In urban environments, it’s not uncommon to see cyclists wearing masks that filter out airborne pollutants. The Iwind is a little different, though, in that it actually blows purified air onto the user’s face.
There are two main parts to the Iwind, which are connected by a flexible articulated hose.
Magnetically mounted on the back of the rider’s third-party helmet is the filtration module, which houses not only the replaceable filter itself, but also a fan and a rechargeable lithium battery. These components combine to draw in ambient air, reportedly blocking particles as small as 0.4 microns, while also killing bacteria via a silver antimicrobial coating on the filter.
Purified air is pumped from that unit, through the hose, to a cup-like facepiece that sits directly in front of the user’s nose and mouth. It’s hard to say how effective this setup really is, since the clean air will obviously mix at least a little with the surrounding “dirty” air before being breathed in. That said, buyers can opt for a respirator-like mask attachment that seals the system off.
As an added bonus, the filtration module also features a ceramic heater that can be used to warm the air on cold days. It also has a 150-lumen tail light, for added safety when cycling at night. Battery life sits at a claimed nine hours per three-hour USB charge under normal use, or 6.5 hours when the heater is switched on.
Along with that warming feature, some the Iwind’s claimed advantages over traditional masks include the facts that it doesn’t cause eyewear to fog up, it doesn’t touch the face, it doesn’t muffle the wearer’s voice, and it doesn’t need to be dried out after use. Obviously, though, it’s going to be heavier.
Should you be interested, the Iwind is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, you can get one for a pledge of US$66, which is 33 percent off the planned retail price.
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