Prana Air mask actually purifies the air before you get to breath it.
This week, for the first time this season, I noticed that the air in Delhi was dense and foggy. Maybe, I noticed this because I was back after spending a couple of days in Kerala where the air is definitely cleaner. Maybe, I noticed it because my Apple Watch has for a few days been indicating that the air around me is “unhealthy”. But yes, it was clear that the air was better a few weeks back and with the festival and chaff burning season ahead there was no chance of this getting better till end of the year.
This is why I thought the time was right to test the Prana Air smart air purifying masks. Over the past few years, us hapless citizens of the dust bowl called Delhi have been left with no option but to buy masks to at least feel that we are a bit better off than breathing the air as is. While there have been many masks that have found currency in the past few years, this is different.
The Prana Air mask actually purifies the air before you get to breath it. It has a battery inside that powers fans that suck in air through a HEPA filter which the company claims can keep out “95 per cent particles 0.3 microns or larger. Yes, it is pretty much like tying an air purifier to your face.
The Prana Air mask, being smart and carrying a fan and battery, is heavier than most other masks. It weighs 78 grams and you do start feeling it on your nose after a while. But the strap is comfortable and can be adjusted to reduce the irritation levels. The front of the mask can be removed to change the filter, or to just see how much dust it is keeping out. Inside you see a mirror-like surface which I don’t think serves any purpose. The fans are under this and placed at the right spot for you to breathe in the purfied air. There is a silicone strip around the mask that keeps the bad air out and also reduces friction with the face.
When you hold the mask in your hand you can feel the fan working. But it is not at all loud and you don’t feel the fan when you wear it. There is a light that switches on for a second to indicate that the mask has been powered on. Breathing through the mask is like keeping your face right next to the vent of an air purifier. The air is soothing and certainly better, or even sharper, than what is outside. I got the feeling that filter is scented as my olfactory senses sprung to action as soon as I wore the mask.
Overall, the experience is soothing, even if you set aside the positive impact on your mind. The battery lasts about six hours on a single charge, but take about two hours to come to full charge. So you will need to remember to keep this charged via the micro-USB port below the mask.
After using it for a few days, I believe the Prana Mask can be a good gadget to own for those who really suffer from the allergens, dust and pollution every year. Prana Air smart mask from Purelogic Labs India costs Rs 3,490.