Ski Masks

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Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:39 pm

The last few mornings of my daily run have been really cold (for Southern California, at least). My face, in particular, has become almost numb, even after the sun comes out midway through my run. I'm thinking a ski mask might help me. Can anyone recommend a ski mask for this purpose and places where I might buy them? I know Amazon, Sports Chalet, Big Five, and so on, sell them. I've seen prices as low as ten dollars and as high as two hundred dollars. I don't want to spend a lot of money on this.

Thanks.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby StillTired » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:19 am

If you have an REI near you, I'd try there. We've been happy with our ski masks there *and* they have an excellent return policy. One brand my son really likes a turtle fur and you can get the baklava style with a thinner top part to fit under your helmet, a full face one, or just the lower face.

Good luck!
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Yipee-Ki-O » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:56 am

Or if you want to try a more muti-purpose article look at a Buff (also available at REI). I particularly like the wool ones.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:20 am

Thanks for the responses so far. (I do have a new REI nearby, but isn't REI kind of pricey?)
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby mlipps » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:55 am

I got one for $7 from SierraTradingPost.com. Just sign up for their emails and wait for a 40%+.99 shipping deal.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby sscritic » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:05 am

gkaplan wrote:Thanks for the responses so far. (I do have a new REI nearby, but isn't REI kind of pricey?)

So what if you pay $12 rather than $10? What is your face worth to you?
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby etarini » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:10 am

I've been running in the winter in Massachusetts for 40 years (6300 degree-days where I am) and I use a thick knit cap and a tubular "neck-up" or "knit neck gaiter", the latter of which I can pull up over my nose. Sometimes I'll wear two neck-ups; one to warm my neck and seal the opening of my crewneck sweatshirt, and the other one on top of it, slightly higher up, to cover my nose. I often don't cover my nose; keeping my chin and cheeks warm usually does the job.

This one is similar to what I have:

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_83531_-1

Between the cap and the neckup, it only leaves my eyes and a band of my face uncovered, but it's a lot less creepy looking than a ski mask.

Especially, I would think, in Southern California, where people only wear ski masks to hold up 7-Elevens.

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Re: Ski Masks

Postby PreemieNurse » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:06 pm

I agree with above poster that a full face style baklava may look a little creepy/suspicious as you're running down the street. In the photos from our last ski vacation, my husband was wearing one and looked like a sinister ski ninja :) I bet the adjustable neck gaiter would work well for you when worn with a hat. Amazon has Turtle Fur brand for about $12.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby StillTired » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:37 pm

Since you mentioned a price from $10-200, I figured REI would be no problem: you should be able to get a good quality item that you can try on and make sure is comfortable for you for under $30. If you want to get it cheaper, try it at REI and buy it from Amazon or Sierra.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby EmergDoc » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:55 pm

A ski mask in Southern California? Please tell me you're at high elevation. :)
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:54 pm

A ski mask in Southern California? Please tell me you're at high elevation.


Nope. I live in a beach town, three blocks from the ocean. The last two days I was running early in the morning, before the sun came up, along the ocean shore. I was freezing, and I had on two sweatshirts and two t-shirts. At one point, the wind was so strong that it literally turned me around. I felt like Linda Blair. The funny thing is that I was running an out and back, and I had a headwind going out and a headwind coming back.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Sidney » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:57 pm

gkaplan wrote:
A ski mask in Southern California? Please tell me you're at high elevation.


Nope. I live in a beach town, three blocks from the ocean. The last two days I was running early in the morning, before the sun came up, along the ocean shore. I was freezing, and I had on two sweatshirts and two t-shirts. At one point, the wind was so strong that it literally turned me around. I felt like Linda Blair. The funny thing is that I was running an out and back, and I had a headwind going out and a headwind coming back.

