Brand: Gear 360 Reviews
Model: Product feedback from every angle
Gear 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Gear 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. We may earn a commission on purchases made through our site.
BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
Want to get the maximum benefit from your trail-fitness workouts without adding time, weight, or reps? Wear a training mask. The idea behind the mask training technique is simple: Oxygen intake is restricted while you wear the mask, so your heart and lungs have to work slightly harder, boosting endurance and recovery. When you take the mask off, your body’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems are stronger and ready to better utilize available oxygen, resulting in improved hiking performance.
Our first test of the Training Mask 3.0 was taking a run with it on. Except for a hint of claustrophobia and a few odd looks from passersby, the mask was comfortable and stayed in place during the high-impact workout. Next, we took it on a hike, which was more enjoyable, partly because the workout was lower intensity. The third trial workout was a weight-training and agility session consisting of plyometric and jump rope intervals. The mask definitely made this workout far more challenging.
The Training Mask 3.0 lets you adjust airflow, a key feature for customizing your workouts. Dial it up to work harder, dial it down for a reprieve. We spent most of our workouts at the 3x setting, with a few trial intervals at 0x and 6x. At a time when most gyms are closed and exercise options can be difficult to access, we appreciated the mask’s simple approach to getting fit.
I found the mask easy to assemble, and with clear instructions. On the initial outing, I was surprised with the good fit for my small face (I wore a size small) and comfort for use during training with free weights and general lifting. I was also surprised that I was able to use the mask at the highest or near-highest resistance level during weight training (and around the house). When I was breathing harder and felt like I might need to reduce the resistance, I was able to breathe deeply and calmly (and break briefly from weight training) and then continue training at the same high resistance level. However, it was difficult to keep the mask tight around my ears for entire workouts, and while this generally was not a problem during the majority of weightlifting activities (occasional minor adjustment required), it slipped during cardiovascular training.