Breathe easy on your next dusty ride
Roaring through a desert plain or across the back forty is a barrel of fun – until you get a snootful of dust and spend the rest of your trip hacking up the better part of two lungs. An ATV dust mask that fits well and is made of quality materials is just the ticket to avoid this irritating situation.
There are, as you’d expect, a number of different ATV dust mask styles. Most commonly, there is a gaiter-type which the user generally wears around their neck until it’s time to hit the dirt, while the sort of mask that hooks over one’s ears requires a bit more fiddling to put on. The latter can usually be fitted with extra filters, permitting them to do a better job of their intended purpose: keeping dust and dirt out of each breath.
We’ve assembled a variety of each, plus one that attempts to marry the two. There is also an option that pairs with a set of off-road goggles and makes the wearer look for all the word like Darth Vader. It appeals to our inner nine-year old and, for that reason, we think it’s cool.
Table of Contents
1. Editor's Choice: SA - UV Face Shields
These dust shields are from a company originally called Salt Armour but now branded as SA Company. Whatever the name, these masks make our list because they are the very same ones your author has purchased with his own hard earned money for use out on the trail. Made with a soft and breathable polyester microfiber, these face shields are stretchy and totally seamless, meaning there’s no constant readjusting the things for comfort.
They were originally designed for use while cruising the ocean in a fast moving speedboat, explaining, the ‘salt’ part of the original company name. That’s why, in addition to keeping dust at bay these things also provide sun protection and wick away moisture. They’re featherweight, measure about 10 inches wide by twice that tall, and can be worn in any number of ways – ATV dust mask, head bandana, balaclava, or wristband. There are a ton of colors and even a few designs if you feel like hitting the trail looking like you’re chomping a cigar or taking after the Joker.
2. ATV Tek Elite Deluxe Neoprene Dust Mask
If certain designs of the SA gaiter make you look like the Joker, then this ATV Tek dust mask will make you look like Bane. A performance filter is sewn in to the mask, blocking 99.5% of all dust particulates. This keeps you dust free and comfortable while working or playing in dusty environments. The company claims their two-valve design keeps dust at bay while remaining both washable and reusable. This cuts down on waste and eliminates the need to buy replacement filters.
Its patent-pending 3D Nosebox (by the way, ‘nosebox’ is the greatest word ever printed) and upgraded nose clip should provide an even dust seal, meaning there likely won’t be any areas of the mask through which an errant puff of dust can sneak. The company says this also permits a custom fit for faces and noses of any size, making the mask comfortable to wear. There’s a velcro strap at the back of the mask to help with fitting, plus a couple of loops that go up over the ears. The ATV Tek dust mask is also compatible with helmets and goggles.
3. SXCQ Bandanas with Ear Loops
Here’s the hybrid-type mask we mentioned at the start of this post. Like the more well-known SA products, its moisture wicking fabric transfers heat and humidity away from your body and outside of the seamless bandanna. The biggest difference? A pair of fabric loops that can go around those satellite dishes you call ears help keep the mask in place. The gaiter’s elastic tensile construction helps with that task, as well.
Reviews are largely positive, with customers saying the product doesn’t cause glasses to fog up and can be easily worn with an open helmet. It also drops down much further over the wearer’s chest than other gaiters on this lise. One respondent recommended washing the thing before putting it on your face, something that should be done with any fabric-based article of clothing. It is available in any number of colors plus a few funky patterns.
4. Base Camp M Plus Dust Face Cover
Finding a dust mask for ATV riding doesn’t always have to involve paying through the nose (pun intended) for products by the each. This option from a company called Base Camp offers discounts when buying more than one, so picking up three of the things for yourself and riding partners won’t break the bank. Unlike single layer products which can be rather thin on filtering, this third generation of Base Camp has filters that have been upgraded to 6 layers, doing a superior job of blocking out not only dust but also exhaust gas and certain types of smoke.
Designed with an adjustable hook and loop strap, these reusable ATV dust mask options can be adjusted to fit most people snugly. Its enclosed system helps keep this adjustable mask in place without slipping off from your face while relieving pressure on the nose and ears. The activated carbon filter is replaceable while the mesh shell and valves are detachable to wash by hand. The company also boasts that those newly enlarged one-way valves are good at exhausting heat and vapor, meaning fogged-up glasses should not be a concern.
5. Ubelly Goggles with Detachable Mask
Weirdo brand name aside, this product is just the ticket for looking like a total villain or simply scaring the tar out of your buddies on a dark trail. These are more expensive per unit because they are integrated into a set of goggles, though the ATV dust mask itself is detachable. Customers report the product to be lightweight but extremely sturdy, with one person posting images of how the unit saved them from facial injury after colliding with a car. The seller makes no safety claims, probably after intense conversations with company lawyers, but it’s nice to know there is a measure of protection here.
An adjustable elastic band, as found on just about every other set of goggles in existence, is made of cotton and should fit most heads (except your cousin Lou who’s got a noggin like a watermelon). A breathable mouth filter and vent holes are said to provide good air permeability – nice for keeping fogging at bay. There are no complaints of dust intrusion, though one unrealistic customer carped about the mask fogging up in freezing conditions. Note to them: they all do, buster.
How do you use an ATV dusk mask?
Haul the thing up over your disgusting face holes, then breathe normally.
Stop being annoying.
Ok, fine. The gaiter-style dust masks are probably the easiest to don and doff, since it can be hung around your neck like a scarf until needed. Then, simply pull it up to cover your nose and mouth just as you would pull up your socks in the morning. The other style masks are a bit more involved, since they must be stored in a dry place on your ATV somewhere, a task which is sometimes easier said than done given difficult riding conditions.
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Can I just hang an ear loop type ATV dusk mask from my ear?
No. Despite what you think, this will not make you look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. This type of mask works best when kept dry and in good condition, neither of which are likely to happen if you're hanging this thing from your ear while riding. When you're not using it, tuck it neatly into a storage compartment on your ATV. Or, better yet, stick it in a handy pocket on your riding clothes where it can be quickly accessed.
Which you do prefer?
Blondes, generally; though redheads will do at last call. Oh, you mean the masks. Yes. Gaiter-style dust masks are this author's weapon of choice, thanks to their dual-purpose nature and ability to be deployed quickly. They can also be adapted into a headband, arm protector, or impromptu cleaning tool after bombing through a mud pit.