Governments across the world are relaxing restrictions on travel, and you can finally envision taking off for that much-awaited business meeting, or taking your business to new heights through a trade show that’s on the cards! As exciting as these opportunities seem, they are almost equally nerve-wracking. After all, no one in the right mind would want to jeopardize their safety amidst the still existent Delta variant, and the newly emerging Omicron variant of the dreaded COVID-19!
Well, thankfully, you need not sweat over your safety, not at least with a host of N95 and kN95 masks in place. Not only will these masks ensure that you stay protected against various airborne particles in places such as flights where social distancing is virtually impossible, but will also help you easily navigate the various mandates in different states and countries regarding the use of personal protective equipment.
Preferable Features in Face Masks for Business Travel
Of course, most airlines/airports would readily provide you with disposable masks, or the blue surgical masks that are omnipresent these days, but we know you’d rather prefer a medical-grade mask that offers a tight seal and offers utmost protection. And this is precisely why we recommend, you carry your own mask, especially during air travel since the flights are almost always closely packed and require you to ensure extended periods of time in their poorly ventilated cabins.
All said and done, choosing the right mask for your business travel can prove to be more daunting than you’d imagine, which is why we bring to you a host of features that you should look out for. When a mask offers all of these, you can rest assured your travel will be as safe as possible!
N95 masks as well as kN95 mask made in USA comprise fo filters that have a high filtration efficacy of over 95%. Besides, these masks are designed to remove 99.99% of pathogens, airborne viruses and harmful particles upon contact, thereby ensuring maximum protection. Make sure you choose these medical-grade masks over regular cloth masks or surgical masks, especially when you will be away from home and would need to come in contact with multiple people from distinct locations during your travel.
Did you know? Masks made using non-woven fabric offer superior protection to regular cloth masks! Moreover, most cloth masks are restricted to two or a maximum of 3 layers. On the contrary, N95 masks comprise five layers of filter, complete with a mechanical filter! These multiple layers ensure professional-grade filtration, something that a generic face mask cannot provide.
Sizing & Fit
Since you will be wearing the mask for a fairly long time, and multiple days in a row, it is ideal if the mask offers a good fit! To this end, choosing a mask with a relatively stiff polymer frame that stays in place would prove to be ideal. As it turns out, N95 masks are specially designed for ease of positioning, donning, and adjustment proving to be the choicest pick for you. Since they have a no-flow lower panel against the chin they sit comfortably on the face, while ensuring a tight seal.
When it comes to wearing a mask for the entire flight, or for the prolonged periods for which your business meeting would last, you would surely want something that offers the much-desired breathability! While you could argue that a generic disposable mask is the best for good breathability, but you know it as well as us that it wouldn’t offer you the requisite level of protection. Hence, you should instead opt for a custom-designed mask with a breathable fabric frame that sits away from your nose and mouth. And guess what? Again it is the N95 mask that stands true to this criterion!
Anyone who wears glasses knows anti-fogging is a critical feature. If you too are fond of donning your eye-wear then make sure you choose a mask that doesn’t leave your glasses fogged with every single breath. Here, too, an N95 maks can come to your rescue. The curved low-profile design of this mask conforms well to the contours of the nose and the eyes. Thanks to its unique embossed top panel, the mask helps direct the warm and moist exhaled air away from the nose panel, thereby reducing fogging to a large extent. Besides, its design also ensures more room for any eyewear that you might need to put on.
When you’re traveling for an important business meeting, you wouldn’t want to arrive at the scene with a smudged lipstick or even worse ‘maskne’ caused by skin irritation. A great way to avoid these embarrassing situations is by choosing a mask that comes in a conical shape making sure it stays away from your mouth. Having a soothing inner layer can prove to be a bonus for your skin health!
To ensure that you travel light and that your masks are always an arm’s length away, you need to pick masks that ensure a flat fold which enables convenient storage as well as added ease of portability. Bonus points, if the masks are all individually packaged for your convenience and protection from contamination before use.
Best N95 Masks for Business Travel
We know, we know, up until now we have been advocating the use of N95 masks and KN95 masks for air travel and during the use of public transportation in general. So, we are sure you must be wondering after all which N95 masks should you prefer? Well, here are our top 3 picks for the best N95 masks that you can and ideally must use on the airplane, in transportation hubs, and in other crowded areas.
3M 1870+ N95 Respirator
The 3M 1870+ N95 Respirator offers an innovative chin tab which is specially designed for ease of positioning and adjustment! Moreover, its adjustable nose clip helps provide a custom secure seal. Additionally, it offers the following features which make it an ideal pick for long-term wear –
- NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Approval
- Great Facial Fit
- Little to No Eyewear Fogging
- Breathable Experience like None Other
- Fluid Resistant
3M 9210+ N95 Respirator
While adjustable nose clip of the 3M 9210+ N95 Respirator helps provide a custom secure seal, the braided headbands keep the respirator comfortably in place. Moreover, the collapse-resistant design adjusts easily with the masks to offer an exceptional level of comfort. Additionally, it offers the following features which make it an ideal pick for long-term wear –
- NIOSH Approval
- Assigned Protection Factor (APF 10) as per US OSHA and Canada CSA
- Ideal Fit for All Face Types and Shapes
- Ideal Design for Eyewear Use
- Added Ease of Breathability
- Improved Filtration
- Effortlessness in Movability
3M 9205+ N95 Respirator
The 3M 9205+ masks feature dual elastic, over-the-head straps which allows for better positioning and fit of the masks. The stapled headbands ensure an increased number of reuses of this mask! Additionally, it offers the following features which make it an ideal pick for an entire flight or your entire trip for that matter –
- NIOSH Approval
- Assigned Protection Factor (APF 10) as per US OSHA and Canada CSA
- Exceptional Fit
- Reduced Eyewear Fogging
- Enhanced Breathability
- Ease of Portability
- Wide Range of Applications
Is it mandatory to wear masks during Travel?
Yes. As per an order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wearing of NIOSH approved masks by travelers to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been deemed mandatory. According to the same, conveyance operators are required to ensure that all passengers and members of staff wear masks when boarding and disembarking, during baggage claim as well as for the duration of travel.
An important aspect to remember is that CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Are there any exemptions to the rule of wearing masks during travel?
Yes, there are exemptions to this rule. As per the CDC Order the requirement to wear face coverings shall not apply under the following circumstances:
- While eating, drinking, or taking medication, for brief periods; however, unless necessary it is recommended avoiding eating during short travels
- While communicating with a person who is hearing impaired;
- If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance; or
- When necessary to temporarily remove the mask to verify one’s identity.