Men with beards have a bit more trouble finding a gas mask that will seal appropriately in order to function effectively. We are about to provide useful information and talk about how you can get a gas mask to seal the right way, while reviewing 5 of the best gas masks for beards.
A gas mask model that I highly recommend, is the 3M 07163 Full Facepiece Respirator. It works great with beards, since it has the ability to tighten around the face without suffocating the wearer, ensuring that it seals properly without letting facial hair get in the way.
One thing you should know before we get further into analyzing how to wear a gas masks when you have a beard, is that there is a right way which is also pretty easy and convenient. That said, many people tend to either sacrifice their beards and shave them in order to put on a gas mask, while others might even not try one because they don’t want it to mess with their beard.
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Will a gas mask seal with a beard?
The short answer is yes. If you are in need of a quality, protective head gear such as a gas mask, having a beard should not prevent you from acquiring it. You should always keep in mind that protection must be your number one priority and go for it.
If you are concerned about air seeping through the gas mask because of your beard, then you can rest assured that there are ways that you can avoid this. One thing I should mention though, is that you ought to invest in a quality, flexible gas mask ideally made of silicon so that you are able to fit it properly on your face.
In addition to this, please show some faith to the ways we suggest and do not compromise. You don’t have to shave your beard and change your look because of a gas mask, because you can get it to seal properly without much effort.
How to get a gas mask to seal with a beard?
The way I consider the best and most effective when it comes to sealing a gas mask while having a beard, is by applying plain vaseline both on the beard and the mask. I know it sounds funny, but it helps preventing the air from getting into the mask.
In order to achieve complete sealing, you should first apply vaseline of your beard, sort of like gluing it on you face to make it as thin as possible. This way, the thickness of the beard will be minimized, and the hair are not going to be an reason for air leakage.
After this, you need to apply vaseline in the interior part of the gas mask. Make sure that you rub decent amounts of vaseline on the surface that covers the jaw, so that it assists in keeping the beard thin and glued on the face of the user.
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Wearing a gas mask with a beard
While in the beginning it might seem a bit odd, or even uncomfortable for some people to wear a gas mask with vaseline applied on their beard, you are going to get used to it pretty fast. Vaseline, works as a glue between the face and the beard, leaving no room for hair to block the mask from sealing properly.
Best gas mask for beards
In the list below, we recommend the best gas mask for beards, and review 4 more masks that we found out that work great with beards. Before you purchase any of these masks, make sure that you read as many reviews as you can, and check for their features and specifications.
1 – Top pick – 3M Full Facepiece Respirator
- Full Facepiece
- Respiratory protection
- Eye Protection ; Series number - 6900
In my opinion, the 3M Full Facepiece Respirator is one of the best gas masks in the market, especially when it comes to people with beards. The reason why, is because of its flexibility and tight appliance around the face, which makes it impossible for air to get through.
We are talking about a significant high quality gas mask, which can be used for a variety of purposes, as it can protect the user from hazardous gases, fumes or even fiberglass and heat. Make sure that you take full advantage of its excellent straps, in order to make adjustments fit the mask tightly on the head. One of the best investments regarding gas masks for sure.
2 – Second choice – SAS Safety 7650-61
- SAFE WORKPLACE BREATHING: Protects against...
- FULLY ADAPTABLE: Air Purifying Respirator (APR)...
- OPTIMAL VISION: Extra wide viewing field maximizes...
- SECURE FIT, SAFE SEAL: Silicone seal provides...
- LONGWEARING COMFORT: Silicone nose cup is soft,...
The SAS Safety 7650-61 is my number 2 gas mask choice, which I highly recommend if you are working or you are about to visit places with contaminated environments. If you need a gas mask for your workplace, investing in a high quality respirator like this should be your priority because of the daily exposure to pollutants.
Regarding the adjustment on the head, I would say that the particular gas mask model is one of the best choices for men with beards. It sits tightly on the head, it has adjustable straps, and a very strong structure that guarantees both stability and durability.
3 – Honeywell RU65001M
- Silicone skirt offers exceptional durability and...
- Nose cup prevents fogging
- Wide viewing area offering distortion free...
