Self-Reliance

Best Survival Gas Mask: Top 7 Masks Reviewed

A simple mouth and nose shield or even a half-face gas mask won’t completely protect you in a survival situation where you’re dealing with CBRN agents.

It’s scary even to envision, but getting the right full-face gas mask is the ONLY way you can protect yourself from harm in a situation like that.

Gas masks are a necessary inclusion to survival kits because there’s no telling what could happen tomorrow. Especially with reports of tensions between global superpowers rising popping up in the news more and more frequently.

The right time to get a gas mask is now.

But gas masks don’t come cheap, and sometimes cost hundreds of dollars to get your hands on. Plus, the filters are sold separately, driving up usage costs.

Buying the wrong mask is a mistake you cannot afford to make.

This is why, in this post, I will review in detail the best gas masks that you can rely on.

Best Survival Gas Mask: Top Picks

1. MIRA SAFETY M CBRN – Best Overall

MIRA SAFETY M CBRN

The MIRA SAFETY M comes equipped with both a drinking system and a speech diaphragm, making it the best gas mask in the market.

It’s made out of butyl rubber, which not only protects your face from CBRN agents but also keeps you comfortable.

The five-point harness ensures that you get a snug fit, and also maximizes comfort. The gas mask is compatible with all 40mm NATO filter cartridges, which are very easy to find.

Several customers report that it is durable and comfortable, and gush that it’s worth the price.

Pros

  • CBRN and CE certified
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Adjustable to all face sizes, even kids
  • Works with glasses

Cons

  • CBRN approved, but not by NIOSH
  • Expensive

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. MSA Full Face Ultra Elite CBRN – Best Military-Grade

MSA Full Face Ultra Elite CBRN

The MSA Ultra Elite boasts a rugged build and uses the same 40mm cartridges that the MIRA gas mask does.

The build is also very similar to the MIRA, and it also uses butyl rubber, which virtually guarantees comfort.

While it is CBRN certified, it does not come with a drinking system, and a 40mm filter is not included in the packaging, which is disappointing considering the price.

But customers report that it’s comfortable and sturdy, just as advertised. Plus, it goes for a lot cheaper than the MIRA, so if you have an escape route planned that will get you out of a SHTF situation soon, this is the right mask to go for.

Pros

  • Decent pricing considering CBRN certification
  • Rugged build
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Honeywell North 7600 Series – Best NIOSH-Approved

Honeywell North 7600 Series

In addition to being NIOSH-approved, the North 7600 series mask is compatible with the full range of filters, cartridges, and filter-cartridge combinations. You will never have problems finding a filter for it.

The polycarbonate visor supplies a wide field of view, and also meets ANSI Z87 standards, which virtually guarantees eye safety.

The silicone seal ensures that no toxins affect you, and the aptly placed speech diaphragm makes for effective communication.

Pros

  • Works in both PAPR and CF-SAR configurations
  • 200-degree visor
  • Full seal for 100% protection

Cons

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. PD-100 – Most Lightweight

PD-100

The mask weighs exactly 1.6lbs, making it the lightest mask on this list.

But it’s not just light, it’s also very comfortable owing to its ergonomic design. The visor doesn’t get foggy, and the large voice amplification diaphragm makes communicating easy.

The filters keep you out of harm’s reach, and the silicone seal fortifies its effectiveness. You’ll be perfectly safe from industrial vapors and dangerous gases.

While the full manufacturer warranty is reassuring, you cannot use the mask with glasses, which is disappointing.

Pros

  • Lightweight – will keep you comfortable for longer
  • Silicone seal
  • Excellent for protection against industrial vapors

Cons

  • Will not work with glasses

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. PT-101 – Best For Protection From Chemicals

PT-101

The PT-101 lasts longer than other masks due to its simple twist on/off mechanism. But it supplies reliable protection when in use, so you have nothing to worry about.

The durable breathing valve, coupled with the impact-resistant and clear visor, makes it one of the best gas masks in the market.

The high-density elastic straps ensure an impeccable seal, and the voice-repeating diaphragm enables you to communicate clearly at all times.

Customers love the on/off feature and confirm its effectiveness by testing it for epoxy resin crafts. There’s no fog build-up whatsoever, which is another much-acknowledged plus.

Pros

  • On/off feature
  • Protects you from chemicals
  • High-density, adjustable straps

Cons

  • Not for you if you have glasses

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Blazin Full Face – Most Comfortable

Blazin Full Face

The pull tabs make the Blazin gas mask easy to tighten and loosen, and while it’s not the most lightweight mask on my list, it is close-second at 1.63lbs.

It’s not built to protect you from nuclear and radioactive attacks, but it will protect you from harmful gases like tear gases and pepper spray perfectly well in a SHTF situation.

The two filters also keep you sufficiently protected from germs and microbes that hang loose in the air.

Pros

  • Tight seal
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Easy to adjust
  • 50+ hour use per filter

Cons

  • No nuclear or radioactive protection

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Honeywell North 7700 Series – Best Low-Budget

Honeywell North 7700 Series

The NIOSH approved mask boasts medical grade silicone, ensuring that no airborne particles penetrate through and affect your health.

The strong support for the chin area and the flexibility on the nose bridge ensures that you find it comfortable to wear regardless of the shape of your face.