Uphill both ways?
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby ryuns » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:16 pm

I wouldn't really recommend it for a run--anything that covers your mouth and monkeys with your breathing is going to be pretty uncomfortable. My climate's a little cooler than yours and on my morning bike commutes, I'm usually good with a light beanie that's windproof at the ears. If you do go with a balaclava, you should consider something super light, meant more to keep the bite of the wind off of you, rather than for actual insulation. This is a little pricey, but a good example: http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-iZUMi-Izumi ... B002NS4F4O

You might consider REI (closest one to you is Santa Barbara, which opened after I moved away!) so you can try it on and take advantage of their ludicrously generous return policy.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby StillTired » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:24 pm

I misread your first post--- was thinking your morning run was your morning ski run. Anyway, I would definately go with something like the previous post. My kids have gloves from REI that are supposedly windproof but don't heat you up a lot. You do *not* want something like a turtle fur that will have synthetic "fur" right over your mouth!
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Rodc » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:27 pm

gkaplan wrote:Thanks for the responses so far. (I do have a new REI nearby, but isn't REI kind of pricey?)


Depends what brand you buy. North Face, Patagonia or other designer wear, now a days made more for the drive the SUV to the mall crowd, not the climb a mountain in winter crowd, and pay a hefty price. Buy more generic REI brand and generally you get more bang for the buck.

Disclosure, I own a wide variety of brands. REI like most retailers has some pretty good prices from time to time. I got a very nice down jacket from Mountain Hardware half off at REI a winter or two back. My stuff goes up mountains in the winter and I don't care what the labels says as long as it works.

My solution by the way is to grow a beard. Free, never leave home without it, and when it ices up nicely on a really nice cold day the ice is off the skin so no problem, but looks really gnarly. Should work easily in So Cal.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby sscritic » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:46 pm

Rodc wrote:My solution by the way is to grow a beard.

Umm, have you looked at Gordon's picture lately? :)
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:02 pm

Thanks for all the responses. In the long one, I'll probably do without the ski mask and just suck it up.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Rodc » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:50 pm

sscritic wrote:
Rodc wrote:My solution by the way is to grow a beard.

Umm, have you looked at Gordon's picture lately? :)


That did dawn on my later as a possibility. I have wondered if that was a self portrait, a wish on how she wished to look, or a wish on who they want to hook up with depending on unknown specifics of the poster. I'm a slow learner.

It is a stunning picture. :)

FWIW: how much insulation is needed depends greatly person to person. A bandana might do, which fits the bill as far a cheap and easy. Could work especially if above freezing.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Rainier » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:10 pm

How cold, in actual degrees?

I've never run with a mask, and I'm fine down to 15-20. Skiing I'm good down to 0f without a mask. It doesn't happen overnight but you can get used to it.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby fishnskiguy » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:44 pm

This thread is hilarious.

It was -17 F this morning when I left the house to go skiing. I've never worn a ski mask in my life, although I do wear a great LL Bean parka that has a collar high enough to double as a gaiter.

Furthermore, I have to admit I nursed a cup of hot chocolate until it got up to -8. :D

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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:55 pm

I'll second looking at http://www.sierratradingpost.com and search for balaclava. In southern California I'd suggest the thinnest one they have, but given the cheap prices and relatively expensive shipping it may make sense to order a couple of things so you can try them and see what works.

Were you wearing any hat, gloves or tights at all? In the low 40F I find the issue is general heat loss rather than exposing my face so added layers anywhere help. I often wear a thin balaclava (with a single face hole) an am adjusting it constantly. It can cover or not cover my chin, I can pull it down so it just covers my neck, wear it as a hat or put it in a pocket.

And don't listen to the people who don't think it gets cold where you live. On the bike I wear gloves and balaclava into the low 60F, and people in shorts and jerseys make fun of me till I drop their sorry butts, 'cause they weren't out there in 20F weather, when I was wearing three pairs of gloves, two balaclavas and tinfoil covering the helmet vents.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:46 am

I was wearing leather gloves and a wool hat, but I was running in shorts.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gerntz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:16 pm

I'd load up with sunscreen and/or moisturizer & reapply as needed along the way.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby btenny » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:30 pm

It also depends on the sun and clouds and wind for how cold it feels. It can be 30 and still and sunny and hot in mid afternoon. But it can be very cold when it is 60 when it is cloudy and overcast before sunup going out to run or to work. Then if it is windy it is even colder.