- 5-point head strap and replaceable, polycarbonate...
- NIOSH Approved
Moving on, if having a beard has somewhat prevented you from wearing a gas mask before, make sure that you try the Honeywell RU65001M. We recommend the particular mask because of its ability to “stick” on the user’s face, surrounding the jaw while keeping the air out of the interior effectively.
What is more, fogging stops being a problem any more, because of the nose cap that is implemented on the gas mask. The pressure points are significantly reduced because of the high quality straps, which you can use to control the adjustments regarding the sealing of the mask.
4 – Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Respirator
- Material: High quality silicone, Style: headset,...
- Type: Activated carbon mask,Standard:...
- Protection Object: organic gases and vapors,...
- Apply in paint, chemicals, polish, CS...
- Mask*1,Cartridges with activated carbon*1 pair...
For people with beards AND limited budgets, there is a solution. The Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Respirator is a great gas mask, which is made of silicone for maximum flexibility and appropriate sealing.
One thing that you need to keep in mind, is to change the filter cartridges regularly if you use the mask too often. It can protect the user from all types of gases and fumes, such as chemicals, and can serve multiple purposes, from home activities to contaminated working environments.
5 – GVS SPR457 Elipse P100
- Range of extremely light masks (130g), that fit...
- A unique and low profile filter, designed to fit...
- Low breathing resistance to reduce the risk of...
- NIOSH Approved TC-84A-6949
- Made from soft thermo-plastic elastomer that is...
As our last recommendation, we have a half mask respirator model, which works great with beards. The GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 is a reusable gas mask, which is both minimal and highly effective.
It has a nice, simple design, great levels of breathability and wears comfortably on the head. The mask has the ability to fit tightly around the head of the user, which helps keep the beard glued in the inside part, without letting excessive hair interfere with the sealing.
Can a gas mask for beards work underwater?
Although gas masks are an essential type of head gear when it comes to dealing with most (if not all) types of viruses, gases, fumes and smokes, things get a littler more complicated when they are required by users to work underwater.
Instead of a gas mask, the best solution for going underwater, is to look for masks that are specifically designed for the particular purpose. The best gas masks for breathing underwater are called diving masks (or snorkel masks), and they can easily be found online in the big marketplaces.
For your convenience, we found 3 of the best full face diving masks, and we recommend them to you in the following list:
- DIVELUX Snorkel Mask
- WildHorn Outfitters Seaview
- Easy Snorkel Full Face Snorkeling Mask
These are the 3 snorkel mask models that will work great for underwater use, especially for beginners, since they are extremely effective and they come in very affordable prices. Keep in mind, that they must be used INSTEAD of a gas mask, and NOT with your gas mask or respirator.
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The reality is that gas masks cannot work underwater, because their filters cannot handle the water pressure. Along with that, the mask filters are not able to purify the oxygen found in the water, which is why they are not able to provide the user with fresh, breathable air under water.
Essentially, when used in or under the water, the gas mask filter will more likely be completely destroyed. The filters of common protective masks contain membranes, whose purpose is to absorb the air in order to captures the particles and trap them.
Since this is the fact, water is going to be absorbed by these membranes, and it is going to be trapped inside the filters. The water is going to cause permanent damage to the filter, making it inefficient when it comes to absorbing and holding the particles that need to be purified.
All in all, the purifying system of a gas mask is not waterproof. They cant handle the weight and pressure of the water no matter the depth, and once the filters get wet they are not going to be able to offer proper filtering for other purposes too, such as chemical adsorption etc.
What are the dangers of using a gas mask underwater?
If we had to find one type of gas mask that could work underwater, then SCBA masks would be the most appropriate type. They are designed for rough, unbreathable environments with significant lack of oxygen, and this is the reason why they would possible be useful for light underwater usage.
Such types of gas masks are called Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), and they are mostly used by firefighters when they have to enter burning areas with high amounts of smoke and heat. However, they are not recommended for underwater use by the manufacturers, since they can cause issues when used in the water.
