SEATTLE, Wash. (May 26, 2020) – After converting its onshore manufacturing facilities over the last 60 days to address the national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the medical and defense communities, Outdoor Research, a longtime leader in outdoor and tactical apparel, is unveiling a program through which retailers and consumers can purchase face masks that integrate a protective and replaceable filter.
The Outdoor Research Essential Face Mask program will launch with masks available to retailers and consumers by early to mid June.
The Essential Face Mask Kit is designed around a proprietary and replaceable filter integrated in a form-fitting, fully customizable fabric face mask. Designed with both outdoor activities and everyday use in mind, components of the Essential Face Mask system include:
- A high-quality made-in the USA filter provides basic bacterial filtration and sub-micron particulate protection, paired with superb breathability. A 3-pack of filters come with the Essential Face Mask Kit. Refills can be purchased separately in packs of 3 or bulk of 25.
- The mask is treated with HeiQ NPJ03 to provide resistance to microbes and germs, it can be laundered up to 30 times while maintaining 100% effectiveness.
- The mask offers a fully customizable fit. Adjustable ear loops and a nose wire provide comfort with a tight seal.
- The mask is washable, durable, water and stain repellent, and microbe-resistant.
The kit includes a fully adjustable fabric face mask and three replacement filters in a reusable zippered pouch. Masks will be available through Outdoor Research retailers and available at OutdoorResearch.com.
Along with the launch of the program, Outdoor Research is donating 8,000 masks and filters to its specialty retailers and their staff to ensure the brand’s partners can return to work safely and confidently.
Outdoor Research is also launching a bulk packaged version of the program for organizations trying to outfit their employees with protective face masks. The Bulk Mask and Filter Pack Program is intended for large and small organizations that need a cost-effective and safe solution for their staff.
In the fall, OR will also offer a collection of cold-weather face masks that will be launched in September 2020. That will include three products with two different weight offerings (light and mid), all treated with HeiQ NPJ03. Products include the Essential Uber Tube neck gaiter and Essential Balaclava, which are designed with OR’s proprietary filter element. These will be offered with three replacement filters and a reusable zip pouch. OR will also offer the Essential glove, designed for daily use or as liners, in two weights.
Launch of this consumer and retail program follows Outdoor Research converting a large part of its onshore manufacturing facilities in Seattle to producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the medical community in response to the COVID-19 crisis. New equipment installed over the last month will eventually allow Outdoor Research to produce up to 200,000 masks per day.
For more than a month, Outdoor Research has been producing fabric face masks, which consist of a fabric mask containing a replaceable filter that provides basic bacterial filtration and sub-micron particulate protection. So far, Outdoor Research has produced close to 300,000 of those with production ongoing daily. It has been delivering those face masks to a number of federal and state agencies.
Over the last two weeks, Outdoor Research received specialized new manufacturing equipment to begin producing ASTM level 3 surgical masks. It is currently in the ramp-up process to be able to produce 140,000 of those masks per day, as announced in March. In recent weeks, Outdoor Research has begun hiring for more than 100 new positions to support this production effort. Additional equipment that will arrive by the end of June will allow OR to begin producing N95 Respirators. Eventual production will increase to 50,000 day once that equipment is installed.
Over the last two years Outdoor Research has made significant capital investments designed to improve and modernize its Seattle factory. These investments allow Outdoor Research to take advantage of the company’s global knowledge of design, materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques while producing the next generation of outdoor and tactical products at its facilities.
For more about Outdoor Research, visit www.outdoorresearch.com.