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Re: Ski Masks

Postby EmergDoc » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:26 am

You're running in shorts and asking about a ski mask? Why not start with some thermal underwear or perhaps some wind pants/jacket to go with a beanie?

Of course, I don't live anywhere that my out and backs are into the wind both ways....
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby sscritic » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:53 am

EmergDoc wrote:You're running in shorts and asking about a ski mask? Why not start with some thermal underwear or perhaps some wind pants/jacket to go with a beanie?

Of course, I don't live anywhere that my out and backs are into the wind both ways....

He said his face hurts, not his legs. Do you expect him to put the thermal underwear over his head?
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby cjking » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:30 am

Many years ago I skied in Canada in temperatures of -30 celsius (-22 fahrenheit.) On the road to Lake Louise the car was actually giving an external temperature of -50 celsius (-58 fahrenheit.) (Yes I was insane, the high-speed lifts were shut because it was too cold for them to operate. Should have taken that as a sign, before I got to the point that that my fingers were literally freezing inside the glove on a slow lift. Ripped off glove and shoved hand into groin to defrost.)

What worked for head protection was a combination of a tube-thing (stretchy fleece neck-warmer?) that goes round my neck, which I could pull up to cover my nose and the lower part of my ears, and a ski-hat that also covered my ears. (Not sure if "beanie" is the right word, it is specifically shaped to cover the ears, and made from fleece, and keeps the wind out, unlike (I imagine) most of the woolly hats that I see when google "beanie.") The combined effect was to leave only a slit for my eyes exposed, and that could be covered with goggles, so effectively nothing was exposed. Unlike a balaclava, I could choose to expose nose and mouth in moments were it was less cold, by just pulling neck-warmer down lower.

They don't look the same as mine, but when I google "Steiner ski hat" they show ones made from "breathable goretec fleece" which is what i think mine is.

Before I settle on this combination, I did try various other things including a rubber ski mask, they were all useless.
Last edited by cjking on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Bob's not my name » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:34 am

PreemieNurse wrote:I agree with above poster that a full face style baklava may look a little creepy/suspicious as you're running down the street.
I agree that smearing honey and pastry on your face would be creepy and suspicious. I recommend instead a balaclava.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby dickenjb » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:12 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
PreemieNurse wrote:I agree with above poster that a full face style baklava may look a little creepy/suspicious as you're running down the street.
I agree that smearing honey and pastry on your face would be creepy and suspicious. I recommend instead a balaclava.


Second that. I bought a silk balaclava at REI and wore it to the summit of Kilimanjaro. 30 below and 40 mile an hour wind gusts. My face wasn't cold.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby sscritic » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:14 am

Back in the 70s, my two year old had a Pittsburgh Steelers cuffed knit cap (ski mask style). The ski mask part folded up into the cap so that the mask was rarely worn, but was there when needed. They don't seem to sell that style anymore.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby halfnine » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:05 am

In your environment, a balaclava is likely only going to work if the specific balaclava you get can also be pulled down over your head and can fit comfortably just as a neck/lower face gaiter. Because, it is quite possible you will find your head overheating with the balaclava on yet your face to cold with nothing protecting it. Alternatively, you can get just a face mask. I have an outdoor research one that I use when I want a separate piece. I find a face mask works better than a balaclava when wearing a helmet or in keeping glasses/goggles from fogging up but neither of those are concerns of yours. The issue you are going to have either way is what to do when you no longer need it on your run. I certainly hate running while holding anything in my hands.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Epsilon Delta » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:18 pm

sscritic wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:You're running in shorts and asking about a ski mask? Why not start with some thermal underwear or perhaps some wind pants/jacket to go with a beanie?

Of course, I don't live anywhere that my out and backs are into the wind both ways....

He said his face hurts, not his legs. Do you expect him to put the thermal underwear over his head?