If you need to a gas mask for small depths and for a short period of time, then the SCBA masks are the only ideal solution. You can take advantage of the high pressure canned air, and use the mask lightly in small depths, for no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
That said, the dangers of using a gas mask instead of a diving or a snorkel mask are too many. The water is going to reach the filters, destroy the membranes that are used to trap the particles and prepare them for purification, and it is more than certain that is going to cause permanent damage to the majority of conventional gas masks.
What is more, since the purification of water does not work the same as the purification of air, there is a high possibility that you are going to face a bubble effect. What this means, is that using a common gas mask underwater, the gas mask is going to produce bubbles when you try to inhale, making it impossible to breathe.
Last but not least, gas masks and respirators are not designed to work underwater. Technically, when you try to use a gas mask in the water, most of the mechanisms are not going to work properly under its pressure, causing issues with the breathing and visibility.
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What is the best type of mask for underwater use?
When it comes to underwater use, the best solution is using a full face diving mask for maximum protection. There are diving masks available in the market within all price ranges, starting from extremely affordable ones for beginners and going up depending on the intended use (if you are a professional divers for instance).
A great mask model for underwater use is the Ocean Reef G Divers Full Face Mask which you can check out here. It is a full face mask used by professional divers, and it has a integrated regulator and a low pressure hose for reliability and stability underwater.
The material used by the manufacturer to create the particular diving mask, was silicone rubber. This is the reason why this mask is significantly comfortable and easy to wear, making it possible to fit on every shape and size of head without much effort.
It is the absolute diving mask model when it comes to applications that require bigger depths, where the pressure of the water is more powerful. The straps allow the user to adjust the mask to their liking, and the large viewing area provides better control under water.
Should a gas mask used in the water?
The short answer is no. It is not recommended by the manufacturers, because gas masks are designed for applications that take place over ground, and they are intended to trap contaminated air, isolate the hazardous particles and provide the user with purified, clean air.
The best practice, is using gas masks in polluted or contaminated areas where the air is unbreathable, in contrast to diving or snorkel masks which can be used underwater with the purpose of providing constant air supply to the diver.
Gas masks are not the best solution when it comes to breathing oxygen underwater. Ideally, they are great for applications that require air purification, and take place over the surface.
Users that want to breathe underwater, should look for snorkel masks, or full face diving masks for more serious situations, such as bigger depths, or higher water pressure.
Remember, before purchasing a mask for underwater use, always test it first and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper usage.
Will a gas mask protect me against anthrax?
The number one threat of biological warfare is anthrax. The threat of biological warfare is discussed for a long period of time now, especially in the last years boosted by the fear of terrorism.
In order to stay protected against anthrax during a biological warfare, gas masks are the best type of protective head gear that will allow you to avoid inhaling anthrax spores.
Gas masks seem to be at the top of the survival list, and can be found in every bug out bag of preppers around the world, especially those in the western countries.
They are the most effective precaution when it comes to dealing with life-threatening gases and viruses, and they are the most preferable piece of protection equipment in the case of anthrax too.
These are 3 of the most effective gas masks against anthrax:
- Dräger X-plore 5500 Full Face Respirator Mask
- 3M 6000 Series Full-Face Respirator
- Avon Full Face Respirator M50
The particular gas masks recommended in the section above, are specifically designed for NBC protection, which stands for Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare.
They are high quality gas masks with absolutely effective anthrax filtering, and they are recommended to preppers and civilians that want to stay alert in case of a potential biological attack.
What is anthrax?
We use the term anthrax in order to describe the infection of the same name. The particular infection is caused by bacteria, which is a certain type of germ, which produce spores.
Spores, which are another form of germ are the reason for the spread of the infection, and stay covered under a shell which keeps them protected in order to stay alive and infect the host.
This is why the spores that were initially produced by the bacteria, have the ability to live for several years under the ground when covered with soil. In order to initiate the anthrax infection, the spores have to enter the human body and start living and spreading in it.
The disease of anthrax is mostly common between animals, such a cows or sheep rather than humans.
The highest probability for humans to get infected, is by getting in touch or eating infected animals by anthrax, although there are a few more ways to get anthrax that we are going to analyze later in this article.
Fortunately, the chances of a human getting infected by anthrax are very low to none.
Although it depends on the intention, for instance an action of terrorism using anthrax spores in the form of powder, it is extremely rare that an individual will get infected by anthrax under regular conditions.
