Respro Cinqro Review

As you might have read, I’m a big fan of the Respro Techno mask. It’s a great mask for general use in urban areas to combat the harmful effects of pm 2.5 and vehicle pollution. If you’re looking for a do-all mask with replaceable filters and don’t need something optimized for exercise or cycling, I’d suggest checking out my review of the Respro Techno to see if it’s right for you. I still use the Techno if I’m walking around Shanghai on a highly polluted day. If you plan on doing anything more intensive than walking, i.e. if you’re an avid runner or jogger, then listen up: the Cinqro™ is calling you.

As I started riding my bike to work more and more frequently, and the once-to-twice-per-week turned into everyday, I wanted a mask that would allow me to breathe a bit easier. I was on the search for a cycling-specific pollution mask and the first place I looked was Respro. Since Respro has one of the widest ranges of masks available, not to mention lab-tested filters that exceed Americna and European standards (PM 0.3, P3 and N99 Filters), I decided to check them out and see if they had something with athletes or cyclists in mind. Upon checking out their site, I found myself in luck. I found The Cinqro™.

The Cinqro™ mask is the latest addition to the vast line of anti pollution masks offered by Respro. It was designed with “urban trainers” and “home runners” in mind; the type of die-hard athlete who won’t skip a day despite smoggy or highly polluted conditions; the year-round bicycle commuter who you see riding that same stretch or road whether it’s bluebird skies and sunny or raining cats and dogs. I wouldn’t exactly classify myself as a die-hard athlete or urban trainer, but I do try to get some exercise everyday and hate to let shitty air or a sky full of smog deter me from leaving my house. Being a year-round bicycle commuter for almost 10 years now, coming from Vermont where I would run studded tires on my bike during the winter, I’m not scared of crappy weather. I am scared, however, of smog and PM 2.5.

One of the major selling points for me on this mask is the Powa™ Elite valves designed to improve air flow during exercise. When you’re riding, running or jogging, your breathing rate increases. An increased breathing rate in other masks will cause premature fatigue due to  an increase in breathing resistance. An increase in breathing resistance will create pressure in your back and other muscles as well as more dampness inside of the mask. These were the main gripes I had with the Techno…so you can imagine how excited I was to learn that this issue has been resolved thanks to the improved valves found on the Cinqro™.

When I received my Cinqro™, I found that it came with two filters: a Hepa-Type™ particle filter which is optimized for fine, sub-micron dusts, and a combination Hepa-Type™ & DACC™ filter, designed to filter exhaust from cars and other vehicles. These filters are easily interchangeable and also replaceable, depending on your usage and environment.

Since I ride along a 4-5 lane road in Shanghai that’s right under an elevated highway, I opt for the Hepa-Type™ & DACC™ combo filter. On bad days I not only have to deal with PM 2.5 and smog, but also exhaust from large trucks, speeding taxis and poorly maintained gas scooters and motorcycles.

The first day I tried out the Cinqro™, I arrived to work with much less condensation and moisture buildup inside my mask, which was a really nice surprise. Call me a pessimist, but I figured that the Powa™ Elite valves wouldn’t make much of a difference, but man was I wrong. Not only was I breathing easier (perhaps to due being in better shape from riding everyday), but my lungs felt noticeably better…probably since I didn’t have to work so hard for each breath. Also, the decreased moisture inside the mask made riding during the winter months much more comfortable. The only issue I’ve had with this mask is that the nose clip fits my nose a little too tightly. I have a wider nose (thanks to my girlfriend for the daily reminder), so the clip starts to feel a bit snug after 45 minutes to an hour of use. Regardless, I still use this mask daily throughout the highly polluted winter months and on any day where the AQI levels surpass 150.

Just like the Techno and other offerings from Respro, the Cinqro™ comes in three sizes: M, L, and XL, is equipped with a nylon noseclip that’s impossible to break (I’ve tried, since I have a wide nose), is made from Neoprene and comes equipped with a velcro fastening system. Not sure what the right size is for you? Simply check out the sizing chart below courtesy of Respro

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