What to Look For in an Air Travel Mask Flying Out of Canada in 2021   

COVID-19 has been affecting our lives for almost two years now and many people are deciding to make those travel plans which they have been holding off on since the pandemic started. 

"your mask selection is important to ensure you improve your odds of not becoming infected if exposed to COVID-19 during the flight"

Safety is still a concern while traveling, making your choice of mask important. So, what should you look for in a travel mask when flying out of Canada? Here are some points to consider when choosing your travel mask.

Why are face masks important?

Travel restrictions and guidelines have been changing constantly to try and catch up with the shifts in the pandemic. Three guidelines have, however, remained consistent: physical distancing, frequent hand-cleaning, and wearing face masks. Evidence is piling up regarding the important role that face masks have played and continue to play in reducing the COVID-19 infection rate.

 

While all three practices have proven themselves, hand sanitizing and physical distancing are not always possible, especially in airports and airplanes, which makes the selection of an effective face mask that much more critical.

What to look for in a good air travel face mask

The passenger cabins on airplanes are closed spaces that are shared by strangers. Cracking a window open for extra ventilation is not possible. This means you will be spending several hours in a confined space with a large amount of people, some of whom may be infectious for COVID-19 or other diseases. So, what are the things we should look for in a mask for air travel? Consider the following points pertaining to the time spent in the passenger cabin to help you choose the right mask for you:

Human behavior: As per Transport Canada’s guidelines , travelers must wear face masks throughout their entire journey, including the entire flight except those exempt from wearing masks for medical reasons. However, despite these guidelines, ill-fitting masks that allow air to escape or seep in, masks that do not meet the minimal requirements detailed by the Government of Canada, disposable masks that have been used for too long and people that remove their masks to take a breather or dine on the plane, all increase your risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Air quality: The quality of the air on the plane is determined by 3 factors: how full the flight is and whether there are people with COVID-19 on board, the fresh air introduced into the passenger cabin from the outside and the filtered air released from the aircraft’s filtration system.

Aircraft filtration systems vary in quality, type, and strength. But even with the best HEPA filtration systems, it takes several minutes to filter all the air in the passenger cabin, meaning you will always be breathing in a certain amount of unfiltered air at any given moment. Airplane filtration systems are also not operating at full power before takeoff and after landing. This makes your mask selection important to ensure you improve your odds of not becoming infected if exposed to COVID-19 during the flight.

Comfort & Breathability: Wearing an uncomfortable mask to run a short errand is one thing. Having to put up with an uncomfortable mask for an entire flight is quite another. Our mask needs to be comfortable enough to be able to wear consistently throughout our entire journey. When considering masks, look for one that provides comfort and breathability along with a good, snug fit.

 

As per recommendations from the Government of Canada , look for a reusable, non-medical mask that fits well and is made up of 3 layers: the inner and outer layers should be made of tightly woven, breathable fabric, and the middle layer should be a filter layer. Bear in mind that single-use, disposable masks not only increase the plastic waste levels in landfills and the environment, but are more susceptible to getting wet, dirty, or tearing.

Due to their plastic composition, disposable and single-use masks could feel itchy during lengthy uses. They would also need to be replaced after around 4 hours of use due to possible contamination. Due to the lengthy duration of air travel and logistics, opt for a mask that is reusable, washable, soft and breathable to keep your trip comfortable.

Fit for Purpose: Keep in mind that for a mask to assist in protecting you from COVID-19 infection, it needs to first and foremost fit well. The mask should fit snugly and comfortably over the nose and mouth in a way that does not allow air to leak out or seep in. Because different people have different face contours, shapes and sizes, a mask with an adjustable nose wire and adjustable head straps would allow you to ensure a tight seal and a snug fit. A mask like the SonoMask™ Pro offers 3 layers of protection: an inner and outer tightly knit, breathable fabric, and a middle filter layer.

The SonoMask Pro comes in 4 different sizes, from kids to adults looking for XL sizing, to ensure everyone finds their proper fit. It also has your choice of either adjustable ear or head straps, and an adjustable nose wire to prevent air leakage. The SonoMask™ Pro was also constructed with a fitted chin guard to improve the ability of your mask to stay put and maintain its seal as you move.

 

High Protection Level: After making sure we’ve covered the basics of our reusable mask fitting well and being comfortable, we want to get to the heart of the matter – its performance level. As most people are not wearing masks to make a fashion statement, we would like our masks to provide high filtration performance, which you get from the SonoMask™ Pro. The SonoMask™ Pro provides an impressive filtration level of 97% against 3-micron particles, offering a great combination of the comfort of a fabric mask with high protection levels. 

Why should I sweat over getting a high-protection air travel face mask if I’m vaccinated?

While it’s true that the approved COVID-19 vaccines have made a substantial impact in the fight against the pandemic, no vaccine can provide 100% protection. With antibody levels reducing over time and the SARS-CoV-2 virus continuing to mutate, additional variants are identified and reported. People are continuing to become infected with COVID-19, including those who have been vaccinated. We have no idea who is on the airplane with us and what their health status may be.

We also have no control over how diligently people are wearing their mask on the plane or how protective their masks actually are. We can therefore only affect our situation by our mask selection to try and improve our odds against catching COVID-19.

 

Flying out of Canada during a pandemic may seem quite foreboding but making smart choices about our masking can help us reach our destination unaffected by whomever was on the plane with us. Choosing a mask for air travel like the SonoMask™ Pro, with its combination of high filtration, clever ergonomics, breathability, and comfort, will make our trip calmer, which is the reason we chose to travel in the first place! The SonoMask™ Pro gives you more mileage and high performance to support your travel goals.