|Location||Online shop, Hong Kong based|
|Prices||(scroll down for price details)|
|Products||Anti pollution face masks|
|Created in||June 2017|
An anti-pollution mask is not exactly the thing I usually review when it comes to fitness accessories… But living in a city like Hong Kong, with the pollution we, unfortunately, have to deal with on a daily basis (and sometimes at a very worrying level), can you really work on your fitness without paying attention to the quality of the air you breathe?
So this product may be more of a well-being product than a properly fitness one but still serves the same purpose in my opinion: a healthier body (likely to improve your physical performance).
The initial idea behind Akmon Concept was a mask for bikers (by bikers!) but, by necessity, adapted to anyone living in an urban and/or environment. The two founders, after 15 years in Hong Kong, decided to create what they couldn’t find on the market: a stylish, functional and reliable solution, keeping you protected of air pollution. After 2 years of development with talented engineers, fashion, and industrial designers, Akmon was born.
The Akmon technology
The face mask is made of 3 parts: the fabrics (outer and inner layer), the filter, and the valves.
The mask is available in 9 color variations. Its outer layer is a composition of rayon, nylon, and spandex: strong, yet soft and able to stretch comfortably around the face for the best seal. The inner layer is made of a performance fabric – ‘CoolMax’ technology -, commonly used in the sports industry for its breathability, ‘moisture wicking’ and accelerated drying qualities.
The filter is comprised of 4 layers. The outer layer and the inner cotton layer are protective and promoting comfort and breathability. The 2 central layers of the filter are a carbon+ filter and an electrostatic layer. Fused together, they act as a barrier against germs, gases, pollen, dust, odors and the smallest harmful airborne viruses (PM2.5). All four layers have been laboratory tested to ensure that 95% of air pollutants are filtered upon inhalation. It should be changed every 15 days.
The valves, designed by German engineers, are the most intricate elements of the mask as they had to allow for comfortable airflow and efficient air filtration. They can also be easily clipped on/off and come in two colors so you can mix and match your style!
I had the occasion to try an Akmon mask. As the founders themselves say it, it’s not the best product to exercise with. You’d get hot and sweaty under it very fast and not getting the amount of air you need when your heart is pumping. But the fact is that when you go to the gym, train and walk out straight after (or even just after a shower), you walk out into the polluted air with lungs fully exposed and way more sensitive than they usually are as your active session just “opened” them.
So wearing the mask when walking out of the gym right after your training or when stretching after your outdoor session, is getting protection just when you need it the most.
Honestly, the masks itself and all its details have been so well thought and designed that it’s not even a hassle. It’s soft, comfortable, breathable, and even quite stylish in my opinion!
The poor quality of the air we breathe in Hong Kong is, unfortunately, a given. Of course, I happily believe the scientific information provided by Akmon about the filtration rate, but sometimes a test you make yourself is even more convincing. So, mask adjusted on my face – thanks to the integrated moldable nose bridge -, I went for my usual Saturday morning errands in the city: a quite long walk including gym and food shopping amongst other things.
Coming back home, I used my regular cleansing micellar water on my face. The right cotton pad was used on the skin protected under the mask, the left one on the skin outside of the mask:
This homemade test is not the most accurate test obviously as most of the particles bad for you to breathe can’t even be seen anyway. But seeing this, I still prefer that stuff not in my lungs!
Akmon starter kit, including the Akmon mask shell with filter and valves installed, a travel pouch, an instruction manual and a set of 2 additional filters: approx. HK$586 (USD 75)
Pack of 2 filters*: approx. HK$141 (USD 18)
Pack of 5 filters*: approx. HK$281 (USD 36)
Pair of valves: approx. HK$94 (USD 12)
Worldwide free shipping on limited offer!
*They also offer the possibility to subscribe to a monthly plan providing 2 or 5 filters per month at these same prices.
Pictures shot in Sheung Wan by Dani Bartlett