You can use it with any N-series cartridge, and the Air Purifying Respirator can effortlessly convert into Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) or Continuous Flow Supplied Air Respirator (CF-SAR).

Pros

  • Safe, snug fit
  • Adjustable and comfortable
  • PAPR & CF-SAR Adaptability
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Other than the rare QC issue, none

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 05:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide: How to Choose? What Makes a Gas Mask Good?

Before I get on with the reviews, you have to know how to find the right mask.

Protection

Protection is always the top priority, and it’s important to note that different masks provide different levels of protection.

The rating of the mask will help you understand what it is built to protect you from.

CBRN gas masks offer the best protection possible from chemical, biological, radioactive, and nuclear agents (in other words, CBRN). These masks can keep you protected from exposure to these agents for eight hours straight.

NBC masks are considered second-best since they protect you from nuclear, biological, and chemical agents (in other words, NBC) – but not radioactive agents.

But similar to CBRN masks, NBC masks also protect you for eight hours.

Several other ratings give you an accurate measure of what type of agents can a mask protect you from, and for how long. Ratings you will often come across include CBA and RCA, which will protect you from riot-control agents.

In addition to these ratings, you can also look for a “NIOSH” seal of approval. NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, and they have their own rating system that precisely describes how well a mask can protect you.

I believe it’s best to invest in a military-grade gas mask even if the application is primarily civil defense.

I recommend getting CBRN masks over everything else.

Also, check out our picks for KN95 and N95 masks.

Visibility

Having a visor that is appreciably heat-resistant will protect your eyes from damage, and also improve your clarity of vision in adverse situations.

Steer clear from gas masks that come with google-like lenses. These not only obstruct your peripheral vision, but they also don’t provide as much protection.

Making sure you’re able to see the threats around you is critical in a survival situation, which is one of the reasons why I do not recommend many half-face gas masks.

Buying goggles to use with them will protect you to a variable degree, but your vision will almost certainly be obstructed.

Filter Compatibility

Filter cartridge compatibility is critical to consider because after the included filter wears out, the mask will not protect you. And as it starts to wear out, breathing will become more and more challenging.

Some gas masks limit the type of filter you can use with them beyond reason. For this reason, I recommend that you get a mask with a 40mm NATO thread since it enables you to use almost any NATO filter available.

Durability

As you can imagine, the mask must protect you from some of the harshest of substances known – and there are a lot of masks in the market that wear out in just one use.

This is why you must avoid buying cheap masks.

If you want a mask that you can rely on in the long-term, get one made out of either silicone or butyl rubber. Masks made out of these materials can withstand the wear that contact with toxic substances brings with them.

The best masks on the market have a shelf life of 20 years.

Also, try and ensure that the mask’s visor is made out of polycarbonate material. It’s both durable and makes for near-perfect peripheral vision.

Drinking Tube Compatibility

You never know how long you’ll need to wear a mask to protect yourself in a survival situation, and you will likely feel the need to hydrate very soon.

Taking your mask off to drink isn’t wise – breathing in the air in any survival situation that requires a gas mask will shorten your lifespan instantly.

Getting a mask that can be used with a drinking tube will ensure that you can stay protected for long periods while keeping yourself hydrated.

Communication Compatibility

Some masks come with amplifiers built-in, which help you communicate with ease.

However, most don’t need this feature because you can still communicate with a mask on at close range.

Voice amplifiers are useful for those that must communicate in adverse situations, like military personnel and law enforcement officers.

Else they’re just a fancy feature.

Comfort

The scenarios that require you to use a gas mask entail prolonged use, which is why you must get a gas mask that keeps you comfortable.

The nose cup of the mask shouldn’t be too loose, since it puts you at risk of exposure to toxic agents. But it can’t be too tight, either, since it will make you uncomfortable.

Additionally, the straps of the mask must keep it fit snugly onto your face. But if they’re too tight, the mask will hurt your face. Make sure you get a mask that is adjustable enough to keep you both comfortable and safe.


Open Questions about Gas Masks for Survival Situations

How long does a filter last?

Filters can last for up to 24 hours in CBRN situations, but the exact life of the filter varies broadly depending on filter quality and circumstance of use.

But you should never think of using filters this way. When using gas masks, the rule of thumb is to get out of the affected area safely and then dispose of the filter.

Additionally, if you’re having difficulty breathing, or if your filter gets wet or damaged, get rid of it.

If you’re not in a CBRN situation and are using it for, say, spray painting, you can safely use it for 40 hours.

But always change the filter after 40 hours of use, or in 30 days, whichever comes first.

Can I use a mask if I have a beard?

You can – but don’t expect it to protect you.

There is no way to achieve a proper seal with a beard.

How to clean the respirator?

You can use the cleaning wipes that come with the face mask. But if you’ve run out of those, you can immerse the mask in warm cleaning solution (without the filter installed) and scrub with a soft brush.


Verdict

The MIRA SAFETY M CBRN gas mask is superior to every other gas mask available (at least to civilians).

It comes with a drinking system, 40mm NATO filters, a speech diaphragm, and a five-point harness, making it the ultimate gas mask.

It will not only keep you safe, but also comfortable and hydrated, and the butyl rubber body will ensure that no toxic substance touches your skin.

It’s durable and will last you years, which is another excellent perk. If you’re looking to get the most safety out of your money, the MIRA SAFETY M CBRN is the right gas mask to buy.

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