Every year ladies from my community pile up in a van to travel all the way to Shunyi to search out Christmas gifts and deals at WAB and BCIS Charity Bazaars. This year, the whole group fell in love with idMASK, and four of the women in our group bought masks that day, while several others ordered theirs later. So we were super excited to hear that they’ve just announced a kids-sized version.
I tried one adult-sized idMASK on and was amazed by how easy it was to actually breathe through the mask. I felt no air restriction at all, and I thought this would be the perfect mask for my active family and myself. We’ve found any activity above a light jog is a genuine problem with any mask. And if you didn’t already know, benefits from exercise far outweigh the risks of pollution, so we feel not exercising isn’t an option.
During the warmer months of the year, I like to cycle 20km into the city from my suburban home in Daxing district. When I have to wear a mask, which really should be any day I’m riding on Beijing’s dusty roads, my Vogmask is disgustingly soaked by the end of my thigh-ripping ride.
If you’ve never worn a sweaty, wet mask, you’re not missing much, except for a lung punishing experience making you wonder why you even bother with cloth on your face. “Does a wet mask actually filter particles?” was often a question I uneasily tried to ignore as I assured my conscious that wearing a wet mask was better than no mask.
Though most likely sweat is going to form around the soft, face-fitting-plastic seal, idMASK sits off of your face, so lung restriction is solved since there’s a pocket of air inside the mask that’s already filtered. This genuinely makes it the perfect mask for athletes. Or for people who feel claustrophobic and want to actually breathe deep.
I planned to buy a whole family set as soon as my kids could have a mask. I don’t like being the parent who has a mask on while my kids aren’t wearing one, and though my children would have had Vogmasks, idMASK looks obviously more hardcore. Another friend of mine joked with one of the women who bought a mask at the bazaar that she looked like beast in Predator. Well, at least her lungs are clean.
These masks protect from asbestos, viruses, soot, pollen, mold, heavy metals, cement, and bacteria. It’s also obvious when its time to change the filters, once they turn grey.
There are two ways to wear the mask, either shielded with a shatter-resistant cover (for those kids who find themselves skipping, jumping, and falling as part of natural play) or without the cover for more breathabililty while exercising.
The new kids masks are available for pre-order at RMB 299. If you order now (see the QR code below), you’ll receive a free pack of the replaceable filters (typically RMB 99). The adult masks run for the same price, but filter sets are cheaper (RMB 59).
Henry Sung was inspired to start idMASK after experiencing a personal, devastating shock. His grandmother, living in Beijing, experienced a stroke and later a heart attack, attributed to the damage most likely caused by heavy pollution in the city. Sung’s big heart shines through this company, because for every mask that’s sold, a mask will be donated to a needy child in China’s most polluted regions.
Connect with idMASK on WeChat or visit their website. Longpress the QR code below to pre-order the kids mask. The mask is made to fit most 6-12 years old. Some smaller children might fit the kids mask, but best to try on the mask in person at their booth at one of Beijing’s popular bazaars and markets.