Story behind our Stride running and sports mask

With the lock down due to be lifted in June in the UK, people at large will be resuming their daily lives in a new normal. We have thought long and hard about what that new normal looks like and how we can best support this process.

Firstly, we think that there will be a lot more people cycling, walking or jogging into work, especially in big cities.

With congestion charges increasing in London and plans for extended space for cyclists, we do not think air pollution will be as prevalent a factor as before. Rather, we think cyclists, walkers and runners will need a breathable, light, and comfortable sports mask that can get them to work without limiting breathability, especially in the summer months.

At the same time, the mask should effectively filter the wearer's own respiratory droplets (in case you have COVID-19 yourself, to protect others), while having some protection against droplets from others.

The thinking behind our new Stride mask is to make it as breathable as possible with permeable mesh materials and a stretchable elastic ear loop, without the tight velcro straps of typical cycling masks around the head to give more breath-ability while you exercise.

We do think the velcro straps are useful for cycling especially in winter to help keep warm but in summer, it is much more comfortable without a wide piece of velcro around your head. Think of the Stride as a summer mask, and the Endo as a winter mask.

While maximising air flow and breathability, Stride still has the N95 filter where it matters most - around your nose and mouth. This will effectively stop respiratory droplets from being passed out to others, while offering some protection from others. Note however that protection from the virus is not the primary purpose of these non-medical masks, the best policy is still social distancing and good hygiene.

The N95 filter we have sourced comes from China. From our extensive research that is where all pollution filters come from. We have ensured that our filters are properly certified to be equivalent to N95, and we have written a separate blog post explaining our certification.

Where is the Stride mask made?

The Stride mask is made in the coastal town of Yintai, in the Shangdong province of China. It is close the Qingdao, famous for its beers. We have chosen to work with our supplier because it is a relatively small boutique supplier and since establishment, it has concentrated all production only on pollution masks and nothing else.

We are aware that all throughout China, factories in all manners of industries have switched production to making masks to fulfil global demand, from toys to even furniture makers. We wanted to work with a supplier whose expertise is in pollution masks only, and avoid these "supermarket" suppliers. In most cases, the prices of these specialised boutique suppliers will be higher than the large scale supermarket suppliers, but pricing is not our primary concern.

Will the Stride fit me?

The Stride has dimensions of 14cm by 10.5 cm, and is currently available only in size medium for adults between 40-65 kg. The stretchable material and the bandex ear loop will enable adjustment for a suitable fit. To tighten the mask around your face, adjust the nose clip which is embedded into the mask itself. We will be releasing a larger sized variant and will make an update when it is available.