Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big ski mask test 2021. Here we present all the ski masks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best ski mask for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a ski mask.




The most important facts

  • Ski bonnets are windproof and are largely used as face protection from the cold in everyday life for children or for various outdoor sports. They are available in different materials and at different prices depending on the intended use.
  • Generally, a distinction is made between full, half and multifunctional ski masks. Which type is best for whom depends on individual needs and wearing comfort.
  • The different materials have an influence on the wearing comfort as well as the functionality of the mask. Important factors in the selection include breathability, protection against the cold and range of use.

The Best Ski Mask: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a ski mask

What do I need to consider when buying a ski mask?

When buying a ski bonnet, there are various factors to consider. The material has a significant influence on durability, washability and intended use. The cut and design can also make significant differences in wearing comfort and field of vision. If you want to do without openings at the mouth and neck, you have to accept that the air exchange will be impaired.

A ski mask protects your head and face in cold weather. (Photo source: 123rf.com / 71863110)

Finding the right size can be a difficult task if you are not sure how to measure it on yourself. However, most balaclavas are one-size-fits-all.

What purpose should the ski mask serve?

When choosing the right ski mask, you should first think about what you want to get out of the purchase. Balaclavas often have numerous features due to the use of different materials in their manufacture. In addition to protecting you from the cold, they can also have a moisture-regulating effect, keep you warm, be reflective and allow for quick drying.

A classic example is the use of mesh fabric in a ski bonnet. Due to the fine structures around the mouth and nose area, the material provides ventilation as well as fast moisture transport and drying.

What does a ski mask cost?

You can get a ski mask at different prices depending on the material, design, brand and quality. In the simplest version, you can buy them online for as little as one euro.

If you want a special ski mask with special features, it can cost up to 53 €. Product comparisons and customer reviews can help you find the right ski bonnet at a good price-performance ratio.

What are the alternatives to a ski mask?

You are not a fan of ski masks but still want to protect yourself from wind and weather on the mountain? Then we have an alternative for you - the Buff scarf. It is a warm tube scarf that is windproof and can be used in different ways. It can be worn as headgear or as a scarf and can be quickly pulled over the nose during outdoor sports. You can find the various uses here.

In addition to the high-quality scarves, you will also find sportswear, headbands, caps, visors, balaclavas and bandanas! Buff works a lot with merino wool. The advantages of this material and the differences between them are explained in the decision section of the guide.

Decision: What types of ski hoods are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, we distinguish between these types of ski bonnets:

  • Half ski mask
  • Full face mask
  • Multifunctional ski mask

In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the most suitable ski mask for you.

What are the characteristics of a half ski mask and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The half ski mask is designed to protect the mouth and neck. The upper part of the head is not protected. It is particularly suitable for those who find it annoying to wear a bonnet in addition to a helmet or cap.

Advantages
  • No annoying double headgear
  • Large viewing window
  • Extension at chest and back for complete sealing
Disadvantages
  • Head is not additionally protected from the cold
  • possibility of slipping

What are the characteristics of a full ski mask and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The full ski mask covers the entire face, neck and head. There are only openings for the eyes (and) mouth. There are 1-hole, 2-hole and 3-hole ski bonnets depending on how they are designed.

Advantages
  • Complete protection from head to neck
  • No slipping
  • Can be worn under helmet
Disadvantages
  • Viewing window can be restricted, depending on the type of cut-outs
  • No flexible exposure of the mouth possible
  • No extension to chest and back

What are the characteristics of a multifunction ski mask and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The multifunctional ski mask can be used as a hat, scarf, mask or snood (mixture of scarf and hood). Depending on the area of use, the ski bonnet can be individually adapted. The unisex design means it can be worn by men and women alike and is ideal for snowboarding, skiing, cycling, mountaineering, trekking, jogging and more!

Advantages
  • Flexible adjustment to conditions
  • One-fits-all: diverse uses
  • Cost savings through multiple uses
Disadvantages
  • Hood usually not removable
  • More difficult to find the right size

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate ski masks

To make it easier for you to compare ski masks, we have compiled and briefly explained the most important criteria in this section. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Colour
  • Breathability
  • Cold protection

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a model based on the criteria or not.

Size

The material of the ski bonnet is very stretchy, which is why standard sizes are often offered. If different sizes are available, you will usually find a reference to the classification and measurement in the product description. The sizes can vary from supplier to supplier.

In the trivia section we have provided you with more information on how to find out the size you need. Various ski masks have a velcro fastener that allows individual adjustments to the head.

Did you know that there are 58887.2 km of ski slopes worldwide? Some of them are at an altitude of 4400 metres.

Material

The material of the ski mask is generally very thin so that it can be worn under a helmet. Most ski bonnets are made of polyester or micro-fleece to create windproofness and still be breathable and quick-drying. Micro-fleece also provides a balanced thermal climate.

