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Which black ski mask is best?

Skiing requires you to have high dexterity and athleticism all while braving the rush of cold winter air and snow. For this reason, it’s important to have the right equipment to keep you safe and comfortable. A ski mask, also known as a balaclava, is one of the best accessories a skier can have. This piece of gear is designed to keep your head and face warm while remaining breathable for active outdoor fun.

The best black ski mask is the Achiou Balaclava, which combines nylon and spandex to provide the best breathability available while protecting your skin from the elements.

What to know before you buy a black ski mask


Ski masks are unique in that they are designed to cover the entirety of your head, leaving little room for cold air to reach your skin. They fit tightly, covering your ears, neck and even the lower half of your face (that last bit is the most important). Skiers often wear helmets and ski caps so the tops of their heads are already covered.

Keeping your mouth and nose covered with a ski mask made with polyester, fleece or spandex helps prevent the cold air from damaging your skin. The original ski mask design used two eye holes and a mouth hole to almost completely cover the entire head. Nowadays, ski masks utilize a more convenient mouth and nose covering you can easily pull down when needed.


There’s a wide variety of materials ski masks use that serve different purposes. Nylon and spandex, for example, offer supreme breathability and comfort. However, they won’t keep your face as warm as cotton or fleece. Polyester falls in the middle by offering decent breathability and more warmth than thinner materials like spandex. Polyester can also be used to make fleece ski masks, which is ideal for keeping your face protected from wind and snow. 

Other ski mask uses

Aside from skiing, there are a number of other activities for which you can use a black ski mask. Hunters often wear ski masks to keep themselves warm during multi-hour stints in the woods. Police officers utilize black ski masks during the winter season while patrolling outdoors. Even race-car drivers wear balaclavas. Their masks are made with fire-retardant materials in the event of an accident. Similarly, the Marine Corps issues official fire-resistant ski masks to all its members. Professional uses aside, ski masks are great for daily use during cold winter months, especially while on a walk, bike ride or run.

What to look for in a quality black ski mask

UV protection

This is an underrated quality of ski masks. While most manufacturers focus on warmth and breathability, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is also very important. Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are great for blocking sunlight. Similarly, you can find certain dyes or chemical treatments on ski masks that help with this as well. Add sunblock and sunglasses/goggles to your kit to protect exposed skin and eyes from UV.

Neck coverage

High-quality black ski masks run from the top of your head all the way to the base of your neck to offer full protection. They will have added length that lets you tuck the mask into your coat to prevent any snow or sunlight from hitting your skin. Also, you can find balaclavas that can be transformed into a neck gaiter, which lets you remove the head coverage and use the extra fabric to cover your neck.

Wind resistance

Protecting your face from the wind is crucial while skiing. Exposing your skin to high-speed winds at low temperatures can cause damage, not to mention ruin your experience. Synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester have many benefits, and wind resistance is one of them. These materials are tightly woven, meaning they don’t allow wind to penetrate.

How much you can expect to spend on a black ski mask

Black ski masks can cost $5-$14. 

Black ski mask FAQ

Can you wear your black ski mask underneath a helmet or hat?

A. Generally, black ski masks are made with lightweight materials such as nylon or spandex, which can easily sit under a hat or helmet without disrupting the fit. Other masks made with thicker materials such as polyester or cotton may not fit as well under another piece of gear.

Are black ski masks moisture wicking?

A. Some black ski masks offer moisture-wicking qualities that won’t soak up sweat or water from the surrounding snow. Look for synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon for this added benefit.

What’s the best black ski mask to buy?

Top black ski mask

Achio Balaclava

Achio Balaclava

What you need to know: This high-grade ski mask is made with 85% nylon and 15% spandex to offer comfort and breathability during arduous outdoor activities.

What you’ll love: There’s hardly a more versatile ski mask than the Achio, which you can wear up to eight different ways, including a full face mask, half ski mask, headband and neck gaiter. The material also has UV light blocking qualities.

What you should consider: This material does not keep your face as warm as cotton or polyester.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top black ski mask for the money

Ergodyne Ski Mask

Ergodyne Ski Mask

What you need to know: This black ski mask is made with 100% polyester fleece, which means it will keep you warm and protect your face from cold wind.

What you’ll love: The hinged design lets you easily pull down the face mask while still keeping the hood over your head. You can reverse it to remove the hood while the face mask stays over your mouth.

What you should consider: You can’t wash this balaclava in a washing machine.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Mountain Made Balaclava

Mountain Made Balaclava

What you need to know: This one-size-fits-all black ski mask offers a variety of ways to wear it, including a removable face mask and hood that feels more like a stand-alone hat.

What you’ll love: Mountain Made uses 96% polyester for warmth while adding 4% Lycra spandex for added stretchiness. It’s also machine washable, so no need to worry about hand washing.

What you should consider: This mask may cause your glasses or goggles to fog up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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