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Balaclavas / Face Masks for Sports

A face mask or balaclava is a great way to keep your neck, head and face warm when riding your bike on bitterly cold winter days. What has long been used by skiers and motorcyclists, is now becoming increasingly popular among cyclists, too.

We stock a wide range of warm face masks, balaclavas, neck and face warmers by renowned brands like GORE WEAR, Löffler and Castelli – all of them designed to fit well under a bike helmet.

Balaclava or Face Mask

If you want to ride your bike in winter and wrap yourself up warm, there are three different ways to protect your head and neck from wind and cold.

1.) Multi Tube/Neck Warmer and Underhelmet/Headband

2.) Face Warmer and Underhelmet

3.) Balaclava

Just choose the solution that suits you best. Some riders prefer to wear a balaclava that covers the entire head and face instead of wearing neck warmers or hats that might slip. Yet others prefer to wear a combination of face mask and hat, so that they can take off one of the accessories and pack it into their jersey pocket (in case it gets too warm).

Which version you choose – whether balaclava or a combination of hat and face mask or scarf – largely depends on how flexible you would like to be on your rides.

What material is a balaclava made from?

As balaclavas and face masks are primarily used in low temperatures, the manufacturers primarily use thermal fabrics that keep you comfortably warm.

Thus, they are often made of synthetic fibres providing a pleasantly dry and warm feeling thanks to good breathability and moisture management.

For additional comfort, you can choose balaclavas and face masks made from cotton or merino wool. Thus, you can enjoy a pleasantly soft feeling, best protection from the cold and high breathability.

Some balaclavas and face masks additionally feature an integrated GORE WINDSTOPPER membrane or inserts with a respective windproof membrane. Such a microporous PTFE layer inside the fabric blocks wind while allowing moisture to escape – thus, you can enjoy both protection from wind and breathability!

What else to look out for when buying a balaclava or face mask?

Vents: If you are interested in buying a balaclava, you should make sure it has mouth air vents. While breathing, tiny water particles get stuck on the inside of the balaclava and leave a damp feeling. To prevent overcooling, some balaclavas have laser-cut mouth and nose air vents.

Velcro: When buying a face mask, you can choose between models made from a tubular elastic fabric and models with Velcro closure in the neck. This allows for easy on and off – even when wearing a helmet.

Flat seams: To prevent skin irritation, your balaclava or face mask should have flatlock seams. Flat locking means sewing two layers of fabric together so that the seams lie flat on the skin.

Neck length: To make sure there’s no gap between balaclava/face mask and jersey or jacket, the neck should be long enough. Thus, the balaclava won’t slip out of your jacket to perfectly protect against cold penetration.

These tips should help you find the right balaclava or face mask for your needs. If you have any further questions or if you are not sure which type of headwear you should choose, please feel free to get in touch with our experts.

ROSE stocks a wide range of warm face masks, balaclavas, neck and face warmers in classic colours like black and all price classes by renowned brands like GORE WEAR, Löffler and Castelli – all of them designed to fit well under a bike helmet.