If there is any doubt that we’re pretty proud to be based in Colorado, let’s dispel that right now. Colorado rocks. We have awesome mountains, amazing wilderness areas, and a general wealth of wild places to use the gear we love so much. Not to assign causation, then, but we’re also home to some awesome gear companies.
One of our favorite hometown companies is Phunkshun Wear. They make an entire line of face masks and balaclavas for all weather conditions, from arctic chill to summer heat. We’ve had a few of them on our faces, including our very own Engearment masks. Here’s the full rundown of why we like Phunkshun Wear so much.
First and foremost, Phunkshun is a true Colorado company. Every Phunkshun product is sewn right here out of USA-sourced materials. The graphics are designed in-house in Denver. So, when Phunkshun makes a mask with the Colorado state flag on it, it’s not some made in China crap like you’ll find in the Denver Airport. It’s the real deal!
Phunksun’s product lineup is really two separate lines. First, they have their standard masks (which aren’t so standard!). They come in three different weights – single layer, double layer, and double thermal. The single layer weight is available in both mask and Phunkshun’s aptly-named “Ballerclava” style, which itself is split into regular and convertible. Double layer masks will keep you a bit warmer – they have a mesh liner inside the face fabric that insulates and wicks. The thermal masks incorporate 100-weight Polartec fleece for the ultimate protection. We’re not done yet, though. They also offer merino versions of the mask and both Balaclavas. Phunkshun’s merino is the only non-USA material. It comes from the land down under.
If winter sports aren’t your thing, Phunkshun has a summer line as well, called Fishmasks. They’re designed for being out on the water on a sunny day but aren’t necessarily restricted to fishing only. They’d be great for kayaking, SUPing, hiking, or any other warm-weather activity in the sun. Fishmask material is entirely USA-sourced and each mask is sewn here in Denver.
Face fabrics in both lines – winter and summer – block UV with a 50+UV rating. They’re also treated to resist microbial growth, so your mask won’t stink after a day on the hill, though you still will. All of the fabrics wick moisture away so it can evaporate. The outer fabric on the double layer and thermal masks is treated with DWR so it repels ice and snow. None of this applies to the merino masks. They’re just merino, with all of the wonderful things that come with wearing sheep hair on your face.
So, you could say we’re fans. Back in the day, when your only alternative was a neoprene Jason Vorhees mask, things got wet and sloppy. Even more recent iterations of the tube-style masks weren’t ideal. Phunkshun’s masks seem to breathe enough that they don’t get soaked, which means you can actually leave them on your face all day without growing an ice beard. We’ve tried both the single layer and double layer masks. The mesh layer in the double layer doesn’t stretch as much as the face fabric, so if you have a big schnoz, it may feel tight. The single layer doesn’t have this problem. If your nose isn’t giant, you’ll love the entire line.
If you need a mask, whether for summer heat or winter chill, we can recommend Phunkshun Wear. Support the home team!