It’s been a particularly frustrating “spring” in the midwest and other parts of the United States this year. While we wish we could break up with winter on our own terms, those of us in the northern latitudes have to embrace the cold if we want to get any scooter riding in these days.
One of the many useful tips I discovered in this winter’s reading of Proficient Motorcycling was the role that keeping my neck covered while riding can play in keeping me warm. We’ve all heard that old trope that “75% of your body heat escapes from your head” and true or not, an aspect of that is taken care of by simply having a helmet on. Yet your neck is venting heat to the outside world like crazy. Those big blood vessels carrying the red stuff up to your brain act like radiators — venting heat right out of your body and into the cold air.
So when the fine folks at ScooterWorks sent me their hilarious Prima Moustache Face Mask, I knew I had to give it a try in this endless wintery spring. The mask is constructed out of black 1/8″ neoprene and features a nose slit and strategically-placed holes to make breathing easier. Printed just under that nose slit is a gentlemanly graphic of a handlebar moustache. Yet form does follow a bit of function in this case (as opposed to just humor). The moustache graphic is reflective. Now while the actual safety added by this feature is probably debatable, I can’t help but appreciate the thoughtfulness of it. The combo is so cheeky, and so right in the groove of what makes scooters so fun, that it simply had to come from a company that “gets it” when it comes to the scooter community.
Construction of the face mask is solid and I imagine this item will wear well for many cold seasons to come. The large, “rhymes-with-melcro” closure in the back allows for about 2-3 inches of adjustability for what is otherwise a one-size-fits-most product.
Yet therein lies the proverbial and literal rub. While charming as all get out, Prima’s Moustache Face Mask did not fit me well enough to put into regular use in my fleet. It’s about an inch too short to fit comfortably around my head and face. Sure, I can get it on and get it to stay put, but it’s then on so tight that it’s simply not comfortable for very long. For anyone with a larger or smaller head size, this item is either going to be falling off or smashing your mug.
Fit issues aside, in terms of pure functionality the Moustache Face Mask is a real winner. The neoprene is thin enough to be flexible, but thick enough to do a very respectable job keeping the cold wind off my face and neck — and by extension, keeping my core body temperature up in the high 90s where it belongs.
I have a couple suggestions for Prima that could take the Moustache Face Mask from clever conversation piece for many to a wintertime gear essential for all. First, double the size of the hook-side velcro panel. This will help accomodate smaller faces that need to synch the mask up tighter. Then, for bigger melons like mine, a small neoprene extension panel with “rhymes-with-melcro” on both sides would make for a perfect fit. Perhaps there are some neoprene scraps from the manufacturing process that could be reclaimed for this purpose.
Minor fit range issues addressed, the Prima Moustache Face Mask is a very entertaining way to keep your face warm on those cold rides. With it stretched across my mug, I was able to easily wear both my Bell 500 Classic 3/4 helmet and my Icon Variant full-face helmet over the face mask without any issue. The Moustache Face Mask didn’t seem to exacerbate any face shield fogging issues either, which was a plus.
All in all, at only $16, the Prima Moustache Face Mask is worth the money in entertainment value alone. Yet in real world use, it’s an easy way to add a lot of warmth to a cold ride. You can get your own over at ScooterWorks.