A Review of the Anon MFI Tech Balaclava + MFI Facemask
Magnets are amazing. They hold your pockets closed without snaps, keep your iPhone attached to your wireless charger, and can even propel trains. The Anon MFI Tech balaclava seamlessly attaches your facemask to the bottom of your goggles with the power of magnets. Tucking in your buff is now a thing of the past.
- Facemasks Tested: MFI Facemask, Tech Balaclava
- Weight: Facemask 78grams, Tech Balaclava 73 grams
- Country of Origin: Cambodia
What is MFI?
MFI stands for Magnetic Facemask integration. Anon has cleverly put a slot in their facemasks that allows for a magnet carrier to be inserted. The Carrier is shaped to your nose-bridge and contains 4 magnets that align with the magnets underneath MFI Anon googles. Simply pull down on the face mask and the magnets will let go. Raise the facemask back up to the goggles and they attach with no fuss.
We’re looking at two different MFI-compatible face masks today. The Tech Balaclava and the included facemask when you buy MFI compatible goggles “sets.” Both of these are part of Anons Cold Conditions collection though the included mask is much warmer than the Balaclava.
Every MFI-compatible facemask comes with three different carriers. A Black one to work with the M2, M3, Relapse, Relapse Jr, and Tracker goggles. The purple carrier is compatible with the WM3, WM1, Deringer, and Tempest goggles. The Grey carrier is compatible with the M4 and Sync goggles.
Each MFI mask has two sewn-open slots on each side of the mask close to the nose cover. With a slight shuffling of the mask, the carrier can be slid into position. There is no locking or indicators to line up to make sure you have things right, but this whole task is simple and should take no more than thirty seconds.
The MFI Facemask and Tech Balaclava can be used without the carrier but then it will not attach to your goggles.
The MFI Facemask
The MFI Facemaskmask that is included with the Anon M4 goggles is a loose-fitting neck tube. The outside has a smooth hand feel and is very windproof. The inside is a soft fleece-like material that is comfortable next to the skin. Over the mouth and nose is a loosely hung soft shell material that covers an underlying perforated material over the mouth. The perforated material allows the wearer less restricted airflow while the softshell cover blocks wind and snow.
I found it best to wear the back of the facemask high over the crown of my head so that it did not slip down. I do not wear the earpads in my helmet so I need the facemask to keep my ears warm as well. If the back did slip down the magnets would easily pull the face mask up to my goggles leaving my ears uncovered but the front of my face warm and protected.
My guests who were featured in the Anon M4 review were huge fans of this mask. This was due to its loose-fitting nature on the front of the face. I find it a little too loose and prefer the Tech Balaclava.
The Tech Balaclava
The Tech Balaclava is made of Polartec Powergrid. A grid-shaped inner fleece keeps air between the deeper pockets and warms it while keeping movement and airflow. The balaclava sits snugly on your face and allows good airflow and warmth. There is a “hinge” that allows the chin cover to be dropped below the chin. The hinge is set quite far back and exposes part of my ear. I wish it were slightly farther forward so I could keep my ear warm while allowing me to get fresh air in my beard.
The Polartec Powergrid is great at keeping you warm, but in temps below 20c, its airflow is a little too good. I found myself getting cold on extremely cold days and wishing for more windproofing.
Though it sounds like I did not enjoy Tech Balaclava, I most certainly did. I am a huge fan of balaclavas and the fact they cannot slip off the back of my head while being moved up and down under my chin. On all but the coldest of days the Tech Balaclava kept me warm and happy.
Anons MFI system is a cool innovative way to attach your facemask to goggles. Lifting goggles up and down to tuck in a buff is a p[ain in the rear. I found the MFI most beneficial while on the lift or while guiding heli-skiing. The moment I get hot, usually heading into a gondola or helicopter, I can pull the mask down. When I’m headed back into the elements I slide the mask up and it locks into place. Long live magnets.
Who are the MFI Facemasks for?
Anon goggle users looking for a seamless way to connect their facemask to their goggles hoping in and out of gondolas.
Who are the MFI Facemasks not for?
Owners of non-Anon goggles. Folks who are afraid of magnets.
Black Sheep Adventure Sports was provided with a free sample of the MFI Facemask. We bought our own Tech Blaclava. This in no way affected our opinion and review.