Will a gas mask protect me against anthrax?
Yes, most types of gas masks will protect the user against anthrax. However, it is recommended that people that are looking for gas masks with the intention of staying protected from anthrax spores, should search for NBC gas masks, that are specifically design to work against biological attacks.
For example, the Avon Full Face Respirator M50 which you can find here, is a highly effective gas mask against anthrax with military specifications, since it is one of the most used protective masks by the US Military, keeping the soldiers safe from biological threats during war.
That said, the majority of masks have the ability to neutralize or eliminate anthrax. Biological or chemical warfare, are some of the main reasons that gas masks and respirators were invented in the first place.
However, always trust the recommendations of the manufacturer. Try and look for gas masks with the NBC indication, so that you can be certain that the mask you are about to acquire has been designed and tested for the same purposes you intent to use it.
For specialized protection against anthrax, it is advised that you go for a high quality gas mask model like the Elite Military Grade Gas Mask by Drager. This way, you can make sure that you get proper sealing, effective filtering and durability that will guarantee longevity and protection during the emergency.
How do people get infected by anthrax?
There are three main ways people can get infected by anthrax. All three ways are significantly dangerous, and people found in the particular situations should refer to a doctor immediately after the incident.
Infection by breathing anthrax spores. In order to get the anthrax disease, the individual would have to inhale and transfer into their lungs large amounts (thousands) of anthrax spores. Using gas masks, you can filter the spores and avoid anthrax infection.
Infection by eating meat with anthrax spores. The second reason of anthrax infection is by eating meat from cows, sheep or goats that has spores in it. This way, it can be easily transferred into your blood and infect you.
Infection by anthrax spores entering through cuts. The third way of getting infected is significantly rare. People that touch anthrax spores and have cuts on their skin, could be infected if the spores enter their blood through the opening of their wounds.
What are the symptoms of anthrax?
When it comes to identifying the symptoms of anthrax, the list gets a little too big. This is because of the different types of infection an individual may experience. This is why, in case you think that you got in touch with anthrax spores, you need to watch for any indications for one or more of the following symptoms:
- Swollen neck or wound
- Blood couching
- Chest discomfort
- Difficulty in breathing
The symptoms differ slightly depending on the type of infection. There are three types of infection as described above: Cutaneous anthrax infection, gastrointestinal anthrax infection, and infection by inhalation of anthrax spores.
Being able to identify which of the three types of infection you have, will help both you and the doctor to treat the disease quicker by using the appropriate method and medicine.
Make sure that you watch for symptoms, even if the chances of you getting in touch with anthrax spores are very low.
Although anthrax is a very dangerous disease with unpleasant symptoms, it is more than certain that it can be treated, especially in the early stages.
There is no reason to panic, although it is suggested that you stay precautious in case you work or visit a place with anthrax spores.
Gas masks are able to protect you from inhaling anthrax during a biological attack.
In this article, we have recommended some of the best NBC protective mask models, that are specifically designed for protection against anthrax.
How has the gas mask changed over time?
Gas masks are a type of protective gear for the head used massively by armies internationally, since the First World War. They were designed in order to protect the breathing of soldiers during chemical attacks, for instance Mustard Gas or other types of chemical agents.
Apart from the battle field, they are used in workplaces where high levels of safety are required for the employees or the workers hired by companies.
For example, protection against radiation is one of the most common purposes for wearing a gas mask, if the user has to work in a radioactive environment after a leakage or a nuclear burst has occurred.
Gas masks have changed over time in several different ways. They have been evolved by the designer to enhance their effectiveness and guarantee absolute protection, and they have also become more comfortable to wear, allowing the users to engage in their tasks more conveniently.
Below, we have made a recursion in order to find out what were the various stages during the evolution of the gas mask throughout the years.
Starting from the initial invention of the gas mask, we learn about modern models that provide practicality and safety to their owners in the today’s world.
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The early stages of the gas mask
Going back to the ancient years, research has found the sponges had been used as a primitive forms of gas masks, allowing the ancient Greeks to filter the polluted air.
By covering their mouths and noses using wet sponges, they were able to separate dust from air, thus filtering the air that they inhaled.
