There’s no doubt that 2020 has changed our lives in many significant ways. One of those things is that it’s now extremely commonplace to wear a facial covering anywhere you go. And if you’re going to wear one, you might as well reflect your lifestyle while you do it. I recently had the opportunity to try out a different style of face mask: Hoo-Rag bandanas. Here’s what I think of them.
I first wanted to check out the various options that Hoo-Rag had. Per their website, they offer over 250 different bandana styles, including hunting and fishing patterns, outdoor sports and fitness, tactical, and much more. Whatever your preference or situation, there’s likely a couple Hoo-Rag bandanas to choose from.
The bandanas are meant to be very versatile: you can use them as full or partial face masks, neck gaiters/scarves, beanies/head wraps, or even hat liners. They are constructed from a moisture-wicking polyester microfiber, are seamless, and have a UPF30 sun protection rating.
Being that the 2020 hunting season was right about to kick off, I jumped on a few different camouflage patterns that I could easily see myself using this fall in different scenarios. Here’s what I settled on:
- Mossy Oak Mountain Country – I have a full matching outfit in this camouflage pattern for early season bow hunting in aspen trees, so this was an easy pick for me.
- Real Tree Edge – this camo pattern is a great all-around pattern for spot and stalk hunts, sitting on the ground, or even up in a tree.
- Kryptek Raid – I wanted a darker pattern to use inside a hunting blind. The Mossy Oak Eclipse pattern I wanted was sold out at the time, but this Kryptek pattern looked like a good option too.
Fortunately, I received my masks right in time to take them into the field and add them to my hunting equipment. While taking them out of the packaging, I did notice a very strong chemical/plastic odor that stayed with me until I washed my face and hands. It put me off temporarily, but once I washed it in cold water with mild soap (which they advise anyway), this scent completely disappeared. If you notice this scent, don’t be alarmed – it goes away!
To that point, I just hung the Hoo-Rag bandanas out on a fence post in the yard to dry, trying to simulate field conditions. Within 30 minutes, it was dry enough to use, so that was a great benefit to me. The bandanas are also extremely breathable. After wearing them in the field, even walking around upland hunting, I never felt constricted by them. You can easily blow a candle out through the mask. For that reason, they’re likely not a great standalone option for COVID prevention, but it is a facial covering.
Further, these things pack up into such a lightweight and small size, you could fit several in your pocket and not even know it. Because they are so stretchy, they are very versatile. I forgot to swap my blaze orange hunting cap with a camo one when I transitioned to bow hunting one afternoon. I just reached into my pocket, wrapped the camo bandana around the hat, and voila – a camo hat.
All in all, I really like these Hoo-Rag bandanas. The range of options alone is impressive, and they performed well in the field. If you’re looking for a new hunting face mask (or for any other purpose), I’d definitely recommend getting a couple.