This style might replace tie-back and ear-loop designs altogether.

By Laura Reilly
Updated May 29, 2020 @ 11:30 am
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By this point in 2020 — this far along the rocky ascent and hinted-at decline of the coronavirus curve — most of us, if not all, have worn a face mask to leave the house. Yes, face masks can be uncomfortable, with their headache-inducing over-ear loops and fussy behind-the-head ties. But we don’t wear them because they’re cozy, we wear them to save lives.

Still, the future is unclear, and how many more months we’ll be covering our faces for the security of ourselves and others is just as uncertain. But right on schedule, it seems like our solution-oriented instincts have jumped out, and a handful of individuals have identified a worthy face mask alternative. Well, more than a handful, really.

A unique infinity-band “neck gaiter” on Amazon jumped over five million percent in sales overnight, according to the retailer’s Movers & Shakers page, which tracks spiking products. Five. Million. Originally designed for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, this extremely versatile garment has been identified by shoppers as an ingenious stand-in for itchy and irritating traditional face masks. What’s more, its proprietary technical fabric offers up a slew of benefits that will become invaluable in the warmer summer months.

Shaped like the cut-off neck of an oversized turtleneck shirt or like an abbreviated circle scarf, the Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter is pulled on over the head and sits around the neck. When entering populated spaces, you can pull the stretchy cloth up over your mouth and nose, and even fold it to meet the Centers for Disease Control’s double-ply recommendation. The fit is snug but breathable, and the gaiter can be easily tugged off and slipped back up when entering and leaving areas where social distancing is more challenging.

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Shop now: $20 (Originally $25); amazon.com

An especially promising feature of this particular face covering is its cooling capability. By simply running the cloth under water, wringing it out, and snapping the fabric a few times, the Mission gaiter remains cool against the skin for hours. Even those in moderate temperatures can benefit from the product’s ability to reduce heat from trapped breath.

This cooling band can also be used as a headband, neck cover, balaclava, or bandana for times when maintaining distance from others isn’t a concern. It is wind- and dust-protective and offers UPF 50 sun protection.

The gaiter is currently available in three shades (two others have already sold out completely), including black, blue, and tan. You can also save a couple bucks right now; while the band typically retails for $25, it’s on sale today for $20.

Shop the explosively popular face covering that may replace traditional ear-loop and tie-back designs at Amazon.