Several centuries later, around the 9th, an ancestor of the modern gas mask was invented in Iraq by two relatives, the Banu Musa brothers.
The particular type of gas mask was invented in order to keep the breathing of miners safe, because of the pollution of the wells where they worked.
In the 1700s, the famous bird mask was used by the doctors of the time in order to protect themselves from plague. In the bird gas masks, the doctors used to insert herbs, that were meant to filter to filter the contaminated air, and keep them save from plague.
The original ancestor of the modern gas mask was invented in 1847 though, by Lewis Phectic Haslett.
He is considered the father of the gas mask, which at the time he described as Lung Protector or Inhaler, indicating the purpose of the mask, which was of course to protect the lungs of the wearer.
Gas masks in the First World War (WWI)
In order to protect themselves from the chemical attacks and the poison gas of the German Army, the Allied troops had to find ways to filter or neutralize the gases. The first solution was introduced in 1915, and it was called the Black Veil Respirator.
The particular type or respirator was a fairly simple solution, which utilized the soaking abilities of the cotton into an absorbent. A veiling was then used to stabilize the wet cotton over the mouth of the soldier, in order to filter the poisonous gas.
The improved version of the Black Veil Respirator, was the British Smoke Hood. It was a prototype invented by Cluny MacPherson ,which was presented to the British War Office, and was quickly accepted as an effective solution for protection against the poisonous gas of the German Army.
The British Smoke Hood, was a full face protective head gear, which was made of fabric with chemical absorbing specifications. In addition to this, it has an eyepiece and it chlorine-absorbing chemical agents, which could filter the hazardous gas sufficiently enough.
Later in 1915, even more improved versions of the British Smoke Hood and the Black Veil Respirator were designed by inventors, with two of the most well-known being the Large Box Respirator and the Small Box Respirator. They both used a tin can with absorbent materials, as well as a hose.
It has to be stated, that in WWI several types of gas masks models were designed for animals, more specifically dogs and horses. Dogs were used in the front lines of the battle field, and horses were ridden by soldiers during the war, so their protection for poison gas was of major importance.
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World War 2 (WWII) and the evolution of the gas mask
The WWII was the second evolution stage of what we know as the modern gas mask. As chemical, biological and nuclear weapon evolved during the war, so did protective gas masks as it was expected.
From 1944, gas mask designs became more effective, protective and comfortable for the soldiers, in order to enhance their performance in the field of battle. One of the major improvements, was that gas masks became more compact and easy to carry around.
This was achieved with the replacement of separate parts, more specifically the hose and the filter canister which until then were connected and carried around along with the mask. Now, the filter canister were directly screwed on the gas mask, making it far more convenient.
What is more, gas masks were designed to be easily fixed or replaced contrary to previous models. Their plastic and rubbery structure, along with the easy to install filter canisters and the replaceable lenses, helped use them faster and more comfortably when needed.
Furthermore, in order to completely protect the soldier during CBN attacks, gas mask inventors started designing entire suits that kept the entire body of the soldiers untouched by the weapons. This way, army could not only protect their respiratory systems, but their faces and body skins too.
Gas masks today
Fortunately, in today’s world, the use of gas masks or respirators is not limited in wars or CBN attacks. A majority of various protective masks has been introduced in the market, each one serving a different purpose to the consumer.
For example, gas masks are used to enhance the performance of athletes during workout. Also, respirators are used for domestic purposes, such as painting or removing mold, as well as hobbies such as graffiti or airsoft.
Last but not least, the price of the gas mask has become very affordable for civilians and citizens, and they can be found and acquired in all big marketplaces. They come in all sizes, to fit every shape and size of head for significant comfort.
Gas masks have played an important role throughout the history of war in the modern times. They have changed and evolved over time, introducing more efficient ways of protection against viruses, gases and chemical weapons.
Various models can be found in the market, allowing the wearer to work safely protecting his respiratory system from pollutants and particulates transferred through the air.
Finding the appropriate gas mask for beards might seem like a challenging task, although it is not so hard.
You need to know how to wear a gas mask properly when you have a beard, and choose one of the best gas mask models that we recommend in our list for better results.