Product Reviews

Switchbait Sun Mask review

Switchbait Sun Mask.

THE concept of using a wrap or shawl to protect the head has been around for thousands of years. The original version is probably the Arab scarf known as a Shemagh. These wraps are designed to protect the wearer from sun, wind and dust. I wore one in the Middle East and found it to be a very useful item of clothing.

A decade ago, a new wave of head covers emerged onto the Aussie market. Along with sun gloves, long sleeved shirts and trousers, they formed part of the “total” sun cover many anglers adopted to avoid sun burn and cancer. Like many of my generation, 30 years of stubbies and T-shirts had preceded the growth of several cancers on my face and neck, so I was keen to get out of the sun too.

I quickly decided the new buffs were not for me. They were sweaty, clingy and often didn’t sit well. The material in some was scratchy and coarse. Others rode up and left my neck exposed. I did not like the gaudy colour patterns or that my breath fogged up my glasses.

At the 2019 Flathead Classic I received a Sun Mask made by Switchbait. Despite my experiences until then I gave it a go and was won over immediately. It has done time in hot, wet conditions both in Queensland and NT as well as milder weather on the Gold Coast and NSW.

The Sun Mask is made from a soft, silky lightweight material. It fits. It can be worn next to the skin but does not cause sweating or itchiness. In the heat it breathes, and it dries quickly. The breathing holes allow air to escape rather than fog your sunnies and unlike other types you do not get a wet spot near your mouth. It’s stretchy but always retains its original shape. The colour options are quite appealing for both sexes.

The Sun Mask is rated SPF 50 and conforms to AS/NZS 4399 (relates to sun protective clothing). Apart from comfort, I also like the way it holds your cap on in strong wind or when you’re driving between spots. In cold weather the Sun Mask also acts as a very nice underlayer which is great if you don’t like scratchy wool or wool blends on your face or head.

The Sun Mask has changed my attitude to head sun coverings. In fact, it has become my new Shemagh. I bought a second Sun Mask recently for under $30.

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