Monday, April 17, 2017

Vog Mask Review

So the fine folks at Vog Masks sent me some masks to review.  

These came in the mail all individually wrapped.  A gray one, a star one, an 8 bit patterned one, and a small sized one with a blue weave pattern on it. A few days after this I got hurt helping lift a patient.

As luck would have it, bad luck in this case, I tore my rotator cuff at work and had to be put on light duty.  But good luck for Vog...One duty an ER nurse on light does this time of year is fit testing.  That is fitting personell for N95 respirators. Looks like this... 

Sorry can't take photos at work so this is ripped from the internet.

But basically you put on a mask, put on the hood, spray in some saccharine mist. If you taste sweet when you breathe in...the seal failed. 

This is the standard N95 hospital filter mask. Guess what we call them?

Duckbill masks, or just ducks.

So an N95 is designed to filter 95% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or greater.  An N99 blocks.. You guesed it 99%.  Just for fun a micron is one millionth of a meter.  It would take 30,000 items that are 0.3 microns end to end to equal one millimeter.

The Vog masks are N99 so they are rated better than the standards required for hospitals to protect their staff from patients with tuberculosis.  That's pretty good.  You want a 5% chance of something bad or a 1% chance?

Ok enough science.  The problem with an N95 or N99 in my case is this...

I'm a dead sexy Htor God of Htunder!  And the beard makes too much of a gap with a face mask to make an effective seal.  It's the price I pay for beauty...

I feel like this wearing it...


But I'm sure it looks more like this to people.

I tried a couple of runs in it and I think   
I scared people.  The Vog masks, not the gas mask.

The maks are very well made and have some cool tech.

In addition to an N99 filter it also has a built in carbon filter.  It then has a comfort inner layer.

And a protective and decorative outer layer.

The exhaust vent is only on one side which actually makes it look pretty bad ass.

The exhaust valve is one way and allows for decreased exhalation effort and to help you not give yourself a steaming breath facial. It keeps your face cooler.

So my first and only real complaint is that the straps go over the ears and not the usual over the head style straps.  Over the head straps give the mask more pressure to make a better seal.  Plus the over the ear straps pull my ears forward in an uncomfortable way.  I guess the over the ear option allows for more fashion since it won't mess up your hair.  I would also like a little wider metal strip in the nose to help it get a better pinch for a better seal.  

I've used these running along a highway and I did notice reduced exhaust fume smell.  They also helped with mowing the yard.  I have mild asthma and it helped block car exhaust and yard dust from mowing so it did it's job.  What I'm really looking forward to is using these in the winter to keep the cold frosty lung demons out!  Running in the cold always gives me the cold weather coughs.  I'm hoping this is my solution to that problem.

So all in all I think these are a good solution to pollution in areas that have bad local air.  For runners these are great for urban areas where you don't want to be taking big exhaust hits off of passing cars.  Great on the trail to filter out those gnat clouds.  And I'm looking forward to the winter facial warmer tryout.  

They come in some fun prints so they look fun and not scary and medical.  These would also be great for cancer patients who need protection from infection.  

So if you need an N95 or N99 mask I can't think of a better option than these.  Well made, fun product.  

Thanks for reading.  If you like the posts leave a comment. If you love it use a link to buy something from amazon.  Gotta run...


  1. Just for the record, from the Vogmask FAQ:

    "Vogmask is NOT classified as Masks to prevent disease – Regulated under CDRH/FDA as Class II medical devices subject to premarket notification 510(k), classified as surgical mask 21 CFR 878.4040. Surgical masks are not PPE, they protect the patient and the surgical area from contamination. Surgical masks prevent droplets being expelled into the environment by the wearer and protect patients in surgery from these being transferred to the operative site."


    "Certain limitations apply to the use of the Vogmask product:

    Follow fitting instructions carefully; filtering efficiency depends on proper fitting.
    Do not use Vogmask for chemicals, gases, vapors, oils, aerosols, oil based particles, or extremely high particle concentrations.
    Do not use Vogmask in oxygen deficient or explosive atmospheres.
    Does not eliminate the risk of illness, diseases, or infection.
    Leakage will occur if facial hair passes under the face seal.
    This product does not guarantee protection from illness or any harmful substance."

    Bacteria range from around 0.5-5.0 µm or so, so obviously only the very largest have any chance of being filtered out. MRSA, for example, is only 1 micron in size, and there are still plenty of C.diff. spores that fall below that 3 micron mark. To name just a couple of common real baddies.

    So... no protection for cancer patients, I'm afraid... Or at least not what you would think.

    A hospital/surgical mask is intended to protect the *patient* from the *doctor/nurse* spewing droplets on them, but not vice versa, so comparing a Vogmask to your "ducktail" isn't really a valid commparison, since the Vogmask is a PPD and a surgical mask isn't ;-).

  2. Well they advertise them as being to the same standards as an N99.
    But I think they really are probably better than most hospital masks. That is coming from someone who wears them often. Unless you are wearing the ebola suits you probably only partially protected anyway..

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