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Travel Spectacular sights that disappeared in 2021

16:23  05 november  2021
16:23  05 november  2021 Source:   loveexploring.com

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  A Year Later, Under Armour's Sportsmask Is Still My Go-To Mask © Courtesy Under Armour

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

When I first went on the hunt for the perfect face mask more than a year ago, I hoped it was just something we'd need for the short term. But nearly 20 months into the pandemic, having a stash of trustworthy, go-to masks is simply becoming a permanent part of our lives, especially as we spend more time back on planes and trains, and head into the cooler months when we may need to mask up more indoors.

While I've experimented with a few other masks—and turned to N95 masks for air travel and KN95s for broadway shows and other crowded spaces—in daily life, I've remained true to Under Armour's UA Sportsmask. And the good news is they’re now easy to get without a wait.

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Although some cloth masks have been receiving criticism, the thoughtful design and materials that went into this product keep it comfy and secure, and solve a lot of the issues that other cloth masks face. Its moisture-wicking technology keeps it dry, and its shape and contour ensure a secure fit from nose to chin. When the CDC recommended double-masking, I found it to be the perfect top layer over a disposable mask. Just how much do I trust them? I even bought them for my parents.

I now have four Under Armour face masks in my rotation, which I wash every time after I'm around others indoors, or every two or three times after outdoor situations. The wiring on the first one I got a year ago did get a few kinks, but compared to other cloth masks, it's still far more secure. The darker colors have held up better, while the pastel purple one started fraying a bit after just a few washes. But the fear I originally had of the ear loops snapping or stretching never happened. I had been careful not to hang them on hooks or wear them around my wrist, but now I'm so confident in their strength, I don't give it a second thought, regularly toting them around as bracelets.

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Under Armour recently came out with a new featherlight version of the same mask with all the same technology. While I've added one into my rotation, I still prefer the original design—though heavier—since the stronger fabric contours the material away from the face and has an overall better fit, but perhaps that's just because I've worn it in. I'm hopeful that with a little more breaking in, the featherweight will also feel like it's providing all the same reassurances as my go-to without the bulk.

With masks still required in transit, it's well past time to find ones you actually like, and can sit in for long periods of time. This UnderArmour Sportsmask, which had months-long wait times last year, is extremely comfortably and great for active travelers; thankfully, it's not nearly as hard to get your hands on anymore. $25, Under Armour. Get it now! © Courtesy Under Armour With masks still required in transit, it's well past time to find ones you actually like, and can sit in for long periods of time. This UnderArmour Sportsmask, which had months-long wait times last year, is extremely comfortably and great for active travelers; thankfully, it's not nearly as hard to get your hands on anymore. $25, Under Armour. Get it now!

Under Armour Sportsmask

$25.00, Under Armour

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I’ve never been one to give into hype, so when I heard that the Under Armour face mask sold out in less than an hour in June, I shook my head that people were spending $30 on a mask, sight unseen.

Sure, the sleek and functional mask promised to be water-resistant and offer ultimate breathability for active users while meeting CDC guidelines, but I couldn’t comprehend how any fabric covering our noses and mouths could keep those promises.

But one day after a run, my fabric mask was so soaked that I could barely breathe through it. So when I saw that the UA Sportsmask was available for preorder, I caved. I measured my head as instructed and placed my order on June 14, cringing when I saw that the total, including tax and shipping, was $37.31 for a single mask. On top of that, it would ship no later than August 17—a two-month wait.

During that time, as a germaphobe who admittedly sweats profusely, I continued to minimize trips out. Finally, on August 10, the elusive mask arrived—with a drawstring case. I slipped it on, and although the ear loops felt fragile, it fit perfectly. Now it was time to take a deep breath and venture outside.

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Socially distanced meetups

On one of my first outings with the new mask, I had an outdoor reunion with a friend—with my glasses on. The moldable nose bridge on the UA Sportsmask promises to prevent glasses from fogging; sure enough, instead of just resting on my nose, the top lining of the mask molded to my face. While I did find myself adjusting the nosepiece for comfort a couple times during our two-hour chat, my glasses remained fog-free.

For a more active test, I booked a time slot at the outdoor Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley. The earloop design made it easy to slip on and off—and even when I wasn’t around others, I ended up wearing it during most of the three-hour, 4.5-mile visit.

Later, I joined another friend for a two-mile hike in New Jersey’s Huber Woods Park. There were a couple hills, and I did need to take it off for a breather, but afterwards, we chatted another hour with masks on, without it being the slightest bother.

Test runs

Before lockdown, I had been training for two half marathons, but since then, I had stopped running in my crowded community of Hoboken, New Jersey.

But the UA Sportsmask was designed specifically for athletes, made with three different layers: There’s spacer fabric to keep material off the mouth and nose, an open-cell foam layer to let air pass but block sweat, and UA ISO-Chill to keep skin cool, while also protecting with PROTX2 antimicrobial technology.

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On my first run with the mask, I could feel the air from my exhales spinning in the open compartment, but it was more of a new sensation than a nuisance. And while sweat was dripping down my forehead, I never felt like the mask was wet or that my breathability was limited.

Eventually I was able to keep the mask on for an entire three-mile run, and then go eight miles with it on and off. I even ran with glasses and they miraculously never fogged. In fact, it made masked running so easy that I signed up for the 2020 Virtual TCS NYC Marathon this fall.

Watch Now: Condé Nast Traveler Video.

How to buy and care for the UA face mask

With masks still required in transit, it's well past time to find ones you actually like, and can sit in for long periods of time. This UnderArmour Sportsmask, which had months-long wait times last year, is extremely comfortably and great for active travelers; thankfully, it's not nearly as hard to get your hands on anymore. $25, Under Armour. Get it now! © Courtesy Under Armour With masks still required in transit, it's well past time to find ones you actually like, and can sit in for long periods of time. This UnderArmour Sportsmask, which had months-long wait times last year, is extremely comfortably and great for active travelers; thankfully, it's not nearly as hard to get your hands on anymore. $25, Under Armour. Get it now!

Under Armour Sportsmask

$25.00, Under Armour

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After each use, I hand washed the mask with laundry detergent. Eventually I also put it in the washing machine on a light setting and let it air dry—and it came out nice and fresh. While I’m still nervous the ear loops will stretch or snap, the company says the durable elastic material is designed to last. As the weeks have gone by, the ear loop cloth is starting to curl and it's harder to slip on and off quickly, plus the nosepiece takes more effort to mold just right, but overall, it’s still far more breathable and comfortable than any other fabric mask I've tried.

Why snazzy St. Barth should be in your sights right now

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Thankfully, the UA Sportsmask is now available at the company’s stores, and orders placed online for the original black color are ready to ship. Three new colors—navy, gray, and red—have been added and start shipping September 28.

Despite my initial skepticism, I now fully embrace every cent’s worth of the UA Sportsmask and am considering collecting all the colors. After all, it’s taken me from homebound recluse back into the real world, with a mask I can depend on to help protect myself and those around me during this pandemic.

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Why snazzy St. Barth should be in your sights right now .
St. Barthelemy (St. Barts/St. Barth/St. Barths) opened back up in June. Since then, this French-speaking Caribbean destination known for attracting the jet set has continued to update its safety protocols. They’ve done a good job at it. Unlike other Caribbean islands that have not fared well in controlling the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control …Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel news.

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