condensation 
Large and retains heat very well 

 

2. Pro Hype Nike Hood

Nike is a popular brand for a reason. This faces mask is super comfortable, stylish, not to mention practical. You’ll probably see lots of these on the slopes this season. It retains heat and fits well under your helmet because of its thin material. The balaclava is stretchy, making it a one size fits all and can be used for most outdoor sports. More features include:

Fits under helmet
One size fits all
Multipurpose
 

1. Beardski Ski Mask 

Beardski: This mask looks absolutely phenomenal, it’s an amusing novelty; it is practical, warm, comfortable, machine washable and you can detach the beard (why would you ever though?). Definitely the number 1 mask on my list, especially for those fun dress up days on the slopes - best mask ever! The mask starts at $34.99, find it online here.

 

Packing for a ski holiday can seem daunting, but all you need is a reliable list for guidance. Take a look at our packing tips here