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Beginner Skills

Gear Review: Talus Outdoors ColdAvenger Classic Face Mask

This Talus face mask mixes your hot breath with the cold outside air to keep your face warm and snot free.

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Problem: In extreme cold, you need face protection, but balaclavas get snotty and tend to generate moist heat that fogs up goggles. Solution: This Darth Vader-like mask with a mouth piece that mixes warm, moist exhaled air with dry, cold outside air to create a perfect microclimate for your face. “On summit day on Denali, the soft, fleece-lined softshell fabric killed wind, resisted moisture, and kept my face perfectly warm and dry,” said our tester.

“Even when I panted up the steepest parts of the climb, my goggles never fogged. And the fit is just right, covering the nose, cheeks, mouth, and neck, without interfering with helmet or goggles.” Wear the mask alone, like our tester, or get the Expedition model ($80) with integrated hood. $50; 2 oz.; talusoutdoor.com