Everything with Bikes


Totobobo Air Filter Mask

Author: Adrian Willett & Mark Page Posted: 2010-04-25

Totobobo Filter Mask

April 22, 2010 

About the Product

Riding bikes is a healthy activity regardless of what type of biking you do. Unfortunately for many of us who live in areas with air quality issues, biking can actually be a detriment to our health. One solution to the problem of breathing in low air quality areas is to use an air filter mask. One company that has stepped forward with an innovative product is Totobobo from Singapore.

Totobobo appears to be aiming to create a product that is comfortable, easy to use, and a product that does an exceptional job of filtering air regardless of task. All of this while still being affordable to the average user. Before we talk about our observations and thoughts about the product here are some facts about the product itself. The mask was designed with the "needs of common users" in mind, and to be reusable. One of the most import features of the design was the face-seal, so the mask is see through and can be trimmed to insure a proper fit. In addition, the strap is exceptionally flexible. The material Totosoft is just as important as the filters themselves and is silver ion based, an anti-virus additive. Regarding comfort, the mask only weighs 20 grams, and when worn does not interfere with glasses. Finally, it is made of a non-irritant material, non-latex based.

Stated in the promotional material on their web site, they make the point that their mask has undergone extensive testing by the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong to test the effectiveness of the mask in a randomized controlled cross over study against the 3M N95 masks. Sold in stores here in Asia, it is common for people to use the N95 as protection against air pollution. The N95 masks have virtually no ability to protect the wearer from other people's airborne germs, but was designed to protect patients from the germs carried by health care practitioners.

  • The pass rate (filtration factor >100) of Totobobo mask was over 73%, while majority of (N95) masks fitting less than 40% of the test population
  • The average filtration factor of fitted tested N95 masks is higher (193) then Totobobo mask (135).
  • In terms of comfort, 65% subjects preferred Totobobo mask over their fitted tested N95 masks
The filters can be bought separately and come in a sealed plastic bag. The filters are contain an electro-static charge, which can trap fine dusts and particles below 0.3 microns. They make three different filters, the 94% filter designed for easy breathing, the 96% filter designed for an extra high level of protection, and the Anti-pollution 92% filter designed to be economic and for everyday use. All the filters are designed to last for about one week in polluted cities. However, if the filters are exposed to a high concentration of contamination, heat, or humidity it might need changing before the week is up. They state on their web site that the rule of thumb is "you should change the filters when the white filter turns grey." Also, the filter should not be used longer than 2 weeks "even there is no signs of color change." Observations Review Testing Conditions
  • Air temp 25C, 70-80% humidity
  • Medium level of pollution report by Hong Kong Air Quality center
  • Ride-Streets, bike paths and sidewalks of Shenzhen
Overall product performance was positive. Wearing the mask was fairly comfortable. The fit was good and it provided a solid seal when sufficient tension was placed on the strap. Inhalation(intake) provided a bit of a challenge as a suction affect occurs. However, during regular riding which requires normal inspiration/expiration, the suction effect is minimal. Exhalation(breathing out) was not an issue at all. Air flow outward tends to flow up through/by the eyes, which has the potential to fog glasses. Condensation within the mask tends to make the seal where the mask contacts the face, a bit sweaty. The positive benefits of the mask, perhaps outweigh a few of the minor nuances associated with wearing a mask that is of higher quality that of the N95 variety. Strictly going off of feeling and smell, when riding the bike while wearing the mask, intake of air simply felt improved. Riding my bike at least twice a day, I can really tell the difference between the way I feel post-ride as well as during. After wearing the Totobobo mask, I honestly feel a discernible difference between the Totobobo and other lesser masks I have worn. In short, the bottom line is the way I felt during and after the ride, as well as the before and after shots of the filter. While we do not have access to technology that assesses filter effectiveness on a chemical/molecular level, the mask seemed to perform as it was intended to perform. Overall, the performance was solid, and is an excellent choice for those concerned about air quality. Pros
  • Good Seal
  • Small Shape
  • Good Fit
  • Super lite and thin
  • Thin but very strong strap
  • Feels durable
  • Condensation>Wetness
  • Intake airflow produces a suction affect on mask

To get more information about the Totobobo mask, please visit their web site www.Totobobo.com

Dream Lab One Pte Ltd.
16, Ayer Rajah Crescent
Singapore 139965
Tel: (+65) 8183-1563
email: totobobomask (at) gmail.com

Fresh out of the package
Fresh out of the package
During a long ride
During a long ride

Unused vs. Used (5 hours of riding)
Unused vs. Used (5 hours of riding)

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