Wool, neoprene and blended fibres are other alternative materials. Wool ski masks are basically suitable for all seasons, but they usually only serve the purpose of protecting your face from wind and cold.

So if you value breathability and a quick-drying effect, you should consider other materials. Neoprene ski masks are not only windproof and offer protection against snow and cold, but also have a thermal function.

A good balaclava should fit the respective temperature range!

Depending on the intended use, there is a suitable material. In the table you will find the properties of the materials mentioned, and we also briefly describe the different materials:

Material Description Properties
Neoprene Is the brand name of the company DuPont for chloroprene rubber. The material is rubber-like and is used, for example, in diving suits Keeps you quite warm, especially if you have been sweating and your mask is wet.
Micro-fleece Is a man-made fabric made from polyester. The raw material is often obtained from plastic bottles, which are recycled. In the meantime, other materials are often added to the polyester. Keeps you warm and feels very soft. It is also lightweight, durable, breathable and dries quickly.
Wool Wool has been made from animal fur, mostly from sheep, for thousands of years. For this purpose, the animals are shorn and yarns are made from the hair. Also keeps warm well, is breathable and absorbs moisture without feeling damp.
Polyester A synthetic plastic from which fibres are created. These can be used as yarn for clothing. Is mostly just outer material to make a mask waterproof and windproof.

Colour

Ski bonnets come in different shapes and colours, but this has no deeper meaning. The colour of the ski mask is purely a matter of taste and allows you to completely coordinate your ski outfit. Some products also have reflectors so that you can still be seen in bad weather and darkness.

It is an important feature that gives you additional protection. If your dream ski mask doesn't have reflectors, but you would like to have some, you can always attach them yourself.

Ski masks come in different colours, sizes and designs. (Image source: 123rf.com / 71863131)

You can find adhesive reflectors for textiles for little money in various shops such as amazon.de. Here we have linked you to the page where you can buy them.

Breathability

Breathability is an important feature of the functionality of outdoor clothing. This generally refers to the air permeability or water vapour permeability of textiles. Yes, people who do sports sweat. This is exactly why breathability is so important.

Otherwise the heat builds up between the body and the clothing or the sweat cools down unpleasantly. With a ski mask, this effect is mainly created by exhaling and inhaling. The clothing should allow the moisture produced to be wicked away from the skin to the outside. Light synthetic fibres such as polyester, polyamide, polyacrylic or polypropylene quickly draw perspiration away from the body, allow moisture to be transported and dry quickly.

When it comes to wool, merino wool is always a good choice. Similar to lightweight synthetic fibres, it absorbs moisture, wicks it away from the body and dries quickly. Another plus is the soft material and the odour-inhibiting effect.

Did you know that there are about 50 indoor ski paradises worldwide? You can ski and snowboard there in summer as well as in winter. There are six such halls in Germany.

Protection against the cold

Anyone who enjoys outdoor sports knows that there is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing. Most heat is lost through the head. You should never compromise on this. A good tip for you: Make sure that as much of your face and neck as possible is covered.

The right materials play an important role in protecting you from the cold. If you value a thermal function, you should consider neoprene masks.

Facts worth knowing about ski masks

How do I choose the right size?

You've found the right ski mask, chosen your favourite colour and now you just have to decide on the size. Manufacturers either give an international measurement (S, M, L, XL) or the size in centimetres. But how do you know if you have a size S or M head? In most cases there is a size chart or ideally you go to the shop and just try it on. If this is not the case, you have to put on the tape measure yourself.

To measure the correct circumference, place the tape measure at forehead level above the eyebrows and measure. At this point you can find out your exact head circumference and convert it to the International Size using a measuring chart. That's it!

Sew your own ski mask

To make your own balaclava, you first need a pattern. You can choose between various patterns.

Cut Description
With cut-out mouth and eyes High hygiene factor, as breath does not stick to the fabric. Disadvantage is the lower protection.
With cut-out eyes Especially suitable for winter sports due to the increased protection. The cold air enters the throat through the protective fabric with less cold
With centre cut The moisture remains trapped in the fabric as with the previously mentioned cut. The main difference is the extended field of vision
With cut-out eyes and cut-out nose Particularly suitable for sports where glasses are worn. Disadvantage is the unprotected nose

Which cut is right for you depends entirely on what you want to do with them. Whether you only need them for skiing or whether you would like to do other sports with them. Depending on the area of use, the unrestricted field of vision or hygiene factors are of great importance.

If you wear goggles, then you can already roughly narrow it down. The first two variations would of course not make sense in this case. You can find out about the main features of the different designs by clicking on the link that we have included in the further reading.

Would you like to knit your own balaclava instead of sewing it? Then take a look at the video below! It explains step by step what to do.

Image source: 123rf.com / 106315575

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