At temperatures likely to be encountered in southern California (30-40F) the issue with extremities (including the face) is usually not direct exposure to the cold. The problem is that the body shuts down blood flow to the extremities to conserve heat. If you reduce overall heat loss by wearing pants or a jacket the body will have less need to conserve heat, and may even send more blood to the exposed skin to prevent overheating. This won't work for everybody under all conditions but it works often enough that it's worth a try.

If you do try, one trick is to start out warm, it's easier to persuade the body to maintain blood flow to the extremities than it is to persuade it to restart blood flow once it has been shut down.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby sscritic » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:33 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
sscritic wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:Of course, I don't live anywhere that my out and backs are into the wind both ways....

He said his face hurts, not his legs. Do you expect him to put the thermal underwear over his head?

At temperatures likely to be encountered in southern California (30-40F) the issue with extremities (including the face) is usually not direct exposure to the cold.

He said he was running near the ocean and that the wind almost turned him around (and that he sometimes ended up running into the wind both ways), so I was thinking direct exposure, to wind if not extreme cold. As you say, keeping the whole body warm should help; I am not a medical person, but I would tend to believe you.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby gkaplan » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:38 pm

I'm thinking I might get some running pants or tights; however, this morning, it was fairly warm, although drizzling, so I almost felt too warm when I was running with my various layers of shirts. Perhaps the four or five days where it seemed so cold was it as far as the unusually cold weather.

On the other hand, I'm planning to move up to Portland when I retire at the end of next year, so I'm going to have to plan on running in rainy weather and winter temperatures in the thirties. The running movement started in Oregon, so I'm sure people there are knowledgeable about how to dress for the climate.

I appreciate all the advice and comments in this thread.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby EmergDoc » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:43 pm

You know what would make this thread more interesting.....if it wasn't his face getting cold. Runners in Alaska tend to wear these (under their pants):

http://www.panix.com/~elflord/running/w ... rwear.html

That's the last place you want frostbite, I assure you.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby EmergDoc » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
sscritic wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:You're running in shorts and asking about a ski mask? Why not start with some thermal underwear or perhaps some wind pants/jacket to go with a beanie?

Of course, I don't live anywhere that my out and backs are into the wind both ways....

He said his face hurts, not his legs. Do you expect him to put the thermal underwear over his head?


At temperatures likely to be encountered in southern California (30-40F) the issue with extremities (including the face) is usually not direct exposure to the cold. The problem is that the body shuts down blood flow to the extremities to conserve heat. If you reduce overall heat loss by wearing pants or a jacket the body will have less need to conserve heat, and may even send more blood to the exposed skin to prevent overheating. This won't work for everybody under all conditions but it works often enough that it's worth a try.

If you do try, one trick is to start out warm, it's easier to persuade the body to maintain blood flow to the extremities than it is to persuade it to restart blood flow once it has been shut down.


Exactly, it's the old put on a hat when your feet are cold principle.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby Rodc » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:39 am

EmergDoc wrote:You know what would make this thread more interesting.....if it wasn't his face getting cold. Runners in Alaska tend to wear these (under their pants):

http://www.panix.com/~elflord/running/w ... rwear.html

That's the last place you want frostbite, I assure you.


Exactly.

Many many years ago when I was about 20 or so I headed out for a run in cotton sweat pants and cotton sweat shirt I had just gotten for Christmas. In -20F weather. It was not a long run and I was not sure I would ever have children.
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby hsv_climber » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:55 am

http://www.meritline.com/ski-snowboard- ... WZxSUFBQUR

$2.50 with coupon code MLCKS26XNL1

I have no idea about quality, but $2.50 / number of posts in this thread is a good price 8-)
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Re: Ski Masks

Postby hsv_climber » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:57 am

EmergDoc wrote:You know what would make this thread more interesting.....if it wasn't his face getting cold. Runners in Alaska tend to wear these (under their pants):

http://www.panix.com/~elflord/running/w ... rwear.html

That's the last place you want frostbite, I assure you.


Doc, it is much cheaper to use a sock than buy another pair of underwear.
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